SMS Features

SMS (Surfacewater Modeling System) models the water surface elevation, flow velocity, contaminant transport and dispersion, sediment transport and deposition, subcritical-supercritical flow, and long shore waves for complex 2D horizontal flow problems.

Unparalleled Modeling Capability

SMS provides complete support for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers RMA two-dimensional hydrodynamic and contaminant transport, SED2D two-dimensional sediment transport and deposition, HIVEL2D two-dimensional hydrodynamic supercritical and subcritical flow, and U.S. Federal Highway Administration FESWMS two-dimensional hydrodynamic and contaminant transport finite element models. Additional support for other surfacewater models is currently being developed.

SMS can model water surface elevation, flow velocity, contaminant transport and dispersion, and sediment transport and deposition for complex 2-D flow situations.

Using SMS, a sophisticated two-dimensional finite element flow model can be developed and analyzed in the amount of time typically required to perform a one-dimensional HEC-2 water surface profile analysis. Single- and multiple-opening bridge and culvert roadway crossings, channel networks, sinuous rivers, harbors, bays, estuaries, wetlands, irregular floodplains, split flows and other complex flow situations can be modeled.

Along the flow boundaries and at each node in the finite element mesh, the water surface elevation, flow velocity, pollution contaminant concentration, and bed scour and deposition are computed. Flow separations and eddy currents are accurately modeled. The software can find solutions for a single instance in time (steady-state solution), or during a series of time-steps (transient solution). Transient solutions can be used to model flow fluctuations caused by inflow hydrographs, tidal cycles, and storm surges. For subcritical-supercritical mixed flow regimes, hydraulic jumps are automatically located.

Ease of Use

SMS will automatically construct a finite element mesh for the region being modeled. All modeling parameters are entered through interactive graphics and easy-to-use dialog boxes. The software is well-suited for the construction of large, complex meshes (several thousand elements) of arbitrary shape. A finite element mesh of a simple region can be constructed within a few minutes. Meshes of more complex regions, which normally would take days or weeks to construct manually, can be constructed within a few hours. Mesh generation errors are easily detected during mesh construction, and can be corrected within minutes. Large meshes can be quickly constructed from sets of scattered data points using the Delauney triangulation technique. Arbitrarily-shaped polygonal regions can be automatically filled with elements. Existing digital elevation models can be imported and used as background data to generate elevations for the mesh. An adaptive tessellation meshing scheme allows the mesh to change its density based upon how rapidly the background data elevations change.

Advanced Graphics

The analysis results can be output or displayed graphically using a variety of plots, including vector plots, contour plots, color-shaded contour plots, and time-history plots. Contour plots and color-shaded contour plots of water surface elevation, velocity, discharge, contaminant concentration, and bed scour and deposition can easily be generated for any of the computed time-steps. Time-history plots can be requested at any location to illustrate fluctuations in water surface elevation, velocity, discharge, contaminant concentration, and bed elevation. A data set calculator is provided, allowing the user to perform comparisons between analysis models—such as displaying the difference in water surface elevations and flow velocities due to a change in the operation of a flood gate.

Both steady-state and transient solutions can be shown animated (as if viewing a movie) using either particle trace, vector, or contour animation. For steady-state solutions, particle trace animation allows the user to clearly see the inherent flow patterns in the mesh. For transient solutions, vector and contour animation allows the user to observe how water surface elevation, velocity, discharge, contaminant concentration, and bed elevation vary with time.

New Features

  • German Language Version
    You can now get a German language version of SMS.
  • New Quick Tour
    A new “Quick Tour” is provided to introduce users to SMS.
  • 3D View Manipulation with optional Z magnification
    View and edit your models in 3D.
  • Restructured plot management - multiple windows 
    The plot management window has been split up into multiple windows, so they are easier to use.

  • Drogue animations generated from a Drogue coverage 
    Drogue animations can be generated from a Drogue coverage.
  • External film loop player
    SMS now comes with an external film loop player with speed contro
  • Dockable toolbars
    Toolbars are now dockable.
  • Help Buttons on all dialogs 
    All dialogs now have a help button.

Mesh Module

The Mesh Module provides automated tools to construct finite element meshes. In addition, a variety of interactive editing tools are provided to make it easy to accurately model special features in the mesh, such as breakwaters, sand bars, islands, and man-made structures. For example, the software can automatically refine or relax a mesh for a particular region—thereby allowing the user to quickly adjust the mesh for special modeling situations.

Scatter Point Module

The Scatter Point Module provides two-dimensional interpolation tools for interpolating scattered point data to a finite element mesh. A number of different interpolation methods are available (including kriging, natural neighbor, and inverse distance weighted) to transform existing field data into a useful form that can then be viewed and assigned to the model as input.

Steering Module

Many of the tasks performed as part of a numerical simulation are repetitious and time consuming. To make these tasks, the Steering Module was created. The main objectives of the Steering Module are to: simplify data sharing between models, monitor model runs, save time by automating repetitive user tasks, and achieve more accurate results from models. The interface to the Steering Module can be accessed by selecting Steering Module from the Data Menu. The tasks the steering module performs can be classified in two main groups. These include single model control, and multiple model coupling. A group of functions that can be performed by the steering module are called a channel. The Model steering to perform portion of the dialog contains a combo box to select the type, or channel of steering to be done.

RMA Interface Module

The RMA Interface Module provides a graphical interface to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers RMA2 and RMA4 analysis engines. The RMA user interface is used to assign boundary conditions and analysis parameters to the mesh to be modeled. The module also includes the RMA2 and RMA4 analysis engines. To perform RMA modeling, the Mesh Module must also be purchased. When purchased with the FESWMS Interface Module, SMS allows the user to quickly switch a model back and forth between the RMA and FESWMS analysis engines.

