Australasian Groundwater Conference 2017

Aquanty is proud to support the Australasian Groundwater Conference this year. Swing by our booth to talk to us. We will also have two talks durring the Wednesday session on Groundwater Modelling.

River basin-scale integrated surface-subsurface hydrologic modelling to support agricultural risk management.

Simulating complex surface water/groundwater interactions during flood events with a fully-integrated physics based hydrologic model.

René Therrien -- Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering

Aquanty is very pleased to announce that Professor René Therrien in the Département de géologie et de génie géologique at Laval University has been elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering for his contributions to the advancement of hydrogeological science and the development of advanced mathematical models. Dr. Therrien is a co-founder of Aquanty and a co-developer of Aquanty's simulation platform HydroGeoSphere. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Aquanty. Dr. Therrien is the second co-founder of Aquanty elected to this prestigious honour. Dr. Sudicky was elected to the Academy in 2003.

For more information...

HGS RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT - Integrating hydrological modelling, data assimilation and cloud computing for real-time management of water resources

Authors: Wolfgang Kurtz, Andrei Lapin, Oliver S. Schilling, Qi Tang, Eryk Schiller, Torsten Braun, Daniel Hunkeler, Harry Vereecken, Edward Sudicky, Peter Kropf, Harrie-Jan Hendricks Franssen, and Philip Brunner

Online data acquisition, data assimilation and integrated hydrological modelling have become more and more important in hydrological science. In this study, we explore cloud computing for integrating field data acquisition and stochastic, physically-based hydrological modelling in a data assimilation and optimisation framework as a service to water resources management. For this purpose, we developed an ensemble Kalman filter-based data assimilation system for the integrated hydrological model HydroGeoSphere, which is able to run in a cloud computing environment. A synthetic data assimilation experiment based on the widely used tilted V-catchment problem showed that the computational overhead for the application of the data assimilation platform in a cloud computing environment is minimal, which makes it well suited for practical water management problems. Advantages of the cloud-based implementation comprise the independence from computational infrastructure and the straightforward integration of cloud-based observation databases with the modelling and data assimilation platform. 

For more information click here.

HydroGeoSphere Language Grammar

Syntax highlighting is now available for Grok input files! Dr. Claus Haslauer from the University of Tübingen created the syntax highlighting functionality. Claus' highlighting functionality works on both TextMate and SublimeText editors (OSX and Windows machines) and the features include:

  • "Skip on" and "Skip off" is greyed out.
  • "Problem description" at the beginning is greyed out.
  • "!" are greyed out (as comments).
  • Input files are coloured.
  • Numbers are highlighted.
  • Domain names (porous medium, surface, etc.) are highlighted.
  • Keywords ('end', 'clear', 'choose') are highlighted.

To find out more information on the Syntax Highlighting please visit Claus' github page.

Job Notice - Intermediate Numerical Modeller (Hydrogeology/Hydrology)

Aquanty is looking for a intermediate Numerical Modeller to join our growing team in Waterloo, ON. The ideal candidate has a background in hydrogeology and numerical modelling at the regional scale.

Location: Waterloo, ON, Canada

Education: Bachelors or Masters level degree in hydrogeology or related field

Experience: 2 - 10 years

Position Description:

The successful applicant will support the Aquanty team with the construction of basin scale numerical models. Tasks are expected to include: data processing, GIS, hydrostratigraphic interpretation, 3D model construction, numerical model setup and simulation.

Desired Skill Set:

·         Experience building numerical models for hydrogeology/hydrology applications

·         Experience interpreting regional scale hydrostratigraphy

·         Strong GIS and data processing skills

·         Experience with HydroGeoSphere/FEFLOW/MODFLOW is an asset

·         Ability to work in a team


Please send your resume to

About Aquanty

Aquanty Inc., is a research spin-off company from the University of Waterloo specializing in computer simulations of how water moves through the natural environment. Our best-in-class simulation platform, HydroGeoSphere, is used in a number of industries including; agriculture, oil and gas, mining, watershed management, contaminant remediation, and nuclear storage and disposal to support water related decision making. Check out our Case Studies to see examples.

HGS User Conference - Registration Deadline January 22, 2017

4th International Hydrogeosphere User Conference

Tackling problems of water quantity and quality increasingly requires the simulation and quantification of complex flow and transport processes in coupled surface-subsurface systems. Over the last 15 years a range of numerical codes such as Hydrogeosphere (HGS)OpenGeosys (OGS)Parflow and others have become available to address those types of problems. Building upon a series of previous HGS user conferences in Liège, Hannover and Neuchatel, the fourth conference in this series will be held at the University of Bayreuth, Germany from the 6th – 10th of March 2017. The conference is entitled “Hydrogeosphere & More: Fully Integrated Simulation of Coupled Surface/Subsurface Flow and Transport Processes” and focuses on the latest research and developments in fully integrated simulation of hydrosystems from the HGS user community and beyond.

Click here for conference registration. 

