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  • Coastal and nearshore environments
  • Beaches and coastlines
  • Offshore
  • Estuaries, river entrances and deltas
  • Floodplains

A flexible mesh finite volume numerical model that simulates hydrodynamic, sediment transport and water quality processes in oceans, coastal waters, estuaries and rivers.

Modules available include:

  • 2D HD: the standard hydrodynamic engine
  • AD: an advection dispersion module
  • ST/MOR: a mud and sand sediment transport and morphology module (beta development version)
  • Advanced structures for floodplain application
  • WQ: water quality processes
  • 3D: all of the above in 3D, with option for automatic 3D/2D transition for floodplain applications


BMT WBM have been using flexible mesh models since the early 1990s and quickly recognised and utilised the benefits of the flexible mesh approach for complex coastal and estuarine modelling studies.

In 2006 we identified the need for a better tool than was currently available in the marketplace. Development of TUFLOW FV commenced and it is now the core modelling tool for coastal and estuarine projects.

Flexible Mesh

TUFLOW FV uses a flexible mesh, consisting of triangular and quadrilateral elements of different size and shape. Compared to a fixed grid approach, this has significant benefits for applications of complex geometry, or sharply varying flow and concentration gradients. The flexible mesh gives the modeller more scope to design a model domain that best suits the problem to be solved.

Solution Scheme

The finite volume numerical scheme solves the conservative integral form of the non linear shallow water equations (NLSWE). The scheme can also simulate advection and dispersion of multiple scalar constituents. The equations can be solved in 2D (vertically averaged) and 3D, and both 1st and 2nd order solution schemes are available. The solution scheme is explicit and uses a varying Courant dependent timestep.


TUFLOW FV code is optimised and parallelised for multi-processor machines, using the OpenMP implementation of shared memory parallelism. It’s as fast, or faster, than any other comparable model on the market today.

Flexible controls / interfacing:

TUFLOW FV inputs are controlled via a macro style text-file interface. This allows the user to flexibly and efficiently control model configuration, boundary condition specification and output requirements.

Easy modification of 2D topography:

  • Cell specific elevation update options
  • Breakline mesh update functionality
  • Region topography update options
  • Adjustable topography (levee breach/failure)


  • Fully open (non-reflective)
  • Specified water level and discharge
  • Stage discharge (specified or automatically calculated)
  • 3D linkages to ocean circulation models
  • Global cell inflows and outflows (e.g. rainfall, evaporation)
  • Cell inflows/outflows
  • Wind and wave stresses
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Holland parametric cyclone wind and pressure model
  • Various gridded forcing (e.g. spatially and temporally varying wind, wave, solar radiation etc.)
  • Various advection/dispersion constituents (e.g. salinity, unlimited tracers)
  • Various water quality inputs (e.g. dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous)

Hydraulic Structures:

  • 1D culverts
  • 2D bridges
  • Weirs
  • Adjustable beds, levee failure etc.
  • hQh matrix specification at selected cells
  • Logic controls (flow transfer, control via trigger specifications)
  • Auto weir function

Additional Modules:

  • 2D and 3D base models
  • Advection / Dispersion (with heat exchange)
  • Cohesive and non cohesive sediment transport module (with morphological update)
  • Water Quality (dissolved oxygen, total nitrogen, total phosphorous, silicate, organic carbon, multiple phytoplankton groups, multiple zooplankton groups, bacterial pathygons)


  • One of the fastest 2D finite volume solutions available
  • Parallelised code, taking full advantage of multiple core/thread computers

Software Support:

  • Active, focussed, TUFLOW Forum where over members contribute their problems, solutions and ideas
  • where you get advice from the developers who don’t just write software, but have years of hands-on modelling experience
  • Messages and useful tips Wiki for learning how to use the software

Software Training:

  • Customised or bespoke training for project based models
  • Larger group generic training
  • Training by those who develop and extensively use TUFLOW FV on projects

TUFLOW FV Tutorial Models:

  • Excellent for self-teaching or in-house training of new staff
  • TUFLOW licence not required to run the models so your trainees don’t use up your TUFLOW licences
  • the tutorial models demonstrate: Basic mesh generation principles and optimisation techniques, output options, floodplain modelling (including various structures), advection dispersion model (heat and temperature), coastal modelling (tide, holland wind and pressure, external wind and wave)