US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Vol. 53, No. 4–Groundwater–July-August 2015


Insights from process-based models are a mainstay of many groundwater investigations; however, long runtimes often preclude their use in the decision-making process. Screening-level predictions are often needed in areas lacking time or funding for rigorous process-based modeling. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Groundwater Resources and National Water Quality Assessment Programs are addressing these issues by evaluating the “metamodel” to bridge these gaps. A metamodel is a statistical model founded on a computationally expensive model. Although faster, the question remains: Can a statistical model provide similar insights to a numerical model with faster results?