Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Creating Water Levels in AHGW

When using Arc Hydro Groundwater (AHGW) with ArcMaps, you can create a line that represents a water level, or other structures in your cross section 2D plots. This article will discuss some of the ways to do this.

Inserted water level in ArcMap

If the data is available as a raster surface of water level data, you first call the "Create XS2D Line Feature Class" tool to set up a line feature class for holding the data. Then you will run the Transform Raster to XS2D Line tool, which will insert the line feature for the raster elevation levels that intersect the cross section.

If a raster is not available, you can create a water surface line, but a little more work will be involved.

First, run the Create XS2D Line Feature Class tool once you have the basic cross section set up, to hold the water level line.

Next, you'll have to do one of the following:

  • If you have a general idea of the water level, enter the water level line manually. Manually draw in the water level line, using the Create Features tools built into ArcMap to create polyline features. This is all manually done, and may not match the more detailed data you might have.
  • If you have an image or drawing of the water level for the cross section you're working on, you can insert it behind the XS2D cross section in a way that will match the size and scaling of the cross section. While it is typically used for existing diagrams of cross sections, it could also be used to show the water levels if you happen to have such an image.
  • If you have the water level data as points, you could also add them to an XS2D cross section. This takes point and/or line features with XYZ data and transforms them onto the XS2D cross section. Points at the ground location are used to project onto the XS2D Cross Section, and are given an elevation value based off of a ground elevation raster, not a water level. But, if the water level data is sparse, adjust the values of the water level points to known values (manually), and then follow the first suggestion (manually drawing a line) but snapping the line on these imported points.
  • Finally, if you have water elevation values at known distances along the line, you could simply import them via a spreadsheet, using the guidelines below:
    • The X value in the XS2D data frame is the distance along the SectionLine feature used to create the XS2D data frame. So if a section line is 1000m long, X=0m is for the start, and X=1000m is for the end. You could automatically calculate this distance if you don't have it by running the Add XY Coordinates (Data Management) tool to get the X values in the attribute table, and then copy them to a spreadsheet.
    • The Y values in the XS2D data frame are simply real-world elevation values, multiplied by the Vertical Exaggeration value of the XS2D data frame. For example, if you have a water level of -100m, and a vertical exaggeration of 20, then it will be plotted in the XS2D data frame with a Y value of -2000 (-100 * 20).
    • After getting the X values (distance along the curve), you could simply calculate the Y values as well. If you have depth values, be sure to convert the water levels to elevations, and once you have elevations, multiply by the vertical exaggeration.
    • Then, run the Add XY Data tool in ArcMap. Put the points into an XS2D point layer, and add it to the XS2D cross section data frame. Then make an XS2D line feature class (as mentioned above), and use the create polyline tools to sketch out the water levels (as mentioned above) - basically connecting the dots. When making the line features, make sure that they snap to the points you just created.

Try using AHGW to create water levels or other structures in ArcMap today!

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Tips for Reprojecting Quadtrees

Are you using a mix of projections or coordinate systems in your SMS project? SMS allows for using data with a variety of projections. That said, when using multiple projections, care must be taken in how the data is imported and incorporated into the project. Issues can appear with mixing certain types of projection units, such as meters and arc degrees. Also, there are limitations for reprojecting certain geometries, such as quadtree grids.

If your project contains a quadtree grid, here are tips for getting the projection of the grid to align with your project projections.

Display Projections for a Quadtree
  1. Make certain that the Display Projection has been set before importing any data or creating any coverages or geometries. Doing this will define the units and projection for any created geometries even though your imported data might be different.
  2. Reproject imported data to match the display projection. A warning will appear about a round-off error, but in most cases the round-off error is not going to affect the final project. It is important to reproject the imported data so that it matches the display projection in order to avoid large errors when running the model. Note that an imported quadtree cannot be directly reprojected, and while it can be used to locate values needed for generating a new quadtree, the imported quadtree should be removed instead of reprojected.
  3. Review all of the data to make certain it aligns correctly. If you have a lot of imported data, this is a particularly important step. You can use the Translate to make minor adjustments if needed, but this is not recommended if there is a large misalignment.
  4. Once you have verified that all of the imported data is aligned, then create the quadtree grid using the quadtree generator coverage. Make certain the grid frame is correctly placed over the imported data. Note that when creating a quadtree, SMS will not extrapolate for areas that are missing data. The newly generated grid will use the same projection as the Display Projection.

After you have a quadtree with the correct projection and unit, you can finish building your project. Having your quadtree in the correct projection significantly reduces the chances of encountering an error with your project.

