Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

How to Rebuild a Corrupted Project in SMS

Try as we might, we can’t always make everything go according to plan, and sometimes that can include files failing on us. Occasionally, files used in SMS become corrupted and can no longer function properly.

This can happen for a few reasons. A file may have been blocked from saving correctly by the computer’s system security. The save process may have terminated early. The project files may have been copied incorrectly. The project files may have been stored incorrectly. Or some other unknown error may have occurred.

Project load error

While the corrupted project file itself cannot be restored, the component pieces of the project can be reassembled in SMS and saved out as part of a new project file. Below is a list of the file types you will need to reassemble:

  • [project name].map: These are the Map Module coverages saved to the project. The model-specific boundary conditions will likely need to be entered again.
  • [project name]_meshes.h5: These are the meshes that were in the project for models that use a mesh. Load this before loading any of the datasets saved in the [project name]_datasets folder.
  • [project name]_grds.h5: These are the grids that were in the project for models that use a grid. Load this before loading any of the datasets saved in the [project name]_datasets folder.
  • [project name].h5: This contains scatter sets that were in the project.
  • Any GIS layers, such as rasters or shapefiles, will also need to be loaded again.

For ADCIRC models, use the following files to import the ADCIRC simulations:

  • Use the fort.14 or fort.15 files to import the mesh and create the simulation.
  • Also import solution files such as fort.63, fort.64, maxele.63, and maxvel.63 files.

For CMS-Flow, use the following files to import the CMS-Flow simulations:

  • Use the [project name].cmcards file to import the UGrid and create the CMS-Flow simulation.
  • To load solutions for the CMS-Flow simulation, import the [project name].h5 files.

For SRH-2D models, use the following files to import the SRH-2D simulations:

  • Reload SRH-2D simulations (including the coverages linked to them) by loading the SRHHYDRO file, found under the [project name]\SRH-2D\[simulation name] folder.
  • To load solutions for SRH-2D simulations that were already run, import the XMDF.h5 file from the same directory as the SRHHYDRO file.

For STWAVE models, use the following files to import the SRH-2D simulations:

  • Reload STWAVE simulations (including the coverages linked to them) by loading the [simulation name].sim file, found under the simulation folder.

It is strongly recommended that a thorough review of the project should be completed before you continue working with the rebuilt project.

When your files become corrupted, please contact Aquaveo Technical Support (support@aquaveo.com) to report the issue.

If you have issues with corrupted projects in SMS, try following some of these steps to fix them in SMS 13.1 today!

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Tips for Stochastic Modeling in GMS

Groundwater models often need to deal with a fair amount of uncertainty, especially when models have limited calibration data available to them. A stochastic modeling approach can be a useful option for dealing with this uncertainty by running a set of models to estimate the probability of certain outcomes, and GMS provides a few tools and methods to utilize this approach. This post will review some tips and tricks when it comes to stochastic modeling in GMS.

GMS provides three methods for stochastic modeling, using either MODFLOW 2000 or 2005. These are parameter zonation (which can be done either by a random sampling approach or a latin hypercube one), indicator simulations, and the Null Space Monte Carlo (NSMC) method.

Running a stochastic model

When parameterizing a model and identifying which model inputs need to be randomized, aim for parameters with the highest uncertainty. But make sure to not select too many parameters, as having too many selected will require substantially large numbers of model runs to complete to be able to sufficiently explore parameter combinations, and this may become unreasonable. Also make sure that when defining key values to parameter zones, you don’t use values expected to normally occur in MODFLOW input. Negative values typically can accomplish this.

When it comes to indicator simulations, T-PROGS software is generally used to generate either multiple material sets or multiple MODFLOW HUF input sets to be used for stochastic simulation. Keep in mind that only a maximum of five materials can be used with the T-PROGS algorithm. This is an intentionally imposed limitation to keep data processing and user-interface from becoming too complex. While it is a hard limit, it is generally easy to condense borehole data down to five materials or less.

Once the stochastic modeling results have been generated, you can refine the results, either with the Risk Analysis Wizard or by using the Statistical Analysis command on a stochastic folder. The latter will create datasets for the mean, min, max, and standard deviation, which can be visualized by using 3D grid display options.

