Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal

Soil Science Research Unit



The FullSWOF_1D, FullSWOF_2D and FullSWOF_UI software

« Full Shallow-Water equations for Overland Flow »

The overland flow on a field and the flow in a river are phenomena difficult to measure in the field and to replicate experimentally. Hence, specific software are used to simulate these phenomena.

In surface hydrology, The shallow-water equations described accurately the flow of water on a surface. Unfortunately, these equations do not have simple solutions. Hence, software are used to find approximate solutions. For overland flow, the solving methods used up to now lack of reliability.

To have a more reliable software, using up-to-date mathematical methods, we developed, in collaboration with the laboratory of mathematics of the University of Orléans (Mapmo), the pieces of software FullSWOF_1D, FullSWOF_2D and FullSWOF_UI:

  • FullSWOF_1D simulates a flow in one dimension (along a hillslope or a river, for example). FullSWOF_1D is used to develop the bi-dimensional version « FullSWOF_2D ».

click on the thumbnail to access the full picture or the video

GPM-fluvtor-FS1D © INRA
FullSWOF_1D: Simulation of a flow with a sub-critical to critical transition.

The red line shows the analytic solution calculated with SWASHES.

(Author: Olivier DELESTRE)


  • FullSWOF_2D simulates a flow in 2 dimensions (over a surface).

click on the thumbnail to access the full picture or the video

parcel © INRA
FullSWOF_2D: Simulation of overland flow on a agricultural field (rainfall of variable intensity)

(Author: Minh Hoang LE)


FullSWOF_2D : Simulation of the break of the Malpasset dam (Var)

(Author : Olivier Delestre)

  • FullSWOF_UI is graphical user interface for both FullSWOF_1D and FullSWOF_2D.

click on the thumbnail to access the full picture or the video

Graphic User Interface

(Author: Frédéric DARBOUX)



  • These pieces of software are made available to the community. A parallel version is under development for FullSWOF_2D.

click on the thumbnail to access the full picture or the video

animDambreak © INRA
FullSWOF_2D parallel version: a cylinder of water in a square box.

Computation with 16 processors (identified by the color). The sidewalls are not displayed.

(Author: Christian LAGUERRE)


In FullSWOF_1D and FullSWOF_2D, the shallow-water equations are solved using the finite volume method and a well-balanced scheme. The numerical methods were chosen to simulate accurately critical situations in hydrodynamics, such as wet-dry transitions. The water inflow can come from a side or as rain. Infiltration can be parameterized.

Simulation quality

The quality of simulations computed by FullSWOF_1D and FullSWOF_2D is ensured by comparing the results of these codes with analytic test cases taken from SWASHES.

click on the thumbnail to access the full picture or the video

h-McDo-100-fluv-Man © INRA

Test case « Short channel with smooth transition then shock ».
Water heights of the analytic solution and according to FullSWOF_1D.


click on the thumbnail to access the full picture or the video

h-dam-dry © INRA

Test case « Dam break on a dry surface ».
Water heights of the analytic solution and according to FullSWOF_1D.

 click on the thumbnail to access the full picture or the video

h-Thacker-2D-plan © INRA

Test case « Planar surface in a paraboloid ».
Water heights of the analytic solution and according to FullSWOF_2D.


Source codes

FullSWOF_1D, FullSWOF_2D and FullSWOF_UI are free software distributed under the license CeCILL-V2 (GPL-compatible). Hence, you can access to all source codes (in C++), and are free to use them, to modify them and to redistribute them as long as you include a citation.

Dedicated forges allow centralizing the developments (FullSWOF_1D, FullSWOF_2D, FullSWOF_UI).

The modular structure of FullSWOF_1D and FullSWOF_2D makes it easy to add a component (e.g., a new type of friction). If you redistribute a modified version, it should be under the license CeCILL-V2 and must carry a new name. In practice, the easiest way to distribute your improvements to the community is to add your developments in FullSWOF_1D/2D/UI. To be informed of the changes in FullSWOF_1D/2D/UI, subscribe to the diffusion list

Graphic User Interface : FullSWOF_UI is the Graphic User Interface common to FullSWOF_1D and FullSWOF_2D. Programmed in Java, it is cross-platform.

Distribution : Free source codes, in English


Contact :Frédéric DARBOUX

See also :

    • STREAMan operational software to predict the overland flow and the erosion on agricultural watersheds
    • OpenLISEMan operational free software predicting the overland flow, the erosion and the floods, and using FullSWOF_2D
    • GARS, a generator of rough surfaces.
    • SWASHES, a compilation of analytic solutions for the shallow-water equations used to validate the codes (including FullSWOF_1D and FullSWOF_2D).

Bibliography :


Morgan Abily, Olivier Delestre, Laura Amossé, Nathalie Bertrand, Christian Laguerre, Claire-Marie Duluc, Philippe Gourbesville. Use of 3D classified topographic data with fullswof for high resolution simulation of a river flood event over a dense urban area. Proceeding of the 3rd IAHR Europe Congress, Porto, 2014. 


O. Delestre, C. Lucas, P.-A. Ksinant, F. Darboux, C. Laguerre, T. N. T. Vo, F. James, S. Cordier, SWASHES: a compilation of Shallow Water Analytic Solutions for Hydraulic and Environmental Studies, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 72(3): 269-300, 2013, doi:10.1002/fld.3741


Ulrich Razafison, Stéphane Cordier, Olivier Delestre, Frédéric Darboux, Carine Lucas, François James, A shallow water model for the numerical simulation of overland flow on surfaces with ridges and furrows European Journal of Mechanics - B/Fluids 31 , 44--52, (2012)

Olivier Delestre, Stéphane Cordier, Frédéric Darboux, Mingxuan Du, François James, Christian Laguerre, Carine Lucas, Olivier Planchon FullSWOF: A software for overland flow simulation proceedings, SimHydro, 2012

M.-H. Le, Modélisation multi-echelle et simulation numerique de l'erosion des sols de la parcelles au bassin versant, Thèse de doctorat, Université d'Orléans , Novembre 2012

S. Cordier, H. Coullon, O. Delestre, C. Laguerre, M.-H. Le, D. Pierre, G. Sadaka, FullSWOF PARAL: Comparison of two parallelization strategies (MPI and SkelGIS) on a sofware designed for hydrology application, Proceedings CEMRACS, 2012


Darboux, F.; Cordier, S.; Delestre, O.; François, J.; Ksinant, P.-A.; Laguerre, C.; Lucas, C. & Razafison, U. Simuler un écoulement mince sur une surface complexe. Cas du ruissellement sur des parcelles agricoles 5ème Biennale Française des Mathématiques Appliquées et Industrielles (2011).


Olivier Delestre. Simulation du ruissellement d'eau de pluie sur des surfaces agricoles. PhD thesis, Université d'Orléans, France, July 2010.


Olivier Delestre, Stéphane Cordier, François James, and Frédéric Darboux. Simulation of rain-water overland-flow. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Hyperbolic Problems, pages 537-546, Amer. Math. Soc. (2009)