Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Using SRH-2D Monitor Plots and Structure Plots

With the release of SMS 13.1, we have added the ability to generate monitor plots and structure plots from the solution of a successful SRH-2D model run. This post will offer a brief rundown of these new features and a brief explanation of how to use them.

SMS now has the ability to generate solution plots at monitoring locations or structure locations, using solution datasets generated during the model run. If you make any edits to the coverage after running SRH-2D, make sure to rerun SRH-2D with the updated coverage to keep the plots consistent with the SRH-2D outputs.

For both plots, they will be displayed in an SRH-2D Solution Plots dialog, and they will have similar options in both cases. These options include:

  • Simulations: contains a list of all available simulations where the monitor or boundary conditions coverages were included during the simulation run. Select which solution set to use for the plot.
  • Plots: contains a list of all available solution datasets from the model run. Datasets you select will appear in the plot.
  • Specify time range: specify the time range for the plot to display. The possible range will be from 0 to the length of the entire simulation.

To use the monitor plots:

  1. Make sure you are in the monitor coverage and select a monitoring point or line.
  2. Right-click to select the Monitor Points Plot or Monitor Lines plot command.

This will open the SRH-2D Solution Plots dialog. Note, you need to make sure the monitor coverage was included in the simulation run, and that only one point or line is selected.

To use the structure plots:

  1. Make sure you are in the boundary conditions coverage and select a structure arc.
  2. Right-click to select the Structure Output Plots command.

This will open the SRH-2D Solution Plots dialog. Note that you need to make sure the boundary conditions coverage was included in the simulation run, and that only one structure arc is selected, even for structures that require two arcs.

Structure plot example

Try using monitor plots and structure plots in SMS 13.1 today!

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Converting External 3D Materials to 3D Grid Materials

For your 3D grid project in GMS, do you have material data from a 3D mesh or other geometry that was created in an application other than GMS? It is possible to import this data into GMS and attach it to your 3D grid using a method which involves creating solids that GMS can use to assign materials. This is done by importing the data as boreholes and creating solids from them. This post will review how you can take the material data from a 3D mesh and transfer it to a 3D grid in GMS.

To do so, do the following steps:

  1. First, you will need to import the material data as Borehole data into GMS.
  2. You will then need to create horizons for these boreholes. Go to Boreholes | Auto-Assign Horizons.
  3. In the Auto-Assign Horizons dialog, choose Start from scratch, then click Run. The Horizon Optimizer dialog will appear. This step will take a while to complete.
  4. When complete, click "Read solution on exit" and click OK to close out of the dialog.
  5. Once the Horizons are defined, click Boreholes | Auto-Create Blank Cross Sections.
  6. Once blank cross sections exist, click Boreholes | Auto-Fill Blank Cross Sections.
  7. In the Auto-Fill Blank Cross Sections dialog, select what should be matched from the auto-fill options based on the needs of the project.
  8. Cross sections created from borehole data
  9. Create a new coverage, just using the defaults should be fine in most cases.
  10. Using the Plan View and the Create Arc tool, create a closed arc surrounding all of the boreholes.
  11. Select Feature Objects | Build Polygons, to turn this closed arc into a polygon. You might also want to use the Redistribute Vertices command on the arc if needed.
  12. Turn this polygon into a TIN by using Feature Objects | Map → TIN to define the desired boundary of the solid.
  13. Finally, create solids from the boreholes by selecting Boreholes | Horizons → Solids. This will bring up the Horizons to Solids dialog where you can choose your desired settings.
  14. The solids can then be used to classify the materials zone in place of the mesh.
  15. If the solids are needed in another project, you can highlight one or more of the solids in the Project Explorer, right-click, and Export them as a *.sol file.

Try out using this workflow to add data to your projects in GMS 10.5 today!

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How to Troubleshoot Graphics Card Issues and Display Issues

Out of all the potential issues that can come up, display issues can be some of the most annoying. Display issues can come from individualized hardware configurations, display settings, operating system and software versions which makes solving these issues not as simple as a one-size-fits-all approach. This post will review general best practices for troubleshooting these kinds of issues with your graphics card or display.

Some of the most common display issues that can arise with XMS are problems with one or more of the following:

  • Transparency
  • Functional surface
  • Texture mapping
  • Film loops
  • Contours

The causes behind display issues can be divided into the following categories:

  1. Issue related to remote desktop or virtual machine
  2. Integrated graphics used instead of discrete graphics
  3. Bug in graphics drivers
  4. Limitation of integrated graphics
  5. Bug in XMS affecting all hardware configurations
  6. Bug in XMS affecting specific hardware configurations

Since hardware configurations vary and operating systems change over time, the information here is a general workflow used for troubleshooting.

  1. Remote and Virtual Machine issues: Check if XMS is being run locally or if a virtual machine/remote desktop is being used to rule out Category A.
  2. Versioning: Go to Help | About to note the XMS version, build date, and graphics library used.
  3. Try to rule out Categories E and F: Run XMS in Software Graphics Mode. If the issue is resolved in Software Graphics Mode, then the issue is related to Categories B - D.
  4. Try to rule out Category B: Go to the Device Manager for the Display Adapter. If the driver information/version for the discrete graphics matches what is shown in Help | About, then XMS is using discrete graphics. If not, go to Step 6 to ensure XMS is using discrete graphics.
  5. Device manager
  6. Update graphics drivers: Whether or not the system has discrete graphics, updating the graphics driver will solve some display problems. If the machine already has nVidia or AMD software installed, drivers can be updated through those programs. Otherwise, click the “Update Driver” button (shown in the dialog in Step 4) or Google “GraphicsCard Driver Download” using the graphics card model you have in place of GraphicsCard. Exercise caution with the links you click on. Be sure to click on official AMD, nVidia, or computer manufacturer websites. Avoid 3rd party utilities that offer to optimize your system or install adware/spyware.
  7. Set system to use discrete graphics: Change settings to ensure XMS always utilizes discrete graphics. Many systems, especially laptops, default to power saving modes where programs utilize integrated graphics even if the machine has discrete graphics. The way to change these settings varies by machine.
  8. Reporting Bugs: If Categories A - D have been ruled out, determine if the issue is machine-specific. If reproducible, report to tech support.

If you continue to experience display issues, contact Aquaveo's technical support team.

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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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