A coupled simulation architecture for agent-based/geohydrological modelling with NetLogo and MODFLOW

Marc Jaxa-Rozen, Jan H. Kwakkel*, Martin Bloemendal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


The modelling of social-ecological systems can provide useful insights into the interaction of social and environmental processes. However, quantitative social-ecological models should acknowledge the complexity and uncertainty of both underlying subsystems. For example, the agent-based models which are increasingly popular for groundwater studies can be made more realistic by incorporating geohydrological processes. Conversely, groundwater models can benefit from an agent-based depiction of the decision-making and feedbacks which drive groundwater exploitation. From this perspective, this work introduces a Python-based software architecture which couples the NetLogo agent-based platform with the MODFLOW/SEAWAT geohydrological modelling environment. This approach enables users to design agent-based models in NetLogo's user-friendly platform, while benefiting from the full capabilities of MODFLOW/SEAWAT. This workflow is illustrated for a simplified application of Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-37
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Agent-based modelling
  • Groundwater modelling
  • NetLogo
  • Social-ecological systems


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