Use of transparent synthetic soils to visualize flow problems has recently been developed. This study proposes a new water-based transparent synthetic soil suitable for modeling natural soils with hydraulic conductivities in the 10 -2 to 10 -5 cm/sec range. Aquabeads has a number of advantages over available transparent synthetic soils for modeling flow. First, it is water based. Second, it possesses similar hydraulic characteristics to natural soils. Third, it is compatible with water, oil, selected surfactants, and alcohols used for modeling multiphase flow. Finally, it does not suffer from transparency degradation in large-scale models. In this paper, two types of Aquabeads are used to model 2D flow in layered soil systems. The hydraulic properties of Aquabeads are presented. The optical system was set up to trace flow movement, and image processing was used to identify 2D concentration profiles for selected flow tests. Copyright ASCE 2008.