SMS:What's New in SMS 11.0

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SMS 11.0 includes a new raster module, interfaces for several new numeric engines, as well as new and updated features to make it possible to do more things, do things better or do things faster.

New Module – Raster Module

  • You can now work with raster data (DEM) in SMS without needing to convert the data into a scatterset (TIN). Raster formats are more space efficient and quicker to draw than TIN based formats with the same number of points. This allows you to work with larger DEMs than previously possible within SMS.
  • Rasters can be used to interpolate elevations to a scatter, mesh, or grid. You can create observation profile plots of raster data to see cross-section views of raster data.

New Interfaces

Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL)

  • The PBL model is used to compute wind fields from tropical storms and hurricanes. The PBL engine is developed and maintained by Oceanweather Inc., experts in wind forecasting and hind casting. The PBL model takes an input storm track and outputs wind fields that can be used to force an ADCIRC model. Currently, distribution of the model itself is controlled by OWI. Negotiations to use the model, or get output files from the model, which can then be used in SMS as part of CSTORM or ADCIRC model runs, must go through OWI.

Adaptive Hydraulics (AdH)

  • The 2D shallow water component of the ADaptive Hydraulics Modeling system (AdH) now has an interface within SMS. AdH was developed by the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, ERDC, USACE ( AdH solves the 2D shallow water equations, features an adaptive mesh solution to dynamically alter the resolution of the mesh based upon where it is needed, supports wetting and drying, boat effects, and wind effects. See the AdH website for more information on AdH (

Note: The sediment and AD transport portions of AdH are not currently supported in the SMS interface.


  • The global ocean WAve prediction Model called WAM is a third generation wave model. WAM predicts directional spectra as well as wave properties such as significant wave height, mean wave direction and frequency, swell wave height and mean direction, and wind stress fields corrected by including the wave induced stress and the drag coeffieient at each grid point at chosen output times. (;8)
  • The WAM interface in SMS supports building WAM grids, creating WAM simulations, nesting WAM grids, post-processing support (contours and spectra), and generating spectra for STWAVE input (requires the STWAVE interface).

Bouss2D Runup/Overtopping

  • It is now possible to run Bouss2D in 1D mode to simulate run-up and overtopping. The runup/overtopping interface supports the ability to extract transects, position gages, specify roughness zones (Chezy or Manning), and define multiple wave cases. Post-processing includes 2D profile plots along transects, time-series plots of gage output, generated summary statistics such as height of highest 1/10, 1/50 of waves, and the point of furthest encroachment on each transect.

Other Additions and/or Changes

TUFLOW Advection/Diffusion Module

  • There is a new Advection/Diffusion (AD) module for TUFLOW. TUFLOW AD simulates depth-averaged, two and one-dimensional constituent fate and transport. Both dissolved and particulate constituents can be simulated. TUFLOW AD adaptively expands its computational stencil (between third to ninth order) in areas where strong constituent gradients are identified. The module is fully supported within SMS including the ability to support spatially varied initial concentrations and transport coefficients.

Generic Model New Features

  • We have added several features to the generic model interface to offer more options for providing a user-interface for models without a custom SMS interface.
  • Now boundary condition and material parameters can now support more than just a floating point or curve value. Each parameter can be enumerated options, boolean, integer, float, curve, text, or float/curve (user chooses which).
  • Now multiple boundary conditions can be assigned to the same entity (node, nodestring or elements). This is particularly handy if you have bc information for multiple solution types (flow and sediment transport).
  • The generic model designer can show/hide parameters based upon an enumerated option parameter. For example, the user could choose between chezy and manning roughness approaches and show the appropriate parameters depending upon the choice. Boundary condition and Material properties can use global parameters or their own parameters to base the hide/show logic.
  • The designer can also choose to have multiple material groups (roughness/sediment).
  • In order to accomplish the features above and make parameters as consistent as possible, some existing card definitions have changed. This will necessity changes for models using the generic model interface and migrating from SMS 10.1 to 1.0.0.

