MASCARET 1-Dimensionnal free surface flow modelling

MASCARET includes 1-Dimensionnal free surface flow modelling engines. Based on the Saint-Venant equations, different modules can model various phenomenon over large areas and for varied geometries: meshed or branched network, subcritical or supercritical flows, steady or unsteady flows. MASCARET can represent:

  • Flood propagation and modelling of floodplains
  • Submersion wave resulting from dam break
  • Regulation of managed rivers
  • Flow in torrents,
  • Canals wetting
  • Sediment Transport
  • Water quality (temperature, passive tracers ...)

Examples of applications

Submersive wave

Breach simulation of the Bort-les-Orgues dam (France). Temporal evolution of the water level in the valley with rupture of the cascade of dams.
MASCARET has been used for many studies of flood waves, it allows consideration of dry areas before the arrival of the wavefront, and the breaching - progressive or instantaneous – of secondary dams.

Bort-les-Orgues dam
Bort-les-Orgues dam, and modelling of cascading dam break

Low flow

Modelling the Old Rhine between Breisach and Kembs during low water (30 m3 / s) for the study of issues related to the upstream travel of salmon in the Old Rhine.

Modelling of the Rhine River

Flood spreading

Example of the modelling of floodplain of the Adour river with compound channel and cells.

The Adour River


MASCARET in detail

MASCARET is composed of three hydrodynamic engines, which can be coupled with the module CASIER. These allow the hydraulic modelling of many conditions with various functionalities, and are composed of numerical methods which are particularly robust and efficient. The main aim of a calculation is the determination of water levels and flows in various branches of the hydraulic network.

MASCARET flowchart



Typical example of a river and associated floodplain


MASCARET diagram

Example of a river and floodplain schematisation



  • "A Finite Volume Solver for 1D Shallow-Water Equations Applied to an Actual River", N. Goutal and F. Maurel, Int. J. Numer. Meth. Fluids 2002; 38:1-19
  • "MASCARET: a 1-D Open-Source Software for Flow Hydrodynamic and Water Quality in Open Channel Networks", N. Goutal, J.-M. Lacombe, F. Zaoui and K. El-Kadi-Abderrezzak, River Flow 2012 – Murillo (Ed.), pp. 1169-1174


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