SMS:What's New in SMS 12.1

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Release Notes

SMS 12.1 was released as a Beta in November 2015. It is scheduled for full release before the end of the year. The main functionality of this release includes:

  • Major improvements to the SRH-2D hydrodynamics model (first full release of the custom interface).
  • A new simulation based interface for the Coastal Modeling System (CMS-Flow).
  • Significant revisions to management of images and GIS data through a new GIS module.

This update of SMS includes several new capabilities and advancements which are outlined below.

General Features

  • An option was added to restore factory defaults in the File | Save Settings command.
  • A new tool was added to the dataset toolbox to perform a comparison between datasets on different geometry.
  • Functionality to load/use cross section and centerline data from HEC-RAS simulations added.
  • An option to create a summary table to compare 2D Hydrodynamic results with traditional 1D model results at river cross sections.
  • Polygons that share a common arc(s) can be merged into a single polygon.
  • Data from the Coastal Hazards System can now be imported into SMS on Spatial Data coverages.
  • New tool in the Dataset Toolbox allows comparison of datasets from different geometry without interpolation to a common geometry first.
  • New Workflow Outlines are available to simplify learning and remembering the steps for performing modeling processes.

Model Interfaces

Module Features

GIS Module

  • A new GIS module was introduced in version 12.0 and has been significantly enhanced in SMS 12.1. All images, rasters, shapefiles and lidar tiles are loaded into this module for common management.
  • Rasters, previously accessed through the Raster module are now economically managed as GIS objects.
    • Display options include an image representation or a point cloud.
    • Tools for interpolation of elevation data to grids, meshes and scatter sets.
    • Tools for conversion to scatter set, resampling, smoothing, trimming and editing.
    • Tools for extracting land use data for mapping to ADCIRC spatial or nodal attributes.

Map Module

  • New Arc tools
    • Redistribution from a source arc to an adjacent target arc. This feature is very useful to coordinate vertex placement for patch construction.
    • Arc offsetting and selecting tools.

Spectral Coverage

  • A spectral coverage can now be copied by right clicking on the coverage and selecting Duplicate. This allows spectral points to be broken into smaller sets or spectra to be modified.

Mesh Module

  • Mesh elements can be selected and converted into feature arcs. The arcs have the default attributes of the coverage they are assigned to.

Quadtree Module

  • Cartesian grids (both regular and irregular) can be converted to Quadtrees by right clicking on the grid
  • A Quadtree can be edited to conform to sizes specified on a polygon by polygon basis in a Quadtree Generation coverage by right clicking on the Quadtree and selecting the refine command.
  • Quadtrees can be edited manually by selecting on or more cells, right clicking and selecting the Split Cell(s) or Merge Cell(s) commands.
    • The split command subdivides each selected cell into four cells.
    • The merge identifies the three sibling cells for each selected cell. If those cells have not been subdivided, the four cells are merged into a single cell. A cell at the base level cannot be merged.
  • The elevation dataset on Quadtrees can be smoothed by right clicking on the Quadtree object and selection the Smooth... command.
  • Datasets on a Quadtree can be interpolated to other geometric objects by right clicking on the Quadtree and selecting Interpolate to....
  • A Quadtree is saved as a *.tel file when a CMS-Flow simulation is exported to native input files.

Model Features


  • Improved utilization of NLCS raster data for population of nodal/spatial attributes (fort.13 file)
  • Update to the version of "aswip.exe" that is installed with SMS and how SMS calls this utility to convert NWS = 8 to NWS = 19 format.
  • SMS was modified to read/maintain "Generic" nodestrings that are defined on a grid.
  • Attributes of a cyclonic storm stored in PBL Trop or ADCIRC Cyclonic storm models (NWS = 8 and 19) are now converted as far as possible when converting between formats.
  • When an ADCIRC grid is read in, the range of the coordinates is computed and if it is within geographic limits, the projection of the grid is set to geographic.


  • Various minor improvements in the interface to SEDLIB


  • The CMS-Flow development team has produced a new version of the model itself. Implicit mode is now recommended as the normal methodology resulting in much shorter run times.
  • The entire interface is now simulation based. This means that a simulation is explicitly represented in the project explorer with links to the components of the simulation such as a quadtree to represent the geometric domain and a coverage storing the boundary conditions.


  • The simulation based interface that was unveiled as part of the interim release 12.0 is now available with full functionality.

A new tool to compute an EXIT-H depth or rating curve has been added. The user specifies one or more flow rates, a friction slope and a source of topology. SMS computes either the normal or critical depth for each specified Q based on the cross sectional area of the associated arc.

  • The snap preview functionality was significantly sped up.
  • New version of HY-8 allows reuse of culvert crossings in multiple simulations and projects.
  • Support of 1D structural elements including:
    • Weir flow not represented in the mesh
    • HY-8 culvert crossing – This is a significant improvement over the initial link between SRH-2D and the HY-8 culvert calculation engine.
      • User can now define the crossings before setting up the SRH-2D simulation allowing the model to use existing HY-8 files
      • HY-8 files can be reused in multiple simulation or projects.
    • Internal culvert – This structure uses the definition of a simple culvert used by the FST2DH program (previously sponsored by FHWA). This structure allows for faster calculation of culvert flow than can be supported by the current version of HY-8.
    • Pressure zones – This feature allows the user to define regions that have a ceiling elevation. SRH-2D includes the pressure forces and flow resistance from the bottom side of the deck in 2D hydrodynamic calculations.
    • Gates – This structure can be used to represent a sluice gate condition.
    • Obstructions – This feature allows general representation of flow blockage around a point (such as a pier) or along a line (such as a bridge deck).


  • STWAVE nesting functionality is now supported through the spectral coverage option.


  • New version of the TUFLOW-FV model was incorporated along with an updated version of the tutorial.


  • A new function was added to convert WAM output to spectral coverages. This allows them to be used as input for STWAVE or CMS-Wave.