Coastal Numerical Models Meeting the Minimum Requirement of the National Flood Insurance Program

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This page provides a list of nationally and locally accepted coastal models that meet National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements for flood hazard mapping activities. This page is intended for engineers, surveyors, floodplain managers and FEMA mapping partners.

DISCLAIMERS

  • This website lists models, where the compliance with the requirements of 44 CFR 65.6(a)(6) has been previously demonstrated for use in FEMA flood hazard studies and/or mapping efforts. The lists include models that Professional Engineers can use to perform engineering analysis and mapping for flood insurance studies, however a model’s inclusion on this list does not indicate whether its approval or certification is current as to any other governmental agency. Professional Engineers are ultimately responsible for the appropriate application and accuracy of the results.
  • FEMA is not responsible for technical support or accuracy of the results and has not evaluated the technical soundness of the models independently.
  • This list cannot be used as a marketing tool explicitly or implicitly anywhere.
  • FEMA updates its list as necessary, however, the accuracy of this list is not guaranteed. It is highly recommended that model selection is discussed with FEMA before undertaking or initiating any analysis intended to be submitted to FEMA.
  • FEMA provides this list for reference only, and in doing so, does not endorse any non-federal products, companies, or services. If you believe that any information provided on this page is inaccurate, please contact FEMA at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627).

Current Nationally Accepted Coastal Models

Coastal Models
PROGRAMDEVELOPED BYAVAILABLE FROMCOMMENTS
Coastal Storm Surges
FEMA Surge (1988)Tetra Tech, Inc.; Engineering Methods & Applications; Greenhorne & O'Mara; Camp, Dresser & McKee, Inc.See the footnote below to find appropriate contact information based on your FEMA Region 3Incorporates modified NWS-23 model for hurricanes and Joint Probability Method. Reportedly more accurate for water elevations than water currents.

Public Domain: Yes
Advanced Circulation Model (ADCIRC) 2DDI
(2003)
Johannes Westerink, University of Notre Dame and Rick Luettich, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Institute of Marine Sciences for USACE Coastal and Hydraulics LaboratoryNick Krauss
Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory
3909 Halls Ferry Road
Vicksburg, MS
39180-6199
Also can be purchased from software vendors as a component of SWM.
Finite element 2-D hydrodynamic model; the version 2DDI is vertically-integrated and solves a vertically-integrated continuity equation for water surface elevation; no storm or hurricane windfield models or statistical analysis tools are included with model, they must be acquired separately; ADCIRC performs well using Vince Cardone's planetary boundary layer model windfields; statistical analyses using ADCIRC model storm surge simulations are compatible with the USACE Empirical Simulation Technique (EST) as well as joint probability methods.

Public Domain: Yes for flood insurance study purposes.
TABS RMA2 v. 4.3 and up
(Oct. 1996)
U.S. Army Corps of EngineersCoastal Engineering Research Center
Department of the Army
Waterways Experiment Station
Corps of Engineers
3909 Halls Ferry Road
Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199
Two-dimensional steady/unsteady flow model, for water levels and velocities. Computes finite element solution of the Reynolds form of the Navier-Stokes equations for turbulent flows.

Public Domain: Yes
MIKE 21
(HD/NHD)
2009 SP4
DHI Water and EnvironmentDHI Inc.
319 SW Washington St.
Suite 614
Portland, OR 97204
Solves the non-linear depth-averaged equations of continuity and conservation of momentum. Computes water levels and flows based on a variety of forcing functions. Computes wave-driven currents and wave setup. Uses a finite difference grid with dynamic nesting grid capabilities. Resolving small scale features such as narrow inland channels, culverts and control structures can be accomplished using the DHI MIKE FLOOD interface, which allows for dynamic coupling between MIKE 21 and the DHI MIKE 11 model.