HGS RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT - Incorporating Surface Water Operations in an Integrated Hydrologic Model: Model Development and Application to the Lower Republican River Basin, United States

AUTHORS: A. Brookfield, C. Gnau, and B. Wilson

Few river systems remain unaltered by engineered water management structures. Yet research investigating the interdependence between natural and engineered components of a hydrologic system within a modeling framework is limited. Most current models either focus on the natural system, incorporating only a portion of the engineered structures and often excluding elements like reservoir operations, or focus on the engineered system, simplifying the temporal and spatial variations of the surface water/groundwater flow system. The objective of this work is to link an object-oriented model of surface water operations to a physically based, fully integrated surface/ subsurface hydrologic model to capture the effects of water management decisions on the groundwater and surface water flow systems. The capabilities of the new linked modeling framework are demonstrated in the heavily managed Lower Republican River Basin (LRRB) in portions of Nebraska and Kansas in the central United States. This area of the basin contains two storage reservoirs and a network of surface water canals from seven irrigation districts, in addition to thousands of diversions from groundwater and surface water irrigators. The linked model was able to reasonably represent the surface and groundwater flow conditions and demonstrated the interdependence between the surface water operations and the groundwater/surface water flow system. The temporal variability of groundwater/surface water interactions has a significant impact on reservoir operations and streamflow. This work demonstrated how integrating surface water operations and groundwater/surface water flow components into a model improves the representativeness of the simulated results and better captures the temporal and spatial variations in hydrologic processes occurring within the domain.

OASIS lower Republican River model schematic

OASIS lower Republican River model schematic


HGS RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT - Combined analysis of time-varying sensitivity and identifiability indices to diagnose the response of a complex environmental model

AUTHORS:  Mehdi Ghasemizade, Gabriele Baroni, Karim Abbaspour, and Mario Schirmer

Physically based models for simulating environmental processes are usually criticized due to having many parameters. This issue leads to over-parameterization and can finally reduce the uncertainty (reliability) of the simulated outputs. Sensitivity and identifiability analyses are common diagnostic tools to address over-parametrization in complex environmental models. In this study, we performed a temporal global sensitivity and identifiability analyses of HydroGeoSphere (HGS) model parameters. HGS was used to simulate daily evapotranspiration, water content, and recharge based on high quality data of a weighing lysimeter. Figure below shows the schematic of the lysimeter as well as the conceptual model for simulating the lysimeter. The model has four soil layers in addition to a preferential flow component. We found that identifiability of a parameter does not necessarily reduce output uncertainty. It was also found that the sensitivity of the model parameters is required to allow uncertainty reduction in the model output. 

Schematic of the weighing lysimeter.

Schematic of the weighing lysimeter.

Conceptual Model.

Conceptual Model.

HGS RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT - On the effects of preferential or barrier flow features on solute plumes in permeable porous media

Authors: Megan Sebbena and Adrian Werner

Discrete flow features (DFFs) such as fractures, faults, sand lenses and clay layers are common geologic features in groundwater systems. DFFs can provide preferential pathways (i.e. ‘preferential flow features’; PFFs) or act as barriers (i.e. ‘barrier flow features’, BFFs) to fluid flow and solute transport. Considerably less research attention has been paid to the role of DFFs in modifying groundwater flow and solute transport where the host rock is permeable, compared to low-permeability rocks. A numerical investigation was conducted within this study to explore how the distributions of solute plumes in permeable aquifers are influenced by a DFF.

HydroGeoSphere was used to evaluate the impact of 2D flow effects within DFFs, which were treated as thin bands of porous media. We show the changes to solute plumes that occur where both BFFs and PFFs are encountered in otherwise permeable rock aquifers (e.g. sandstone and limestone). Additionally, the potential role of ‘back dispersion’ (i.e. the anomalous movement of solutes from the PFF back into the matrix against the direction of groundwater flow) on predictions of PFF effects are explored. The numerical simulations were used to quantify the displacement and widening (or narrowing) of a steady-state solute plume as it crosses a DFF in idealised, 1 × 1 m aquifers. A simple analytical expression for the advective displacement of a solute plume encountering a DFF is provided.

The outcomes of this study suggest that PFFs typically have a more significant influence on plume distributions than BFFs, and the impact of DFFs on solute plumes generally increases with increasing aperture. Plumes crossing a PFF are less symmetrical, and peak solute concentrations beneath PFFs are considerably lower than plumes in BFF cases.

Steady-state salinity distributions for PFF Cases A, B and C (decreasing variability between the PFF and matrix hydraulic conductivities), and Scenarios 1, 2, 3 and 4 (increasing PFF aperture). PFFs are indicated by transparent white lines.

Steady-state salinity distributions for PFF Cases A, B and C (decreasing variability between the PFF and matrix hydraulic conductivities), and Scenarios 1, 2, 3 and 4 (increasing PFF aperture). PFFs are indicated by transparent white lines.

Steady-state salinity distributions for BFF Cases D, E and F (increasing variability between the BFF and matrix hydraulic conductivities), and Scenarios 1, 2, 3 and 4 (increasing BFF aperture). BFFs are indicated by transparent white lines.

Steady-state salinity distributions for BFF Cases D, E and F (increasing variability between the BFF and matrix hydraulic conductivities), and Scenarios 1, 2, 3 and 4 (increasing BFF aperture). BFFs are indicated by transparent white lines.