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Hello Everybody!

I need some help, because I have to decide where to spend very well my money!!

I want to know if the package FEMWATER  would allows me to simulate finite elements: in areas with complicated geological conditions; in a coastal aquifers dealing also with transport of contaminants and MAINLY WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY FOR A WATER TABLE NEAR THE SURFACE GOING DOWN BELOW THE 1ST LAYER , Do you suggest me to use FEMWATER, it is capable to do all this things as well as to simulate transport of contaminants? 

I REALLY LIKE THE CAPACITIES OF GMS FOR CONCEPTUALIZATION OF GROUNDWATER ISSUES, IT HAS BEEN VERY USEFUL THROUGHOUT MY ACADEMICAL CAREER, but now i need to work  on a project where the geological conditions requires a detail in the upper layers, with pinch out towards the sea, near to a coastal area, with intercalations of clays and sand  above a huge volcanic Unit.

is there any limit of nodes or elements? have any of you used FEMWATER before for problems of contamination and sea water intrusion?





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I used to be the FEMWATER support person here, I've done some coding with the FEMWATER source code (developed my own reactive transport version), and I've used it (unsuccessfully) for a small scale problem (I eventually switched to MODFLOW-NWT).

My view is that FEMWATER is pretty limited in its usefulness. It does not have many features (e.g. no zone budget) and some of the advertised features do not actually exist (e.g. no river package, some element types don't work). It is an old code that may be useful for some simple problems. The author no longer supports it. Also, I found the transport mass balance to be very poor (this is why I abandoned it). And it is not compatible with modern calibration tools like PEST.


Edit: If you decide to go with FEMWATER, I have a bunch of documentation that you might find useful.

Edited by woodward
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Sadly I have not had the opportunity to use FEFLOW, as it is well beyond the budget of my organisation. We tend to stick with the cheaper options.

Mostly we use MODFLOW. I'm not sure the best option for fully coupled models. There are other things I have heard of like COMSOL, HydroGeoSphere...

PS: FEMWATER can do fully coupled models. There is a limit to the number of nodes and elements, this is hard coded, but if you recompile the exe you can change it.


PPS: You could try asking on a general gw modelling forum such as gwmodel, for software suggestions.e.g.



Edited by woodward
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