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WHI UnSat Suite

Detailed Description

WHI UnSat Suite

WHI UnSat Suite

1-D Unsaturated Zone Groundwater Flow and Transport Modeling Using SESOIL, VLEACH, PESTAN, VS2DT and HELP

Introduction to the WHI UnSat Suite

Most groundwater contamination problems can be attributed to either surface spills or leaks from surface or near surface storage tanks and facility operations. As a result, the behavior of the contaminants in the unsaturated zone plays a critical role in the potential impact these spills will have on the groundwater system. However, despite this fact, the vast majority of contamination studies still neglect the contributions and influence of the unsaturated zone. This is due to several reasons:

  • lack of regulations dealing with the unsaturated zone
  • lack of data for the unsaturated zone
  • lack of easy-to-use software

Fortunately, many states are now adopting stricter risk-based policies for evaluating contamination in the unsaturated zone. In addition, software packages like the WHI UnSat Suite are making unsaturated zone modeling easier and more cost effective.

The WHI UnSat Suite is a fully-integrated software package that combines the most popular and widely-used models for simulating one-dimensional groundwater flow and contaminant transport in the unsaturated zone (includes SESOIL, VS2DT, VLEACH, PESTAN and the HELP model). These models have all been compiled and optimized to run as native Windows applications and are seamlessly integrated within the WHI UnSat Suite graphical modeling environment.

The WHI UnSat Suite is specifically designed to handle one-dimensional groundwater flow and contaminant transport in the unsaturated zone. This one dimensional model simulates the downward vertical flow of groundwater and migration of dissolved contaminants in the groundwater through a thin column of soil. This thin column of soil is referred to as a model profile.

Each model profile you create will have different numerical requirements depending on the conditions at the site, the amount of data available, the objectives of the project and the budget for the project. The revolutionary design of the WHI UnSat Suite interface allows you to quickly and easily create a 1-D unsaturated zone model using the simulation code that best suits your site conditions.

The WHI UnSat Suite uses the latest techniques in software engineering to integrate the existing technologies in unsaturated zone modeling and to introduce many new methods for visualizing and managing your projects, generating input data, presenting modeling results, and sharing data between models. The result is a powerful and easy-to-use modeling tool that makes unsaturated zone flow and transport simulations more practical and accessible than ever before!


Main Features of the WHI UnSat Suite

  • Unified Modeling Environment - The WHI UnSat Suite interface design accommodates the specialized features and analysis capabilities of each model while maintaining a consistent look and feel for each data set.
  • Easy-To-Use - The familiar design and functionality of the interface makes it extremely easy to learn and facilitates rapid model development using any of the available models.
  • New Project Wizard - Guides you through the process of setting up a model data set for any of the available programs (model templates are provided for each model to help get you started).
  • Project Management - The project-based data management system that liberates the user from handling of numerous files for separate projects.
  • Input Data - The Project Data Tree allows you to quickly view and modify the profile data structure for each model profile or easily duplicate the model data files for performing sensitivity analyses.
  • Graphical Display - The profile display shows the geometry, dimensions, layer structure and stratigraphy of the model profile.
  • Database Links - A customizable database of soil and chemical parameters is linked to the various input forms for automatic entry of selected property values.
  • WHI Weather Generator - The built-in WHI Weather Generator generates up to 100 years of statistically reliable weather data to use as input for either SESOIL or Visual HELP.
  • Seamless Integration - Create the model profile(s), run the simulation(s), visualize the results, and create the report documents, all in the same graphical modeling environment.
  • Presentation of Results - The WHI UnSat Suite comes with a powerful graphical component for visualizing the simulation results for any of the models.
  • Automatic Report Generator - Create a rich text document with tabulated input data, profile graphics, and a display of results, all with the click of a button.
  • Teamwork - Supports teamwork environments such that project files can be run over a networked system.
  • Data Sharing - Export data from WHI UnSat Suite unsaturated zone modeling results to use as flow and transport boundary condition data in saturated zone groundwater models such as Visual MODFLOW.
  • Tutorials - The WHI UnSat Suite comes with a complete set of step-by-step tutorials covering the practical application of each model.
  • Training - "Vadose-Zone Flow and Contaminant Transport Modeling Course" is being offered in Houston in September.

Professional Applications of the WHI UnSat Suite

  • Simulate long-term pollutant fate and transport (VOCs, PAHs, pesticides and heavy metals) in the unsaturated zone under seasonally variable conditions using SESOIL.
  • Predict vertical migration of volatile hydrocarbons through the vadose zone using VLEACH.
  • Estimate agricultural pesticide migration through the unsaturated zone using PESTAN.
  • Simulate groundwater flow and transport processes through heterogeneous, unsaturated soil using VS2DT.
  • Predict seasonal recharge rates through heterogeneous soil conditions under variable weather conditions using the HELP model.
  • Generate up to 100 years of statistically reliable climatalogical data for virtually any location in the world using the WHI Weather Generator.


The WHI UnSat Suite contains detailed on-line help and is accompanied by a comprehensive user's manual containing easy-to-follow instructions and a step-by-step tutorial. Free technical support is provided by phone, fax and e-mail.

Hardware Requirements

  • PC Pentium
  • 32 MB RAM
  • 25 MB free disk space
  • VGA display and mouse
  • Windows 95/98/2000 or Windows NT

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