TUFLOW Modules

Build on TUFLOW's core hydraulic engines with a range of optional add-on modules that create multi-use environmental models and increase compute performance.

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TUFLOW's hydraulic modelling engines have a full complement of additional optional modules to increase assessment and computing power.  The add-on modules can be selected in a manner tailored to individual project needs, assisting you to complete your flood, coastal or water quality simulation tasks efficiently.

Modules - listed to the right of screen - must be added to a parent solver / engine licence as an outright purchase(s) or monthly rental.

GPU Hardware Acceleration

The future of flood, estuarine, coastal and environmental simulations is computing on Graphics Processing Units. TUFLOW is already delivering this future through its HPC and flexible mesh GPU options. With the flick of a switch,  modelling projects can be accelerated by up to a factor of 10 to 400 times using the GPU / quadtree acceleration module with TUFLOW's Fixed Grid Solver (TUFLOW HPC). Up to a 40 times speedup is common for TUFLOW's Flexible Mesh Solver (TUFLOW FV) simulations. TUFLOW FV is currently limited to upgrades that include a single GPU card device. TUFLOW HPC can run a single simulation using multiple GPU cards, providing multiplicative acceleration.

CPU compute is a thing of the past - with TUFLOW, CPUs can be left behind and previously intractable modelling projects can be launched with ease into the exciting future of fast simulation. Combined with cloud compute options, TUFLOW's GPU capability provides everything needed to support complex environmental modelling projects.


Quadtree / Multiple 2D Domain

TUFLOW's fixed grid solvers (HPC and Classic) support variable cell sizes using the quadtree and multiple 2D domain module. These modules are not needed by the TUFLOW Flexible Mesh solver (TUFLOW FV) as their capabilities are inbuilt to that solver by default.

Quadtree is the latest addition to the TUFLOW add-on module list. It is compatible with the HPC solver and typically (but not exclusively) used in combination with the GPU module. A quadtree mesh is constructed by equally subdividing each of any number of user-selected standard cells into four smaller square cells. These smaller cells are then able to be further subdivided into four, and so on. This allows modellers to use larger cells in areas of flat terrain (eg. large flat floodplains) and smaller cells where either terrain varies rapidly or along known primary flow paths (eg. river channels, road gutters, open channels).

The quadtree module takes minutes to implement within a standard fixed grid model. It offers refinement benefits of a flexible mesh approach, but with the model build efficiency of a traditional fixed grid solution.


Simulation of water movement across all three spatial dimensions is well established as the norm for most environmental modelling applications. This is because environmental flows that are deeper than a few metres will typically exhibit vertical variations in velocity, density and/or water quality. 

TUFLOW allows users to capture this vertical variation and accurately simulate in three spatial dimensions. This can be implemented equally well with or without density coupling. For example, the 3D module can be used to capture vertical velocity gradients in unstratified high energy environments where density is unimportant. Equally, when coupled with other modules (AD, ST or WQ) the 3D module can simulate the detailed dynamics of environment parameters such as temperature, salinity or sediment (and all combinations thereof) if required.

TUFLOW's 3D module has been applied successfully in myriad applications and is a valuable support to environmental modelling applications.

Particle Tracking

The particle tracking model is a Lagrangian model that solves the 2D/3D transport equations of discrete particles. This scheme allows particles to be tracked semi-independently of the model mesh. Key features include:

  • Particle tracking of multiple particle groups with different properties
  • Fixed and moving source terms
  • Particle horizontal and vertical advection and random walk diffusion
  • Particle buoyancy, settling, deposition and resuspension
  • Particle motility (response to environmental stimuli)
  • Interfacing with water quality 

This module has been used to simulate snapper larvae, turtle hatchlings and more.

The PT module can optionally be paired with the GPU and/or 3D modules.

Sediment Transport

The sediment transport supports environmental simulation of multiple sediment fractions of differing properties. Sediment fraction groups can be assigned as cohesive or non-cohesive with the flexibility of selecting a range of interchangeable sediment transport models, equations and parameterisations. Core ST functionality includes simulation of:

  • Multiple sediment fractions at once
  • Water column - seabed sediment exchange
  • Advection and dispersion of sediment by currents and/or wave
  • Flocculation and hindered sediment settling
  • Bed load transport (saltation), bed slumping, consolidation and armouring processes
  • Morphological (bed) evolution and feedback to hydrodynamics

The ST module requires the AD modules to function. It can optionally be linked with the GPU, 3D and/or WQ modules.

Water Quality

TUFLOW has its own water quality module: TUFLOW WQ. TUFLOW WQ is part of the TUFLOW suite and can be accessed using familiar TUFLOW modelling workflows. TUFLOW WQ draws on the world class science of the Aquatic EcoDynamics research group at the University of Western Australia for part of its core offering, but over time will also include many more additional environmental modelling features. 

TUFLOW WQ provides seamless simulation of a wide range of environmental water quality processes, including cycling of oxygen, inorganic and organic nutrients; atmospheric exchange; sediment exchange; silica, phytoplankton  and zooplankton dynamics; pathogen fate and transport; geochemistry and more. These capabilities will continue to evolve and expand over time.

The WQ module requires the AD modules to function. It can optionally be linked with the GPU, 3D, ST, and/or PT modules.