Release Note 2016



Welcome to FEFLOW 7.0 within MIKE 2016. In this Release Note, you will find information about new features of FEFLOW, and what you need to know in order to install and get started with Release 2016.

Groundwater projects are becoming more and more demanding - requiring modelling software with more sophisticated capabilities than ever before. FEFLOW provides best-in-class technology for groundwater flow, contaminant, groundwater age and heat-transport simulations. With its efficient user interface and its yet unmatched range of functionality, FEFLOW has become a standard in premium groundwater modelling over the last 35 years.

System requirements

The recommended minimum system requirements are:

Operating systems

Fully supported operating systems *
Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1 (32 and 64 bit), Windows 8.1 Pro (64 bit), Windows 10 Pro (64 bit) and Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard (64 bit).

Non-supported but partially tested operating systems **
Windows 8.1 Pro (32 bit), Windows 10 Pro (32 bit) and Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Service Pack 1 (64 bit).
Note that Release 2016 is the last release supporting 32 bit operating systems.

Processor x86 or x64, 2.2 GHz (or higher)
Memory (RAM) 2 GB (or higher)
Hard disk 40 GB (or higher)
Monitor SVGA, resolution 1024x768 in 16 bit colour
Graphics adapter 64 MB RAM (256 MB RAM or higher recommended), 24 bit true colour
Software requirements .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and .NET Framework 4.0 (Full Profile)

* Fully supported operational systems are systems that have been tested in accordance with MIKE Quality Assurance procedures and where warranty and software maintenance agreement conditions apply.

** Non-supported but partially tested operating systems are systems, which are not officially supported by the MIKE software products. These operating systems have only undergone very limited testing for the purpose of MIKE software, but the software and key features are likely to work. Installation of MIKE software on a non-supported operating system is done so at the user's own risk. The MIKE software warranty and software maintenance agreement conditions do not apply for unsupported operating systems and DHI is under no obligation to provide assistance or troubleshooting for cases where the software is being used on a non-supported operating system.

Please note that Personal licences cannot be used on server operating systems suitable for simultaneous access of more than one client computer. They also cannot be used for remote-desktop sessions on single-user operating systems.


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To install FEFLOW, please choose FEFLOW in the ‘MIKE Setup’ dialogue box that appears when inserting the MIKE 2016 USB and clicking the Setup.exe or executing the Setup.exe file from the downloaded installation files. Press the ‘Install’ button to begin installation.

To start the FEFLOW installation, please click on 'FEFLOW Program Files'. It is recommended to allow the setup programme to check for the latest patch on the MIKE Powered by DHI website to avoid any known and already fixed bugs. Detailed guidelines on the necessary installation steps are provided here.

All necessary FEFLOW files and folders will be installed on your PC. Additionally, a FEFLOW entry in the Start menu is created, containing links to FEFLOW itself and some supporting programs.

To use FEFLOW in licenced mode, you also need to install the license manager NetLM on your PC or on a licence server. To start the installation, please click on 'License-Manager NetLM' in the FEFLOW installer.

Licence file and dongle

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The software licence can be retrieved through your local office.

To install the licence, please follow the installation guidelines provided with the installation.

Product invocation

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To start FEFLOW, double click on the FEFLOW 7.0 icon on your desktop, or launch FEFLOW from the Windows Start menu and select the program you would like to start. Typically, this will be 'FEFLOW Standard (64-bit)' or the free viewer 'FEFLOW Viewer (64-bit)'.

Starting FEFLOW without a valid licence, it is recommended to switch to demo mode via Tools - License Setup in the main menu. This mode is indicated by the word 'DEMO' in the header of the FEFLOW application window. Running in demo mode, file loading and saving is limited to 2500 nodes.


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If you experience any difficulties, or if you have any questions, you can contact Client Care by mail, e-mail, phone or fax:

Client Care
Agern Allé 5
DK-2970 Hørsholm

Tel: +45 4516 9333
Fax: +45 4516 9292

Or you can find your local Client Care with support in your local language here.

New features

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Every new release of FEFLOW consists of new features or corrections to problems or significant inconsistencies discovered in previous releases. Please find short descriptions of the most significant news in Release 2016 below.