More information on stochastic modeling in GMS can be found at the Aquaveo XMS Wiki or reviewing the GMS tutorials for stochastic modeling.

Try out using stochastic modeling in GMS today!

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Converting a Lidar File to a DEM in WMS

Do you have a lidar file that you would like to convert into a DEM file? WMS can help you with this. Lidar files can contain a large amount of 3D points used for representing features on the Earth’s surface. DEMs can be derived from high-resolution LIDAR data, and we have developed a workflow that can do this. This post will review how to convert LIDAR files to DEM files quickly and easily in WMS.

This can be done by using the following workflow:

  1. Use any of the methods to open files to import your lidar files into your WMS project.
  2. If you have more than one lidar file imported into the GIS module, select all of the separate files and then right-click one of them and select Merge… to open the Lidar File dialog where you can name and save your merged lidar file.
  3. After you have imported your lidar file, right-click it in the Project Explorer and select Interpolate to | Raster… to open the Interpolate Lidar to Raster dialog.
  4. Review the settings and click OK when they are all set correctly.
  5. Converting Lidar to Raster
  6. In the Raster File dialog, set the name and type for the raster file and then click Save to close the dialog and save the raster file.
  7. When done generating the raster and updating the display, right-click the new raster file in the GIS module and select Convert to | DEM to open the Resample and Export Raster dialog.
  8. Review the settings and click OK when they are all set correctly.
  9. You should now have a DEM file of the same area as your lidar files. Hide everything in the GIS module to view the DEM file on its own.

It should be noted that if you have multiple lidar files, you can convert each file individually rather than merging them all together as was done in Step 2. The merge makes the final product easier and quicker to accomplish.

Try out converting lidar files to DEMs in WMS today!

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Importing SHR-2D Native Files

Did someone send you files for an SRH-2D project but they are not part of an SMS project? You can import native SRH-2D files directly into SMS even when there is no associated SMS project file. This blog post will go into more detail as to how this is done.

First, make certain you have all of the SRH-2D files in the same directory. To review, the native SRH-2D input files include the following:

  • SRHGEOM: contains the mesh geometry
  • SRHHYDRO: contains the SHR-2D model control parameters
  • SRHMAT: contains the mesh material data
  • SRHSEDMAT: contains the sediment material properties
  • SRHMPOINT: contains monitor point data
  • XYS: contains any XY series data used in the project

After you have all of the needed files, you can import the SRH-2D project by opening the SRHHYDRO file. When opening the SRHHYDRO file, a warning message will appear letting you know that some data reorganization may occur.

Import SRH-2D native files warning

When importing the SRHHYDRO file, SMS will search the directory for other files related to the SRH-2D project. As long as the files are in the same directory and use the same naming convention, the SHR-2D project will be imported into SMS.

Solution files and other output files will need to be imported separately into SMS. This includes the XMFD.h5 file.

After importing the native project files, it is strongly recommended to review how the simulations have been set up in SMS. Check the boundary conditions and materials to make certain they imported correctly. Also, you may need to import certain input files, such as a restart file, separately to complete the simulation setup.

You may also need to clean up the project to make using it easier in SMS--this may include renaming items in the Project Explorer or adjusting the display. Also, it should be noted that SMS allows you to import multiple SRH-2D projects into the same SMS project.

Try out importing SRH-2D native files into SMS 13.1 today!

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Refining 3D Grids in GMS

It's common to need to refine part of a grid in your GMS project. For this reason, GMS provides a few tools and methods for refining parts of a grid. This post will review some of the options for refining 3D grids in GMS.

In general, when building a grid in GMS, you don’t want a grid that is too refined, as this will cause issues in the model run. You also do not want a grid that has cells that are too large to pick up vital information from key locations. To solve this, you can refine the grid in key locations.

When generating a 3D grid or unstructured grid (UGrid) from a map coverage, you can use refinement points to refine specific locations. Refinement points require setting the map coverage up to have the Refinement option turned on. Then create points on the map coverage and define those points as refinement points. When converting the map coverage to a grid, the grid will be refined in the area of the points.

Defining a Refine Point in GMS

With an existing 3D grid, IJK boundaries can be added into the grid to refine an area. You can do this by using the Select i, Select j, or Select k tools to select a row, column, or layer, then right-click and select the Redistribute command. In addition, you can use the Grid | Redistribute layers command to redistribute layers.

