Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Importing Older Projects into GMS

Do you have an older GMS project that you need to open in the current version of GMS? Maybe you want to bring an older project into a newer version of GMS so you can make use of new features that have been added to GMS. Working with older projects can sometimes be tricky. Older versions of GMS are no longer supported and will break down over time. This article will explain more about why this happens and what can be done to get your older projects into a current version of GMS.

Generally speaking, GMS rarely has problems opening projects that are only a few years old. For example, the current version of GMS is version 10.5. Projects created in versions as far back as GMS 10.0 or 10.1 are likely to open without any issues For projects that are older, for example, projects that were created more than ten years ago, some issues may occur.

Over time, changes to the GMS interface, changes to the Windows operating system, and other factors may cause your project to not open in a current version of GMS. Also, how the data files were stored may cause the data to be unreadable.

When you have an older project that has failed to import into GMS, you can try a couple methods to get it into the current version of GMS.

Error opening an older project in GMS 10.5

The first method is to migrate the project through different GMS versions. This is done by opening the project through consecutively more recent versions of GMS. For example, if your project was originally built in GMS 8.1 and does not open in GMS 10.5, you could start by opening the project in GMS 9.0, and then saving the project if it imports correctly. After this, try opening the project in GMS 10.0 and saving the project again. Finally, see if the project opens in GMS 10.5 and save it. While doing this stepping process, review the project to make certain it remained intact. Some corrections are likely needed because of how the migration process functions.

Aquaveo’s technical support team can help you obtain older versions of the software if you have a current license.

The second method is to rebuild the project in the current version of GMS using files from the original project. For MODFLOW projects, this is done by importing the native MODFLOW files. GMS can also read the MODFLOW files that are exported by GMS. You also may need to import individual files, such as the map files or grid files. Using this method you may not get everything out of the older project, but should be able to obtain enough to create a complete, working project.

If you need additional help with importing an older project into the current version of GMS or any of our software, contact our consulting team for assistance.

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Using the Time Series Editor

Do you have an older text file that is in a format that isn’t quite right for your project? Reformatting an older file can be time consuming. Using a time series editor or similar tool can make reformatting the text easier. Provided with WMS is the Time Series Data Editor application.

Using the Time Series Data Editor allows you to reformat files that are not correctly formatted. To do this, the application provides a number of tools. First off, the application can be used for both time series data and XY series data. Once the time series or XY series data file has been imported into the Time Series Data Editor, the application allows you to adjust how the text file is formatted.

For example, perhaps the text file has been formatted using a time stamp where the date is written without a space between the day, month, and year making all three a single column. The Time Series Data Editor allows you to separate out this date format into separate columns

When importing the files into the Time Series Data Editor application, you can select to import using a fixed width or using a delimiter such as a tab or space.

Once you've imported your data, the Time Series Data Editor will display a graph of the data. From here, if necessary, you can make adjustments to individual points in the data.

Time Series Data Editor example

The Time Series Data Editor also allows you to generate either time series or XY series data from scratch.

After you are satisfied with how the data appears, the Time Series Data Editor allows you to export the data into a number of different formats.

While the Time Series Data Editor is packaged with WMS, it can also prove useful for data that needs to be formatted for GMS, SMS, or other applications. Download the Time Series Data Editor with WMS today!

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New Project Explorer Commands for SMS 13.1

With the release of SMS 13.1, you might have noticed a few new commands in the Project Explorer right-click menus. The Project Explorer, or data tree, in SMS contains a list of modules and objects that have either been imported into the project or created in the project. Right-clicking on any of these objects will produce a number of commands to perform specific functions or launch certain tools.

Over the development of SMS, the number and type of commands in the Project Explorer have fluctuated. Changes are made to enhance the use of SMS. With SMS 13.1, new commands can be found when clicking on the Project icon at the top of the Project Explorer.

