Visual MODFLOW Flex

Groundwater Flow & Contaminant Transport Modeling Software

Visual MODFLOW Flex is more than just a graphical user interface for MODFLOW groundwater simulations. Visual MODFLOW Flex brings together industry-standard codes for groundwater flow and contaminant transport, essential analysis and calibration tools, and stunning 3D visualization capabilities in a single, easy-to-use software environment.

With Visual MODFLOW Flex, groundwater modelers have all the tools required for addressing local to regional-scale water quality, groundwater supply, and source water protection issues.

Why Choose Visual MODFLOW Flex?

Build models faster and more efficiently

With integrated 3D conceptual modeling, you will never have to rebuild a model again. Model inputs and grid design can be updated at any point in the modeling process as modeling objectives change, more data are collected and a better understanding of the sub-surface is achieved

Simple, easy-to-use

Since 1995, Visual MODFLOW has been recognized for its intuitive, easy-to-use interface. With Visual MODFLOW Flex, modeling steps are conveniently presented in an intuitive, workflow-driven graphical user interface, allowing you to see what steps you've completed, your current step and what steps you need to finish to reach your modeling objectives.

Save time and money

Visual MODFLOW Flex provides both GIS-based 3D conceptual modeling and numerical modeling all within a single integrated software environment. This reduces the need to maintain costly 3rd party pre-processing tools and eliminates the error-prone process of transferring data back-and-forth between different software packages and data formats.

Model with confidence

The 3D conceptual modeling capabilities allow you to easily interpret and analyze raw GIS data in 2D, 3D and cross-sectional viewers. This provides a visual quality assurance of the data and allows you to gain a solid understanding of the subsurface before designing the numerical model.

Build larger, more complex models

Visual MODFLOW Flex is equipped to handle vast quantities of detailed, high resolution data. With 64-bit support, you can leverage the extra memory available on 64-bit computer and simulate large and complex regional-scale groundwater systems.

Build credible models

With integrated modeling, model inputs and outputs can be easily visualized alongside raw GIS field data in 3D. This allows you to establish model credibility by demonstrating how numerical model data (model layers, flow parameters, recharge data) were generated from conceptual data (borehole logs, GIS data). Calculated heads and pathlines can also be displayed alongside conceptual model data to validate assumptions and further demonstrate model credibility.

Easily compare multiple models

Visual MODFLOW Flex's unique design permits easy side-by-side comparisons of multiple models allowing you to assess alternative modeling scenarios, grid discretizations and hydrogeologic interpretations.

Get started fast

Advance your technical knowledge and become an expert in no time with a wealth of learning and support resources including step-by-step tutorials, comprehensive user's guide, videos, online training courses and free webinars.

Visual MODFLOW Flex Applications

Visual MODFLOW Flex can be used for an array of groundwater applications.

  • Delineate well capture zones for domestic water supply development
  • Design and optimize pumping well locations for mine dewatering projects
  • Determine contaminant fate and exposure pathways for risk assessment
  • Simulate surface water-groundwater interactions
  • Watershed scale/regional groundwater modeling
  • Evaluate groundwater remediation systems (pump and treat, funnel and gate etc)
  • Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR)

View all published applications of Visual MODFLOW.

What's New in Visual MODFLOW Flex 2015.1

Support for MODFLOW-NWT

MODFLOW-NWT is an enhanced version of MODFLOW that improves solutions for unconfined groundwater-flow problems where rewetting of dry cells typically occur. This version of MODFLOW is ideal for mine dewatering simulations, or any other scenarios where cells can dry out.

Precise Cell Assignment and Editing

Easily assign hydraulic properties and inactive cells to the numerical grid by drawing polylines or polygons, or selecting individual grid cells. Boundary conditions can be easily copied to other layers within your numerical model.

Easier Definition of Pumping Wells

Visual MODFLOW Flex 2015.1 provides a more natural approach to defining pumping wells by allowing you to define wells and screens on a per-well level. For wells that are screened across multiple layers, Visual MODFLOW Flex automatically calculates the proportion of the total pumping rate assigned to each well grid cell in the model.