Public Domain: No
MIKE 21 FM HD 2014 SP3DHI Water and EnvironmentDHI Water and Environment, Inc. 141 Union Blvd., Suite 425, Lakewood, CO 80228Solves the two-dimensional incompressible Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations subject to the assumptions of Boussinesq. The MIKE 21 FM HD is the unstructured compliment to the rectangular finite difference version of the MIKE 21 HD model. It has the advantage of utilizing unstructured meshes, taking advantage of efficient parallelization on High Performance Computing (HPC) or Graphical Processing Unites (GPU) platforms as well as on standalone multi-core Windows desktops. The model utilizes an advanced flooding and drying algorithm for overland flow, and includes wind stress forcing, Coriolis forcing, tidal potential, multiple boundary types, internal structures (e.g., weirs, dikes, culverts, gates) and has the ability to dynamically couple to the ID MIKE 11 model through the use of the MIKE FLOOD model interface. The hydrodynamic model can also be dynamically coupled with the MIKE 21 Flexible Mesh Spectral Wave (FM SW) model so that wave setup and wave-driven currents are computed directly by the HD model. 

Public Domain: No
DYNLETU.S. Army Corps of EngineersCoastal and Hydraulics Laboratory
Engineering Research
and Development Center
3909 Halls Ferry Road
Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199
One-dimensional model of dynamic behavior of tidal flow at inlets. Can be used to predict tide dominated velocities and water level fluctuations at an inlet and interior back bay system. DYNLET solves the full one-dimensional shallow water equations using an implicit finite difference solution.

Public Domain: Yes
Coastal Wave Heights
BOUSS-2DAquaveo, LLCAquaveo, LLCFor simulating the propagation and transformation of waves in coastal regions and harbors, over small regions (generally 1-5 km), based on a time-domain solution of Boussinesq-type equations, including: shoaling; refraction; diffraction; full/partial reflection and transmission; bottom friction; nonlinear wave-wave interactions; wave breaking and runup; wave-induced currents; and wave-current interaction. Public Domain: No
STWAVEU.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)Aquaveo, LLCSTWAVE is a steady-state, finite difference, spectral model based on the wave action balance equation. STWAVE simulates depth-induced wave refraction and shoaling, current-induced refraction and shoaling, depth- and steepness-induced wave breaking, diffraction, wave growth because of wind input, and wave-wave interaction and white capping that redistribute and dissipate energy in a growing wave field.  STWAVE is written by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (USACE-WES). Public Domain: No
WHAFIS 3.0 (1988) and 4.0 (2007)Dames & Moore, revised by Greenhorne & O'Mara, revised by Watershed ConceptsSee the footnote below to find appropriate contact information based on your FEMA Region 3WHAFIS 4.0 has identical wave treatments as WHAFIS 3.0. Additional features include default wind speeds for 0.2-percent-annual-chance winds and the ability for user to override default wind speeds. WHAFIS 3.0 defines wave heights associated with 100-year flood in coastal areas using modern wave action treatment; incorporates 1977 NAS recommendations on basic approximations for wind speeds, wave breaking criterion, and controlling wave height.

Public Domain: Yes
WHAFIS 3.0 GL (1993)Dames & Moore, Greenhorne & O'Mara, DewberrySee the footnote below to find appropriate contact information based on your FEMA Region 3Identical wave treatments as WHAFIS 3.0, but with programmed reduction of wind speeds for U.S. shorelines of the Great Lakes.

Public Domain: Yes
RCPWAVE
(1986)
U.S. Army Corps of EngineersCoastal Engineering Research Center
Department of the Army
Waterways Experiment Station
Corps of Engineers
3909 Halls Ferry Road
Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199
Treats linear, monochromatic waves propagating over grid giving coastal bathymetry, providing nearshore wave heights pertinent to proper spacing between transects or to magnitudes of wave setup.

