Surface Water Modeling Tools


by: Sarah Kurtz

A number of numerical models covering virtually all aspects of mining hydrology from watershed runoff models to river sediment transport models have been developed. This page provides an overview of the most common numerical models currently available, grouped according to subject and application.

Watershed Runoff Models

Stream Solute Transport Models

River Sediment Transport Models

Note: The listing of any particular model does not imply endorsement of this product or the authorized dealer by the author(s) of this website. Please contact Sarah Kurtz if you would like to add other numerical models not currently listed on this website.


Watershed Runoff Models

List of available models:

  • BASINS (EPA) BASINS is a multipurpose environmental analysis system for use by state, regional, and local agencies in performing watershed- and water- quality based studies. It can be downloaded for free from this site.
  • BLTM (USGS) BLTM uses Lagrangian calculations that are unconditionally stable and based upon a reference frame that moves at a velocity equal to the mean channel flow velocity. BLTM results are within the accuracy required by most water-quality studies. The BLTM is easily applied to unsteady flows in networks of one-dimensional channels with fixed geometry and tributary inflows. Reaction kinetics for up to 10 constituents are provided in a user-written decay-coefficient subroutine. Postprocessor plot programs improve the utility of the model. The model routes any number of interacting constituents through a system of one-dimensional channels. Click here for an OTIS fact sheet. This model can be downloaded for free.
  • HEC-HMS (US Corps of Engineers) HEC-HMS simulates the precipitation-runoff processes of dendritic watershed systems. It is designed to solve from large river basin water supply and flood hydrology to small urban or natural watershed runoff. It can be downloaded for free from this site.
  • HSPF (USGS) HSPF simulates for extended periods of time the hydrologic, and associated water quality, processes on pervious and impervious land surfaces and in streams and well-mixed impoundments. It can be downloaded for free.
  • MODBRNCH (USGS) MODBRNCH Ground-Water/Surface-Water Coupled Flow Model using USGS MODFLOW and BRANCH Models. It can be downloaded for free from this site.
  • SMS (GMS/WMS/SMS Group) SMS is a graphical pre and postprocessor for 1D and 2D hydrodynamic modeling of complex river systems, lakes, estuaries and coastal systems.

Please click here to view recent publications illustrating applications of watershed runoff models to mining. We invite you to submit other modeling case studies for presentation on this website.


Stream Solute Transport Models

List of available models:

  • BASINS (EPA) BASINS is a multipurpose environmental analysis system for use by state, regional, and local agencies in performing watershed- and water- quality based studies. It can be downloaded for free from this site.
  • OTIS (USGS) OTIS is a mathematical simulation model used to characterize the fate and transport of water-borne solutes in streams and rivers. The governing equation underlying the model is the advection-dispersion equation with additional terms to account for transient storage, lateral inflow, first-order decay and sorption. This equation and the associated equations describing transient storage and sorption are solved using a Crank-Nicolson finite difference solution. It can be downloaded for free from this site. Click here for an OTIS fact sheet.
  • OTEQ (USGS) OTEQ is a mathematical simulation model used to characterize the fate and transport of water-borne solutes in streams and rivers. The model is formed by coupling a solute transport model with a chemical equilibrium submodel. The solute transport model is based on OTIS, a model that considers the physical processes of advection, dispersion, lateral inflow, and transient storage. The equilibrium submodel is based on MINTEQ, a model that considers the speciation and complexation of aqueous species, acid-base reactions, precipitation/dissolution, and sorption. It can be downloaded for free from this site.

Please click here to view recent publications illustrating applications of stream solute transport models to mining. We invite you to submit other modeling case studies for presentation on this website.


River Sediment Transport Models

List of available models:

  • MODEIN (USGS) MODEIN computes total sediment discharge at a cross section of an alluvial stream having primarily a sand bed from measured hydraulic variables, the concentration and particle-size distribution of the measured suspended sediment, and the particle-size distribution of the bed material. It can be downloaded for free from this site.

Please click here to view recent publications illustrating applications of river sediment models to mining. We invite you to submit other modeling case studies for presentation on this website.

Publications

Watershed Runoff Models

Currently there are no papers on watershed runoff models.

Stream Solute Transport Models

McKnight, D.M., Kimball, B.A., and Runkel, R.L. (2001): "pH dependence of iron photoreduction in a Rocky Mountain stream affected by acid mine drainage". Hydrological Processes, v. 15, p. 1979-1992.

Runkel, R.L., Bencala, K.E., and Kimball B.A., (1999): "Modeling solute transport and geochemistry in streams and rivers using OTIS and OTEQ". Morganwalp, D.W., and Buxton, H.T., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8-12, 1999--Volume 1--Contamination from Hardrock Mining: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4018A.

Ball, J.W., Robert L. Runkel, and D. Kirk Nordstrom, (1999):"Application of the Solute-Transport Models OTIS and OTEQ and Implications for Remediation in a Watershed Affected by Acid Mine Drainage, Cement Creek, Animas River Basin, Colorado". U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting Charleston South Carolina March 8-12,1999--Volume 1 of 3--Contamination From Hard-Rock Mining, Water-Resources Investigation Report 99-4018A.

Walton-Day, K., Runkel, R.L., Kimball, B.A. and Bencala, K.E. (1999):"Transport Modeling of Reactive and Non-Reactive Constituents from Summitville, Colorado: Preliminary Results from the Application of the OTIS/OTEQ Model to the Wightman Fork/Alamosa River System". U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting Charleston South Carolina March 8-12,1999--Volume 1 of 3--Contamination From Hard-Rock Mining, Water-Resources Investigation Report 99-4018A.

Choi, J. Judson W. Harvey, and Martha H. Conklin, (1999): "Use of multi-parameter sensitivity analysis to determine relative importance of factors influencing natural attenuation of mining contaminants". U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting Charleston South Carolina March 8-12,1999--Volume 1 of 3--Contamination From Hard-Rock Mining, Water-Resources Investigation Report 99-4018A

Harvey, J.W., and Fuller, C.C., (1998):"Effect of enhanced manganese oxidation in the hyporheic zone on basin-scale geochemical mass balance". Water Resources Research, v. 34, no. 4, p. 623-636.

Runkel, R.L., McKnight, D.M., Bencala, K.E., and Chapra, S.C., (1996):"Reactive solute transport in streams: 2. Simulation of a pH-modification experiment". Water Resources Research, v. 32, no. 2, p. 419-430.

River Sediment Transport Models

Currently there are no papers on river sediment transport models.