CMS Updates

  • CMS Flow now supports the ability to run a coupled CMS Flow/CMS Wave model without the use of the steering module (inlined). Running the models inlined minimizes the file IO for the models decreasing runtimes.
  • CMS Flow also supports an optional Implicit solution scheme allows for longer time-step sizes and parallel runs so you can distribute your work across all of your processor cores. The option to change which mode (2D or 3D) CMS Flow runs in has been removed. By default, CMS Flow will run in 2D.
  • CMS Wave has several new features including the ability to define a muddy bed, non-linear wave effects, infragravity wave effects, spatially varied wind field, xmdf output, and a Gauss-seidel solution scheme that allows you to run across multiple processor cores.

TUFLOW Updates

  • You can now import projects created outside of SMS. Multiple TCF files can be read together to maintain sharing of objects where supported by SMS. Makes it easy for someone familiar with SMS to pick up on a model started by someone else or to help transition to using TUFLOW within SMS.
  • You can now choose to output datasets in XMDF format which is much faster (basically instant) for loading datasets into SMS. You can also add custom text to the output options to choose items not supported by SMS.
  • You can now create, manage, and use irregular culverts from inside the SMS interface.
  • You can now choose to have SMS write zpts to a new xf file format that is binary and very fast to read/write.
  • Includes manhole support for the new TUFLOW manhole features. You can specify options for the automatically generated manholes and override these settings using a TUFLOW manhole coverage.
  • You can now select grid cell locations (9 cell locations used by TUFLOW) using the “Feature objects->Select/Delete Data” command.

Cartesian grids store their own projection and reproject on the fly

  • You can now have a projection associated with each of your cartesian grids. The grid will be reprojected on the fly into the working projection for display purposes. You can right-click on the grid and choose “Work in grid projection” to easily change your working projection to the grid’s projection which is required for working with the grid and using tools.

Note: Bouss2D and CMS-Wave do not currently have the ability to save this projection information.

STWAVE Updates

  • We are now linked to STWAVE version 6 which has new file formats and improvements made by the model developers. You can now extract boundary conditions from a larger WAM run and have improved iteration control for the full-plane version. The new interface/model allows you to specify names for your boundary condition cases.

Improved Crash Reports

  • The crash reports from SMS now contain more information often enough for our developers to fix the issue without any user interaction. Please allow SMS to post this information so our developers can fix issues that arise.

Dynamic background images from the web through ArcGIS

  • If you have ArcGIS on your computer, you can use the GIS module within SMS to get background imagery that updates on the fly from the internet.

Particle module/PTM changes

  • Particle sets can have a projection defined and are reprojected on the fly.
  • You can estimate the number of particles that will be generated in by a PTM source coverage. This helps ensure you don’t accidentally generate so many particles that the computations take to long.
  • Virtual gages - You can use virtual gages to determine concentrations and other data around a point or within a polygon.
  • Particle filters - You can use particle filters to display a subset of particles to use for display, selection and compute grid datasets. You can use this to look at particles from particular sources, etc.

Bouss2D changes

  • You can now have variable roughness defined by map polygons for a Bouss2D simulation

GenCade changes

  • Wave gage event wave directions can now be specified in conventions other than shore normal, such as meteorological and oceanographic.
  • Left and right bypass coefficients can be specified for inlets. The Y Left and Y Right have been removed and replaced by the left and right bypass coefficients.

General Features

  • If you do File | Save as and choose an image file, SMS writes an associated world and projection file
  • You can change the symbol size used in plots
  • You can convert mesh elements to polygons using Mesh→Map. This makes it possible to get your mesh elements into a shapefile
  • SMS now uses the existing background for flowtrace and drogue plots rather than have this specified separately
  • Zoom to options to easily see specific information including: zoom to mesh, grid, scatter, and selections
  • Option to always use white when printing rather than current background color
  • You can now import TINs from LandXML files
  • Find/select map points, arcs, and polygons by id (use zoom to selection to find in busy coverages)