Surface and groundwater

Getting started with integrated hydrological modelling using MIKE SHE


Fee: No charge*

Time commitment - approximately two hours in total, divided as follows:

  • Self-study: eleven modules, combining online video lectures, demonstration videos, hands-on exercises and reading materials. Approximately two hours in total is needed for you to get the maximum out of the course
  • (Optional) Additional reading materials can be made available for you to master the software at a greater depth



Integrated hydrological modelling is much more than just coupling groundwater and surface water. It encompasses the entire hydrological cycle from rainfall and evapotranspiration to runoff, infiltration and groundwater flow. As such, understanding integrated hydrology is essential for holistic catchment management. Integrated models can assist in answering a variety of questions related to the conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water, impacts of land-use changes and urban development on water resources, as well as the effects of natural floodplain and wetland management on flood risks.

This free, self-paced course will introduce you to the basic concept of integrated modelling for water resources management using MIKE SHE. You will learn about the basic functions of MIKE SHE and see how it can help you tackle the most pressing water resource management challenges of today.


MIKE SHE is DHI’s globally leading software for physics-based integrated catchment modelling. It includes modules for surface water flow, 2D unsaturated flow and infiltration, evapotranspiration and 3D subsurface flow, as well as for advanced processes such as irrigation, drainage routing and snowmelt.

MIKE SHE is a versatile flexible modelling system covering the freshwater part of the hydrological cycle. It is coupled with DHI’s fully hydrodynamic river model MIKE HYDRO River. No other tool or combination of tools can match MIKE SHE in terms of seamless integration of all the important processes of the hydrological cycle.


Are you an engineer, hydrologist or hydrogeologist working with water planning, water management or water infrastructure? Are you interested in applying state-of-the-art tools to support holistic water-related decisions? Are you curious to learn how MIKE SHE can help you make better decisions? Do you need an overview of the MIKE SHE software and learn how to use the basic functions of MIKE SHE and MIKE HYDRO River? If yes, you will benefit from this free, self-paced course.


Upon completion of the course, you will be able to set up and run your very first model in MIKE SHE. You will have learnt:

  • To set up a model file, specify the domain, model period and computational parameters
  • To build the overland flow and sub-surface module setups
  • To completely parametrise the model (climate, land use, roughness, materials, and boundary conditions)
  • To run the model; and
  • To check the model results such as stream flows, groundwater head and water budgets


Each module includes videos and materials that you need for the model exercise. It will take you around two hours to complete the course at a time that fits your needs and requirements— and from the comfort of your own office, home or any location convenient for you.


Module 1 – Introduction
Software installation, introduction to MIKE SHE and exercise manual

Module 2 - Getting started
Introduction to exercise
Creating a new project

Module 3 – Model specifications and domain
Setting up overlays, selecting modules and model period
Specifying the model domain and topography

Module 4 – Climate and land use
Setting up the climate inputs and land use

Module 5 – Surface water and streamflow
Adding the MIKE HYDRO River streamflow model and setting up an overland flow

Module 6 – Unsaturated zone flow
Setting up the unsaturated zone module

Module 7 – Saturated zone flow
Setting up the saturated zone module

Module 8 – Output specifications
Specifying output options and calibration data

Module 9 – Model setup validation and results
Running the pre-processor, the water movement and inspecting the results

Module 10 – Assess the impact of abstraction
Adding an abstraction and re-running the model, comparing the groundwater head

Module 11 – Concluding remarks
Course summary, final remarks


MSc, Civil Engineering, Danish Technical University, Copenhagen, Denmark


Birgitte is a Chief Engineer in DHI’s Water Resources Department and is part of the global support team for MIKE SHE. She is an experienced senior hydrologist/hydrogeologist modeller with more than 20 years of experience in integrated surface water and groundwater resources management. Birgitte has extensive experience in hydrological modelling and groundwater modelling using various software packages. Her experiences include climate data analysis, assessment of the impacts of droughts/climate change on water resources and impacts of wetland restoration on water quality. Birgitte has managed a wide range of projects including groundwater modelling, climate change and drought management.

An authorised DHI trainer, Birgitte teaches groundwater modelling and integrated modelling to professionals worldwide.


  • Reliable internet connection of sufficient bandwidth
  • MIKE SHE installed on your laptop or computer. DHI demo version is sufficient for the material covered in this course.


  • Highlights of MIKE SHE here
  • MIKE HYDRO River Self-paced course here
  • THE ACADEMY Courses and Events Calendar - webinars
  • THE ACADEMY Courses and Events Calendar - online courses


Birgitte von Christierson -

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INVESTMENT Fee: No charge* Time commitment - approximately two hours in total, divided as follows: Self-study: eleven modules, combining online video lectures, demonstration videos, hands-on exercises and reading materials. Approximately two hours...

There is no description for this course

Course content

  • Lesson Module 1- Introduction
    • How to set the high quality of videos
    • How to download and install MIKE software
    • Video: Course Introduction