New feature

Unstructured / partically unstructured mesh in 3D

By giving you the ability to use layered, partially unstructured, or fully unstructured meshes in 3D, FEFLOW provides a new level of geometrical flexibility:

  • easier setup for groundwater models in demanding geological settings, including layer pinch-outs
  • new meshing options especially helpful for precisely mapping inclined boreholes or other underground structures
  • more computationally efficient solutions due to lower total number of calculation nodes.
Anisotropy of dispersivity

Classically using a Bear-Scheidegger dispersion approach for both transport and random-walk particle tracking, distinguishing only between longitudinal and transverse directions, FEFLOW now provides the additional option to specify directional anisotropy (axis-parallel, layer-parallel, or user-defined) for the dispersivity.

This can be a game-changer, especially in cases with thin aquitard layers—for example when simulating salt-water intrusion in quaternary coastal aquifers.

Descriptive statistics

In order to better analyse mesh quality, model input data and simulation results, FEFLOW now allows to calculate and graphically display descriptive statistics for most parameters. It is possible to show a histogram or a percentile curve for either a subset of nodes or elements or the whole mesh, and for the entire data range or only a selected interval.

Control-volume finite element method

As an alternative to the classic Galerkin method, FEFLOW now provides the option to use the Control-Volume Finite Element (CVFE) method for unsaturated or variably saturated flow. The application of this combination of the Finite-Element and Finite-Volume approaches in many cases provides a higher level of model stability, faster convergence, and a better mass balance.

Mixed triangular-/quad meshing

In addition to unstructured meshing in the third dimension, FEFLOW now handles mixed triangular/quad meshes. This new option can improve model stability and may help cutting down on run times.

Auxiliary parameters

New auxiliary parameters allow to directly show fluid Density, the Condition Number (as a measure for mesh quality), the Elemental Volume and the Dihedral Angles of tetrahedral elements in unstructured meshes.

... and much more

Aside from these major new features, there are numerous smaller improvements. A full list can be found in the FEFLOW help system that is started by hitting <F1> when running FEFLOW or the FEFLOW Viewer.

Known defects and workarounds

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No known defects or workarounds.

Fixed issues


^ topRelevance rating:
Low: Workarounds possible
Medium: Problem is visible to user. No workarounds.
High: Potentially unnoticed. Model properties and/or results altered.

Update 7.0.10

Released 17 March 2017

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
High Crash after activating Multilayer Wells. Bug appeared only in FEFLOW Essentials License conflict with Edge based features removed
High Only the first slice has been transformed using the Affine Transformation tool Slices inheritance introduced
High No heat budget returned when source/sink for fluid is used Slices inheritance introduced
High Crash driven by flux BCs with gaps and constraint Neglecting constraints in matrix profiling
High FEFLOW crashes when loading higher-order elements Display of high order support introduced
Medium Hydraulic History and Observation Point export do not match Interpolation re-initialized
Medium Graphic element edge diplay in Cross-Section View Plane/element intersection when comparing intersection points set to unity
Medium Tranformation source and target cannot be selected List of tranformation source and target filled
Medium Wrong DFE assignment with smesh files Spatial identification fixed
Medium Absent vertical hand-off in assignment of source/sink by parameter expression on inactive elements Source/sink now is set to the first available active element/layer (vertical)
Low Failed to write the macro file if FEM problem has not been saved. A proper error message is provided now.
Low Crash during importing 2D mesh if polygons are duplicated Software crash is avoid by simply omitting polygon overlapping.
Low No access to Expression Distribution Fix in pointer
Low Low performance in 3D interpolation Interpolation routine has been parallelized
Low IFMGetElementalContent()does not return content List is filled with elemental content
Low No assignment of Borehole Heat Exchangers and Multilayer Wells Conflict with other type of boundary conditions is removed
Low Vertices do not snap to map polygons Snapping input map is kept persistent
Low PEST Utilities in 32 bit are used when installing the 64 bit version 64 bit executables replaced by 32 bit executables
Low Performance issue in assignment of elemental data. Slow execution. Validated selection-set pre-allocation
Low Issue in Python scripting "find node/value at X,Y" concerning node number in FEFLOW Determination point
Low Python, case-sensitive/insensitive issue in name-comparison This problem has been now fixed
Low Wrong default reference value for density Reference value has been set to 999793 [g/m3]

