SMS:HEC-RAS 1D Project Workflow

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This is a top level workflow. This workflow includes all of the specific workflows users will need in creating a HEC-RAS 1D project. Newer and infrequent SMS users should start here.

To build a HEC-RAS 1D model in SMS, use the following steps:


1. Start a new SMS project.
1. Start SMS, or clear existing projects in SMS.
  1. If SMS is already running, select File | Delete All.
  2. A new project can also be started by using CTRL + N.
2. Set the display projection.
  1. Select the Display | Projection... command.
  2. Set the horizontal and vertical projection using the Display Projection dialog.
2. Import data.
1. Gather and open image files.

Images are imported into the GIS module in SMS.

1. Open local images.
  1. Load images from local computer files using the File | Open... command.
  2. Alternatively, drag and drop the file into the Graphics Window in SMS.
2. Import images from the web.
1. Import static images.
  1. Use the File | Import from Web command.
  2. Select a location in the Virtual Map Locator.
  3. Set a projection for the project using the Display Projections dialog.
  4. Use the Data Service Options dialog to select a web service or catalog.
    • Use the Advanced options if needing to access a unique or unavailable data source.
  5. Save the data file and import the data into SMS.
2. Import dynamic images.
  1. Use the File | Get Online Maps command.
  2. Select a location in the Virtual Map Locator.
  3. Set a projection for the project using the Display Projections dialog.
  4. Use the Data Service Options dialog to select a web service or catalog.
  5. Save the data file and import the data into SMS.
2. Gather and open geometric data files.
1. Import map data.
  1. Use the File | Open... command to import map data such as Map files, boundary ID files, or boundary XY files.
  2. Alternately, drag and drop the file into the Graphics Window in SMS.
2. Import GIS data.
  1. Use the File | Open... command to import GIS data files such as Shapefiles, MIF/MID files, Lidar files, or raster files.
  2. Alternatively, drag and drop the file into the Graphics Window in SMS.
3. Import scatter data.
  1. Use File | Open... to open files with scatter data such as scatter point files, ASCII dataset files, binary dataset files, tabular data files, or XYZ files.
  2. Alternatively, drag and drop the file into the Graphics Window in SMS.
  3. Use the File Import Wizard to specify how to import the data.
4. Import CAD data.
  1. Verify the CAD file type is readable by SMS before importing it. SMS can import DXF and DWG files.
  2. Use the File | Open... command to launch the Open dialog (or drag and drop) to import the CAD files.
The data should load in layers into the Project Explorer.
5. Review and set object projections.
  1. Right-click on an object in the Project Explorer and select the Projection command.
  2. Set the horizontal and vertical projection using the Object Projection dialog.
  3. To set a global projection, use the Horizontal Projection dialog.
3. Review and edit the elevation data.
1. Review elevation data for errors.
1. Use the Dataset Info dialog.
  1. Find the "Z", "elevation" or "depth" datasets on the geometric object (mesh, TIN, grid, raster) that is being reviewed
  2. Right-click on elevation data and select Info.
  3. Review information in the Dataset Info dialog to see that the range of values are as expected.
2. Use contour display options.
  1. Turn off Points and Triangles, then turn on Contours in the Scatter tab of the Display Options dialog.
  2. Set contour options in the Contours tab. The "Color Fill" option is recommended for this.
  3. Look for inconsistent points (points with values much higher/lower than their neighbors or regions where no data points exist).
  4. Verify that the region being modeled is covered by the elevation/depth data and there are no holes.
3. Rotate the elevation data.
  1. Use the Rotate Rotate Tool.svg tool to examine the elevation data from different angles.
2. Remove erroneous points and triangles.
After reviewing the imported data, points or triangles covering regions where there are no data points should be deleted. This could include outlier points or thin triangles.