If you have an existing UGrid, you can quickly refine the grid on a cell-by-cell basis. You do this by selecting a cell, then right-clicking and selecting the Refine cell command.

The above techniques work well for refining a small area of the grid or when refining grids that are not complex. Again, it is not recommended to overly refine a grid as this often causes issues to appear during the model run. If you do need to refine a large area of the grid, it is recommended to use a child grid.

Try out using the grid refinement tools in GMS today!

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New Features to Check Out in WMS 11.1

Aquaveo is pleased to announce the release of the Watershed Modeling System 11.1 Beta! With this release, WMS contains changes and improvements to some of the features. If you have already downloaded WMS 11.1 beta, you might have already noticed some of the changes. We'd like to highlight a sampling of some of the new functionality you can expect to find in WMS 11.1.

GIS Module

A lot of the GIS module functionality has been made to perform faster. This includes performing GIS parameter computations directly from shapefiles, performing shapefile to feature object conversion, and displaying large raster files. Also added the GIS module, through the new Online Maps feature, there has been an addition of Web-based Google tile map services that can be displayed as background maps. Improvements have also been made to the list of many potential online sources that can be used as data sources for the online maps. There have also been changes to the display and operations on images and raster files of various types.

Raster of West Virginia
GSSHA

The capabilities of GSSHA model implementation have been expanded within this new release. These include the ability to view multiple scenario hydrographs in a GSSHA solution and the added capability to run calibration on Richard's Equation parameters within GSSHA.

Map Data Module

More options have also been extended when it comes to the Map Data module. A new Extract Features tool allows users to directly convert raster data to stream and ridge/embankment centerlines. In addition to new tools, the Map flood tool has added an option to use local shapefiles that can be used when web service data are not available, where those shapefiles can be used for Base Flood Elevations and floodplain boundary polygons.

These are just a few of the new features in the WMS 11.1 Beta. Try out these features and more by downloading the WMS 11.1 Beta today!

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Reintroducing HEC-RAS 1D in SMS

Earlier versions of SMS allowed modeling HEC-RAS 1D models. HEC-RAS 1D is used for performing water quality analysis. Though once part of SMS, it was removed because it was supported by Aquaveo's Watershed Modeling Software (WMS). However, with the inclusion of HEC-RAS 2D, the interface for HEC-RAS 1D has been restored into SMS 13.1.

Using HEC-RAS 1D in SMS primarily makes use of the 1D hydraulic centerline coverage and the 1D hydraulic cross section coverages. It also makes use of the material coverages, with the added bonus of now being able to use SRH-2D material coverages. Once you have defined the materials, centerline and cross sections in your project, you can switch to the 1D Module. The 1D Module has also been reintroduced in SMS 13.1.

Example of HEC-RAS 1D in SMS

Once in the 1D Module, you can access the HEC-RAS 1D menu where you can find the HEC-RAS 1D materials and model control. SMS allows you to select the material coverage to use for HEC-RAS 1D, and then assign that material coverage to the HEC-RAS 1D model. After you have set up your HEC-RAS 1D model in SMS, you can export a project file to use in HEC-RAS.

With HEC-RAS 1D in SMS, you can take advantage of all the tools offered in SMS to build your HEC-RAS 1D project. This includes tools to extract cross sections and centerlines from imported data or existing projects. SMS's editing tools can also be used to adjust the centerline or cross section before importing the project into HEC-RAS. Furthermore, SMS allows you to use profile plots and the various viewing options to review your cross sectional data. It is recommended that you review your HEC-RAS 1D project in SMS before exporting the project file.

HEC-RAS and SMS together increase your water modeling options. Try out using the reintroduced HEC-RAS 1D in SMS 13.1 today!

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Importing Older Projects into GMS

Do you have an older GMS project that you need to open in the current version of GMS? Maybe you want to bring an older project into a newer version of GMS so you can make use of new features that have been added to GMS. Working with older projects can sometimes be tricky. Older versions of GMS are no longer supported and will break down over time. This article will explain more about why this happens and what can be done to get your older projects into a current version of GMS.

