Surface-Water Modeling System (SMS)
Modeling Water Flows

SMS is a comprehensive graphical user environment for performing surface water flow simulations, model visualization, and finite element network generation and manipulation. SMS can be used to automatically generate finite element networks, build input data files for the Federal Highway Administration's Finite Element Surface Water Modeling System, FESWMS-2DH and WSPRO Bridge Backwater Analysis Programs.

SMS contains the following modules which can be used to develop finite element networks: (1) Mesh Module - SMS can be used to construct two dimensional finite element networks of rivers, estuaries, bays, or wetland areas where shallow flow occurs. A sophisticated set of automatic network generation and editing tools are available in SMS to handle even the most difficult modeling situations, (2) Scattered Data Module - The Scattered Data module is used to interpolate from groups of scattered points to networks. Interpolated data may be created from network nodes, measured field data or other user supplied sources. Interpolation can be used to provide initial conditions, compare overlapping meshes or verify a model. A variety of interpolation schemes are supported, and (3) Map Module - GIS objects are used in SMS to represent topographic features. SMS assigns properties and conditions to these objects and automatically generates a finite element network. This drastically reduces network construction and editing time. SMS imports and displays TIFF images and DXF files and uses them to develop feature objects and model boundaries. The map module also includes tools for annotating graphical output to facilitate easy report generation. SMS also contains a River Module which allows the creation of river cross-sections. Tools are provided to define bridge openings, culverts, guidebanks and roadways.

Copies of SMS have been distributed throughout the FHWA and to each State highway agency. Training courses are being offered on a regional basis in 1997. A contract to develop a NHI course to teach finite element surface water modeling using FESWMS-2DH and SMS is underway. The course will be available in early 1998.

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration


Project Manager
Larry Arneson
(303) 965-5772 ext. 349

Project Coordinator
Tom Krylowski
(202) 366-6771