1. Use the Scatter Options dialog.
  1. Open the Scatter Options dialog.
  2. Select or delete duplicate points.
  3. Select or delete long triangles.
  4. Select thin triangles.
  5. Use a triangulation optimization option.
2. Manually remove points.
  1. Use Select Scatter Point Select Point Tool.svg tool to select erroneous points in the scatter set.
  2. Review and edit point data in the Edit Window.
  3. Delete erroneous points.
3. Add breaklines.
  1. Select the Create Breakline SMS Create Nodestring Tool.svg tool.
  2. Click along points of a common elevation, such as at a bank toe or levee crest, to connect these points in the surface.
  3. Use the Backspace key to back up if an erroneous selection is made.
  4. Double-click or press Enter key to complete the breakline.
4. Merge elevation datasets.
  1. Select the Scatter | Merge Sets command.
  2. Use the Merge Scatter Sets dialog to select elevation data to be merged.
4. Define centerline.
1. Importing centerline data.
Files containing a centerline arc and bank arcs can be imported into the Map module.
  1. Select File | Open to import the file data.
  2. Check that the data has been imported into the Map module.
  3. Check that the map coverage containing the arcs has been set to the 1D-Hyd Centerline type.
2. Creating a centerline arc.
1. Create a 1D-Hydraulic Centerline coverage.
Create a new coverage with the "1D-Hyd Centerline" type.
1. Create new coverage from scratch.
  1. Select Map Data in the Project Explorer and use the New Coverage right-click command.
  2. Use the New Coverage dialog to create a new coverage by selecting the desired coverage type, and naming the coverage.
2. Create new coverage from an existing coverage.
  1. Use the Duplicate command on an existing coverage. This will copy any feature objects on the coverage.
  2. Use the Rename command to give the coverage a new name.
  3. Change the coverage type.
2. Creating a centerline arc.
Draw a channel centerline arc from upstream to downstream (direction is important) along the desired reach.
1. Create an arc representing the centerline.
1. Create feature arcs, nodes and vertices.
In the Map module, create feature objects in the active coverage.
  1. Use the Create Feature Arc SMS Create Arc Tool.svg tool to create arcs in the map coverage.
  2. Begin creating a new arc by clicking in the Graphics Window at either arc end. If clicking on an existing feature node, vertex or arc, the new arc will snap to that object.
  3. Double-click or press the Enter key to terminate the arc.
  4. Use the Create Feature Node Create Points Tool.svg tool to create additional nodes alone or to split arcs.
2. Modify arcs.
Feature arcs often need to be edited after initial creation.
1. Create additional vertices on arcs.
  1. Use the Create Feature Vertex SMS Create Vertex Tool.svg tool to add vertices along arcs.
2. Refine the arc shape.
  1. Use the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool and the Select Feature Node SMS Select Node Tool.svg tool to move/edit existing arcs and refine the shape by dragging the nodes/vertices.
  2. Use the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool to move entire arcs .
3. Split arcs.
An existing arc can be split by:
1. Converting a vertex to a node.
  1. Use the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool and right-click on a vertex along an arc.
  2. Select the Convert to Node command to split the arc into two arcs.
2. Add a node the arc.
  1. Use the Create Feature Node Create Points Tool.svg tool to add a node on an arc in order to split it into two arcs.
3. Add a new connecting arc.
  1. Use the Create Feature Arc SMS Create Arc Tool.svg tool to start or end a new arc on an existing arc to split the existing arc into two arcs.
4. Use the Split Arcs Tool.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Split Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Split Arcs Tool to divide arcs.
5. Split overlapping arcs using the Clean Options dialog.
  1. Select overlapping arcs using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool.
  2. Use the Feature Objects | Clean command to bring up the Clean Options dialog.
  3. Select the Intersect selected arcs option (for selected arcs) or Intersect arcs option (for all overlapping arcs) to split the arcs.
4. Merge arcs.
Two arcs that share an end node can be merged together.
  1. Select the shared node using the Select Feature Node SMS Select Node Tool.svg tool.
  2. Right-click on the node and select the Convert to Vertex command to merge the arcs.
  3. If desired, the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool can be used to select and delete the new vertex.
5. Smooth arcs.
The variability or roughness of an arc can be reduced.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Smooth Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Smooth Arcs Tool to reduce the variability of the arc.
