Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

How SRH-2D and HY-8 Work Together

SMS allows using HY-8 to create culverts in SRH-2D models. HY-8 was created to model culvert profiles. When SRH-2D was being developed, structure boundary conditions were allowed to be linked HY-8 culverts to SRH-2D. Doing this permits SMS to make use of the more robust tools of HY-8 when designing culverts.

When designing a culvert for an SRH-2D model in SMS 13.0:

  1. Right-click on the SRH-2D BC coverage and open the HY-8 Options dialog.
  2. From the dialog, create the HY-8 file for the project.
  3. On the SRH-2D BC coverage, create two arcs for the culvert: one for the inlet side of the culvert and one for the outlet side.
  4. Select both arcs and open the SRH-2D Linear BC dialog.
  5. In the dialog, select the Culvert HY-8 option and launch HY-8 to connect the HY-8 file.
  6. In HY-8 design your culvert.
HY-8 with SRH-2D

There are a few items to keep in mind when creating your culvert:

  • Pay attention to where the culvert is located and how it snaps to the mesh in SMS. Designing your culvert for a location that doesn’t match up with your culvert is designed in HY-8 can cause discrepancies. Also, it helps to have the inflow entering the culvert at as close to a 90 degree angle as possible.
  • Note that the crest length for constant elevation roadway profiles is the length between embankments.
  • After the initial model run, the inflow values to the culvert may need to be adjusted and calibrated. If SRH-2D is showing lower or higher flow values, adjust the values in HY-8 as needed.
  • Using a monitor line at the inlet or outlet side of the culvert. The results of the monitor lines may be different than what HY-8 reports. Use this difference to calibrate the model.
  • 2D mesh elements are disabled between the culvert arcs during the model.

HY-8 makes a great addition to SRH-2D in SMS. HY-8 is shipped with SMS, so feel free to try it out with your models today!

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Using CAD data in GMS

Do you need to work with CAD data in your GMS project? This blog post will go over some of the ways to import, export, and convert CAD data in GMS.

Importing CAD Data

CAD data is common with project designs and is often necessary in order to import a CAD data file into GMS for an accurate view of the project. This is how CAD data can be imported:

  1. Select File | Open.
  2. In the Open dialog, it may help to change the File of Type field to specify a CAD format, such as "DWG/DXF".
  3. Navigate to the CAD file you wish to import and open the file.

CAD data can also be imported using the Open macro or using the drag-and-drop method like you would with any other file.

How to Convert CAD Data

For some projects, it is necessary to convert CAD data to another data type. You may also need to convert your project data into a CAD file format.

Converting from CAD

Converting options within GMS include the ability to convert CAD data to feature objects, TINs, and/or solids. This is done by right-clicking on the CAD object in the Project Explorer and selecting a command option in the Convert submenu.

CAD Data Conversion Menu in GMS

After selecting any of the conversion options, a dialog will be opened for more specifics on the conversion process.

Converting to CAD

GMS data can also be converted into CAD data by doing the following:

  1. In the Project Explorer and Graphics Window, hide any data you don’t want converted.
  2. Right-click in an empty spot in the Project Explorer and select the Convert to CAD command to bring up the Save CAD data dialog.
  3. Select location and name for your CAD file.

The CAD data that is converted from GMS will be saved as a DWG file or DXF file depending on what you select.

Exporting CAD Data

GMS also allows you to export CAD data in a project by doing the following:

  1. Right-click the CAD folder in the Project Explorer.
  2. Select Export to bring up the DWG/DXF Filename dialog.
  3. The options will appear to either select the DWG or the DXF file types to save as CAD data.

To find exported data, browse the project file folder. Another thing to note is that objects found within GMS must first be converted to CAD Data before being exported as CAD data.

Try importing, exporting, and converting CAD files in GMS today!

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Importing Land Use and Soil Type into WMS

Have you needed to obtain land use or soil type data for your WMS project? Land use, or land cover, data is used to define the land use or cover of areas in the watershed such as urban, forested, farm, etc. Soil type data is typically used to control the movement of water in a watershed model. Data for land use or soil type can be added to your watershed project in WMS by using files on your computer or by downloading the data from a database.

Import a File

Files containing land use or soil type data are often contained in a shapefile, though other formats are possible. This file can be imported from your computer using the File | Open command. Once imported, the shapefile will appear in the GIS Module. It will likely need to be converted to the map coverage before being used in your watershed model.

