Scientific Software Group / Global Enviro Software



AQUASEA is a software package developed to solve the shallow water flow and transport equations using the Galerkin finite element method. AQUASEA was first developed in 1983 to solve two-dimensional problems, and since 1992, it has been continuously upgraded and tested worldwide on the most difficult modeling problems. The latest development of AQUASEA is a version which runs in Windows 95/98/2000 or Windows NT. It has been specifically configured and compiled to provide maximum efficiency in model set up and fast model run times. The Windows environment provides not only a multi-platform capability but also an assured industry-standard user interface for future developments. AQUASEA consists of the following two models:

  • hydrodynamic flow model
  • transport-dispersion model

The AQUASEA flow model can simulate water level variations and flows in response to various forcing functions in lakes, estuaries, bays and coastal areas. The water levels and flows are approximated in a numerical finite element grid and calculated on the basis of information on the bathymetry, bed resistance coefficients, wind field and boundary conditions.

The AQUASEA transport-dispersion model simulates the spreading of a substance in the environment under the influence of the fluid flow and the existing dispersion processes. The substance may be a pollutant of any kind, conservative or non-conservative, inorganic or organic salt, heat suspended sediment, dissolved oxygen, inorganic phosphorus, nitrogen and other water quality parameters.

  • Variable depth, bottom friction, wind speed, wind direction, dispersion coefficients and mixing depth. 
  • The model elements can be wetted and dewatered any number of times due to tidal variations. 
  • Bottom friction can be either the Chezy coefficient or the Manning number. 
  • Real time varying data can be entered from actual observed records.AQUASEAautomatically accepts different time bases and calculates intermediate values. Time varying wind and tidal boundary conditions as well as time varying sources are accepted. 
  • Rivers are modeled by variable sources taking into account the momentum of river inflows. 
  • The contaminant transport model is fully integrated with the flow model using the same data input and output screen formats. 
  • The contaminant transport model is designed to calculate bacterial transport, heat and sediment transport.
  • A model can be altered at any time. The model boundaries can be expanded or contracted and nodes added or removed. Submodels can be created easily within any part of the original model.

  • Automatic mesh generation.
  • Local and global mesh condensation.
  • Option of creating an independent nested model from the main model domain using the submesh facility. 
  • All necessary information such as sources, boundary conditions, etc. are transferred automatically to the nested model.
  • Graphical output of all results, contours, flow arrows and time series.
  • AQUASEAcan be used without any further knowledge of input and output data.
  • Automatic time step refinement during calculation.
  • Direct transfer of result to Surfer, Grapher or Excel (CSV-format).

  • Lake circulation
  • Tidal flow in estuaries and coastal areas
  • Sediment transport
  • Heat transport from nuclear power plants
  • Flow in tidal inlets (navigation problems)
  • Location of wastewater outlets (bacterial decay)
  • Flow through narrow openings (bridges)


Tidal Flow in Estuaries and Coastal Areas, Wind-Driven Circulation in Lakes and Harbor Oscillations. The main input into this model consists of the bed bathymetry which can be digitized directly from admiralty charts. Rivers and outlets may be included as point sources. Wind stress may vary in space and time.

Transport of Mass, Heat and Suspended Sediment. The transported matter can be biological, radioactive, thermal, saline, or suspended sediment. Subsequent behavior might include decay of biological or radioactive matter, the cooling of the thermal flow or the settling of the suspended material.

AQUASEA has a restart capability which means that the solution of the flow or transport equation can be stopped at any stage and the calculated results observed. The program can then be restarted.

AQUASEA is based on the solution of the two-dimensional shallow water equations including bed resistance, wind stress, Coriolis force, and nonlinear convective terms. The transport model includes sources, decay, and convective and dispersive transport.


Minimum requirements for practical use are a Pentium computer with a 166 MHz processor, 32 MB of RAM, 250 MB hard disk and Windows 95/98/2000 or Windows NT.

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