Basic Example of Contaminant Plume Modeling with MT3D-USGS and Model Muse


MT3D-USGS is the one of the latest software for contaminant transport developed by the USGS. The initial release was on 2016 as a updated release of MT3DMS. The software has new capabilities for transport modeling coupled with the current MODFLOW packages, it can model unsaturated-zone transport, reactions and remediation schemas.

This transport modeling code is implemented in the pre and postprocessing software for groundwater modeling Model Muse, also developed by the USGS. This tutorial show a basic example of contaminant transport from a point source in a groundwater flow regime controlled by regional flow and discharge to ponds and rivers.


The tutorial in divided in two parts:

Part 1:

  • Geometry definition

  • Set up of boundary conditions

  • Conceptualization of temporal and spatial discretization

  • Flow and transport simulation

  • Model output representation

Part 2:

  • Increase of the vertical discretization to 6 layers.

  • Generate output at defined number iterations.

  • Analysis of the contaminant plume development.

  • Animation of the concentration distribution with time.

Input files

You can download the input files for this tutorial here.

Saul Montoya

Saul Montoya es Ingeniero Civil graduado de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú en Lima con estudios de postgrado en Manejo e Ingeniería de Recursos Hídricos (Programa WAREM) de la Universidad de Stuttgart con mención en Ingeniería de Aguas Subterráneas y Hidroinformática.

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