Import From Web

Land use or soil type data can be obtained from online web services. To access these services, do the following:

  1. Select File | Add Data | Get Data from Map.
  2. In the Virtual Earth Map Locator, select the location of your project. If your project already has a set projection, then the location of your project should already be visible.
  3. In the Data Service Options dialog, select one of the web services containing land use or soil type data such as the Land Use Shapefile, Statsgo Soil Type Shapefile, or Harmonized World Soil Database.
  4. Save the land use or soil type data to your computer. The data will automatically be imported into your project as a shapefile in the GIS Module.
Data Service Options dialog showing land use and soil type options
Moving Land Use and Soil Type Data

In most cases, having land use or soil type data on a shapefile will not include the data in your watershed model. Most often the data will need to be moved from the shapefile to the Map module. To do this:

  1. Create a map coverage with the Land Use or Soil Type property. Land use data should be placed on a land use coverage and soil type data should be placed on a soil type coverage. Data may be lost if the wrong coverage type is used.
  2. After creating the correct map coverage, select the land use or soil type shapefile in the GIS module then select the Mapping | Shape to Feature Object command.
  3. When using the GIS to Feature Objects Wizard, select correct map coverage and make certain all of the attributes are correctly assigned.

Once you have imported land use or soil type data and it has been correctly converted to the Map module, it is ready to be used in your watershed model. Try out using land use and soil type data in WMS today!

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Observation Arcs vs. SRH-2D Monitoring Lines

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between using an observation arc and using an SRH-2D monitoring line? Both make use of arcs drawn on map coverages and both are used to show the results of a model run. While they serve a similar purpose, there are significant differences between the two. This article will discuss some of these differences.

Observation Arcs

Observation arcs are made on an observation map coverage. This generic coverage can be used with nearly every numeric model in SMS. It is not specific to only SRH-2D. Observation arcs can be used to generate a profile plot based on the model run results. SMS does this by interpolating the results to locations along the observation arc.

An observation arc can be created before or after the model run. The arc can also be adjusted after the model run to change what is shown in an observation plot.

SRH-2D Monitoring Lines

SRH-2D monitoring lines are created on an SRH-2D monitor coverage. This is an SRH-2D specific coverage that will only work with an SRH-2D simulation. The monitor coverage must be included in the SRH-2D simulation during the simulation run in order for the monitoring lines to produce results. A plot from the monitor line can be viewed in the Simulation Run Queue during the model run.

When creating monitoring lines, arcs are drawn on the SRH-2D monitor coverage. It is important to pay attention to how these arcs snap to the SRH-2D mesh. Monitoring lines will follow the nodes of the mesh instead of interpolating to the location of the arc. For SRH-2D, this makes the results of the monitoring lines more accurate than observation arcs.

SHR-2D monitor lines snappingto mesh nodes

The results from the monitoring lines are found in the the *.dat file that starts with “LN”. If a change is made to a monitoring line after the simulation run, the simulation will need to be saved and run again to get the new results for the monitoring line.

Using both monitoring lines and observation arcs is common for many projects. Keeping in mind the differences will help you make better use of both of them. Try using observation arcs and monitoring lines in SMS today!

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Tips for MODFLOW 6 in GMS 10.5 Beta

Have you had a chance to use MODFLOW 6 in the GMS 10.5 Beta? If you have, you may have noticed that MODFLOW 6 operates a little differently than other versions of MODFLOW. This is to allow for some additional tools and options.

When using MODFLOW 6 in GMS 10.5 Beta, here are a couple tricks to try out.

Having Multiple MODFLOW 6 Simulations in the Same Project

You can create multiple simulations in the same project by using the simulation workflow in GMS 10.5 beta. This is particularly useful when attempting to calibrate your project. The way this is done is by doing the following:

  1. Right-click on the simulation in the Project Explorer and select the Duplicate command. This will create a duplicate of the simulation that includes all the same parameters and uses the same grid.
  2. On the new simulation, change the parameter that needs to be calibrated, such as the head values or the pump values of the wells. It is generally best to only focus on one parameter change when calibrating the model.
  3. Run the new simulation and compare the results between the different simulations.
  4. Repeat this process with additional simulations to calibrate the model.
Duplicate command in the simulation menu
Running Multiple Simulations at the Same Time

After you have created multiple MODFLOW 6 simulations, you can run all of the simulations at once. This is done by doing the following:

  1. Right-click on the simulation folder and select the Save All and Run command.

The Simulation Run Queue dialog will display all of the simulation model runs. While the simulations are running, the Simulation Run Queue can be moved aside or minimized to allow you to keep using GMS. The results can be loaded into the project for you to review when the simulations have finished.