Update 7.0.09

Released 17 November 2016

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Low Dialogs of BHE Dataset and BHE Interconnector Editor were not accesible in fully -unstructured 3D meshes Access to these dialogs has been now provided.
Low Expression not properly evaluated in a source/sink parameter for layers different than the first one. The functionality of an expression for this parameter is now working for the entire model domain.
Low Crashes occured by partially remeshing of models with BHEs. This problem has been now fixed.
Low Incorrect display of mesh edges in the cross-sectional view for partially-unstructured models. Display has been corrected.
Low Quick import for Multilayer Wells was not supported. The assignment via Quick Import for this parameter has been now implemented.

Update 7.0.08

Released 14 October 2016

New functionality

Sector Item Description
3D Layer Configurator Delete elements below certain threshold element thickness. A method for pinching out thin elements with less than certain element thickness has been implemented. For those candidate elements, this option collapses automatically their thickness. A typical application is the elimination of numerical layers used for layer continuity in FEFLOW versions previous to 7.0.
Boundary conditions and numerical calculations Improvement on the handling of the 3rd-type flow boundary condition with minimum and/or maximum hydraulic-head constraints When the reference head (boundary value) becomes lower than the minimum hydraulic -head constraint, the boundary flux is set to zero.

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Medium Not possible the selection of mesh edges with map files. Selection by map file has been corrected.
Medium Wrong evaluation of the minimum hydraulic head constraint for third-type boundary condition. Additional evaluation for this boundary configuration has been implemented.
Medium Wrong assignment of Multilayer Wells. Identification of top and bottom nodes fixed.
Medium Crash after activating the nodal expression distribution. Enabling the support for unstructured meshes activated.
Medium Changing the properties of Discrete Features of type arbitrary node path not possible. This workflow has been corrected.
Medium Crash after activating the selection of Discrete Features of type arbritrary node path. Activation of discreate feature is properly done now.
Medium No features selected by using Select by Map Line within a snapping distance of 0.1 m. Selection operation has been corrected.
Medium Crash after saving Supermesh. Internal topology re-ordered.
Medium Cannot load Supermesh. Internal topology re-ordered.
Low Parameter association based on node number was not possible. The assignment operation with map files has been corrected.
Low Incorrect display of the error bars in the scatter plot chart. Error bars are not displayed anymore if the confidence interval is undefined.
Low Slice distance and layer thickness was not updated after modifications of model elevation. This visualization problem has been fixed.
Low Wrong FEFLOW Support e-mail address listed in the About Window. Wrong address replaced by new address.
Low Enforcing a minimum distance between slices failed by using a macro in the 3D Layer. Reparation routine fixed.
Low Crash after converting map points to Supermesh points from MS Access database. Reading routine of point reperaired.
Low Macro recording does not take interpolation settings into account. Recording of interpolation settings added.
Low Manual selection based on map geometries was not possible. Restriction re-added to feature map identification.
Low Flip Edges function are not working with a snapping distance of 0 m. Dependency on snapping distance deactivated.
Low Import of Excel data with a point delimiter in the column was not possible. Column indexing re-organized.

Update 7.0.07

Released 9 September 2016

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Medium Lack of control on min/max evaluation of the primary solution with inactive elements New controls on min/max evaluation of the primary solution with inactive elements are
Medium Current selection ID of IFM selection functions are constantly 0. Constant IFM current selection ID is replaced by variable current selection ID
Medium Budget differences between Rate budget panel and budget -history charts in DAC files due to incomplete information in result file. This mismatch of budget results has been fixed by assuring all results are properly saved in the DAC files.
Low Not able to load DAC files with large number of Supermesh elements. The loading operation has been reviewed.
Low Error importing 2D mesh (element overlapping) Overlapping was fixed.
Low Incorrect sorting of parameters in FePEST definitions Sorting functionality in FePEST tables has been fixed.
Low Crash produced during exporting of boundary conditions in unstructured meshes Export operation has been fixed.
Low Deactivated FePEST tied parameters were not removed from the PEST files. This bug has been fixed.