Generally speaking, GMS rarely has problems opening projects that are only a few years old. For example, the current version of GMS is version 10.5. Projects created in versions as far back as GMS 10.0 or 10.1 are likely to open without any issues For projects that are older, for example, projects that were created more than ten years ago, some issues may occur.

Over time, changes to the GMS interface, changes to the Windows operating system, and other factors may cause your project to not open in a current version of GMS. Also, how the data files were stored may cause the data to be unreadable.

When you have an older project that has failed to import into GMS, you can try a couple methods to get it into the current version of GMS.

Error opening an older project in GMS 10.5

The first method is to migrate the project through different GMS versions. This is done by opening the project through consecutively more recent versions of GMS. For example, if your project was originally built in GMS 8.1 and does not open in GMS 10.5, you could start by opening the project in GMS 9.0, and then saving the project if it imports correctly. After this, try opening the project in GMS 10.0 and saving the project again. Finally, see if the project opens in GMS 10.5 and save it. While doing this stepping process, review the project to make certain it remained intact. Some corrections are likely needed because of how the migration process functions.

Aquaveo’s technical support team can help you obtain older versions of the software if you have a current license.

The second method is to rebuild the project in the current version of GMS using files from the original project. For MODFLOW projects, this is done by importing the native MODFLOW files. GMS can also read the MODFLOW files that are exported by GMS. You also may need to import individual files, such as the map files or grid files. Using this method you may not get everything out of the older project, but should be able to obtain enough to create a complete, working project.

If you need additional help with importing an older project into the current version of GMS or any of our software, contact our consulting team for assistance.

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Using the Time Series Editor

Do you have an older text file that is in a format that isn’t quite right for your project? Reformatting an older file can be time consuming. Using a time series editor or similar tool can make reformatting the text easier. Provided with WMS is the Time Series Data Editor application.

Using the Time Series Data Editor allows you to reformat files that are not correctly formatted. To do this, the application provides a number of tools. First off, the application can be used for both time series data and XY series data. Once the time series or XY series data file has been imported into the Time Series Data Editor, the application allows you to adjust how the text file is formatted.

For example, perhaps the text file has been formatted using a time stamp where the date is written without a space between the day, month, and year making all three a single column. The Time Series Data Editor allows you to separate out this date format into separate columns

When importing the files into the Time Series Data Editor application, you can select to import using a fixed width or using a delimiter such as a tab or space.

Once you've imported your data, the Time Series Data Editor will display a graph of the data. From here, if necessary, you can make adjustments to individual points in the data.

Time Series Data Editor example

The Time Series Data Editor also allows you to generate either time series or XY series data from scratch.

After you are satisfied with how the data appears, the Time Series Data Editor allows you to export the data into a number of different formats.

While the Time Series Data Editor is packaged with WMS, it can also prove useful for data that needs to be formatted for GMS, SMS, or other applications. Download the Time Series Data Editor with WMS today!

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New Project Explorer Commands for SMS 13.1

With the release of SMS 13.1, you might have noticed a few new commands in the Project Explorer right-click menus. The Project Explorer, or data tree, in SMS contains a list of modules and objects that have either been imported into the project or created in the project. Right-clicking on any of these objects will produce a number of commands to perform specific functions or launch certain tools.

Over the development of SMS, the number and type of commands in the Project Explorer have fluctuated. Changes are made to enhance the use of SMS. With SMS 13.1, new commands can be found when clicking on the Project icon at the top of the Project Explorer.

Project Explorer Right-Click Menu for Projects

In this new right-click menu, you will find several commands that have become common in other Project Explorer right-click menus. These include a New Simulation sub-menu and a Projections command. The Projections command will open the Display Projections dialog to set the projections for the entire project. There is also an Open Project Folder command that will open a file explorer window to show the location of the saved project. A Properties command has been added to see details about the project, and contains a place to make notes about the overall project.

These commands also include collapsing or expanding all of the objects in the project. For the Project menu, this would collapse all of the items so only the Project icon is shown, or expand the data tree to show all objects in the project. There are also commands to toggle off or on all data in the project.

Finally, there is a new command, the Save as CAD command. This command will allow you to save a CAD file that contains CAD data generated from all visible data in the Graphics Window.

The new right-click menu commands give you more options for working with data in the Project Explorer. Try this out in SMS 13.1 today!

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