Sae All and Run command in the simulation folder menu

Additional features for MODFLOW 6 are still being added to GMS and will appear in future versions of the software. For now, check out MODFLOW 6 in GMS 10.5 beta today!

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Sharing WMS Project Files

After completing your project in WMS, are you needing to share your project files with a client or colleague? When doing this, it is important that you send them all of the files related to the project. All of the files for the project should be shared in the same folder. This article will go over some of the important files to include.

The most important file to share is the WMS XMDF Project File (*.wms). This file contains many elements of your project, but also acts as a directory for the other files being used by your project. To improve application performance, the WMS project file does not contain all of the data necessary to open the project, so it is important to include all relevant files when sharing your project.

In addition to the WMS project file, it is important to include GIS files that are in the project. This would include any shapefiles, image files, raster files, or projection files. WMS will ask you to locate these files if they are not in the same directory as the WMS project file when the project is opened. If the GIS files are no longer relevant to the project, they should be removed from the project before saving and sharing the WMS project file.

GIS items in a WMS project

Another file that is important to include is the map file (*.map). This file contains all data related to feature objects and map coverages in the project. Without it, many projects may be unable to open. Similarly, the tree file (*.tre) is necessary to import hydraulic and hydrologic data. Grid (*.grd) are needed to import grid geometry.

When a model run has been completed, it is important for the solution (*.sol) and output (*.out) files to be included with the project file. Without these, whoever receives the files will be unable to see the results of your model run.

Finally, be certain to include model specific files, such as those for HEC-HMS or GSSHA. Refer to the model documentation for information on these files.

One trick to help include all files in your project, is to use the Save As command and save the project to a new folder. Then make certain to move that folder to a new directory and open the project file to see if any files are missing.

Now that you know a little more about WMS files, try sharing your WMS projects today!

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Scalar/Vector Conversion in SMS

Datasets in SMS can be rendered as either scalar or vector data. Furthermore, SMS allows you to convert datasets between scalar and vector using either a right-click menu command or the Dataset Toolbox.

In the Project Explorer, the icon next to the dataset will show if it is a scalar or a vector dataset. In SMS, scalar datasets typically represent water surface elevation, depth, and magnitude. Vector datasets typically represent flow velocities and observed wind fields in the area.

When converting a scalar dataset to a vector dataset, two scalar datasets are needed. The scalar datasets need to be either magnitude and direction data, or x and y components. When converting vector data to scalar data, the result will be one or more datasets.

Converting Datasets with the Right-Click Menu

To convert a vector dataset to a scalar dataset, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the desired vector dataset in the Project Explorer.
  2. Select Vector to Scalars.
  3. After the dialog appears, options are available for the specification of either magnitude and direction or x and y components for the resulting scalar datasets.
Vector to scalar using the right-click menu

To convert scalar dataset to a vector dataset, do the following:

  1. Select two scalar datasets: either magnitude and direction or x and y components.
  2. Right-click and select Scalars to Vectors.
  3. In the dialog that appears, confirm that the components have been assigned correctly.

Note that if only one scalar dataset is selected, another dialog will appear asking you to select the second scalar dataset.

Converting Datasets with the Dataset Toolbox

The Dataset Toolbox can also be used to convert scalar datasets into vector datasets or vector datasets to scalar datasets. To do this:

  1. Click on the dataset in the Project Explorer to make it active.
  2. Select Data | Dataset Toolbox... This will bring up the Dataset Toolbox where options will be made available that are relative to the altering of the dataset.
  3. Navigate to the Tools section of the dialog and select either Scalar to Vector or Vector to Scalar.
  4. For the Scalar to Vector tool, select the dataset components to use.
  5. For the Vector to Scalar tool, select whether you want the dataset to be magnitude and velocity, or x and y components in the Options section of the dialog.
Vector to scalar using the Dataset Toolbox

The Dataset Toolbox also contains many other tools. Try them out in SMS today!

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Tips for Using MODPATH in GMS

MODPATH is designed to work with MOFLOW to show particle tracking information. Using MODPATH can provide valuable information to your groundwater model. With that in mind, here are a couple tips for using MODPATH.

Seeing the Breakdown of Position vs Time

After running MODPATH, you can use GMS to see the breakdown of position vs time.

