Delft3D FM Suite

Wind, waves and currents shape our coasts. Climate change and rising sea levels add further to this pressure. To enable us to live safely along our shores, we need effective coastal and marine management. Moreover, these coastal processes do not present the only threat. We must also protect ourselves against river and pluvial flooding, while on the other hand we need that water for transport, irrigation, energy, cooling, recreation, environmental protection and as a source of drinking water. Consequently, design and management procedures become more complex and require an integrated approach. In response to this challenge, Deltares has developed a powerful modelling suite called the Delft3D Flexible Mesh Suite, focusing primarily on coastal, estuarine, river, rural and urban environments.

The Delft3D Flexible Mesh Suite (Delft3D FM) is the successor of the structured Delft3D 4 Suite. Like Delft3D 4, the Delft3D FM Suite can simulate storm surges, hurricanes, tsunamis, detailed flows and water levels, waves, sediment transport and morphology, water quality and ecology, and is capable of handling the interactions between these processes. The suite is designed for use by domain experts and non-experts alike, which may range from consultants and engineers or contractors, to regulators and government officials, all of whom are active in one or more of the stages of the design, implementation and management cycle.

Global Storm Surge Information System (GLOSSIS), based on Delft3D FM and Delft-FEWS


Within the Delft-FEWS operational framework, Delft3D FM can offer 24/7 forecasts. Forecasts, predictions and uncertainties can easily be visualized on dedicated websites, using the Delta Viewer technology. To get the most out of simulation results, Deltares offers 3D visualization services: the results of Delft3D FM in a 3D interactive serious gaming enviroment. Designed for policymakers, Delft3D FM is also available on a Touch Table for interactive modelling with all the stakeholders.

Rotterdam - Delft3D Flexible Mesh using 3D interactive modelling3-1366x768

Delft3D Flexible Mesh using 3D interactive modelling, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The key component of Delft3D FM is the D-Flow Flexible Mesh (D-Flow FM) engine for hydrodynamical simulations on unstructured grids in 1D-2D-3D. D-Flow FM is the successor of Delft3D-FLOW and SOBEK-FLOW. It is the result of five years of research funded by Deltares and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.


Some areas of applications

  • Tide and wind-driven flow;
  • Drying and flooding of inter-tidal flats;
  • Density driven flow due to density gradients of non-uniform temperature and salinity concentration distributions;
  • Horizontal transport of matter on large and small scales;
  • Hydrodynamic impact of engineering works such as land reclamation, breakwaters and dikes;
  • Thermal recirculation of cooling water discharges from a powerplant.



Some of the typical key features of Delft3D FM are:

  • the suite gives direct access to state-of-the-art process knowledge, accumulated and developed at one of the world’s most renowned hydraulic institutes;
  • the Graphical User Interface (GUI), based on Delta Shell, is one of the most user-friendly in the market:
    • Central map with spatial editor
    • Customizable and dockable window views
    • Connectivity to online data bases
    • Batch running through Python scripting interfaces
  • all modules show a high degree of integration and interoperability.