SMS:GenCade Modeling Process

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A GenCade model is set up in a globally referenced projection (such as UTM or State Plane).

Required Input Data

The model requires the following data for input:

  • Grid frame – This is a geometric object that defines the domain of the simulation. The modeling engine operates on a straight line (1D grid). The grid frame defines the origin, orientation and extent of the simulation region. The grid frame should be oriented to align to the principal shoreline direction. Generally the grid frame is positioned just to the landward side of the shoreline. When looking along the shoreline in a direction parallel (or close to parallel) to the direction of the grid frame, the ocean should be but on the left and the shore to the right. Positions in the model (such as shoreline values) are referenced to this datum. The graphical interface will generate a grid that lies along the grid frame. h.
  • Initial shoreline definition – This is series of points ((x,y) or (lat,lon)) that define a reference position for the coastline at the beginning of a simulation (in the model projection). SMS stores these points as an arc in a GenCade coverage.
  • Wave conditions: The model supports multiple wave inputs at locations throughout the domain. These are mapped to a single cell in the grid. Wave conditions include the wave parameters (height, period, direction) at each time step in the simulation. The direction of each wave condition must be provided to the model in local shore normal coordinates.
  • Other structure definitions to represent the structures (seawalls, groins and inlets) in the domain.
  • Dredging/nourishment and bypass events as warranted by the events during the period being simulated.


The model performs all calculations in a local direction defined by the grid. This direction can be visualized relative to several reference points. Two references are defined here:

  • The model references the grid direction as an azimuth angle from North. An azimuth of zero (0.0) directs the local grid to go from South to North (land to the East). The azimuth is measured in a clockwise direction, so an azimuth of 90 degrees defines a grid that goes from West to East (land on the South).
  • The SMS interface relys more on graphical positioning, since the grid frame is defined interactively and displayed with an origin. However, the system uses a Cartesian angle reference with the X axis (East) equal to 0 degrees. The direction for this convention follows the right hand rule (CCW = positive). Therefore, a Cartesian angle of zero corresponds to the West to East (land on the South) azimuth of 90 degrees. Similarly, a Cartesian angle of 90 degrees is the same as an azimuth of 0 degrees.

The following steps illustrate the standard modeling process.

  1. Define a GenCade coverage.
  2. Create a grid frame defining the domain extents.
  3. Define refinement points as desired to control grid resolution.
  4. Define feature points at the location of wave buoys. Read or enter the wave data at each of these points.
  5. Define arcs representing the various structures in the domain. Assign attributes to these arcs.
  6. Define arcs representing the events in the simulation. Assign attributes to these arcs.
  7. Map the conceptual model to a numeric model.
  8. In the 1D Grid module, assign the model parameters in the GenCade Model Control dialog.
  9. Save the simulation and run the model.
  10. Read solution files to visualize results.

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