Update 7.0.06

Released 18 July 2016

New functionality

Sector Item Description
Map support STL map support Support of STL (STereoLithography) file format (*.stl) as 3D maps and for 3D supermesh import

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Medium Coordinate origin is located to 0 m in ASCII fem files Coordinate origin is correctly represented in ASCII fem files
Medium Injecting water by a Well BC or Fluid-flux BC without any mass-transport BC and adopting the divergent formulation of the mass transport equation results into a wrong mass solution and wro ng budgets Mass solution and mass budgets are fixed
Medium Layer 1 is not refined after mesh has been refined within a Slice other than Slice 1 Slice 1 is also refined after mesh has been refined within a Slice other than Slice 1
Medium Discrete Features of type arbitrary node paths are ignored if inactive elements are present Discrete Features of type arbitrary node paths are considered if inactive elements are present
Medium Crash after converting a large number of line shapefiles to the 2D Supermesh Update function for meshing panel added
Low Nodal rate budget of the Data panel is not correctly displayed Nodal rate budget of the Data panel is fixed
Low 1D Discrete Features of type Arbitrary Node Path not correctly assigned Assignment of 1D Discrete Feature (type Arbitrary Node Path) is fixed
Low Crash after moving two or more maps within the Maps panel Moving two or more maps within the Maps panel is now possible
Low View in BHE Dataset Editor not updated after deleting BHE dataset View in BHE Dataset Editor updated after deleting BHE dataset
Low Opening multiple Choose Maps dialogues was possible The number of possible open Choose Maps dialogues is reduced to one
Low The layer configurator fails with time-varying material data Layer configurator fixed when time-varying material data are used
Low Freezing when double-clicking on Supermesh item Fix of event handling
Low Undo operation does not return previous selection set (before meshing) Notification for mesh operation added
Low Legend of the element volumes (User Data) not updated after undo refinement Notification added
Low Crash after triangulating quads Discrete feature refinement fixed
Low Relative permeability is shown for inactive elements Hide relative permeability for inactive elements
Low Undo operation for smoothing failed Notification for elevation change added
Low Delay after drag & drop a large number of selections from the Selection panel to the Serialisation of location set data improved

Update 7.0.05

Released 27 May 2016

New functionality

Sector Item Description
Map support OBJ map support Support of Wavefront object file format (*.obj) as 3D maps and for 3D supermesh import
Map support OFF map support Support of Object File Format (*.off) as 3D maps and for 3D supermesh import

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Medium IFM operations in callbacks OnEditDocument and OnActivate were ignored. The respective callbacks are considered correctly again.
Medium Crash when drawing nodal Darcy velocity in a Slice-Data Trace View. Fixing drawing of Darcy velocities. Additionally Auxiliary Data parameters are enabled in Slice-Data Trace Views.
Low Drawing of overlapping Supermesh elements tolerated in some cases Improvement of supermesh overlap check
Low Darcy velocity in bullet style not plotted in Cross Section Views Darcy flux (nodal) is now properly displayed.
Low Flow Per Layer atrribute of the Multilayer Well was not correctly displayed. Display of Flow Per Layer fixed
Low Labels of maps in some cases were not correctly displayed in 3D Views. Display of labels has been fixed.
Low Overlapping of supermesh polygons was not recognized during map file importing. An overlap check has been implemented.
Low Low performance issue using the Mesh Inspector in case CAD files were visible in the view. Performance has been improved.
Low Invalid assignment of BHE using elevation and depth information. The assignment has been fixed.
Low API function getResultsFlowHeadValueAtXYSlice did not return the correct output in Linux Function has been corrected.

Update 7.0.04

Released 21 April 2016

New functionality

Sector Item Description
Graphical interface and Supermesh New shortcuts for the edition of the Supermesh Four shortcuts are now available with any active selection tool (Select in Rectangular Region, Select Using Lasso and Select in Polygonal Region): <F3> Join selected Supermesh Polygons, <F5> Select all Supermesh Polygons, <F6> Select all Supermesh Lines and <F7> Select all Supermesh Points.
FePEST Run options: Major improvements in deploying data between client and server User can now decide to upload all the files or only those ones modified to the sever, and whether or not the FEM file should be encrypted. Moreover there is the option to compress all the files to a single archive before uploading. User can also decide to delete the files before run and after completion.
FePEST Run options: User-defined configuration for writing PEST files In the Run dialog, the user can now decide to recreate all the PEST file (new start), or only recreate the files required by PLPROC for pilot point interpolation or recalculate the Jacobian matrix.

