Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Tips for Using ADCIRC with SMS

ADCIRC is a popular numeric model that works with the SMS graphical interface. The SMS interface adds a number of tools and features to improve and enhance the use of the ADCIRC model. When building an ADCIRC model in SMS, there are a few items to keep in mind. This article will review some of the best practices for building an ADCIRC model in SMS.

  1. When importing a fort.22 file, the ADCIRC control file must be imported to read the data in the fort.22 file. If the fort.22 happens to be a best track format file (NWS=8,19,20), add the ".atcf" extension to the file name so that SMS can import the file and create a wind track coverage. This is the only format of fort.22 that is independent enough of the fort.15 to reasonably expect anything to happen on import.
  2. It can be tempting to create an ADCIRC mesh in SMS, then manually edit the fort.14 file to fine-tune some aspects of the mesh/grid. This is not recommended. Doing this may cause the mesh to not be usable once imported into SMS. It may also cause certain functions to fail such as converting mesh features to a coverage or mapping tidal components. This is not always the case, but care should be taken when editing the fort.14 file outside of SMS. In general, it is not advisable. The model checker may catch these issues, but in some cases the model checker will miss the error.
  3. It is usually best to make certain that the mesh/grid has what you need before adding it to the simulation. Editing the mesh in SMS after it has been linked to a simulation may require that the mesh be unlinked and re-applied to the simulation.
  4. Older ADCIRC projects can be added to the most recent version of SMS. When doing this, SMS will convert and update the project. It is recommended that you review the project once it has been converted. Projects created in newer versions of SMS typically cannot be imported into older versions of SMS.
Example an ADCIRC project in SMS

For additional support in using ADCIRC with SMS, contact our technical support team at: support@aquaveo.com

ADCIRC and SMS gives you greater flexibility in coastal modeling. Try out ADCIRC with SMS today!

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Running MODFLOW Outside of GMS

Do you have a MODFLOW project you created in GMS, but realize you need to run MODFLOW outside of GMS? This is sometimes necessary if you have a very specific need for your project that can only be accomplished by modifying the exported files before running the MODFLOW simulation. This does not happen often, but when you do encounter a situation where you need to run MODFLOW outside of GMS, do the following:

  1. Open the MODFLOW Global Options and make certain that the Save as Native Text option has been turned on. This is necessary to generate files for your project that you can edit. With the native text option turned on, saving your project will generate the native text files.
  2. One you have the native text files generated, you can then edit the files manually using a text editor. GMS will create a separate directory with the native MODFLOW files. This directory will typically be the project name with "_text" appended to it. For example, if the project is named "Aquifer", the directory will be named "Aquifer_text". Keep these files together.
  3. Running MODFLOW using the Command Prompt
  4. To run the native files, use either a command line with a DOS prompt or a batch file. See guidance for how to do this on USGS's website.
  5. After you have successfully run your MODFLOW simulation, import back into GMS to visualize the results and perform additional analyses using the tools in GMS. You will need to start by importing either the NAM file or MFN file. These files contain a directory for the other files in the MODFLOW project and how they should be opened. It is important to keep all of the MODFLOW files together in the same directory. Having only the NAME or MFN file will not be enough to open the MODFLOW project. Files for the packages used with the project will typically have a file extension that matches the package. For example, the Wells package will have the extension "*.wel".

Running the native files outside of GMS can be used to validate results of a GMS model or to add custom parameters not available in GMS. However, Aquaveo may not be able to provide technical support for simulations that have been extensively modified outside of the GMS application.

Knowing how to run MODFLOW outside of GMS can give you more options for modeling with GMS. Try out GMS 10.6 today!

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Registering an Image in XMS

Do you have an image that you would like to add to your project, but that image doesn’t have any coordinate information? Many projects require that you have an image or map that defines the proposed location for structures, wells, or other objects. In XMS (GMS, SMS, and WMS) the image needs to have coordinate information in order to correctly align with the project data. If your image does not have coordinate information, the Register Image dialog will appear.

Example of the Register Image dialog

To use the Register Image dialog, designate three points on the image and enter the coordinate information for those points. XMS will then use those coordinates to create the coordinate data for the entire image. It is possible to register an image using only two points, but three points is recommended.

If you do not know the coordinate information for any points on the image, here is a tip for getting coordinate information for the image.

  1. Click the Add Online Maps macro to open the Virtual Earth Map Locator dialog.
  2. Search for the area of your image by putting the name into the search bar and click Jump to Search Location.
  3. Be sure that the entire project bounds are within the window and match the area of your unregistered image.
  4. Download the new image and set the projection for this image.
  5. Note: you could just use this new image, but if the image you are trying to import shows the location of proposed structures, boreholes, etc., then you may need to still import the unregistered image.
  6. Outside of XMS, use a photo viewer to open the unregistered image.
  7. Compare both images and find three places where you can easily tell that the images match up.
  8. Now, in XMS, place your mouse over one of the three locations that you will need the geographical coordinates for.
  9. At the bottom of XMS you can view the coordinate information. Write down the coordinate information, then repeat in two other places.
  10. Now that you have all of the location coordinates you need to register the image, open the unregistered image file in XMS to bring up the Register Image dialog.
  11. Click the three points you have coordinate information for and enter in the coordinates that you wrote down earlier.
  12. After registering the image, check the alignment of the images if needed.
  13. Try registering an image for your project in SMS, GMS, or WMS today!

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Reducing Scour in SRH-2D Sediment Transport

Do you have an SRH-2D sediment transport model that has an unreasonable amount of scouring? There could be several different issues in your model that are causing unreasonable scouring, however, SMS contains several different ways to fix this issue. This article will cover how to limit scouring so it is put to extremes in your model.

  1. Review the sediment loading on your boundary conditions for the sediment transport model. Double-click on one of your boundaries to check your sediment boundary conditions to review how the sediment loading has been defined. In the SRH-2D Assign BC dialog check and update the Sediment inflow section if needed.
  2. Example of scouring within an SRH-2D sediment transport model. The image on top shows the scour and the lover image it has been fixed.
  3. For your sediment transport SRH-2D simulation, go to SRH-2D Model Control and select the Sediment tab. Review the Particle diameter threshold section to make certain that the sizes are reasonable. Often having diameters that are too large causes scouring.

  4. Another place to review is the SRh-2D sediment material coverage. Right-click on the click Materials List and Properties. Under Gradation Curve, right-click on one of the materials and select click Edit Curve to bring up the Gradation Curve dialog. Review the gradation values and check for inconsistencies. Remember that the values need to be scaled from the smallest sand to the largest boulder. It is important to remember that the maximum number of functioning rows only goes up to nine. Any more than this will cause inconsistencies to appear.

    When the values that are entered in the Sediment Gradation Parameters are put to extreme values this is what will often cause the deep scour you may see in your model. A regular model will be smooth with very little deviation. A helpful resource to use if things are still not clear is the USBR website. They have example problems that you can follow.

These are just some of the tips for reducing scouring in your SRH-2D sediment transport models. For additional support for sediment transport with SRH-2D contact our technical support team. Try out SRH-2D with sediment transport in SMS 13.2 today!

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