Public Domain: Yes
CHAMP 2.0 (April 2007)Dewberry & Davis LLCSee the footnote below to find appropriate contact information based on your FEMA Region 3Coastal Hazard Analysis Modeling Program (CHAMP) is a Windows-based program used for erosion and wave height analyses (WHAFIS 4.0 and RUNUP 2.0) and provides summary tables and graphics for mapping. Version 2.0 provides for computation of 1-percent- and 0.2-percent-annual-chance wave envelope and includes enhancements to the Erosion and Runup Modules.

Public Domain: Yes
MIKE 21 Flexible Mesh Spectral Wave Model 2014 SP3DHI Water and EnvironmentDHI Water and Environment, Inc. 141 Union Blvd. Suite 425, Lakewood, CO 80228Two-dimensional, flexible mesh, finite-volume, dynamic wind-wave growth and nearshore transformation model. The model includes a fully spectral formulation and a directional decoupled parametric formulation, includes wave-current interaction, as well as nearshore effects of refraction, shoaling, breaking, bed friction, and wind-wave growth. The wave model can be dynamically coupled with MIKE 21 Flexible Mesh Hydrodynamic (FM HD) model so that wave setup and littoral currents are computed directly by the HD model.

The model must be calibrated to observed flow and stage records or high-water marks of actual flood events at both channel and floodplain.

Public Domain: No
MIKE 21 Nearshore Spectral Wave Model (NSW)
2009 SP4
DHI Water and EnvironmentDHI Inc.
319 SW
Washington St.
Suite 614
Portland, OR
97204
Two-dimensional stationary model for propagation of waves into the nearshore zone (refraction, shoaling, breaking, bed friction, and wind-wave growth). Based on the conservation equation for the spectral wave action density similar to HISWA model. Obstructions not directly resolvable in the grid must be modeled with grid bed roughness coefficients.

The model must be calibrated to observed flow and stage records or high-water marks of actual flood events at both channel and floodplain.

Public Domain: No
Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN), Cycle III Version 40.51The SWAN team

Source Forge

Fully spectral third-generation shallow water wave model based on the wave action balance equation with sources and sinks. It incorporates formulations for deep water processes of wave generation, dissipation and the quadruplet wave-wave interactions. In shallow water, these processes are supplemented with formulations for dissipation due to bottom friction, triad wave-wave interactions, and depth-induced breaking. The model is stationary and optionally non-stationary, and can be applied in Cartesian, spherical, and curvilinear co-ordinates.

Public Domain:
Freeware
Coastal Wave Effects
BOUSS-2DAquaveo, LLCAquaveo, LLCFor simulating the propagation and transformation of waves in coastal regions and harbors, over small regions (generally 1-5 km), based on a time-domain solution of Boussinesq-type equations, including: shoaling; refraction; diffraction; full/partial reflection and transmission; bottom friction; nonlinear wave-wave interactions; wave breaking and runup; wave-induced currents; and wave-current interaction. Public Domain: No
STWAVEU.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)Aquaveo, LLCSTWAVE is a steady-state, finite difference, spectral model based on the wave action balance equation. STWAVE simulates depth-induced wave refraction and shoaling, current-induced refraction and shoaling, depth- and steepness-induced wave breaking, diffraction, wave growth because of wind input, and wave-wave interaction and white capping that redistribute and dissipate energy in a growing wave field. STWAVE is written by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (USACE-WES). Public Domain: No
RUNUP 2.0 (1990)Stone & Webster Engineering Corp.,
revised by Dewberry
See the footnote below to find appropriate contact information based on your FEMA Region  3Executes 1978 guidance by USACE defining wave runup on shore barrier with specified approach and storm conditions; mean wave description determines mean runup elevation.

Public Domain: Yes
ACES 1.07 (1992)U.S. Army Corps of EngineersCoastal Engineering Research Center
Department of the Army
Waterways Experiment Station
Corps of Engineers
3909 Halls Ferry Road
Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199
Used for restricted fetch wave growth analysis and runup on vertical structures or revetments.