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Medium Non-positive determinant in discrete feature elements This has been fixed by reordering the indexes of the discrete features
Medium Several crashes driven by remeshing entirely or partially the model domain Meshing workflows are now more robust to avoid these exceptions
Medium Tetrahedral mesh generator terminates in the case of map point add-ins is exactly coinciding with the facets of the hull. All these points are now discarded to assure proper meshing.
Medium Self-intersection during meshing process occured by the overlapping of face selections and the vertical model hull. Meshing process now discards the facets, which could be duplicated by the vertical hull definition.
Low User-defined horizon classes in the 3D Layer Configurator were not saved Now this information is saved in the FEM file
Low The information of the coordinate origin was lost after user modifications. The coordinate system information is now properly stored in the FEM file.
Low Incorrect display of Multilayer Wells geometry for fully-unstructured meshes Geometry attribute of Multilayer Wells is now correctly shown in the 3D View.
Low Labels had an incorrect naming for the Rate Budget and Period Budget parameters associated to Age species in the views. Labels are now corrected.
Low Not all the complete information of the view settings was stored during the export operation. Import and export of view settings have been reviewed.
Low Slice selection in the 3D Layer Configurator was not shown under certain configurations. Slices highlighted in the Slice column are now always selected in the 3D View of the 3D Layer Configurator.
Low Supermesh add-ins were not visible in the view after resizing the window. The display of supermesh geometries is now correct.
Low Error was returned by function QueryMultiLayerWellInfo in Python interface. The function has been now fixed and adequated to the Python interface.
Low The display of the Peclet and Courant numbers in the active view took relatively long time. Improvements on the display of Peclet and Courant numbers
Low Non optimal performance for mesh refinement in case of large number of Multilayer Wells The performance for refinement of a triangular mesh under these circunstances has been improved.
Low Vertical hull stored after element remeshing in the 3D Layer Configurator was incompleted for cases of local remeshing only. Now it is assured to store all the parts of the vertical hull.
Low Inconsistences in the export of information as ESRI shape files. Orientation of the polygons has been fixed to clock-wise direction.

Update 7.0.03

Released 18 March 2016

New functionality

Sector Item Description
Graphical interface and parameter assignment In/outflow on top/bottom (IOFLOW) parameter supported for any type of mesh (partially or fully unstructured) For non-layered meshes, top or bottom faces are identified by their orientation with respect to the horizontal X -Y plane (taken as reference to define which faces are top and which are bottom). Boundary faces of elements having non -zero IOFLOW coefficients are analyzed and if they appear to be perpendicular to the X-Y plane (at the 1% angular threshold limit) they are consider to be "vertical" and are thus not accounted for. If not, they a re or top or bottom faces and integration of the IOFLOW is performed.
Default settings Derivative calculation for the evaluation of the capacity term in unsaturated flow Default has been changed from 'Chord-slope scheme' to 'Analytic Derivative', hereby avoiding unnecessary budget errors.
Internal Spatial tree for older files now generated at loading a file FEFLOW internally uses a spatial tree for addressing different geometrical features. Its format has been changed between versions 6.2 and 7.0, so that when using older files, the spatial tree has to be created from scratch. This is now done when loading the fem or dac file rather than when the tree is needed for the first time. This change leads to a longer load time of such files, but avoids the misimpression that FEFLOW is stuck at certain operations that require the spatial tree. To improve performance for future file loading, it is recommended to convert older models to FEFLOW 7.0 format.

