Tutorial M08

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This page describes the installation and use of the SWAN GIS Tools, a sub-package of the TUFLOW Viewer Plugin for QGIS. A short step by step guide is also included to assist new users.

The SWAN GIS Tools provide a simple graphical user interface to assist in the development of SWAN model control and input files. The set of tools is designed to streamline the development of SWAN models via easy visualisation and automated procedures in a familiar GIS setting.

Core functionality includes the ability to:

  • Generate and visualise computational grids
  • Inspect many Digital Terrain Models (DTM) onto computational grids
  • Pre-process wind input grids and spectral wave boundary conditions
  • Detect and connect nested simulations
  • Generate SWAN model control files
  • Post-process SWAN results for input to TUFLOW FV
  • Run either integrated with QGIS or with standalone Python libraries

Please note: The SWAN GIS tools support the development of SWAN grids with regular topology (Grids with an equal number of cells in the x and y direction, and constant x cell size and y cell size). Rotated grids are supported however unstructured meshes are not supported. The SWAN GIS tools should be used in combination with the SWAN User Manual to ensure you have the correct setup for your project which can be accessed via the SWAN homepage.


The SWAN GIS Tools are distributed within the TUFLOW Viewer Plugin for QGIS which can be installed by following this set of installation instructions. Please note that you will also need to install NetCDF4 which can be installed by following the steps within: NetCDF4 setup for QGIS

GUI Reference

A GUI reference is provided to assist with naming and describing the individual components of the plugin with diagrams. It is recommended you open this in a separate tab and refer back to it whilst following the Step by Step Guide.

Step by Step Guide

This section guides you through the use of the SWAN GIS Tools. Key steps such as model folder setup, fetching and using input data, building the SWAN model and running the model are described via an example model. The example uses publicly available data from the Moreton Bay region, Queensland, Australia.

Download Tutorial Data Package

Please download the example model files from the TUFLOW Website. The data package contains the following folders and datasets:

  • Complete_Model: Full set of completed tutorial files (without results)
  • Moreton_Bay_Waves: Series of empty sub-folders we will use to develop our SWAN model.

Once downloaded save the files off to your preferred working location. For the examples within the tutorial, we have saved our folder to C:\Tutorial_Module_SWAN_GIS_Tools.

SWAN GIS Tutorial

Once you've downloaded the required data files please follow each of the steps below to build your SWAN model via the SWAN GIS Tools:

  1. Model Folder Setup
  2. Getting Input Data
  3. SWAN GIS Model Builder QGIS
  4. Checking Model Setup
  5. Running Simulations
  6. Post Processing
  7. Generating a TUFLOW FV Wave Boundary Condition Include File


Congratulations, you have successfully built a SWAN model using the SWAN GIS Tools. If you are planning to use your SWAN models and results to run in either one- or two-way coupled mode with TUFLOW FV, please check out the Waves Chapter of the TUFLOW FV User Manual and if you have any questions please get in contact with us via support@tuflow.com.

To try out other TUFLOW FV tutorials, or learn new tips and tricks please return to the TUFLOW FV Wiki Homepage.