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

Last update: May 2021

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)