Developed more than 20 years ago by EDF's R&D and the Maritime and River Technical Research Centre (CETMEF), Mascaret is a 1-dimensional free surface flow modelling solver based on the Saint-Venant equations.

Mascaret comprises three hydraulic engines enabling calculation of the following states:

  • steady/transcritical river flow
  • unsteady river flow (Preissmann DF scheme)
  • unsteady transcritical (Roe VF scheme)

The Cell module used in conjunction with the river nodes makes it possible to take account of floodplains that are relatively isolated from the main channel using a set of interconnected storage cells. These can then be linked to the river and to each other using a range of different hydraulic links representing exchange zones and natural flow obstacles (embankments, weirs, channels, siphons, orifices, sluices, etc.) An "automatic calibration" option is available for a reach with steady river flow.

Mascaret is used particularly in the modelling of:

  • flood propagation and the modelling of floodplains
  • the submersion wave resulting from a dam breach
  • regulation of managed rivers
  • wave propagation in channels (swell, locks, flooding)

Mascaret is used to construct and use hydraulic models, and to visualise calculation results. It is available for use with Windows and GNU/Linux, and is distributed as freeware under the GNU GPL v3.

To cite Mascaret:

  • "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