Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Anouncing SMS13.1 Beta

Aquaveo is pleased to announce the release of SMS 13.1 Beta! A number of new features have been added to this version, and we'd like to highlight a few of them.

3D Bridge

The new 3D Bridge feature allows creating a visual representation of a 3 bridge. This representation uses a 3D UGrid to visualize the bridge in the graphics window. After creating a 3D bridge, the feature can be visualized in an observation profile plot.Using the 3D feature allows generating a ceiling elevation dataset to represent the maximum water surface that can be reached at each point in the mesh at the intere. The bridge data can be exported as an XMUGRID file for use in multiple projects.

3D bridge example in SMS
Universal Select Tool

The Select Objects tool allows selecting multiple types of feature objects at the same time from the same tool. The selection information at the bottom of the screen changes if multiple types of objects are selected to show how many of each object is selected. The right-click menu changes to match the selected object type. If multiple feature object types are selected, then the right-click menus will be combined.

Extract Features

The Extract Features tool allows you to use a raster to generate feature arcs for channel centerlines, ridge centerlines, or channel cross sections and banklines. This can speed up the creation of the centerlines and cross sections by removing the need to manually create each feature individually. Options for this feature include the ability to extract all centerlines, extract all centerlines with one or more selected depression points, extracting a single centerline, or extracting channel banklines and cross sections.

Example of extracted feature arcs
HEC-RAS 1D

SMS 13.1 Beta includes support for creating and editing HEC-RAS 1D cross sections and attributes. These cross sections can be imported from HEC-RAS as SDF files and saved as a HEC-GeoRAS file for inclusion into a HEC-RAS project.

These are just a few of the new features in the SMS 13.1 beta. Try out these features and more by downloading the SMS 13.1 Beta today!

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Using MODFLOW-NWT for Mine Dewatering

Have you tried dewatering a mine model using MODFLOW-NWT? MODFLOW-NWT is a version of MODFLOW provided by the USGS that uses a method to solve MODFLOW models that are non-linear due to unconfined cells or non-linear boundary conditions, creating an asymmetric results matrix. Because mines that need to be dewatered sit below the water table, cells within the simulation will become dry at times due to the removal of the water from the mine. MODFLOW-NWT is great for such situations as it handles dry cells well.

Modeled mine example

Mine dewatering models are often used when estimating the required flow capacity for the pumps used in the field. You can create a regional model to establish a baseline, then create one or more models with various pit depths to establish the best approach for the mine in question. While elevations cannot be set to transition during a MODFLOW run, multiple conceptual models can be created within the same project in order to keep all of the data together.

It’s important to remember the difference between wells and drains when creating the dewatering model. Drains only subtract water when the head is above the elevation of the drain. Therefore, drains can be used to represent the seepage face around the edges of the pit, and the drain elevations should be set to equal the ground surface elevations. The amount of water removed by a drain is related to the conductance of the material of the seepage face. Drains are generally used at the bottom and side seepage faces of the mine.

Wells remove a specific amount of flow, and can therefore dewater the cell they are in prior to dewatering the rest of the mine. MODFLOW-NWT, as mentioned previously, handles these dry cells very well, keeping them active in case they become wet again.

Because MODFLOW-NWT uses 3D grids, you should make sure the cells inside the pits are inactive. You do this by creating the boundary polygon, and then removing a "donut hole" of cells within the pit area. Use the Activate Cell(s) in Coverages tool to inactivate the cells. You’ll have to do this for each layer, and each layer should be on its own coverage.

Finally, always use the Model Check to make sure there aren't any obvious errors or missing values in any of the inputs. After MODFLOW-NWT finishes running, you should review the water table by looking at the drawdown output contours. You can also do this by switching to Ortho view and reviewing the head in the appropriate rows or columns.

Try out making a mine dewatering model using MODFLOW-NWT in GMS today!

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Using Plots in CityWater

Any presentation about water distribution management can be improved with the right plots. CityWater has a number of different plots accessible through the plot icon on the Map View page that can be used by you to visualize the information available in each of your projects. These plots can be used in reports or presentations to help others understand details and specific time-based information you need to share.

The Plot icon on the Map view is a dynamic tool. If no nodes or links are selected, it will display a System Flow Balance plot when clicked. This plot shows the flow produced, consumed, and stored within your pipe network. You can select any point along each of the plot lines to see specific for that time.

CityWater System Flow Balance Flow

If you have a specific link or node selected (or more than one of either nodes or links selected), you can use the Layers tab drop-downs to select what will appear on the plot. This gives you a large number of possibilities for how the plot will appear. Some combinations do not have a plot available, and these will instead show the default System Flow Balance plot. We recommend taking the time to play around with the options to find the ones that will work best for you.

For example, the image below shows a plot with Demand, Links, and Minimum selected from the Node Layer, Link Layer, and Time drop-downs (respectively). As before, you can select any point along the plots to see specific details for the desired node or link.

CityWater Demand Plot

CityWater contains many other tools to help you visualize water flow and usage in your water distribution network all in an accessible and a convenient to use web environment. Learn more about how CityWater can help your organization today!

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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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