Tutorial 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. Choose a mesh generator and result viewer
  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

TUFLOW FV requires you to build and customise a mesh compatible for use with TUFLOW FV, which relies on the use of an external non-TUFLOW FV meshing package. The tutorials step you through a workflow based on Aquaveo SMS (noting that tutorials for the Rising Water Software GIS Mesher and SMS Community Edition are in development and will be published here as they become available).

The following provides a brief description of the each mesh generation and result viewer package:

  1. Aquaveo SMS (Mesh Generator, Result Viewer and TUFLOWFV Interface) provides you with an environment to build your mesh and also provides powerful data manipulation and pre-processing capabilities. It also has the ability to view, review and post-process results. To use SMS you will need to download and purchase SMS or alternatively obtain a free evaluation license. Both of these options are available on the SMS Downloads Page. Also see the third option below concerning the Community Edition.

  2. Rising Water Software GIS Mesher (Mesh Generator) 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 on their Youtube Channel.
    To use the GIS Mesher you will need purchase the GIS Mesher or alternatively you can use an evaulation license. Both of these options are available on the Rising Water Software Website.
    If using the GIS Mesher it is recommended to also download and use the QGIS TUFLOW Viewer Plugin

  3. The The Aquaveo SMS Community Edition in combination with the QGIS TUFLOW Viewer Plugin. This free version is similar to the full version of SMS mentioned above but has a reduced set of features.

Note: QGIS TUFLOW Viewer Plugin provides a series of tools to assist model setup, simulation and result viewing however it is not a mesh generator for TUFLOW FV. You can check out some of the plugin's functionality on our TUFLOW Viewer Wiki Page.

So which mesher and result viewer should I use for the tutorials?

For your projects, ultimately it's up to you which set of packages you adopt. The tutorial datasets have been developed using SMS and it is recommended to use obtain a full or evaluation version of SMS to complete them. Progressively the tutorials will be updated to include workflows for the GIS Mesher and QGIS Viewer Plugin respectively.

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; and/or
  • The QGIS TUFLOW Viewer Plugin
  • 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.
    This should be read in conjunction with the latest software release notes also available next to the TUFLOW Manual.


    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. The tutorial also offers an optional workflow to setup and use TUFLOW FV's GIS integration features. 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)
    • Optional workflow to setup and use TUFLOW FV's GIS integration features.
    • 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.

    Module 5: 3D Estuary Application

    In the fifth module a small coastal estuary is examined that demonstrates:

    • Assignment of 3D layering
    • Running in 3D barotropic and baroclinic mode
    • Setup of the atmospheric heat module
    • Coupling with the External Turbulence Model GOTM
    • WWTP contaminant inflows and coupling with the AED2 External Water Quality Model
    • Introduction in the use of TUFLOW FV's MATLAB Toolbox and Python Toolbox for 3D result visualistion.

    To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 5.

    Module 6: Particle Tracking

    In the sixth module, the small coastal estuary model is used to demonstrate the particle tracking functionality including:

    • Setting up a Point Source of a Group of Particles
    • Reviewing Lagrangian Results in QGIS
    • Adding a Polygon Input of Particles with Bed Interaction
    • Particles with Motility Behaviour
    • Running TUFLOW FV Simulations on a Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)

    To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 6.

    Module 7: Sediment Transport Modelling

    The 7th module, a real world floodplain model is used to simulate sand and gravel within a river channel to demonstrate the sediment transport functionality including:-

    • Suspended Sediment Transport and Deposition
    • Erosion of Suspended Sediment
    • Suspended Sediment Particle Tracking (Optional)
    • Bedload Transport and Additional Sediment Fractions
    • Bed Layers and Armouring
    • Using the Bed Restart File

    To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 7.

    Module 8: SWAN GIS Tools

    The 8th module, a real world coastal location where spectral wave model development is required. This module demonstrates:-

    • Setup of QGIS to build your own SWAN spectral wave model
    • Bathymetric and meteorological data collation
    • Interactive generation of SWAN grids via the SWAN GIS Tools GUI
    • SWAN run file generation
    • Model simulation and review
    • To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 8.

    Module 9: Water Quality Modelling

    The 9th module, a real world estuary model is used to simulate 3D reservoir water quality processes and demonstrate TUFLOW FV's water quality module capabilities including:-

    • Dissolved oxygen
    • Inorganics - ammonium, nitrate, silicates, phosphorus
    • Phytoplankton
    • Organics - organic matter
    • Bed fluxes
    • Use of common mg/L units
    • Simulation and review of 3D model results, logs and diagnostics

    To access this module of the tutorial please see this page: Tutorial Module 9.