6. Prune arcs.
Concave sections of the arc can be removed.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Prune Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Prune Arcs dialog to remove concave sections.
2. Assign attributes to the centerline arc.
  1. Using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool, select the centerline arc.
  2. Right-click and select the Attributes... command.
  3. In the River Reach Attributes dialog, assign the centerline type and other attributes as needed.
3. Create overbank arcs. (Optional)
Draw additional arcs to delineate each channel bankline.
1. Create arcs representing the banks.
1. Create feature arcs, nodes and vertices.
In the Map module, create feature objects in the active coverage.
  1. Use the Create Feature Arc SMS Create Arc Tool.svg tool to create arcs in the map coverage.
  2. Begin creating a new arc by clicking in the Graphics Window at either arc end. If clicking on an existing feature node, vertex or arc, the new arc will snap to that object.
  3. Double-click or press the Enter key to terminate the arc.
  4. Use the Create Feature Node Create Points Tool.svg tool to create additional nodes alone or to split arcs.
2. Modify arcs.
Feature arcs often need to be edited after initial creation.
1. Create additional vertices on arcs.
  1. Use the Create Feature Vertex SMS Create Vertex Tool.svg tool to add vertices along arcs.
2. Refine the arc shape.
  1. Use the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool and the Select Feature Node SMS Select Node Tool.svg tool to move/edit existing arcs and refine the shape by dragging the nodes/vertices.
  2. Use the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool to move entire arcs .
3. Split arcs.
An existing arc can be split by:
1. Converting a vertex to a node.
  1. Use the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool and right-click on a vertex along an arc.
  2. Select the Convert to Node command to split the arc into two arcs.
2. Add a node the arc.
  1. Use the Create Feature Node Create Points Tool.svg tool to add a node on an arc in order to split it into two arcs.
3. Add a new connecting arc.
  1. Use the Create Feature Arc SMS Create Arc Tool.svg tool to start or end a new arc on an existing arc to split the existing arc into two arcs.
4. Use the Split Arcs Tool.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Split Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Split Arcs Tool to divide arcs.
5. Split overlapping arcs using the Clean Options dialog.
  1. Select overlapping arcs using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool.
  2. Use the Feature Objects | Clean command to bring up the Clean Options dialog.
  3. Select the Intersect selected arcs option (for selected arcs) or Intersect arcs option (for all overlapping arcs) to split the arcs.
4. Merge arcs.
Two arcs that share an end node can be merged together.
  1. Select the shared node using the Select Feature Node SMS Select Node Tool.svg tool.
  2. Right-click on the node and select the Convert to Vertex command to merge the arcs.
  3. If desired, the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool can be used to select and delete the new vertex.
5. Smooth arcs.
The variability or roughness of an arc can be reduced.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Smooth Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Smooth Arcs Tool to reduce the variability of the arc.
6. Prune arcs.
Concave sections of the arc can be removed.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Prune Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Prune Arcs dialog to remove concave sections.
2. Assign attributes to the bank arcs.
  1. Using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool, select the bank arc.
  2. Right-click and select the Attributes... command.
  3. In the River Reach Attributes dialog, assign the bank type and other attributes as needed.
5. Define cross sections.
1. Importing cross section data.
Files containing a cross section arcs can be imported into the Map module.
  1. Select File | Open to import the file data.
  2. Check that the data has been imported into the Map module.
  3. Check that the map coverage containing the arcs has been set to the 1D-Hyd Cross Section type.
2. Creating a cross sections.
1. Create a 1D-Hydraulic Cross Section coverage.
Create a new coverage with the "1D-Hyd Cross Section" type.
1. Create new coverage from scratch.
  1. Select Map Data in the Project Explorer and use the New Coverage right-click command.
  2. Use the New Coverage dialog to create a new coverage by selecting the desired coverage type, and naming the coverage.
2. Create new coverage from an existing coverage.
  1. Use the Duplicate command on an existing coverage. This will copy any feature objects on the coverage.
  2. Use the Rename command to give the coverage a new name.
  3. Change the coverage type.
2. Creating a cross section arcs.
1. Create arcs in cross section locations.
Draw cross section arcs that intersect the channel centerline.
