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Flooding disasters are becoming more frequent and catastrophic due to the climate variability and the increased population that occupies floodplains. To mitigate the impact of these events, it has become critical to assess and manage flooding risk taking advantage of computer models. Mastering models to simulate these events is a fundamental asset to hydraulic engineers, hydrologists, floodplain managers, and other professionals dealing with flood disasters.

This course will teach you how to use modern and well proven software tools that support flood risk management. It will introduce the RiverFlow2D model that is one of the most advanced two-dimensional flood hydraulics and mudflow models for rivers, estuaries, coastal areas and floodplains. This course will provide the basic knowledge and software tools necessary to use the RiverFlow2D model in a variety of flood risk assessment applications, and mud and debris flow events.

The course will treat the following topics:

  • Instruction and hands-on use of RiverFlow2D model and tools,
  • Criteria for flood hazard mapping
  • Mud and debris flow hazard assessments
  • Flood hazard mapping to assist in flood management

The course includes:

  • Course Presentations,
  • Software DVD containing the RiverFlow2D LT computer model (full functionality limited to 2000 elements),
  • Videos,
  • Tutorials,
  • Comprehensive model documentation.

After taking this course participants will be able to understand well accepted criteria to define flood hazards, apply the RiverFlow2D model to assess flooding in any location, prepare hazard maps based on the model results for depths and velocities, create flood animations and flooding maps on Google Earth.

Course Programme

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

  • Introduction, review training objectives, and course agenda.
  • Overview of basics of two-dimensional flooding: hydraulics, equations, boundary conditions and numerical methods. Assumptions and limitations.
  • Introduction to SMS Graphical User Interface for RiverFlow2D
  • GIS coverages, mesh generation options. Topographic interpolation options.
  • Setting up a RiverFlow2D project application. Importing terrain elevations, defining the model boundary, entering boundary conditions, refining the mesh, running the model.
  • Data review and preparation of a selected Project. Data file format requirements. Guidelines for reviewing data and modelling results.
  • Hands on session: Creating and running a RiverFlow2D project using real-world data.
  • Hands on session: Plotting RiverFlow2D results: Water Surface Elevations, Velocity Vector Plots, etc.


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

  • Flood hazard criteria.
  • Mud and Debris Flow hazard criteria.
  • Creating animations and exporting results in GIS format
  • Using cross section and profile outputs for model calibration. Comparing model results from different scenarios using layer operations.
  • Incorporating hydraulic structures: Culverts, Bridges, Weirs, and levees
  • Hands on session: Develop a simple project – start to finish Part 1.
  • Hands on session: Develop a simple project – start to finish Part 2.


Thursday 12th October 2017

  • Introduction to modelling mud and debris flow events.
  • Applying RiverFlow2D to simulate mud and debris flow events
  • Setting up a mud flow simulation in RiverFlow2D. Extracting cross sectiond and profiles. Creating profile animations.
  • Hands on session: Develop a complex project – start to finish Part 1.
  • Hands on session: Develop a complex project – start to finish Part 2.


Course Structure

Each day is subdivided into four sessions and will commence at 9.00 am and finish at 5.00 pm.  Lunch break is from 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm.  Coffee will be served during the breaks.  Please note that the course will start at 9.15 am on the first day.

Course Materials

The course fee includes all working materials, lunch, coffee, tea and all computer facilities used, where applicable.  During the course software will be provided and therefore participants may wish to bring their own laptops. The Institute reserves the right to make changes to the programme that may prove necessary.

Course Requirements

  • Windows 7-10 operating system
  • 4 GB RAM
  • DVD ROM or USB port (required for installing software that will be provided)
  • Administrative privileges to install the software.
  • 1280x1024 or higher recommended
  • Mouse (recommended)


Course Presenters

Reinaldo Garcia is a former Research Fellow at the Wessex Institute. He obtained his MSc in Hydraulic Engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique Montreal, Canada and his PhD from the University of Central Venezuela. He is a consultant for the World Bank and the Interamerican Development Bank. Dr Garcia is the creator and leader of the development team of the RiverFlow2D two-dimensional flexible mesh hydraulic model. He has more than 35 years of experience developing and applying models to simulate 2D river flooding, flood mudflow hazard assessments. Dr Garcia has worked in hundreds of modelling projects in the USA, and in over 20 other countries in Europe, Asia, and South America, and is considered an international expert in the field. Dr Garcia has taught more than 50 international courses on flooding and computer modelling models worldwide. He lectured at the University of Miami, Florida from 2004 to 2006. In 2006 he was appointed Senior Research Scientist at the Applied Research Centre of Florida International University (FIU). Presently Dr Garcia shares his research activities at the WaterSCAPES NASA Research Centre at FIU with his model development and consulting at Hydronia, a private firm that commercializes the RiverFlow2D and other computer models.

Asier Lacasta is a PhD candidate at the University of Zaragoza. He obtained his MSc in applied mechanics from the University of Zaragoza in 2011. His main professional and research interests focus on the efficient implementation of numerical models for high-accuracy and fast computation of free-surface flows with applications to hydraulic engineering. He is one of the leading developers of the RiverFlow2D model and has contributed many publications to international journals and conferences. He has developed improvements to reduce the computational load of numerical models that substantially increase their capability making possible large scale applications using GPU hardware accelerators. Asier has also participated in many modelling projects and has collaborated in training courses of numerical modelling in engineering. He is an active collaborator with Hydronia in the USA and Hydronia Europe.


To register online for this course please complete the registration form by clicking on the 'Register' button at the top of this page.


The New Forest is one of the UK's most popular tourist destinations and offers many attractions all year round, including picturesque forest villages as well as beautiful scenery. It is located in Southern England, spreading over 150 square miles of Hampshire. The New Forest was established as a royal hunting ground by King William I, and by the 14th century the land was being used to produce timber for the ship building on the south coast. Today, after nearly 1000 years, the forest is still Crown property and is administered by the Forestry Commission. Since the reign of King William I commoners have been given the right to graze their livestock, normally ponies, cattle and pigs, on Forest land where they wander freely. In the New Forest the well-being of the animals and the special needs of the countryside are a priority. The Forest is unarguably recognised as one of the most unique and important wilderness areas in Western Europe and, because of this, it is now a National Park.

Venue and Accommodation

The courses will take place at the Wessex Institute of Technology at Ashurst Lodge located in the New Forest, an outstanding National Park that borders the South Coast. Ashurst Lodge is an ideal venue for conferences, courses and seminars.  The participants can benefit from an excellent standard of accommodation, either on Campus or in various hotels or bed and breakfasts in the area.  The surroundings are equally appealing to those who enjoy walking, horse riding, cycling, sailing and fine landscapes.

For more information on how to find Ashurst Lodge and to arrange accommodation during the course please use the information provided on the Contact Us page.