DYRESM – CAEDYM is a one dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological model that can be used to investigate the interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes that occur in lakes and reservoirs over time scales ranging from days to seasonal to interannual.

The model has been developed by the Centre for Water Research (The University of Western Australia) and have been used in policy formulation and policy implementation.


These models assist in the estimation of the impact of different forcing functions (e.g. climate and inflows) and management options on lake water quality, with a focus on transport, temperature, chlorophyll, nutrients and dissolved oxygen.

Latest Version 3.1.2
State of Development Released and updated
Current Development Activity Development coordinated through Centre for Water Research, The University of Western Australia

Development Contact

David Hamilton
+64 7 838 4466
University of Waikato
Science & Engineering University of Waikato Private Bag 3105 Hamlton 3240 New Zealand

Main Developers

  • Centre for Water Research, The University of Western Australia


Outcome Areas Environmental
Management Domains Coastal, Freshwater
Subdomains river and estuary water quality
Spatial Resolutions 10-100m
Spatial Extents Local (i.e. Catchment or District)
Spatial Dimensions 1D, 3D
Temporal Resolutions Minutes, Hours, Decades
Temporal Extents Days, Months, Years, Decades
Steady State or Dynamic Dynamic
Level of Integration Environmental

Input & Output Data

Key Input Data Temperature, Rainfall, Runoff Environmental: Lake water quality
Input Data Formats ASCI
Key Output Data Environmental: Lake water quality
Output Data Formats ASCI, Image File(s), Animations/video, Text File(s) Also has governing software for different output options


Open/Closed Source Open Source
Licence Type Code is open source to a small number of developers
Licence Cost
Price negotiable
Licence Purchase Contact
Professor Jorg Imberger
+61 8 6488 3911
Centre for Water Research, The University of Western Australia
Centre for Water Research University of Western Australia M023 35 Stirling Highway Crawley 6009 Western Australia Australia

User Information

Operating Systems MS Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Dos executable
Software Needed Matlab useful but not essential
User Interface Other (please specify) ARMS - part of the model package
Ease of Use Moderate Level will vary - details of water quality calibration can be complex and may require extensive collaboration/background for good model results.
Use in Policy Process Plan (Policy Formulation), Do (Policy Implementation)

Science manual and user manual available

Support See reference to Centre for Water Research above.
Users Forum Online support community for CWR hydrodynamic and water quality models (via CWR)

Technical Considerations

Programming Language Fortran 95
Methods included for calibration and validation Auto-calibration is in development
Methods included for managing uncertainty Sensitivity analysis has been documented in peer reviewed publications
Analytical Techniques Input/output, Scenario Planning
Model Structure


Two models: a 1-D hydrodynamic model that can be coupled with CAEDYM for 1-D model outputs (vertically resolved), and a 3-D hydrodynamic model that can be coupled with CAEDYM for 3-D model outputs. Model structure diagram - has been published in numerous papers

Keywords water quality, lakes, reservoirs, transport, temperature, management
Linkages to other Models
Links (these are general links)

Key References

Burger, D.F., Hamilton, D.P. and Pilditch, C.A., 2008, Modelling the relative importance of internal and external nutrient loads on water column nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton biomass in a shallow polymictic lake, Ecological Modelling, 211(3-4): 411-423.

Trolle, D., Hamilton, D.P., Pilditch, C.A., Duggan, I.C. and Jeppesen, E., 2011, Predicting the effects of climate change on trophic status of three morphologically varying lakes: Implications for lake restoration and management, Environmental Modelling and Software, 26(4): 354-370. [Application to Lakes Okareka, Ellesmere, Rotoehu]

Paul, W., Özkundakci, D. and D. P. Hamilton, 2008. Modelling of restoration scenarios for Lake Ngaroto. Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology Research Report No. 81, The University of Waikato, Hamilton. (DYRESM-CAEDYM application to Lake Ngaroto)

Özkundakci, D., Hamilton, D. P. & Trolle, D., 2011: Modelling the response of a highly eutrophic lake to reductions in external and internal nutrient loading. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45: 165-185. (Application to Lake Okaro)

Hamilton D, McBride C, Uraoka T 2005. Lake Rotoiti fieldwork and modelling to support considerations of Ohau channel diversion from Lake Rotoiti.(

Rigosi, A., Marce, R., Escot, C. and Rueda, F.J., 2011, A calibration strategy for dynamic succession models including several phytoplankton groups, Environmental Modelling and Software, 26(6): 697-710.

Makler-Pick, V., Gal, G., Gorfine, M., Hipsey, M.R. and Carmel, Y., 2011, Sensitivity analysis for complex ecological models - A new approach, Environmental Modelling and Software, 26(2): 124-134

Mooij, W.M., Trolle, D., Jeppesen, E., et al., 2010, Challenges and opportunities for integrating lake ecosystem modelling approaches, Aquatic Ecology, 44(3): 633-667.

Missaghi, S. and Hondzo, M, 2010, Evaluation and application of a three-dimensional water quality model in a shallow lake with complex morphometry, Ecological Modelling, 221 (11): 1512-1525.

Marce, R., Moreno-Ostos, E., Garcia-Barcina, J.M. and Armengol, J., 2010, Tailoring dam structures to water quality predictions in new reservoir projects: Assisting decision-making using numerical modeling, Journal of Environmental Management, 91 (6): 1255-1267.

Hillmer, I.A., van Reenen, P., Imberger, J., Zohary, T., 2008, Phytoplankton patchiness and their role in the modelled productivity of a large, seasonally stratified lake, Ecological Modelling, 218:49-59

Trolle, D., Jorgensen, T.B. and Jeppesen E., 2008, Predicting the effects of reduced external nitrogen loading on the nitrogen dynamics and ecological state of deep Lake Ravn, Denmark, using the DYRESM-CAEDYM model, Limnologica, 38(3-4): 220-232

Hipsey, M.R., Antenucci, J.P., Brookes, J.D., Burch, M.D., Regel, R.H. and Linden, L., 2004, A three-dimensional model of Cryptosporidium dynamics in lakes and reservoirs: a new tool for risk management, International Journal of River Basin Management, 2(3): 181-197

Lewis, D.M., Brookes, J.D. and Lambert, M.F., 2004, Numerical models for management of Anabaena circinalis, Journal of Applied Phycology, 16 (6): 457-468.

Romero, J.R., Antenucci, J.P. and Imberger, J., 2004, One- and three-dimensional biogeochemical simulations of two differing reservoirs, Ecological Modelling, 174(1-2): 143-160.

Robson, B.J. and Hamilton, D., 2004, Three-dimensional modelling of a Microcystis bloom event in Swan River estuary, Western Australia, Ecological Modelling, 174, 203–222.

Hipsey, M.R., Romero, J.R.R., Antenucci, J.P. and Hamilton, D.P., 2003, Computational Aquatic Ecosystem Dynamic Model: CAEDYM v2 User Manual, UWA, Centre for Water Research Reference WP 1387.1 MH Effect of a flood underflow on reservoir water quality: Data and three-dimensional modelling

Romero, J.R. and Imberger, J., 2003, Effect of a flood underflow on reservoir water quality: Data and three-dimensional modelling, Archiv für Hydrobiologie, 157(1): 1-25

Associated Case Studies