How to resolve common error messages in Flood Modeller

Error messages are a pain! There is no denying it – when you set up everything carefully to get your simulation running and then are hit with an error message, it can ruin your day! What should you do now?


The first thing may sound obvious; READ THE MESSAGE. Flood Modeller details possible issues within the error messages to aid you. These are provided both in the exy (seen directly at runtime) and the diagnostics file (zzd). Be aware that the exy sometimes needs to use a more generic and/or truncated version of the error message in the zzd, and therefore it is always recommended you check the full diagnostics to gain as much detail as possible.


In this article, we provide details of some of the more common error messages, and approaches to resolve these.

Figure 1: Details of warnings and errors are provided directly at simulation runtime.


Model stability errors


If you encounter the following error messages or issues, it is likely that an instability has occurred.

  1. E1020 Water level exceeded maximum section data level dflood ( X.00m). Check model, extend section data or increase dflood

  2. E1100 Model is diverging. No solution has been found with the current time step. You should try decreasing the time step or improving the initial conditions

  3. E1066 Channel has gone dry. Try increasing the slot depth checking the initial conditions or checking downstream boundary levels are above the bed

Following an instability, the error message may report section has run dry or the parameter Dflood has been exceeded - often the location is not where problem actually lies! This is because the instability can oscillate up and down the channel before creating the model failure.


What to do to stabilise your model can involve a multitude of techniques. Our recent model stability article provides 5 tips and tricks for resolving instability issues within 1D networks and may help you resolve these errors.


Hydrological boundary errors


If you encounter the following messages, there is likely an issue with your hydrological boundary.

  1. Errors caused by hydrological boundaries

  2. Issue with ReFH2 unit showing different results

Many issues we experience with hydrological boundaries are due to incorrect input data. In the first instance, we recommend you carefully check all of the data entered in your units.


However this is not always the case. In particular, the ReFH2 boundary is developed externally to Flood Modeller, and therefore outputs can sometimes differ due to newer updates provided in the unit to adjust the data.


There are certain issues that instead involve a workaround, for example, if the methodology you desire is unavailable. The easiest workaround for these issues is to simply copy the final hydrograph data into a flow-time (QT) boundary instead. Ensure you adjust the time unit appropriately.


This functionality is especially helpful for if considering hydrological methodologies currently unavailable in Flood Modeller. For example, for standard Irish hydrology methods, the FSU Portal can still be utilised to create your initial flow hydrograph and this can simply be pasted into the QT boundary.

Figure 2: Outputs from external sources such as the Office of Public Works (Ireland) FSU Portal can be simply copied and pasted into a Flood Modeller flow-time (QT) boundary.


Licensing errors


If you encounter the following error messages, it is likely that there is an issue with the capabilities of your licence.

  1. E1008 Maximum number of nodes is exceeded

  2. Flood Modeller is opening in Free Edition (unexpectedly)

First, check that your licence allows for the functionality you expected - details of your licence are provided in the ‘Start’ menu of Flood Modeller.


If your licence provides sufficient capabilities, the error may occur because your licence cannot be found or has expired. If this is the case, the course of action is determined by the licence type:


New network licence

Have you configured your machine to the server? Details for how to do this are found here. Another alternative if working from a network licence is one of your colleagues has taken the licence already! Please remember the network licences work on a first come, first served basis.


Existing network licence

There may be an issue with the server - you would need to contact your local IT regarding this. Another alternative if working from a network licence is one of your colleagues has taken the licence already! Please remember the network licences work on a first come, first served basis.


Standalone licence

If your licence is provided via a dongle, initially check this is plugged in correctly. Faulty USB ports are surprisingly common so try another port if you can to rule this out. Try restarting the machine also. Can you access CodeMeter? If not, this component has somehow been missed during Flood Modeller’s installation process. You can download and install this separately from here.


Your licence will also require an annual update. If your licence is out of date, please send a licence request file to our support team - details for how to create this file are available here.


TUFLOW linking errors


If you encounter the following error message, you're likely to be linking Flood Modeller with TUFLOW:

  1. E1844 Failed to find TUFLOW_Link.dll. Check file exists on the path

  2. General issues with linking your model to TUFLOW

Setting up the TUFLOW link in Flood Modeller is easy to do, but issues can arise quickly if this is not done correctly. Another common cause of issues with linking to TUFLOW involves confusion over files common to both sets of software - you must be especially vigilant when adjusting to a different version of TUFLOW.


To correctly set up your TUFLOW link, the path must be set in the ‘Application Settings’ window (from ‘Home’ tab, click ‘General’ and this will open in a new window). The TUFLOW engine path must be provided in the ‘Project Settings’ tab.

Figure 3: The TUFLOW engine path must be provided in the ‘Project Settings’ tab under 'Application Settings'.


Dll files are used within both Flood Modeller and TUFLOW. Another common cause of this error is due to files not located in the place the software expects. In your TUFLOW folder, you will notice you have some files with extension ptx. There should be either 3 or 6 of these, depending on your version of TUFLOW. Copy these files and paste them into your Flood Modeller\bin folder to ensure the correct version of the files can be located. Please be aware that these ptx files are specific to the version of TUFLOW, and thus if you adjust between different versions of TUFLOW, you may need to copy and paste the relevant ptx files each time.

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