Public Domain: Yes
CHAMP 2.0 (April 2007)Dewberry & Davis LLCSee the footnote below to find appropriate contact information based on your FEMA Region 3CHAMP is a Windows-based program used for erosion and wave height analyses (WHAFIS 4.0 and RUNUP 2.0) and provides summary tables and graphics for mapping. Version 2.0 provides for computation of 1-percent- and 0.2-percent-annual-chance wave envelope and includes enhancements to the Erosion and Runup Modules.

Public Domain: Yes

1 Public domain models are available from source with nominal fee for reproducing, shipping and handling.

2 This model is acceptable for coastal storm surge applications only.

3 The appropriate contact for this software depends on your region:

If you live in Region 1 (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
Regional Service Center 1
75 State Street, Boston, MA 02109
Region 1 Technical Coordinator: Alex Sirotek
(617) 452-6345

If you live in Region 2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI)
Regional Service Center 2
50 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10010-5272
RSC 2 Lead: Olga Gorbunova
(646) 490-3910

If you live in Region 3 (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV)
Regional Service Center 3
1700 Market St., Suite 1600
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Region 3 Technical Coordinator: Jeff Smith
(215) 789-2166

If you live in Region 4 (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN)
Regional Service Center 4
One Midtown Plaza
1360 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30309
Region 4 Technical Coordinator: Cheryl Johnson
(404) 965-9700

If you live in Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)
Regional Service Center 5
135 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 3100
Chicago, IL 60603
RSC 5 Lead: Roger Denick
(312) 262-2281

If you live in Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)
Regional Service Center 6
101 Cross Timbers Rd
Flower Mound, TX 75028-8829
Region 6 Technical Coordinator: Jessica Baker
(214) 217-6692

If you live in Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE)
Regional Service Center 7
6800 College Blvd, Suite 380
Overland Park, KS 66211
RSC 7 Lead: William Zung
(913) 202-6867

If you live in Region 8 (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)
Regional Service Center 8
555 17th Street, Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80202
Region 8 Technical Coordinator: Brian Murphy
(303) 383-2429

If you live in Region 9 (AZ, CA, GUAM, HI, NV, CNMI, RMI, FSM, SAMOA)
Regional Service Center 9
505 14th Street, Suite 900
Oakland, CA 94612
RSC 9 Lead: Seth Ahrens
(415) 671-7185

If you live in Region 10 (AK, ID, OR, WA)
Regional Service Center 10
20700 44th Avenue West, Suite 110
Lynnwood, WA 98036
RSC 10 Lead: Josha Crowley
(425) 329-3679

Current Locally Accepted Coastal Models

Hydrodynamic and Morphological Model: Determination of Coastal Storm Surge and Wave Height

PROGRAMDEVELOPED BYAVAILABLE FROMCOMMENTS
Coastal Storm Surge and Coastal Wave Height
Delft 3D (FLOW, WAVE, MOR)Deltares,
Delft, The Netherlands
Deltares
Rotterdamseweg 185,
Delft, The Netherlands
P.O. Box 177
2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
tel: + 31 (0)15 285 8585
fax: +31 (0)15 285 8582
http://www.deltaressystems.com/hydro/product/621497/delft3d-suite
Delft3D is a suite of 2D and 3D models for the simulation of hydrodynamics, waves, sediment transport and morphology for fluvial, estuarine and coastal environments.

The FLOW module calculates non-steady flow and transport phenomena resulting from tidal and meteorological forcing on a curvilinear, boundary fitted grid.

The WAVE module incorporates the spectral wave model SWAN. The MOR module couples the FLOW and WAVE modules to simulate long-term changes in bottom topography.

Only accepted for usage within FEMA Region II. 

Public Domain: No

 

View More Nationally and Locally Accepted Models

Below are additional nationally and locally accepted models in the NFIP Program:

Numerical Models No Longer Accepted

Please visit the Numerical Models No Longer Accepted by FEMA for NFIP Usage page for a list of unaccepted models.

Last Updated: 
05/04/2015 - 13:32
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