Project Explorer Right-Click Menu for Projects

In this new right-click menu, you will find several commands that have become common in other Project Explorer right-click menus. These include a New Simulation sub-menu and a Projections command. The Projections command will open the Display Projections dialog to set the projections for the entire project. There is also an Open Project Folder command that will open a file explorer window to show the location of the saved project. A Properties command has been added to see details about the project, and contains a place to make notes about the overall project.

These commands also include collapsing or expanding all of the objects in the project. For the Project menu, this would collapse all of the items so only the Project icon is shown, or expand the data tree to show all objects in the project. There are also commands to toggle off or on all data in the project.

Finally, there is a new command, the Save as CAD command. This command will allow you to save a CAD file that contains CAD data generated from all visible data in the Graphics Window.

The new right-click menu commands give you more options for working with data in the Project Explorer. Try this out in SMS 13.1 today!

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Importing a Shapefile to the DRN Package

Do you have drainage data in a shapefile that you would like to import into GMS to use for the drainage package in your MODFLOW project? Shapefiles are capable of holding a variety of information, including drainage data and other data used by MODFLOW. And a lot of software are capable of converting parts of a MODFLOW project into a shapefile.

If you have a shapefile with drainage data, it can be used for the DRN package in your MODFLOW simulation. This is done by using the following workflow:

  1. Use any of the methods to open a file to import your shapefile into your GMS project.
  2. One the shapefile has been imported into the GIS module, check to see if the conductivity values for the drains were imported with the shapefile. In most cases, this will happen automatically.
  3. In your MODFLOW conceptual model, create a map coverage with the drain option turned on in the coverage setup.
  4. Back in the GIS module, use the GIS | Shape > Feature Object command to open the GIS to Feature Objects wizard.
  5. In the first step of the wizard, make certain the drain coverage is selected and the correct shapefile is selected.
  6. In the second step of the wizard, make certain the Type and Conductivity columns are set correctly.
  7. Shapfile converstion to Drain feature objects
  8. After converting the shapefile to the map coverage, review the arcs and attributes. Clean up the coverage if needed.
  9. Finally, map the coverage to your MODFLOW model.

This workflow can be used for other MODFLOW attributes that are in shapefiles and need to be added to your MODFLOW project in GMS. For example, this workflow could be used to import a shapefile for wells, rivers, or other MODFLOW features. This workflow can also be used when importing MODFLOW projects into GMS where the MODFLOW project was created using other software.

Try out using shapefiles to import drain data into GMS today!

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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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Plotting Conductance for the DRN Package

Are you looking for a way to contour the conductance of drainage areas in your groundwater model? If you have a large regional model containing areas with a dense drainage network (ditches, tile drainage, etc.), you can scale up this to represent a diffused drainage system. When doing this, there are not only single ditches simulated with the drain (DRN) package, but whole areas. Using GMS, you can create a contour of these drainage areas.

Contoured drain area

To create this contour, use the following workflow:

  1. Go to MODFLOW | Optional Packages | DRN to open the Drain (DRN) Package dialog.
  2. Make sure IJK is selected on the bottom in order to have the drains at their XYZ locations.
  3. Click the top left blank grey box to select all or select and drag to select all the data points.
  4. Copy the data and paste in a word processor such as Notepad++ and save the file.
  5. Back in GMS, select Open File and select the new text file. The text wizard should open up and already have delimited the file, but double check to make sure all the values are correct.
  6. Click Next then change the GMS data type to 3D Scatter points.
  7. If your file included elevations, you can make sure those are not mapped into your project by changing the dataset above to "Not Mapped".
  8. Otherwise, make sure your IJK cell values are matched up with their respective XYZ values and your conductance is set as the "Dataset".
  9. You may have to select the projection for this dataset in order for it to line up with your current project.
  10. You can then go to Display Options, select 3D scatter points on the left sidebar, and then turn on Contours if it has not already been turned on. You can check the contour options to see if the setup and coloring is to your liking.

Completing this workflow should cover all the drain points within the MODFLOW project. Try out contouring drainage areas in GMS today!

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