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New Jersey Water Science Center

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USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

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Provided in cooperation with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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Program to Maintain and Update Groundwater Models

Project Chief: Martha K. Watt
Phone: 609-771-3900
Funding (years): ongoing since 1995
Cooperator(s): New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection


Many current and past groundwater investigations have included the development of computer models to simulate the movement of water through local and regional aquifers. Computer models are used to help hydrologists understand flow systems and evaluate the effects of natural changes in the hydrologic cycle or changes created by human activities.

Map showing locations of archived, ground-water-flow model boundariesMap showing extent of Regional RASA model boundary
Figure 1. Location of archived groundwater-flow models in New Jersey.

Project Description

The Model Maintenance program was started in 1995 to maintain and update groundwater-flow models constructed in New Jersey. The program is designed to use standardized procedures to archive the models, update models with recent data and analytical techniques, and re-evaluate data network design. This program allows water-resource planners and managers the ability to use the models in multiple studies in an efficient manner and at reduced costs.


Twenty-four groundwater-flow models that were constructed during studies in the New Jersey Water Science Center are now archived. The locations of these modeled areas are shown in figure 1. The archived models are listed in table 1. The models range in area from 1-acre to 100,000 square miles, cover diverse geologic settings, and have been updated to various degrees. Some of the models that are not archived were developed during older projects and were calibrated to hydrologic conditions through the 1970s. Reports documenting older non-archived models are listed in table 2. (To request an archived model, select a model from table 1 or pick a model under the 'archived models' link in the left hand navigation bar.)

Model Code

Of the 22 models archived, 19 use the MODFLOW model code and 3 use the SHARP model code to simulate groundwater flow. Since MODFLOW was published in 1988, it has undergone several updates and new capabilities have been added. Archived models that use the MODFLOW model code were run using one of the following-MODFLOW-88, MODFLOW-96, or MODFLOW-2000. All of these model codes, and some pre- and post-processors, can be downloaded from the Office of Groundwater software page. While detailed information can be found on the MODFLOW software page, a summary of system and user requirements can be found here.


These groundwater models are being made available to the general public as a convenience for those wishing to replicate the simulation of the groundwater flow as documented in the accompanying report. Any changes made to the model files after transmission from the USGS could have unintended, undesirable consequences. These consequences could include, but may not be limited to: erroneous model output, numerical instabilities, and violations of underlying assumptions about the subject hydrologic system that are inherent in results presented in the accompanying USGS published report. The USGS assumes no responsibility for the consequences of any changes made to the model files. If changes are made to the model, the user is responsible for documenting the changes and justifying the results and conclusions.

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Page Last Modified: Friday, 31-Aug-2018 08:15:55 EDT