Water Resources Management

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 1631–1649 | Cite as

Groundwater Modeling Under Variable Operating Conditions Using SWAT, MODFLOW and MT3DMS: a Catchment Scale Approach to Water Resources Management

  • Majid Ehtiat
  • S. Jamshid Mousavi
  • Raghavan Srinivasan


This paper presents an integrated modeling approach by linking soil and water application tool (SWAT), modular finite difference groundwater flow (MODFLOW) and modular 3-dimensional multi-species transport (MT3DMS) models capable of predicting a groundwater system response, in terms of flow and salt concentrations, to current and future development conditions. SWAT, a semi-distributed hydrologic model, estimates the spatio-temporal distribution of groundwater recharge rates. These rates are then input to MODFLOW using an interface module developed that maps the HRU-based spatial resolution of SWAT outflows into the cell-based spatial structure of inputs to MODFLOW and MT3DMS. The integrated SWAT-MODFLOW-MT3DMS model is used in modeling Dehloran aquifer system located in the arid western region of Iran, experiencing changes in land-use, irrigation system and pumping locations and loads. The results illustrate the significance of the developed integrated modeling tool in quantifying the impact of changes in land and surface water resources on its subsurface water system.


Groundwater systems Integrated modeling approach Recharge SWAT 



This research has been partially supported by the research grant No. 40/758 provided by Research Grants Program of Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Majid Ehtiat
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Jamshid Mousavi
    • 3
  • Raghavan Srinivasan
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAmirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)TehranIran
  2. 2.College of Engineering, Civil Engineering GroupArdakan UniversityYazdIran
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAmirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran
  4. 4.Texas Agricultural Experimental Station, Spatial Science LabTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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