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SUTRA: Saturated-Unsaturated Finite-Element Transport Model

SUTRA is a compled groundwater flow and quality model developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. It simulates energy as well as solute transport in saturated and unsaturated media using a mixture of finite elements and finite difference bidimensional methods.
It may also take into account the variability of density with temperature, when simulating the heat trasport.
The definition of the finite element grid is flexible, but not very user friendly, thus requiring a certain training period.


area: ground water
objectives: simulation
description: flow, water quality, saturated media, unsaturated media, finite element method, finite differences, heat transport, solute transport, bidimensional domains


The program can be purchased from:
Scientific Software Group
P.O. Box 23041
Washington, D.C.
20026-3041 - U.S.A.
Tel: (703) 620-9214


Clifford I. Voss
U.S. Geological Survey
National Center
Reston, Virginia


  • Bear, Jacob, 1979, Hydraulics of groundwater, McGraw-Hill, New York, 567 pp.
  • Desai C.S. and Contractor D.N. 1977, Finite element analysis of flow, diffusion and salt water intrusion in porous media: in formulation and computational algorithms in finite element analysis by Bathe K.J. (editors) and others, MIT Press, p.958-983.
  • Frind E.O. 1982, Simulation of long-term transient density-dependent transport in groundwater, Advances in Water Resources, v.5,p.73-97
  • Gellhar L.W. and Axness, Carl L., 1983, Three-dimensional stochastic analysis of macrodispersion in aquifers, Water Resources Research, v.19, no.1,p.161-180
  • Gelhar, L.W., and Collins, M.A.,1971,General analysis of longitudinal dispersion in nonuniform flow, Water Resources Research, v.7,no.6,p.1511-1521
  • Huyakorn,P.S., and Pinder, George F.,1983, Computational Methods in Subsurface Flow, Academic Press, New York, 473p.
  • Konikow,L.F., 1977,Modeling chloride movement in the alluvial aquifer at the rocky mountain arsenal, Colorado, U.S. Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 2044,43p.
  • Pinder, G.F., and Gray W.G. 1977 Finite Element Simulation in surface and subsurface hydrology, Academic Press, New York, 295 p.
  • Wang, H.F. and Anderson M.P. 1982, Introduction to Groundwater Modeling, Freeman and Co., San Francisco, 237 p.



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