Hydrodynamic modelling with Delft3D

Course offered in July 2022 (6th to 11th of July, 2022) at the KIT with streaming to UFPR 

Coursed offered as joint international course, hosted by GRACE (Graduate School for Climate and Environment) from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, in cooperation with PPGERHA (Graduate Program on Water Resources and Environmental Engineering), PPGEA (Graduate Program of Environmental Engineering) from the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba, Brazil, and also promoted by the Brazilian Association for Water Resources (ABRHidro).

Subcription form for all: https://www.grace.kit.edu/technical_short_course.php. In addition UFPR students should subscribe via the SIGA system of each program respectively:  PPGERHA (ERHA755 –Tópicos especiais em engenharia de recursos hídricos e ambiental: Hydrodynamic Modelling with Delft3D);  PPGEA (EAMB7039 – Tópicos especiais em engenharia ambiental III: Hydrodynamic Modelling with Delft3D). ABRHidro: Course offered only for post-graduate students who are active in ABRHidro commissions or affiliated student members. Limited number of participants. Please pre-register sending email to Tobias Bleninger sending your CV and post-graduate matricula.

Coursed offered completely in english at the KIT (Building 50.31, Room 322, Gotthard-Franz-Str. 3), with online streaming to UFPR (Prédio administração, 2 andar, sala dos atos) and ABRHidro (homeoffice).

Créditos: 3 (45 h)
Lecturer: Tobias Bleninger (contact)
Assistants: Camila Goulart, Rafael Bueno, Diego Casas (contact details provided in teaching platform)
Lecture hours: 08:00 – 13:00 (Brazilian Time, Brasilia), 13:00 – 19:00 (German time)
Office hours: usually 8:00 – 17:00 (Assistants, Brazilian Time, Brasilia), 08:00 – 18:30 (Lecturer, German time)


The course will be offered as hybrid course. Participants from Karlsruhe are highly encouraged to attend in presence. Participants from UFPR need to attend in presence at the UFPR and ABRHidro can join remotely as online course. Technical requirements are thus listed as follows:
• Internet connection
• Up to date PC or notebook with Windows Operational System (the course only provides compiled software executables for Windows)
• Webcam and headphone for videoconferencing (for online participants)
The course will be offered within the platform Microsoft Teams, where files will be provided and shared and chats, conferencing and scheduling will be han-dled. For details on the schedule and further preparation for this course, please follow the link to the course website.

Context / Background

Hydrodynamic modelling is an essential method to study scenarios for hydro-environmental problems, such as pollutant or cooling water discharges, sediment transport, lake eutrophication, river training, etc. Delft3D is a world leading 3D modeling suite to investigate hydrodynamics, sediment transport and morphology and water quality for fluvial, estuarine and coastal environments. Since 2011, the Delft3D flow (FLOW), morphology (MOR) and waves (WAVE) modules are available in open source. The hydrodynamic module Delft3D-FLOW is a multidimensional hydrodynamic simulation program that calculates non-steady flow and transport phenomena resulting from tidal and meteorological forcing. The primary purpose of the computational model Delft3D-FLOW is to solve various one-, two- and three-dimensional, time-dependent, non-linear partial differential equations related to hydrostatic free-surface flow problems on a structured orthogonal grid. The equations are formulated in orthogonal curvilinear co-ordinates on a plane or in spherical coordinates on the globe. The hydrodynamic module is based on the shallow water equations. The equations are solved with a robust and highly accurate solution procedure.

Some supported features are:
• Propagation of long waves (barotropic flow);
• Density gradients due to a non-uniform temperature and salinity concentration distribution (density driven flows);
• Transport of dissolved material and pollutants;
• Transport of sediments, including erosion, sedimentation and bed load transport;
• Many options for boundary conditions, such as water level, velocity and discharge boundaries
• Simulation of drying and flooding of inter-tidal flats;
• Turbulence modelling to account for the vertical turbulent viscosity and diffusivity;
• Online visualization of model parameters enabling the production of animations.

Obs.: The course mainly uses the structured grid version, however examples are provided also for the flexible mesh version. 


Review of governing equations of Fluid Mechanics for environmental systems. Revision of numerical methods and stability, as well as data handling. Introduction into grid generation. Introduction on bathymetry interpolation. Modelling hydrodynamics and density effects. Post processing. Introduction to pre-processing tools for universal model setups for coastal waters. Revision of governing processes of sediment transport and water quality modeling. Applications for coastal waters, rivers and lakes.


Create the ability to plan, setup, and execute 2 and 3D hydrodynamic simulations with Delft3D, and using post-processing features.

Recommended pre-requisites: Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics, Mathematics.

Calendar (yet to be updated!)

Before the course: Please register for the free Open-Source Licence at: https://oss.deltares.nl/web/delft3d/source-code some weeks before the course. Further instructions on installation will be provided throughout the course. 


The course certificate requires:

  • Full-time participation to obtain certificate of participation (usually for GRACE students)
  • Full-time participation and one graded group work (mixed international group) to obtain certificate with grade (usually required for UFPR students). Group work will be for a specific flow simulation project (data provided by course or own data can be used too). The work should be summarized as report, including the following items:
    • site description
    • available data and boundary conditions
    • model description and setup
    • model simulations
    • post-processing (figures, graphs, animations, comparison of scenarios)
    • being summarized in a project report
  • Minimum grade to pass is 70%. Otherwise, and if attendance ok -> certificate of attendance only

References and additional information

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