RMA2 is a 2D hydrodynamic, depth averaged, free surface, finite element model. RMA2 can compute water surface elevations and flow velocities for subcritical flow at nodal points in a finite element mesh representing a body of water (such as a river, harbor, or estuary). Effects of bed friction, wind, turbulence, and the Earth’s rotation can be taken into account. In addition, dynamic flow conditions caused by inflow hydrographs, tidal cycles, and storm surges can be accurately modeled.

RMA4 is a 2D contaminant transport, depth averaged, free surface, finite element model that uses the flows computed in RMA2. For contaminant modeling, a set of user-specified pollutant point loads are defined by mass or concentration values and by decay rates for each constituent. Any number of contaminant point sources can be specified. The model will then compute the migration and dissipation of the constituents with time.

SED2D Interface Module

The SED2D Interface Module provides a graphical interface to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers SED2D two-dimensional sediment transport and deposition finite element analysis engine. The SED2D user interface is used to assign boundary conditions and analysis parameters to the mesh to be modeled. The module also includes the SED2D analysis engine. To perform SED2D modeling, the Mesh Module and RMA Interface Module must also be purchased.



SED2D is used in conjunction with the RMA analysis engine for modeling how sediment is transported and deposited as water flows through a 2D mesh. A preliminary run of RMA is required prior to using SED2D to determine the initial flow conditions for the model. Then, while the SED2D analysis is run, bed scour and sediment deposition can alter the bed elevation and bed material type of the finite element bathymetry mesh.



For the SED2D analysis, the bed material type is specified as either clay or sand. If clay is chosen, up to 10 consolidating layers can be defined. Clay parameters such as bed shear stress, consolidated dry density, erosion rate, and layer thickness can be specified globally and locally for each clay layer. If a sand bed is chosen, sand parameters such as particle size, grain shape factor, specific gravity, and minimum and maximum grain size are specified globally and locally. Other bed parameters, which do not depend on the bed type, must be specified, including the x and y diffusion coefficients, initial sediment concentration, and average particle settling velocity. In addition, the water density and temperature can be defined if desired.

HIVEL2D Interface Module

The HIVEL2D Interface Module provides a graphical interface to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers HIVEL2D two-dimensional hydrodynamic supercritical and subcritical finite element analysis engine. The HIVEL2D user interface is used to assign boundary conditions and analysis parameters to the mesh to be modeled. The module also includes the HIVEL2D analysis engine. To perform HIVEL2D modeling, the Mesh Module and RMA Interface Module must also be purchased.

HIVEL-2D is a 2D hydrodynamic, depth averaged, free surface, finite element model specifically designed for flow fields that contain supercritical and subcritical flow regimes, as well as the transitions between these regimes. The model provides numerically stable solutions of advection dominated flow fields containing shocks, such as oblique standing waves and hydraulic jumps.

FESWMS Interface Module

The FESWMS Interface Module provides a graphical interface to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration FESWMS two-dimensional hydrodynamic finite element analysis engine. The FESWMS user interface is used to assign boundary conditions and analysis parameters to the mesh to be modeled. The module also includes the FESWMS analysis engine. To perform FESWMS modeling, the Mesh Module must also be purchased. When purchased with the RMA Interface Module, SMS allows the user to quickly switch a model back and forth between the FESWMS and RMA analysis engines.



The FESWMS analysis engine is similar to the RMA2 analysis engine in that it is a two-dimensional hydrodynamic, depth averaged, finite element model. However, since FESWMS was initially developed to analyze flow at highway crossings, it has additional capabilities which RMA2 does not provide. For example, FESWMS can model flow through bridges, culverts, gated openings, and drop inlet spillways, as well as over dams, weirs, and highway embankments. Flow through bridges and culverts, and over highway embankments can be modeled as either 1D or 2D flow. FESWMS is ideal for modeling complex flow conditions at single- and multiple-bridge and culvert roadway crossings, such as combination pressurized flow, weir overflow, and submerged weir overflow, which are difficult to evaluate using conventional models. It is especially well-suited at analyzing bridge embankments and support structures to reduce and eliminate scour during flooding.

Built-in Model Checker

Included with SMS is a built-in Model Checker. The Model Checker will review the input data specified for the selected surfacewater analysis model. If it encounters an error with the input data, it will explain what is wrong and how you can correct it. In addition, the Model Checker will review the defined finite element mesh, looking for mesh quality concerns, such as element aspect ratio, element area change, and ambiguous element gradient. The Model Checker can be thought of as an expert modeler, pointing out any errors contained within the model.

Enhancements

  • Observation Coverage and Calibration Tools
    The observation coverage and calibration tools have been enhanced.



  • Map Module
    The Map Module coverage management has been enhanced.
  • Display Options
    The Display Options dialog has been enhanced by splitting it up into separate property tabs.


  • Animation Tools
    The animation tools in SMS have been enhanced.
  • Contour Options
    The Contour Options now include filled contours together with contour lines.
  • Scattered Data Set Manipulation
    Scattered Data Set Manipulation has been enhanced with new capabilities (merging, splitting, etc.).
  • 2D plot editor (XY series)
    The 2D plot editor has been enhanced. You can now copy and paste (i.e. to and from a spreadsheet).

Map Module

Using the Map Module, scanned TIFF images of the area being modeled, such as an aerial photo or scanned-in map, can be displayed as a background image, used for on-screen digitizing, or simply to enhance the modeling results output. Images can be registered so that image pixel coordinates correspond exactly to real world survey coordinates. A background image provides the modeler with a frame of reference when developing the surface water model.

The Map Module can also directly import and export an AutoCAD or MicroStation DXF drawing file, which allows importing of 3D bathymetry data and export of modeling results.