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WMS 8.0 and later provide support for importing, exporting, viewing, and editing HEC Data Storage System (DSS) files inside of WMS. HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS both use DSS files for importing and exporting time series data.

What is HEC-DSS?

DSS is a file format that is used for storing time series data (such as precipitation and discharge over time) and other types of data (such as unit hydrographs, elevation-area curves, and elevation-discharge curves). DSS files store one or more blocks, or records, in a single file with the “.dss” extension. Each record in the file has header information that identifies the units, start date, and/or start time of the information in the record. Each record is identified by a unique identifier called the “pathname”. DSS files are binary files with no published format, and WMS uses DLL’s provided by HEC to import and export data from these files.

If understanding the pathnames in DSS files, it is easier to understand how to use DSS files. DSS references datasets, or records, by their pathnames. A pathname may consist of up to 391 characters and is, by convention, separated into six parts, which may be up to 64 characters each. Pathnames are automatically translated into all upper case characters. They are separated into six parts (delimited by slashes "/") labeled "A" through "F", as follows:


For regular-interval time series data, the part naming convention is:

Part Description
A Project, river, or basin name
B Location
C Data parameter
D Starting date of block, in a 9 character military format
E Time interval
F Additional user-defined descriptive information

A typical regular-interval time series might be:


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