These tips for using projections and quadtrees can be applied to other projects in SMS. Try them out in SMS today!

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Tips for Mapping Solids to MODFLOW

Making use of solid models can aid in modeling complex stratigraphy for MODFLOW. GMS allows using solid models to add complexity to your MODLOW projects. The solid module is used to model solids which then need to be mapped to the MODFLOW model for the solids to be included in the MODFLOW model run.

Solids to MODFLOW

When adding solids to your MODFLOW project, the additional complexity can cause issues in the model run. To avoid undesirable outcomes, here are some tips for mapping solids to MODLOW:

  1. GMS contains an advanced option called Set Operations. Generally speaking, Set Operations are no longer recommended methods for creating solids in most cases. It is recommended that you use the horizons approach instead.
  2. the horizon approach to generate solids creates solids that typically better fit into the MODFLOW model.
  3. Using a Raster Catalog can aid generating solids. The Fill/Clip method will help preserve the same distribution of materials while hopefully addressing any gaps or other instabilities preventing a successful Solids to MODFLOW operation.
  4. If the Solids to MODFLOW command is still experiencing issues, the Classify Material Zones command can be used instead to transfer that material data to the grid. The material that gets assigned can be chosen in one of two ways. It will either be the material that covers the center of the cell or the material that covers the majority of the cell, but only one material can be assigned.
  5. Alternatively, the HUF package can also be used to transfer materials as it allows for multiple materials without splitting the grid layers. However, if there are issues mapping Solids to MODFLOW, you may run into similar issues when attempting to map Solids to HUF.

Solids in GMS provide a great way to add complexity to your MODFLOW model. Try out using solids with MODLOW in GMS today!

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Changes to Aquaveo Registration

Aquaveo has been updating its registration process to make using our products easier and more secure. The change affects newer versions of our products, specifically GMS 10.5, SMS 13.1, and AHGW 3.5. Going forward, it will be added to all of our products, including WMS.

The new registration uses new codes: Local and Flex codes.

  • Local password: will support virtual machines and remote desktop, but is only good for one machine and cannot be moved from one computer to another.
  • Flex password: acts like a network lock where the license is hosted on your computer and can be used over remote desktop or on a virtual machine. When you want to move the license to another computer, you simply check the license back in and check it out on another machine. There is no hardware to deal with.

By default the software is set to use the newer registration process with newer versions of the software. Local and Flex codes are not compatible with older versions of our software.

In many cases you won't notice a difference with the change to licensing. However, if you encounter an error with your registration or want to use the older licensing process, you can switch back to using the old registration.

  1. Open the newly installed software.
  2. Choose to run it in Community Edition, if the "no license found" dialog appears.
  3. Once the software is open, go to Edit | Preferences.
  4. Click on the Licensing tab.
  5. Check on the box for "Use Legacy Licensing".
  6. Click OK and restart the software.
  7. Then register the software as you have before.
Switching to legacy registration

Currently, we plan on supporting hardware locks and the legacy registration version for at least the next two years. If you want to try out the new registration system, contact our licensing team at licensing@aquaveo.com.

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Using the Import Wizard to Create a Cross Section Database

Do you have a cross section database that needs to be included in your surface water project? A new feature in SMS 13.1.1 beta allows you to import a cross section database using the File Import Wizard.

A cross section database can be imported from a spreadsheet or a specially formatted text file. To import a cross section database from a spreadsheet or text file, use the following steps:

  1. Make certain you have created a 1D hydraulic cross section coverage in your project. This is needed in order to have a place to store the cross section database.
  2. If using a text file, make certain it is formatted correctly. It should include an XS ID or Station ID column in order to define the points found in each cross section.
  3. Open the cross section database file using any of the methods for opening a file. This will bring up the File Import Wizard.
  4. In the first step of the File Import Wizard, set the fixed width or delimited properties as appropriate for the file.
  5. In the second step of the File Import Wizard, set the data type to be "Feature Data" and turn on the "Cross section database" option.
  6. Also in the second step, assign the columns of the text file to make the station ID, and xyz coordinates. There is also an option for a PT type that allows you to annotate features such as thalweg, left bank, right bank, left toe, right toe, abutment, pier, and so on.
  7. When done with the File Import Wizard, clicking Finish will import the database in your SMS project. It can be reviewed by looking at the arc attributes of the cross section arcs.
The File Import Wizard for importing a cross section database

Once you’ve imported the cross section database, the cross section data is stored in the project file. Try out importing a cross section database into your SMS 13.1 projects today?

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