Comments on Argus Numerical Environments

1997 Richard B. Winston

The following message was in response to comments about linking ARC/Info to MODFLOW and was sent the the GMS-list. It is reproduced here with permission. I have added HTML formatting. I do not claim copyright to the Dr. Shapiro's message.

Date sent: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 08:53:17 -0500
From: "Allen M. Shapiro" <>
Subject: Comment on "Linking GMS and ARC/Info attributes" and "Conceptual" Modeling

I have been a passive follower of information on the GMS mailing list through colleagues in the USGS. The recent discussion on accessing ARC/Info attributes in ground-water modeling projects and the need for what has been referred to as "conceptual" modeling has piqued my interest because I have faced similar concerns. My concerns, however, extends beyond the use of a single ground-water flow or transport model; not only do I use MODFLOW as part of my research activities, but many other USGS models (e.g., SUTRA, MOC, MOC3D, etc.), as well as several unpublished research codes that I developed for investigations of flow and transport in fractured rock. All of these models required access to USGS data bases (ARC/Info). In addition, I wanted the ease of synthesizing geospatial information within a graphical interface, where the geospatial information was not tied to my specific choice of discretization (referred to in your messages as "conceptual" modeling). My brief review of the available graphical interfaces in the market for selected ground-water flow and transport models left me somewhat disappointed in their ability to address these issues. For this reason, I have been using Argus Numerical Environments (ArgusNE) as pre- and post-processing for MODFLOW, SUTRA, as well as my own unpublished research codes. Since its inception, ArgusNE has had "conceptual" modeling capability and recently they developed a DLL (dynamically-linked library) that imports shapefiles--allowing access to ARC/Info attributes!

The ability of ArgusNE to access DLL's also has made it possible for users (such as myself) to develop external codes that run with ArgusNE--these codes could be polished graphical interfaces for any model (with tab dialog boxes, pop-up menus, etc.), interpolation and geostatistical codes, and translators of geosptial data for import into the GIS and modeling environment in ArgusNE. Recently, I completed a graphical interface for MODFLOW96 (the latest revision of the USGS model MODFLOW is described in Harbaugh and McDonald, 1996, USGS Open-file Report 96-485, and Harbaugh and McDonald, 1996, USGS Open-file Report 96-486). A documentation for the DLL for MODFLOW96 is being completed and I anticipate its release as a USGS Open-file report in the next several weeks. Also, a DLL for SUTRA was developed recently by Cliff Voss (USGS), and I have developed several geostatistical codes that also interface with ArgusNE.

If you are not aware of the product, you can look at their web site ( or feel free to contact me regarding my experiences.

Allen M. Shapiro

U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
431 National Center
Reston, VA 20192 USA

Tel: 703-648-5884
FAX: 703-648-5274


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1997, Richard B. Winston,
Dept. of Geology and Geophysics
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, La 70803
Fax 504-388-2302