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Anaqsim Advanced AEM Groundwater Modeling

As a groundwater specialist, have you ever thought: “At this point, they should just give me the budget in lottery tickets, because either way, it’s a gamble if I’ll have enough to finish the project.” Come on, admit it. If your job is to solve groundwater problems, then you have definitely had a thought like…

As a groundwater specialist, have you ever thought, “At this point, they should just give me the budget in lottery tickets, because either way, it’s a gamble if I’ll have enough to finish the project.” Come on, admit it. If your job is to solve groundwater problems, then you have definitely had a thought like that.

Don’t be That Person

Being the groundwater specialist on any project is a tough gig because the projects we work on are always being updated with new data, designs, or constraints. Since the goal posts are always moving then you need the ability to swiftly respond with model revisions (or else be ‘that person’ holding the project up in your next meeting). This article explores how Anaqsim, an advanced version of the Analytic Element Method (AEM), offers a brilliant solution for these complex, dynamic scenarios, providing the depth and flexibility needed to manage those fast-paced projects.

Curious to learn more about AEM in action? Anaqsim implements AEM so you can gain more insight into your practical application.

You Need a Model That’s Flexible

The last time I created a groundwater model to simulate construction dewatering on a cut and cover excavation, the engineering team changed the layout and depth of the underground train station four times in 40 days. The last time I designed an in-situ groundwater remediation system, the architect moved the footprint of the proposed building right on top of my proposed surfactant recovery system 3 weeks before both were scheduled for construction. The last time I developed a regional scale groundwater model to simulate impacts of a proposed mine site, the client changed their production plans (twice!) even before the first draft of the groundwater model was due. Now I get it, plans change. However, when your project scope, schedule and budget are less like a plan and more like a horoscope (as in vaguely optimistic and subject to planetary movements), then you really need modelling tools that are quick to build and adaptive to change.

The Pros and Cons of AEM

In my previous article I wrote about the analytic element method (AEM) as one of those quick and adaptive groundwater assessment/design tools. In fact, I wrote glowingly that “AEM provides an approach that is not only efficient but also exceptionally adaptable to the highly uncertain nature of subsurface investigations and assessments. By employing a modular approach that utilizes mathematical functions to represent key features, AEM allows engineers and scientists to build, modify, and perform virtual experiments with models quickly and easily.” What I didn’t cover in the previous article was the drawbacks with AEM, which include restrictions such as being limited to homogeneous conditions, steady state simulations, and having a select few element types such as pumping wells. For many groundwater design or assessment projects these limitations are acceptable. But not all.

AEM is really appealing because of its speed and adaptability, particularly from an engineering design perspective, however, there are many instances where a more robust tool is required. Afterall, we are effectively tasked to create useful simulations of highly uncertain, complex, layered puzzles that nature hands us, while keeping up with changes to the project. This is where Anaqsim (analytic aquifer simulator) comes in. Anaqsim is a very advanced version of the AEM. Unlike the earlier versions of AEM, which were really good at simulating the simpler conditions, Anaqsim was made to tackle the realistically messy scenarios. You can think of it as the tool designed for the heavy lifting in AEM groundwater modeling.

Specifically, Anaqsim allows for fully three-dimensional flow simulations across transient, multi-layered heterogeneous and anisotropic aquifer systems. True to its analytic element method, Anaqsim treats all of the elements in a modular way so that all the elements, such aquifers, clay lens, buried channels, excavations, wells, slurry-walls, streams, lakes etc., etc. can be modified quickly and easily. As such, Anaqsim not only provides the modular and adaptable nature of AEM but also enhances its applicability to more intricate and variable groundwater scenarios. This makes Anaqsim an absolutely brilliant tool for those facing the blitz of changes to scope, schedule, and data where the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions and new information is really necessary.

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The Must-Have Groundwater Tool

The next time your project scope starts looking more like the contents of a suggestion box then it may be time to reconsider your modelling toolbox. Anaqsim represents a significant step forward in the field of groundwater modeling. As an AEM based tool it is inherently quick to use and exceptional at adapting to the unpredictable nature of project changes. As an advanced form of AEM, Anaqsim can take that characteristic quick, adaptability and apply it to some of the messiest groundwater design and assessment projects imaginable. So, if I were to wrap this up with a tidy little bow then I would end with this: Anaqsim – because who really wants to redo their entire groundwater model every time the client changes their mind?

Embrace flexibility in your groundwater projects with Anaqsim. Adapt faster to changes – try Anaqsim today!