Fully integrated hydrological modelling

Analyse groundwater, surface water, recharge and evapotranspiration processes with MIKE SHE, the most advanced and flexible framework for integrated hydrological modelling.


Model all major processes in the hydrologic cycle using one tool

Gain a full perspective of the entire land phase of the hydrologic cycle for the most comprehensive models. With MIKE SHE, you have full access to built-in process models for overland flow, unsaturated flow, vegetation-based evapotranspiration, groundwater flow, fully dynamic channel flow and water quality. You can also integrate river models and subsurface components through MIKE SHE’s dynamic connection with MIKE HYDRO River.
Hydrologic processes simulated in MIKE SHE


Model the interaction between groundwater and surface water

For detailed groundwater-surface water interaction, MIKE SHE includes 3D, finite difference groundwater flow, which discharges groundwater drainage directly to surface water (Enterprise version only). A linear reservoir groundwater method is also available for basin-wide water balance and management as well as fully distributed rainfall-runoff modelling.

Enables fully dynamic operation and control of rivers

The hydrologic components of MIKE SHE are directly coupled to DHI’s river hydraulic program, MIKE HYDRO River. This powerful coupling allows you to simulate channel flow using full, 1D hydrodynamics. You can even operate hydraulic structures such as gates, pumps and weirs. Perform area-inundation modelling using a simple flood-mapping procedure based on simulated river water levels and a digital terrain model.



Offers dynamic coupling capabilities

Open the door to more complex studies of all aspects of eco-hydrology including multispecies and kinetic reactions by coupling with MIKE ECO Lab. Couple with FEFLOW’s Python interface to simulate the interaction of groundwater and surface water for inundation studies and flood risk assessments. Study infiltration and leakage by coupling MIKE SHE with MIKE URBAN+ to model the two-way interaction between pipes in the ground and the surrounding aquifer.

MIKE SHE provides unique insight into a wide range of water resources and environmental concerns

Water Resources

Perform integrated hydrological, hydraulic and water quality modelling to optimise water supply design and management. Create drought monitoring and warning systems. Conduct aquifer vulnerability mapping.

Agriculture & Irrigation

Assess the quantity of groundwater and surface water for irrigation and drought management. Analyse the fate and transport of pesticides and nutrients.


Conduct floodplain studies that take groundwater-induced flooding in consideration for a more unified approach to floodplain management. Assess land use and climate change impacts on groundwater and surface water.

Rivers & Dams

Model a variety of tasks related to river hydraulics, water quality, flooding, forecasting, navigation as well as catchment dynamics and runoff.

Wetland Management & Restoration

Represent impacts on the wetlands and water quality in an interconnected system.

Environmental Resource Management

Quantify changes in ecosystem status caused by changes in catchment management. Conduct comprehensive risk assessments to evaluate options to better manage freshwater ecosystems.


Develop proactive strategies to manage the quantity and quality of surface water and groundwater – both on a mine site and in the regional catchment.

No in-house modellers?

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

See why customers rely on MIKE SHE for their most important studies

Coal mining company in South Africa improves operations and infrastructure planning
Read how MIKE SHE for groundwater-surface water modeling provided valuable insight.
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Additional capabilities & unique features

With MIKE SHE, you have complete control. Each process can be solved at its own relevant spatial and temporal scale according to your choices, study goals and availability of field data. It’s also possible to combine hydrological processes and numerical methods depending on the requirements of your application and the availability of data for even greater customisation.

MIKE SHE’s user interface is flexible for the most complex applications, yet remains easy-to-use for the simpler ones. Being model-independent means you can apply advanced or simple solution techniques for each of the hydrological processes. The software’s dynamic navigation tree relies on simple and logical choices to build a description based on your conceptual model of a watershed for improved workflow.

Couple with MIKE ECO Lab to simulate fully integrated solute transport between surface water and the subsurface including decay, sorption, precipitation and selective uptake. Conduct source water protection and groundwater age analyses through the integration of fully dynamic random walk particle tracking in the saturated zone.

With MIKE SHE, you can simulate detailed flooding based on fine scale topography in a coarser numerical grid as well as detailed two-way exchange with rivers. MIKE SHE includes both a simple, semi-distributed overland flow method for rainfall runoff modelling and a 2D, diffusive wave, finite difference method for detailed runoff and flood modelling.

In MIKE SHE, vegetation-based actual evapotranspiration is calculated from interception, soil, ponded water, the root zone and groundwater. This functionality is valuable in areas where the water table is shallow, such as wetlands.

Snow melt is an important phenomena that can dramatically affect the spring runoff timing and volume. In cold climates, MIKE SHE converts elevation corrected precipitation to wet and dry snow storage. The current snow melt module is a modified degree-day method in which the rate of melting increases as the air temperature increases. The well-parameterized degree-day method available in MIKE SHE can be calibrated for all climatic conditions.

Unsaturated flow is one of the central processes in MIKE SHE and in most model applications. Unsaturated flow is primarily vertical since gravity plays the major role during infiltration. Therefore, unsaturated flow in MIKE SHE is calculated only vertically in one-dimension, which is sufficient for most applications. For steep hill slopes with contrasting soil properties in the soil profile, MIKE SHE includes an iterative coupling procedure between the unsaturated zone and the saturated zone to compute the correct soil moisture and the water table dynamics in the lower part of the soil profile.

Model local and wide water balances for any time period using MIKE SHE’s comprehensive and flexible water balance utility.

The MIKE SHE Particle Tracking (PT) module is an alternative description of solute transport. PT calculates the location of a number of particles at every time step. The particles are displaced individually in the three-dimensional, saturated groundwater zone (SZ). The movement of each particle is composed of a deterministic part, where the particle is moved according to the local groundwater velocity calculated by the MIKE SHE, and a stochastic part, where the particle is moved randomly based on the local dispersion coefficients.

All numerical engines in MIKE SHE are parallelised to make efficient use of available multicore resources. Speed up your workflow with access to a full range of pre-processing and post-processing tools.

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Request a free trial of MIKE SHE or ask us for more details on how your project can benefit from this integrated hydrological modelling solution.