1. Create feature arcs, nodes and vertices.
In the Map module, create feature objects in the active coverage.
  1. Use the Create Feature Arc SMS Create Arc Tool.svg tool to create arcs in the map coverage.
  2. Begin creating a new arc by clicking in the Graphics Window at either arc end. If clicking on an existing feature node, vertex or arc, the new arc will snap to that object.
  3. Double-click or press the Enter key to terminate the arc.
  4. Use the Create Feature Node Create Points Tool.svg tool to create additional nodes alone or to split arcs.
2. Modify arcs.
Feature arcs often need to be edited after initial creation.
1. Create additional vertices on arcs.
  1. Use the Create Feature Vertex SMS Create Vertex Tool.svg tool to add vertices along arcs.
2. Refine the arc shape.
  1. Use the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool and the Select Feature Node SMS Select Node Tool.svg tool to move/edit existing arcs and refine the shape by dragging the nodes/vertices.
  2. Use the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool to move entire arcs .
3. Split arcs.
An existing arc can be split by:
1. Converting a vertex to a node.
  1. Use the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool and right-click on a vertex along an arc.
  2. Select the Convert to Node command to split the arc into two arcs.
2. Add a node the arc.
  1. Use the Create Feature Node Create Points Tool.svg tool to add a node on an arc in order to split it into two arcs.
3. Add a new connecting arc.
  1. Use the Create Feature Arc SMS Create Arc Tool.svg tool to start or end a new arc on an existing arc to split the existing arc into two arcs.
4. Use the Split Arcs Tool.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Split Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Split Arcs Tool to divide arcs.
5. Split overlapping arcs using the Clean Options dialog.
  1. Select overlapping arcs using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool.
  2. Use the Feature Objects | Clean command to bring up the Clean Options dialog.
  3. Select the Intersect selected arcs option (for selected arcs) or Intersect arcs option (for all overlapping arcs) to split the arcs.
4. Merge arcs.
Two arcs that share an end node can be merged together.
  1. Select the shared node using the Select Feature Node SMS Select Node Tool.svg tool.
  2. Right-click on the node and select the Convert to Vertex command to merge the arcs.
  3. If desired, the Select Feature Vertex SMS Select Vertex Tool.svg tool can be used to select and delete the new vertex.
5. Smooth arcs.
The variability or roughness of an arc can be reduced.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Smooth Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Smooth Arcs Tool to reduce the variability of the arc.
6. Prune arcs.
Concave sections of the arc can be removed.
  1. Right-click on an arc using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool and select the Prune Arc(s)... command.
  2. Use the Prune Arcs dialog to remove concave sections.
2. Assign attributes to the cross section arcs.
  1. Using the Select Feature Arc SMS Select Arc Tool.svg tool, select the centerline arc.
  2. Right-click and select the Attributes... command.
  3. In the River Cross Section Attributes dialog, assign cross section attributes.
6. Set materials.
  1. Right-click on the 1D-Hyd cross section coverage and select Extract cross sections.
  2. In the Extract Cross Sections dialog, specify the source of materials. Options include:
    • Materials defined on an existing map coverage.
    • Materials defined with a shapefile.
    • Using a constant Manning's n.
7. Set up HEC-RAS 1D.
  1. Switch to the 1D Module 1D-River-Module-Icon.svg.
  2. Select HEC-RAS | Material Properties.
  3. Review and set materials in the HEC-RAS Material Properties dialog.
  4. Select HEC_RAS | Model Control.
  5. In the HEC-RAS Model Control dialog, review and set the cross section database and material set to use.
8. Export and launch HEC-RAS.
  1. Select the HEC-RAS |Export HEC-RAS Project File command.
  2. Enter the file name and save the project.
9. HEC-RAS post-processing.
  1. Review output files generated from HEC-RAS model run.
  2. Open project files in HEC-RAS software.