Improved Pumping Well Visualization

Visualize well screen intervals in cross-sectional views and render pumping well locations by pumping well attributes such as pumping rate or concentration values.

Flexible Handling of Time Series Data

Conveniently import, view or edit pumping schedule data in relative times (e.g. time starting at 0 days), in addition to absolute time (e.g., 04/22/2015).

Advanced Particle Tracking Options

Define pathline travel time and time marker frequency for MODPATH particle tracking simulations.

Cell-by-cell Visualization

Display the calculated total flux into and out of grid cells, including baseflow, to easily identify gaining/losing surface water bodies such as rivers.

Bug Fixes and Enhancements

Click here to view a complete list of bug fixes addressed in this release.

Assign hydraulic properties to individual grid cells or a series of cells
Render pumping well locations by concentrations, extraction rate, or any other attribute data
Visualize well screens in cross section view
Backward pathlines with travel time set to 720 days, and time markers displayed every 90 days

Comprehensive Groundwater Modeling

With Visual MODFLOW Flex you have a comprehensive set of tools necessary for addressing water quality, groundwater supply, and source water protection initiatives, including:

MODFLOW-2000, 2005

The world standard for groundwater flow modeling


A finite volume version of MODFLOW that uses unstructured grids. Learn more


Shared-node local grid refinement (LGR) for regional-local scale simulations


The standard package for multi-species contaminant transport simulations


The standard package for forward and reverse particle tracking

Zone Budget

A package for sub-regional water budget calculations

PEST v.12.3

Automated calibration and sensitivity analysis with support for pilot points

Powerful Data Visualization

Built and designed on the latest in 3D visualization technology, Visual MODFLOW Flex allows you to effectively present and communicate your data to colleagues and stakeholders with impressive visual renderings of your hydrogeologic model.

  • Visualize all data, including conceptual objects, numerical grids, input data (property zones, boundary condition cells) and output data (calculated heads, pathlines, water table) in state-of-the-art 2D, 3D and multi-view (FlexViewer) displays
  • Create cut-away and cross-sectional views that allow you to see inside your model
  • Generate 3D animations and movies for reports or the web
  • Add isolines, contours, pathlines and color shading to viewers
  • Drape raster images (site maps, satellite imagery) over 3D surfaces to show relief
  • Optimized OpenGL graphics for enhanced hardware rendering

Efficiently Manage Multiple Models

Most modeling projects involve several scenarios/versions, e.g., steady-state vs transient, different properties, inputs and grid types. Visual MODFLOW Flex allows you to assess uncertainty and improve model credibility through comparisons and analysis of multiple modeling scenarios - all within a single project.

  • Manage multiple model scenarios in a single project
  • Easily generate multiple models in parallel for evaluating alternative hydrogeologic interpretations and hypotheses
  • Make direct visual and numerical comparisons between different modeling scenarios
  • Calculate head differences between multiple model runs, with the same or different grid size
  • Compare and analyze multiple modeling scenarios for selecting the best, most realistic model

Full GIS Integration

Easily construct your grid-independent hydrogeologic conceptual model in minutes using existing GIS data sets.

  • Quick and easy data importing of all common file types and formats
  • Automatic coordinate system and units conversion on import
  • Automatic data validation and intelligent error checking on import
  • Define model boundaries, property zones, boundary conditions and attributes from imported GIS data

  • Point, polygon and polyline data (.SHP, .XLS,.DXF, .TXT)
  • 3D Surfaces (.DEM, .ASC, .GRD)
  • Site maps, aerial and satellite imagery (.JPG, . BMP, .TIF, .GIF)
  • Borehole data, time schedules and cross-sections from Hydro GeoAnalyst
  • MODFLOW files from Groundwater Vistas, GMS, ModelMuse and PMWIN.
  • Native MODFLOW files
  • Existing Visual MODFLOW Projects (.VMF)
  • 3D Gridded Data

Flexible Grid Options

Visual MODFLOW Flex provides various grid types from which you can generate your numerical model. Easily experiment with different grid types and choose the one that gives you the best, most stable model.