  • Duplicate your particle set and change the duration for each to correspond to the end of a different time step. This will help visualize when the particles traveled along their pathlines.
  • View the Pathline Report by right-clicking on a particle set in the Project Explorer and selecting the View Pathline Report command.
MODPATH Pathline Report
MODPATH Crashing During a Transient MODFLOW-NWT/UPW Simulation

While MODPATH is quite stable, it can crash when used with some MODFLOW-NWT models. To avoid this, look at the following:

  • When the water level is below the bottom of the cell in MODFLOW-NWT, making the cell dry but not inactive, MODPATH calculations give bad values. Check the cell thickness to see if it is above the water level. Then, inactivate cells above the water level.
  • The alternative workflow, which is not appropriate for every model, would be to change your MODFLOW-NWT model so that either the cells do not go dry, or are set to be inactive from the beginning, which is what this user on this forum post chose to do.
Importing Old Versions of Particle Coordinate Files

GMS has the capability to read in older particle coordinate files. Old versions of the endpoint, pathline, and time series files are automatically detected and read by MODPATH-PLOT. When old particle coordinate files are read, all time step values are automatically set equal to 1 and the particle release time is set equal to 0. The discharge code (IDCODE) for all particles is set to 1 (normally terminated).

Using these tips can increase your MODPATH expertise. Try out MODPATH using GMS today!

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Exporting Data in CityWater

CityWater allows managing your water distribution network models. As an online application, it allows individuals across the organization to visualize, reference, and analyze existing models in a familiar map-based browser environment while maintaining the data integrity of the model.

When viewing the project details, the Export tab allows three different files to be exported for your use in other applications: a Report Map Shapefile, a Network Map Shapefile, and an EPANET Input File.

Export tab in CityWater

The Report Map Shapefile allows you to select the Variable and Time options to include in the file. For Variable, you can select from head, pressure, quality (links), quality (nodes), demand, pressure swing, velocity, or headloss. The time options include average, minimum, or maximum. Based on the selections, a shapefile with those options will be exported when you click the Export Report Map button.

The Export Network Map button under the Network Map Shapefile option will export a shapefile of the network map, including all the links/pipes, nodes/junctions, and other features. This can then be imported into WMS or any other application that works with distribution networks.

The final option, EPANET Input File, creates an EPANET input file that can be used in any application that can import it. This plain text file contains all the pipe networks information, including pipes, nodes (junctions), pumps, valves, storage tanks, and reservoirs. It also contains additional project and preference information used by the EPANET desktop application.

An additional option allows you to save the current view when in the Map view:

  1. Adjust the map view to how you want it
  2. Right-click anywhere on the map and select Save image as…

This will automatically save the current map view as “download.png” in your downloads location on your computer.

Try out these export features today by logging in at https://portal.aquaveo.com/. If you don’t have an account, use "trycitywater" as the username and password to see an example project.

You can also learn more about using CityWater by watching our tutorial videos.

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Exporting SRH-2D Results

After completing an SHR-2D model in SMS, are you needing to export the results so that they can be examined by someone not using SMS? SMS provides a few different ways that SHR-2D results can be exported.

ASCII and Binary

The simplest method of exporting SRH-2D results is to export them as either a generic ASCII file or binary file. This is done by doing the following:

  1. In the Project Explorer, right-click on the SRH-2D solution dataset and select Export.
  2. In the Export dialog, select to export the dataset as either a generic ASCII file or a generic binary file.
Shapefile

Shapefiles can be opened by a multitude of programs, making it a useful format to use when sharing your results. To export a dataset as a shapefile, do the following:

  1. In the Project Explorer, select the solution dataset and time step you want to export.
  2. Use the File | Save As command.
  3. In the Save As dialog, change the File Type to be "Shapefile (*.shp)".

The dataset can then be saved using the mesh contours to create either an arch shapefile or a polygon shapefile.

Raster

Raster files are also a file format that can be used by many different programs. To convert your SRH-2D solution sets into a raster file, do the following:

  1. Convert the mesh with the solution sets into a scatter set by using the Data | Mesh to Scatterpoint command.
  2. Select the desired dataset and time step under the converted scatter set.
  3. Right-click on the scatter set and select Convert | Scatter to Raster.
  4. Save out the raster file.
Text File

A delimited text file allows you more control over what is exported. To export your solution set as a text file:

  1. Select the File | Save As command.
  2. In the Save As dialog, change the File Type to be "Tabular Data Files (*.txt)".
  3. Use the Export Tabular Data dialog to specify how the file will be set up, which datasets to export, and which time steps to use.
Exporting SRH-2D datasets as a text file

These are just a few of the ways that SHR-2D solution files could be exported. After exporting the solution set, follow the user guidelines for importing the file into other software. Other file export options are also available, try them out in SMS today!

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