Overview of QGIS 3.16 LTR and QGIS 3.18 Mesh Features

JANUARY 20, 2021 crayfish mdal news qgis

QGIS Mesh Layer now support DHI dfsu and HECRAS 6.0 format.

The releases of QGIS 3.16 LTR/QGIS 3.18, MDAL 0.8.0 and Crayfish 3.5.0 are planned for 19 February 2021. We are delighted to present the following improvements for the upcoming releases:

  • In-memory mesh datasets with persistence
  • Multi identify tool for mesh
  • Virtual dataset groups for mesh layer
  • 3D Mesh Layer Bug Fixes and speed optimizations
  • DHI’s dfsu format support (QGIS 3.18 only)
  • HECRAS 6.0 format support

If you’d like try the latest features, you can always install QGIS nightlies/master, which comes with all the latest features described in this blog post.

If you want to learn more about Mesh Layer in QGIS, read more here…

Mesh Calculator and Layer Improvements

The Virtual dataset groups for mesh layer and In-memory mesh datasets with persistence improvements greatly improves the workflows when using the Mesh Calculator in QGIS. Users can store the intermediate results into virtual layers that are recalculated on the fly (similarly to QGIS expressions for vector layers). The layers can be later persisted to any supported MDAL formats with write capabilities.

Multi identify tool for mesh feature allows to browse the temporal mesh data in more intuitive way and includes the extra information about the Mesh datasets loaded.

These features were sponsored by Artelia Group.

DHI’s dfsu format support

MDAL 0.8.0 supports loading of the external drivers. A first driver, available on Windows QGIS 3.18 only, is popular DFSU format by DHI, which is used to store MIKE 21 output results.

You can see how to configure and use QGIS to work with DFSU format on the DHI’s YouTube channel

Special thanks to the sponsor DHI this feature.


We have added the following new features to QGIS to convert between mesh and vector/raster:

  • TIN Mesh creation
  • Ported most of the processing algorithms from Crayfish to QGIS core
  • 3D rendering improvements
  • Many Mesh Layer bugfixes


  • Support for external drivers.
  • Fixed HECRAS vector datasets support
  • Packaging in conda


  • Fixed SAGA flow direction support
  • Fixed FFMPEG download link
  • Ported most of the processing algorithms from Crayfish to QGIS core

You may also like...

Mergin Maps, a field data collection app based on QGIS. Mergin Maps makes field work easy with its simple interface and cloud-based sync. Available on Android, iOS and Windows. Screenshots of the Mergin Maps Input App for Field Data Collection
Get it on Google Play Get it on Apple store

Posted by Peter Petrik, Saber Razmjooei