Tutorial Model Introduction

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This online TUFLOW FV tutorial model replaces the previous version, which was included within the TUFLOW FV Manual. The online wiki is designed to be more flexible and easily updated so that the tutorial model are more responsive to enhancements within the software and also based on feedback. Please use the feedback interface at the bottom of each page or alternatively contact support@tuflow.com.

Getting Started

This tutorial has been designed to progressively work through the process of establishing a TUFLOW FV model and running a simulation.

The following user steps are required:

  1. Install the recommended GIS software
  2. Install the recommended Text Editor software
  3. Download the latest TUFLOW FV executable
  4. Download the tutorial mode dataset
  5. Work through the Tutorial models

Detailed information outlining what data is recommended and where it is available from is provided in the following sections.



TUFLOW FV build 2019-01 (March 2018 release) or later is required for this tutorial model. This can be obtained from the downloads section of the TUFLOW website. It is recommended that you use the latest release version of TUFLOW FV.

The tutorial models can be run without a TUFLOW FV licence.

Choosing a Mesh Generator and Result Viewer

Unlike it's regular grid sister products TUFLOW Classic and TUFLOW HPC/QPC, TUFLOW FV requires the user to generate their own irregular grid using an external mesh generator package.

Whilst there a range of mesh generators available, these tutorials have been developed with your choice of either Aquaveo SMS or the Rising Water Software GIS Mesher. You have the option to choose which workflow you prefer.

  • Aquaveo SMS provides you with an environment to build your mesh. In addition to mesh generation SMS also provides powerful data manipulation and pre-processing capabilities as well as the ability to view, review and post-process results. The SMS Tips page includes useful user information for the software.
  • The Aquaveo SMS Community Edition: This free version is similar to the full version mentioned above. It will allow you to build a mesh suitable for TUFLOW FV. It has a reduced set of features from the full version as shown at the bottom of the webpage here: https://www.aquaveo.com/software/sms-community
  • Rising Water Software GIS Mesher: The GIS Mesher allows you can build a full mesh completely in your preferred GIS package (Typically QGIS, Mapinfo or ArcMap). It allows the assignment of topography, materials and nodestrings to the mesh all in GIS. It can also read a range of grid formats including *.flt. You can check out some of the GIS Mesher’s functionality here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9SNGcShk6era1BpjKZdvZQ
  • QGIS TUFLOW Viewer Plugin: This QGIS plugin provides you with a series of tools to assist model setup, simulation and result viewing. Please note it does not provide you with the facility to generate a mesh for TUFLOW FV. The Plugin is used in concert with either SMS or the GIS Mesher. You can check out some of the plugin's functoinaliy on our TUFLOW Viewer Wiki Page.

  • Historically these Tutorials have been developed in SMS and Tutorial Models 1-5 can be completed using SMS.

    The GIS Mesher/GIS and QGIS Viewer workflows are a more recent addition. Currently Tutorial Model 1 and 3 include these workflows.

    Many result processing tasks also require SMS.

    Text Editor

    A text editor is required for creation of the TUFLOW FV input files. Any text editor can be used for this purpose. However, it is recommended that a more advanced text editor such as one of those listed below be used. Ideally a text editor should be able to:

    • Colour code the TUFLOW FV control file;
    • Open other files from the active control file; and
    • Launch a TUFLOW FV simulation.
    1. UltraEdit: UltraEdit is recommended and can be downloaded for a trial period from www.ultraedit.com. See also UltraEdit Tips.
    2. NotePad ++: NotePad++ is a free text editor. It is available from http://notepad-plus-plus.org/.
    3. See also Notepad++ tips.

    Microsoft Excel

    This is required for editing and working with tabular data and .csv files.

    Results Viewer

    For visualisation of tutorial model results we recommend one of the following options:

  • Aquaveo SMS
  • The TUFLOW Viewer Plugin for QGIS
  • Hardware Requirements

    TUFLOW FV has relatively modest system requirements for small models such as the tutorial model. However, larger and more complex models may have higher hardware requirements - in particular memory (RAM). The tutorial models are designed to be small, to allow for quick simulation and load times. The tutorial model should run on any modern PC or laptop that is capable of running Windows XP or later.

    Recommended Reading

    Whilst the online tutorial is designed to cover as much material as possible, it is recommended that the TUFLOW FV manual be downloaded from the TUFLOW website and be used in conjunction with this wiki.


    The tutorial models are presented in a number of modules. The modules have been developed to be undertaken as steps, with each module offering the opportunity to run the model and review the results. New users are advised to undertake the modules in sequence, whilst more experienced users can skip to modules containing specific features of interest.

    Some data is required in order to build and run the models. This includes a digital elevation model (DEM) and aerial photography. The required background model data for the tutorial model is available for download on the TUFLOW website. The download package also contains a working version of the tutorial model for you to refer to.

    Module 1: Simple Trapezoidal Channel

    The first tutorial module introduces the user the TUFLOW FV software. The tutorial works through the steps required to develop a simple mesh model and run a simulation. To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 1.

    Module 2: Simple River Bend

    The second module builds a simple river bend model using the TUFLOW FV SMS interface. To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 2.

    Module 3: Floodplain Application

    In the third module a real-world floodplain model example is used demonstrate the following:

    • Mesh optimisation
    • Geometry commands (eg breakline commands, region commands)
    • Hydraulic structure commands (weirs, bridges, culverts)
    • Advection dispersion modelling options (salinity, heat, temperature, tracer)
    • Various output processing option

    To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 3.

    Module 4: Coastal Application

    In the fourth module is a real-world coastal model example is used demonstrate the following:

    • Application of a sloping water level boundary
    • Cyclone/hurricane modelling using an internal holland wind/pressure model
    • Cyclone/hurricane modelling using an external wind/pressure and wave model
    • Various output options

    To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 4.

    Additional Modules

    Additional modules planned include:

    • Module 5 (Three Dimensional Modelling)
    • Module 6 (Sediment Transport Modelling)
    • Module 7 (Water Quality Modelling)