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Medium Invalid top and bottom node definition for Multilayer Wells and Borehole Heat Exchangers in partially/fully unstructured meshes Multilayer Wells and Borehole Heat Exchangers are oriented according to elevation of the two ends of the edge path (MLW: Pump at lower node,
Medium Incompatibility issue for Supermesh files in versions prior to 7.0 The meshing panel now properly identifies and handles previous supermesh file formats.
Medium Bookkeeping of information after remeshing was not always carried out properly Fixed in new TetGen version (1.5.1b)
Medium Backward compatibility issue with Discrete Features Proper loading of Discrete Features from version 6.2 files into FEFLOW 7.0 implemented.
Medium Changing the distance between two consecutive slices could move fixed slices Now the level of movability between two slices defines the candidate slice to be moved. If equal, the lower slice is moved.
Medium Random crashes in specific graphics drivers at certain operations (video export, closing of view windows, ...) Release of OpenGL objects from memory improved
Medium Storing of face and element selection sets after remeshing using the 3D Layer Configurator was not complete. Now all previous slice and group interfaces are stored in the Selections panel.
Medium Crash after deletion of specific Discrete Features Fixed
Medium Random direction definition for Multilayer Wells and Borehole Heat Exchangers in models with partially or fully unstructured mesh In meshes (or re-meshed parts) generated with version 7.03 and higer, the end node with the higher elevation is now taken as top, the one with the lower elevation as bottom.
Low Intersection of line map with mesh elements for tetrahedral meshing not done correctly when an option other than 'Select elements' is active in the Selection toolbar. Change of internal handling of non-visible element selections.
Low Common properties in the IFM template for Visual Studio link to FEFLOW 6.2 Links are now associated with the new installation path.
Low Crash by importing specific GoCAD surface files (*.ts) Import of *.ts files fixed
Low The elevation column in the 3D Layer configurator was not properly updated after assignment of new values. Automatic update is now done immediately after any elevation change (via map or manual assignment).
Low Selections were not always properly book-kept when new slices were introduced. The region defined by the selection is now preserved.
Low Wrong data range when plotting rate budget spheres in 2D models Internal unit conversion fixed
Low Masked boundary (Subdomain Rate Budget Panel) cannot be added to view in 2D models Separate implementation for 2D Masked Boundary added
Low Edge selections not shown in Slice view Fixed
Low Spatial unit that a parameter is plotted to not shown in View Components panel for Slice Spatial unit added to View Components for Slice views
Low It was not possible to save the results in DAC nor DAR files using the Python interface in doc.startSimulator() The saving functionality has been corrected in the Python interface
Low No proper location preview in the Multilayer Well Editor for non-vertical Multilayer Wells, especially in unstructured meshes. The projection of the selected edges used for the assignment is now plotted.
Low Removal of Multilayer Wells assigned using maps and parameter association was impossible. The fix ensures correct operation
Low Incorrect conversion of selection sets from nodes to join faces Conversion of selection sets in different topologies fixed.
Low Performance issue when converting triangular meshes to quad/hex-dominant meshes Speed significantly improved

Update 7.0.02

Released 22 January 2016

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Low Assignment of Discrete Features not ending up in the selected edges/faces. Corrections in the assignment of Discrete Features
Low Several minor issues related to the fluid density parameter (e.g., unit) Parameter display has been corrected by handling of negative concentration and new unit types were added.
Low Error in the book-keeping of nodal selections used in the Meshing panel Existing nodal selections used in the Meshing panel are now kept throughout the entire meshing process and delivered back
Low Scientific notation in the Meshing panel not supported All relevant input fields in the Meshing panel now support scientific notation.
Low DAC files containing Borehole Heat Exchangers cannot be opened. Proper handling of BHEs when opening DAC file

Update 7.0.01

Released 12 December 2015

Fixed issues

Relevance Problem Solution
Medium Assignment of Multilayer Wells from maps failed with 'Unknown topology element type' message. Assignment of Multilayer Wells from maps fixed
Low Crash at export of Discrete Features from model with partially/fully unstructured mesh Export of all types of Discrete Features repaired
Low Failures loading map files with special characters Unicode support fixed
Low Crash while deleting supermesh elements under certain circumstances. The fix ensures correct handling of supermesh elements
MIKE Powered by DHI - Agern Allé 5 - DK-2970 Hørsholm, Denmark - Tel: +45 4516 9200, Fax: +45 4516 9292
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