iMOD User Manual version 4.4 (html)

7.17MetaSWAP Analyser

The process of groundwater recharge and discharge through the unsaturated zone is simulated in iMODFLOW with the MetaSWAP concept (see Annex 1). The input of this MetaSWAP module consists of a series of *.INP files. These files contain most input parameters (land-use, rootzone, meteo data etc. etc.) and contains a coupling between iMODFLOW and MetaSWAP. For a complete analysis of the model and model results a user will benefit from a visual inspection of the input parameters for MetaSwap.

It takes a folder with the valid output of an iMODFLOW model with a MetaSWAP module included. This tool allows the user to hover over a model area and inspect the MetaSWAP input parameters.

Select the option Toolbox from the main menu and then choose the option MetaSWAP Analyser to display the MetaSWAP Analyser window.

Known issues
The MetaSWAP Analyser is developed for model results created with an iMODFLOW version 4.3 or higher. From iMODFLOW 4.3 on, some file locations and file content has changed and for that combination the MetaSWAP is developed.
Are you interested in analysing model results created with older iMODFLOW versions there is a work around. While all the necessary MetaSWAP files are created in the pre processing process, you might rerun you model. Use the latest iMODFLOW version and run you model for 1 time step only referring to a temporary result location. After one time step all necessary input files for the MetaSWAP Analyser are created.

MetaSWAP Analyser, Folders Tab:



Select this radio button to specify a result folder from a different location.


Select Folder
Click this button to search for an alternative Models Folder containing iMODFLOW models. Alternatively, it is possible to enter a folder name into the string field.

Existing folder
with Results

Model folders are searched for in the default folder {IMOD_USER} \MODELS folder.

Select a model…

Select one of the folders that appear in this list box.


Click this button to open (read and process) the MetaSWAP files in the selected model folder


Zoom full extent
Click this button to zoom to the extent of the selected model. This button is only active after the selected folder is opened successfully.


Click this button to start hovering over the area. The MetaSWAP parameters at the mouse location will be displayed on the other Tabs. This button is activated right after a selected model folder is opened successfully.


Click this button to start the HELP functionality.


Click this button to close the MetaSWAP Analyser window

MetaSWAP Analyser, Coupling Svat Tab:


This Tab contains the relation of Modflow IDs and MetaSWAP IDs in a selected model cell. On the bottom of this Tab the relation with the two input grids for meteorology are displayed. Values change during hovering over the model area.

Table name:

Description of the table content:


Relation between the Modflow ID and the MetaSWAP ID in a selected cell (row/column) on the MetaSWAP grid. Each Modflow cell has a unique ID, thus an urban SVAT and/or a rural SVAT within the same cell share the same Modflow ID. These 2 SVATs differ and therefore have different SVAT numbers. The Irrigation SVAT, while related with the rural element, share the SVAT number with the rural element. Because the Irrigation source is another Modflow cell (or surface water), the SVAT is coupled with another Modflow cell and therefore with a different ID.

MetaSWAP ID-svat

This table shows the position of the MetaSWAP ID related to the cell (row/column) on the Modflow grid (the coupling is listed in file IDF_SVAT.INP). When the area of the Modflow grid and the MetaSWAP grid are the same, than the row and column number must be the same. When the original Modflow RUN includes a buffer area that is not saved in the MetaSWAP results, the Modflow grid might be equal or larger than the MetaSWAP grid and the row and column number might differ.

svat Coordinates

The exact position of the mouse together with the calculated cell centre of the MetaSWAP cell.


The MetaSWAP input for precipitation is an ASC grid (listed in file METEGRID.INP). This table displays the cell position of each SVAT in this ASC grid.


Position information on the Evaporation input parameters similar to the display described for svat-Precipitation.

MetaSWAP Analyser, Parameters Tab:


This Tab contains all values of the MetaSWAP input for a set of selected attributes. The selection of attributes is done on the (Settings) Tab. Values change during hovering over the model area. Attributes that represent a time series can be plotted as a graph. For selected Attributes the IDFs for the entire model area can be created.

Rural Urban

Choose the type of SVAT to display the corresponding parameters.


List of MetaSWAP attributes from the MetaSWAP input. Only displays those attributes that are selected on the Settings Tab.

Value Unit

Value and corresponding Unit for the attribute.


Some attributes represent a time series. For those attributes there is the option to switch the graph option On (or Off) in order to display is with the option

Create IDFs …

IDF files are created for the most helpful pointers:
The folder is ...\IMOD_USER\MODELS\\metaswap

Draw Graph …

A window will open and displays the selected time dependent values for the period given in the Settings Tab.


Instructions on the functionalities of this window, the button row ( pictures/Ch-toolboxmenuoptions/MSP_analyser_Graph_button.png) and the option Multiply Figures are described here Section 7.18.2.

MetaSWAP Analyser, Irrigation Tab:


This Tab displays all information related to the Irrigation parameters. Not only for the selected cell but also the related cells. Values change during hovering over the model area.

Present cell

Displays all irrigation parameters for the selected location.

Show irrigation relations

If this option is selected, the table displays the irrigation parameters for the related cell.

Abstraction cell

Gives the location of the source location for irrigation in the case the source is groundwater. The location is displayed on the 2D window as well.

Irrigated cells

In case the source location also provides water for other irrigation locations, the complete list is given in this table. The location is displayed on the 2D window as well.

MetaSWAP Analyser, Settings Tab:


In this Tab the Settings for the MetaSWAP Inspector are set.

MS files

List of all MetaSWAP *.INP files each containing a specific parameter set displayed in the corresponding field Parameter.


List of parameters in the *.INP file selected in the field MS files. Select or deselect one or more parameters in one click using Ctrl+Left-Mouse-Button or Shift+Left-Mouse-Button. The selected parameters are listed in the Settings Tab.


Select an existing settings file (*.IMS) with favourite settings.


Save the settings on this Tab to the MetaSWAP Analyser settings file (*.IMS).

Handling Meteo Data

There are 3 options to handle the Meteo Data.

  • 1. Read existing IDFs
    This is the fasted option because data is read from a binary file. iMOD will look for IDF files on the same location where the original MetaSWAP file are expected as listed in the file METEGRID.INP;

  • 2. Create missing IDFs
    Before reading data from all IDF files, iMOD will create IDFs from ASC files if they do not exist;

  • 3. Read existing ASC files
    This is the slowest option while iMOD must read all values from files in ASCII format.

Screendump format

In the Graph Display on the Parameters Tab there is the option to save a copy of the graph. This screendump is saved with a date stamp on the selected folder location (default is the modelresult folder) either a BMP, PNG or as JPG format.

Begin and end date for displaying time dependent parameters

Time dependent parameters are displayed for this range in the Graph Display on the Parameters Tab. By default this data range is equal to the data range of the model.