MIKE 21/3 Advection Dispersion

Robust water quality modelling

Analyse a wide range of water quality concerns by simulating the spreading and fate of dissolved or suspended substances of any kind, in any water environment.

Why MIKE 21/3 Advection Dispersion?

Calculate the transport of substances in coastal and marine environments

MIKE 21/3 Advection Dispersion (AD) is dynamically linked to the Hydrodynamic Module to describe continuity, momentum, temperature, salinity and density. This connection enables users to calculate the resulting transport of any substance based on flow conditions in lakes, estuaries, bays, coastal areas and seas.

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Analyse connected source-sink dynamics

Through the study of connected source-sink dynamics (mass and momentum), users can better understand variations in habitat quality as well as potential for recirculation. An analysis of the dispersion of heated water can reveal whether the water temperature in the receiving water body is continuously increasing which may have a resounding impact on local habitats. Users can also study the risk of recirculation of warm water (or brine) for industrial applications, since recirculation makes a cooling system (or desalination plant) less efficient.

Perform flushing studies, tracer simulations and simple water quality studies

Integrate MIKE 21/3 AD with MIKE ECO Lab to model tracers, coliform bacteria and xenobiotic compounds for inclusion in flushing studies, tracer simulations and simple water quality studies. With this powerful software duo, users can analyse the die-off of E. coli due to exposure to light, visualise the decay of radioactive substances and estimate the age of water bodies.

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MIKE 21/3 Advection Dispersion offers powerful insight for these sectors

Water Utilities

Visualise the fate and transport of bacteria and pollutants from combined sewer overflows, in a simple setting, to ensure they don’t reach unacceptable levels.


Understand the impact of changing nutrient outlets on dissolved oxygen concentrations in the water to safeguard your livelihood when applied in conjunction with MIKE ECO Lab.


Study the effects of cooling water from power plants or brine dispersion from desalination plants.

No in-house modellers?

Get our expert modellers on board for your consulting projects either as a partner, to provide extended user support or for model and project reviews. Submit an inquiry below.

Featured software subscription package

Environmental Engineering

Access a curated selection of MIKE Powered by DHI software and tools designed specifically for environmental and noise impact assessments including MIKE 21/3 Advection Dispersion, MIKE ECO Lab, MIKE 3 Underwater Acoustic Simulator and more!
Choose ABM Lab as your bonus module for the added power of agent-based modelling.

Additional capabilities & unique features

The Ecology and Water Quality Module (MIKE ECO Lab) is closely integrated with MIKE 21/3 AD and the Hydrodynamic Module. MIKE ECO Lab simulates reaction processes in multi-compound systems or of substances with a more complex decay than linear, i.e. decay of substances that also depend on light intensity like E. coli. This enables users to perform complex ecosystem studies in coastal areas, estuaries and lakes.

With MIKE 21/3 AD, users can simulate the sources of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) to evaluate abatement schemes or use as input for online water quality forecasts.

Benefit from the maximum degree of flexibility as the computational mesh in MIKE 21/3 AD is based on the unstructured meshes approach. This provides users with the ability to control node distribution resulting in optimal node usage and adaptation of mesh resolution to the relevant physical scales.

In numerical models the dispersion usually describes transport due to non-resolved processes. In coastal areas it can be transport due to non-resolved turbulence or eddies. Especially in the horizontal directions, the effects of non-resolved processes can be significant, in which case the dispersion coefficient formally should depend on the resolution. In a 3D model, it is important to distinguish between horizontal dispersion due to e.g. non-resolved eddies, and vertical dispersion due to e.g. bed generated turbulence. Hence, dispersion in horizontal and vertical directions is specified separately.

MIKE 21/3 AD is now supported by GPU acceleration which is particularly valuable in the screening phase of many marine Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs).This makes it possible to achieve the same magnitude of speed-up factors to those reported for the Hydrodynamic Module.

MIKE 21/3 AD takes advantage of the efficient parallelisation techniques implemented in MIKE 21 for the use of multiple cores and GPUs. Special techniques have also been developed to enhance calculation speed within the morphological modelling.

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