SWAN screenshot
Software :SWAN
Developer :The SWAN team
Version :41.01
Last Update :17 April 2014
Platform:DOS / Windows
File Size :2.3 MB
License :Freeware
Downloads :UserDownloads:399
SWAN Description

SWAN is a third-generation wave model that computes random, short-crested wind-generated waves in coastal regions and inland waters.


SWAN accounts for the following physics:

  • Wave propagation in time and space, shoaling, refraction due to current and depth, frequency shifting due to currents and non-stationary depth.
  • Wave generation by wind.
  • Three- and four-wave interactions.
  • Whitecapping, bottom friction and depth-induced breaking.
  • Dissipation due to vegetation.
  • Wave-induced set-up.
  • Propagation from laboratory up to global scales.
  • Transmission through and reflection (specular and diffuse) against obstacles.
  • Diffraction.


SWAN computations can be made on a regular, a curvi-linear grid and a triangular mesh in a Cartesian or spherical co-ordinate system. Nested runs, using input from either SWAN, WAVEWATCH III or WAM can be made with SWAN.

SWAN runs can be done serial, i. e. one SWAN program on one processor, as well as parallel, i. e. one SWAN program on more than one processor. For the latter, two parallelization strategies are available:

  • distributed-memory paradigm using MPI and
  • shared-memory paradigm using OpenMP.

Output quantities

SWAN provides the following output quantities (numerical files containing tables, maps and timeseries):

  • one- and two-dimensional spectra,
  • significant wave height and wave periods,
  • average wave direction and directional spreading,
  • one- and two-dimensional spectral source terms,
  • root-mean-square of the orbital near-bottom motion,
  • dissipation,
  • wave-induced force (based on the radiation-stress gradients),
  • set-up,
  • diffraction parameter, etc.


SWAN does not account for Bragg-scattering and wave tunneling.

* SWAN download link provides freeware version of the software.
* Keywords: third-generation wave model, short-crested windgenerated waves
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