  • Choose from various structured and unstructured grid types to accommodate a wide range of applications and geologic conditions (e.g., pinch outs, discontinuities)
  • Improve simulation accuracy, reduce runtimes and increase model stability with unstructured grid types (MODFLOW-USG)
  • Easily generate multiple grids within the same project and compare side-by-side in 2D or 3D
  • Perform grid refinement around areas of interest
  • Create faster more stable models with nested child grids that contain local horizontal and vertical refinement (MODFLOW-LGR)

  • Uniform Gird
  • Non-Uniform Gird
  • Finite Element Mesh
  • Localized Child Grids (MODFLOW-LGR)
  • Unstructured Grids (MODFLOW-USG)

Unparalleled Power and Performance

Take full advantage of 64-bit architecture and multiple core processors, and build bigger models and run simulations significantly faster.

  • Available in 64-bit with support for 64-bit engines
  • Multi-core parallel processing for flow engines

Flexible Modeling Approaches

Visual MODFLOW Flex allows you to choose which modeling approach to use for building your groundwater models. Choose the flexible and efficient conceptual modeling approach or the classical modeling approach.

Conceptual Modeling Approach

Build your 3D conceptual model using existing GIS data and wells/boreholes. The grid-independent conceptual model gives you the flexibility to experiment with different grid types and simulators. Cell locations and parameters are automatically calculated for you, reducing the need to define these manually on a cell-based level. From one conceptual model you can easily generate multiple numerical models of different grid types and modeling scenarios, and easily update or modify the model as needed.


Classical Numerical Modeling Approach

Ideal for models with simple geology, basic properties and boundary conditions, the classical approach allows you to start by defining the numerical grid. The grid can then be manually populated with properties and boundary conditions using traditional techniques.

Integrated 3D Conceptual and Numerical Groundwater Modeling

Visual MODFLOW Flex provides a seamless transition from raw data through conceptualization to the numerical model all within a single intuitive modeling environment.

  • Define complex geology and model layers using borehole log data and cross-sections
  • Interpret GIS data to define hydrogeologic properties and boundaries independent of the grid
  • Run, analyze, and validate model results with raw data in 2D, 3D, and cross-section views
  • Easily create multiple conceptualizations; generate numerous grids and model scenarios in parallel all in a single project
  • Assess uncertainty though comparing heads from multiple model runs in 2D, 3D or chart views

Visual MODFLOW Flex Videos


Visual MODFLOW Flex System Requirements

Visual MODFLOW Flex requires the following minimum hardware configuration

Hardware Requirements

Operating Systems

Windows 8
Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate
Windows Vista Business, Ultimate or Enterprise (SP2)
Note: Windows XP operating system is not supported.


32-bit or 64-bit

Hard Disk

500 MB


2 GB (4 GB or more recommended)

Networking Hardware

Network Card (required for soft key licensing)

If you intend to work with large models (est. > 500,000 nodes), it is recommended that you use 64-bit version of Visual MODFLOW Flex, and increase your RAM (recommended 10 GB or more).

Software Requirements

The Visual MODFLOW Flex installation package requires the following software configuration:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • Microsoft Office (2000 or later). If you do not have Office, you must install the Microsoft Access Database Engine.

Visual MODFLOW Flex Pricing


  Basic Professional Premium
Commercial Standalone License (USD) $2201 $5237 $7583
MODFLOW-2000, 2005, NWT a a
MODFLOW-USG (UnStructured Grids)  
ZoneBudget a a a
MODPATH (Particle Tracking) a a a
Enhanced 3D Visualization a a a
MT3DMS, RT3D* a a a
Local Grid Refinement (MODFLOW-LGR)   a a
Conceptual Modeling   a a
Multiple Grid Types   a a
Compare results from multiple model runs   a a
Modeling Scenarios in a project Just one Unlimited Unlimited
Build and run bigger models (Native 64-bit Support)   a a
3D Animation and Movie Generation   a a
PEST   a a
PHT3D*   a a
SEAWAT*   a a
MGO*   a a
MT3D99*     a
SAMG     a
FEFLOW Model Generation (.FEM file)     a

* Features only available from within the accompanying Visual MODFLOW Classic Interface. Learn more »

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