1. General Model Information

Name: PATH3D

Acronym: PATH3D

Main medium: terrestrial
Main subject: biogeochemistry, hydrology
Organization level: ecosystem
Type of model: partial differential equations (finite differences,3D)
Main application:
Keywords: soil, groundwater, solute transport, contaminant transport, particle tracking, seepage, 3D, postprocessor, well-head protection area, random-walk model, steady state, transient state


Andrews, C.B.
S.S. Papadopulos & Assoc., Inc.
7944 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: (301) 718-8900
Fax :


Chunmiao Zheng, 1991


A general particle tracking program for calculating ground-water paths and travel times in steady-state or transient, 2D and 3D flow fields. The program can be used to simulate the movement of ground-water and the advection of contaminant solutes in ground-water. The program is particularly useful for delineating contaminant capture zones or well-head protection zone. Includes: a velocity interpolator which converts the hydraulic heads calculated at discretised nodal points into a velocity field in which the velocity in a given time step is determined as a function of position (x,y,z); and a numerical solver for tracking the movement of fluid particles in ground-water flow systems. PATH3D uses the head solution of MODFLOW but can also be modified to work in conjunction with any other block-centred finite-difference flow model. Output files: the x,y, z coordinates and the components of the seepage velocity at different travel times along the path of each individual particle; the x, y, z coordinates of all particles at selected times; and the initial and final positions of those particles captured by various sinks, or sources in the case of reverse particle tracking. Output files can be imported into most commercial graphic packages for plotting the pathlines of individual particles, the positions of displacement fronts of capture zones at desirable times, and the distribution of captured particles. All input is performed via input menus. Several post-processing programs are included to facilitate the use of a graphic package, including commercial contouring packages.

II. Technical Information

II.1 Executables:

Operating System(s): DOS The status of PATH3D is commercial: The executables are available at IGWMC

II.2 Source-code:

Programming Language(s):

II.3 Manuals:

II.4 Data:

III. Mathematical Information

III.1 Mathematics

III.2 Quantities

III.2.1 Input

III.2.2 Output

IV. References

Zheng C. and Bennett G.D. 1995 Applied Contaminant Transport Modeling: Theory and Practice. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 440 + xxiii pp

V. Further information in the World-Wide-Web

VI. Additional remarks

Last review of this document by: T. Gabele: 08. 07. 1997 -
Status of the document:
last modified by Tobias Gabele Wed Aug 21 21:44:47 CEST 2002

Go back to Register of Ecological Models (R E M)