Understanding groundwater systems has traditionally been hampered by a lack of data- both for the analysis or characterization of the system and for conceptualizing, building, calibrating and validating numerical models. In recent times, though, the geospatial and digital revolutions have led to the availability of massive datasets such as high-resolution global Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), hydrological datasets (streams and lakes networks), detailed climate information (precipitation, temperature),and water well records.  In spite of the availability of this “big data”, its size renders it immovable and hard to maneuver. As a result, the tools and techniques required to efficiently utilize this data have not kept pace with the rate of data “creation.” Moreover, the time required for processing the data makes it impractical to accomplish, especially considering that the same process must be repeated by "everybody" and for "every project". Obviously, this is an impractical way of efficiently using this data and needs improvement.

MAGNET is a data-enabled modeling system built on pre-processed, fully-assembled framework data, i.e., data needed to conceptualize and characterize the system in a ready-to-use form at the “global scale”.  
The system allows users not only to access and utilize pre-processed big datasets, but also to do so in real-time and interactively. Within the GIS-enabled modeling environment, users can zoom in anywhere to create a data-enabled model groundwater flow and contaminant transport, and immediately evaluate model performance using physical groundwater data available within the study area. All model inputs and representations (e.g. conceptual/structural, sources and sinks, number of layers, grid resolution, and display parameters) can be interactively modified and further customized based on study objectives and other available (local) data, as well as user experience and expertise. The users can: 1) change assumptions, conceptual framework, resolution, or representation, and immediately see the integrated effects, the ultimate implications, and the complex interrelationships presented intelligently in a meaningful con­text; 2) initiate or pause contaminant particle tracking or reactive plume modeling; and 3) perform well (head and concentration) monitoring and perform mass balance analyses.
The MAGNET modeling environment is designed in such a way that modeler feels as though they are using a single model that provides multiple options. The process starts with a global Google map/earth that allows user to select an area of interest, after which a geo-referencing model is determined based on the area selected. A GIS-based interface is provided for the user to fine-tune the computational domain and to add additional data such as i) polyline or polygon data used to represent a stream/lake in the model, or ii) geo-referenced images used as a base-map for digitizing a geological formation. For example, a polyline layer could be either treated as a stream with attributes of stage, leakance and bed elevation or as an injection trench with a prescribed flux; a polygon layer could be defined as a lake with attributes of lake level and leakance, or as a contaminant source. 

Supporting Tools and Software
The algorithms, solvers, pre-processed data, and post-model visualization and analysis capabilities are derived from a sophisticated groundwater modeling software - Interactive Groundwater (IGW) - developed over the past 20 years of researchFor advanced and expert groundwater modelers, Interactive Groundwater is an ideal tool and is available as a number of different packages - see Premium Products

Interactive Groundwater (IGW)
Taking advantage of the recent developments in computer technology, contaminant transport modeling, and numerical simulation techniques, Interactive Groundwater (IGW) is a sophisticated combined research and educational software environment for unified deterministic and stochastic groundwater modeling. Based on a set of new efficient and robust computational algorithms, IGW allows simulating complex flow and transport in aquifers subject to both systematic and "randomly" varying stresses and geological and chemical heterogeneity. Adopting a new programming paradigm, the software eliminates a major bottleneck inherent in the fragmented traditional modeling technologies and allows fully utilizing today’s dramatically increased computer processing power.  IGW enables real-time groundwater modeling, real-time visualization, real-time analysis, and real-time presentation.

IGW functions as a “numerical research laboratory” in which an investigator may freely explore the subsurface environment, visually creating an aquifer system of desired configurations, interactively applying desired stresses and boundary conditions, and then investigating and visualizing the geology and the dynamic processes of flow and contaminant fate and transport “on-the-fly”. IGW seamlessly and dynamically merges heterogeneous geospatial data and modeling inputs and outputs into composite 2D or 3D graphical images - integrating related data to provide a more complete view of the complex interplay among the geology, hydrology, flow system, and reactive transport dynamics.

IGW is available as a desktop application.  A number of packages are available (2D vs. 3D, deterministic+stochastic modeling vs. deterministic only, etc.) - see the Premium Products sub-page. 

Michigan Groundwater Management Tool (MGMT)
Michigan Groundwater Management Tool  (MGMT) is a desktop application allowing users to explore a compilation of hydrologic, geologic, geographic, and environmental data covering the entire State of Michigan. Using solely existing data, MGMT allows users to delineate groundwater flow patterns, establish WHPAs and groundwater source areas, and estimate drawdown due to pumping. MGMT enables systematic integration of detailed groundwater-centric data with dynamic visualization, modeling, and analysis. This allows for a wide variety of investigative perspectives that naturally follow the progression of groundwater studies – from site characterization, to resource evaluation,  protection, and ultimately sustainable management. 

MGMT is a unique tool for cost-effective groundwater management and protection in Michigan, particularly at the site-scale.