Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

Mapping Multiple Coverages in GMS

Do you have a conceptual model project in GMS where you have multiple map coverages with values for the same MODFLOW package? Are you wondering how GMS maps values from multiple coverages over to the MODFLOW packages?

It's not unusual for some projects to require the same attributes to be in separate coverages rather than having all the attributes in a single coverage. For example you might want to use recharge attributes from different sources and have placed the values on different coverages. But how exactly does GMS handle this? This post should hopefully give you a better sense of what GMS is doing behind the scenes.

Normally, the values for a particular MODFLOW package, such as recharge, are placed on one coverage that uses multiple polygons. In this case, a single value can be calculated, taken only from the predominant polygon, as it is expected that the polygons will all be within the same coverage. Also in this case, the methodology is designed to accommodate polygons being used to calibrate recharge zones in PEST, as opposed to calibrating with pilot points. If using gradient recharges, it is recommended to use scatter points to interpolate recharge values to MODFLOW layers.

You may have a case where you have the values for a package, such as recharge, on polygons on different map coverages. This could be because you imported the values from different sources. In cases where the polygons on different map coverage overlap, the attribute types with different values will have those values summed up when they are applied all at once if you map all of the coverages at the same time. If you don’t want them summed up, make sure that rather than applying them all at once, the value you want is the last value mapped over. This is because when multiple coverages are applied at once, GMS sum the values cumulatively, but when done individually, GMS overwrites the value with the most recently mapped coverage.

Mapping multiple coverages

It is important to note that hydraulic conductivity is not cumulative, though the sources may be. Hydraulic conductivity is overwritten every time, so the values MODFLOW receives are the values of the last polygon that intersected an individual cell.

Items in the Project Explorer are mapped in descending order, so changing the order of the coverages can change the end results.

You can also find more information on how objects are mapped to MODFLOW at the Aquaveo XMS Wiki.

Try mapping multiple coverages in GMS 10.5 today!

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Viewing Multiple GSSHA Scenarios in a Hydrograph

Have you needed to compare multiple GSSHA scenarios using a single hydrograph? New functionality has been added to WMS that now allows for hydrographs that can display results from multiple GSSHA scenarios. This post will review how multiple GSSHA scenarios can be added to hydrographs, a feature newly introduced in WMS 11.1.

Hydrograph showing multiple GSSHA scenarios

Hydrographs that show multiple GSSHA scenarios plot them all out within the same hydrograph. A legend below the graph will indicate which GSSHA scenario run is which in the hydrograph, as each run should be in a different color and potentially a different line style. The dimensions of the hydrograph will be such that all of the different runs will all be able to be displayed.

To be able to work with hydrographs that show multiple GSSHA scenarios, multiple GSSHA scenarios will need to be loaded into WMS to be compared with each other. This can be done by loading multiple GSSHA projects that use the same area into WMS. These can be saved together as a single GSSHA Group Project (GGP) file if needed.

When these GSSHA scenarios will be run, rather than using the typical Run GSSHA command, instead go to the GSSHA | Run GSSHA Group Command. This will open up the Save and Run GSSHA Group dialog. Here, the projects that will run can be selected, as well as the group filename. When the projects have been selected, clicking OK will close out the dialog and bring up the Model Wrapper dialog. This will be brought up for every scenario that will be run, along with the necessary loading of the data into WMS. This will likely take some time, depending on the nature of the GSSHA scenarios, the amount of data to be loaded in, and the amount of different scenarios that will all need to be run.

Once the entire group of GSSHA scenarios has been run, selecting the hydrograph for viewing should display plots of all of the relevant hydrograph scenarios that have been run. Feel free to examine the data, and potentially experiment with different combinations of geographically related runs.

Try out multiple scenario hydrographs in WMS 11.1 today!

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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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