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Tucson Regional Model

Tucson Model History and Timeline

The Tucson MODFLOW model development began in the early 1990's. Previous to the early 1990's, three groundwater models within the Tucson region had been developed. In 1972 both Thomas Anderson and Otto Mooseburner developed electric analog models simulating the groundwater conditions within the Tucson basin. Anderson's electric analog model simulated storage depletion for the Tucson basin between 1940 - 1964. Mooseburner examined Avra Valley within his analysis. The third model was developed in 1984 by Bruce Travers and Peter Mock (ADWR) using a 2-dimensional model representative of the Tucson region.

In the early 1990's the USGS developed two MODFLOW models; one for the Avra Valley (WRI Report 90-4178) and one simulating the Upper Santa Cruz that incorporated the Tucson region (WRI Report 93-4196). Since the release of the USGS MODFLOW models for the Tucson region, the model has been updated to include 1940 - 1999 by Dale Mason and Lou Bota (ADWR 2006). ADWR has updated the Tucson model to include a steady-state/transient simulation from 1940 to 2010 and added several improvements to the model design. Model Report No. 24 documents the model updates; the model report and model data sets are available below.

Tucson Model Location

Tucson Model Location within Phoenix
         Tucson Model Map


The Tucson model encompasses approximately 3,250 square miles including the city of Tucson. [2.2 MB pdf] Adobe File

Tucson Model Datasets

  • Model Files for the ADWR Tucson AMA Model Referenced in Modeling Report 24
    • Model Input Files for Model Report No. 24: Combined Steady-State/Transient simulation - 1940-2010. [3.99MB zip]
  • Updated Model Files for ADWR Tucson AMA Model Referenced in Modeling Report 13
    • Updated Model Files for a Combined Steady-State and Transient Simulation. See the Readme file for fixes to the model input files [1.76MB zip]
  • Model Files Referenced in ADWR Modeling Report 13
    • 1940 ADWR Calibrated Steady-State Tucson Model MODFLOW Datasets [105KB zip]
    • 1941 to 1999 ADWR Calibrated Transient Tucson Model MODFLOW Datasets [1.2MB zip]


Tucson Model Reports and Documents

  • Groundwater Modeling Study of the Upper Santa Cruz Basin and Avra Valley in Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties, Southeastern Arizona. Travers and Mock. Unnumbered Modeling Report.
  • A Regional Groundwater Flow Model of the Tucson Active Management Area, Tucson, Arizona: Simulation and Application. Mason and Bota . Modeling Report No. 13 (2006) [88MB pdf] Adobe File
  • Regional Groundwater Flow Model of the Tucson Active Management Area, Arizona: Model Update and Calibration. Mason D.A. and Hipke, W.E., Modeling Report No. 24, (2013).



      Contact the ADWR Modeling Unit ([email protected] )


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