SMS Tips

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SMS (developed by Aquaveo) is a software program which is used to develop the flexible mesh used by TUFLOW FV. The software is also a useful tool for viewing model results.

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Changing SMS Time Settings (Hours to Isodate)

During calibration modelling it is often convenient to run simulations using isodate format. Isodate format uses date/time specifications to define the model simulation start and end time (instead of hours)

Example TUFLOW Syntax:

time format == ISODATE
start time ==  26/03/2010 16:30:00    
end time ==   01/04/2010 23:00:00

SMS has to be configured to correctly display isodate format results. By default, time settings are set to hours in SMS (not correctly defining the preceding date input). SMS can be configured to display results in isodate format.

Select: Edit>>Time Settings…

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Set ‘Zero Time’ to 01/01/1990 12:00:00AM

Set ‘Display as’ to Absolute Date/Time

Time Settings.png

Note: For advice how to correctly configure boundary condition inputs using isodate format, refer to: Boundary Condition Input Format

TUFLOW FV Mesh Performance

Mesh performance can be reviewed by opening a timstep summary output file created by TUFLOW FV in SMS.

Open the external cfl timestep file (<simulation name>_ext_cfl_dt.csv) in SMS. The file is located in the TUFLOWFV\input\log\ directory:

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When prompted for a format to open the file, select “use import wizard”.

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In the file import options select “Delimited” and select comma as the delimiter.

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At the next prompt, turn off the triangulate data, and using the dropboxes, set the ctrd_x data to be mapped as X, the ctrd_Y to be mapped as Y and the dt_min (minimum timestep) to be mapped as Z. This is shown in the dialogue below:

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Select “Finish” to open the data. There will be a new scatter dataset created, in the display options set the points to be visible, and select “Use contour colour scheme”.

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In the contour options, set the contour range to highlight the cells with small timesteps:

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The timesteps should now appear as a series of points, as per the image below. This can be used to identify the cells that are limiting the timestep of the model. In this case the limiting cells are in the deep water around the bends in the model. To increase the speed of the model we would need to relax (coarsen) the mesh definition in these areas.

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How To Create An Animation

To create an animation in SMS, firstly select the desired (temporal data not maximums), set the display options (for vectors and scalars). Chose an appropriate zoom and window extent.
TIP: to ensure that the colouring and vector magnitudes are appropriate for the entire simulation, it is often beneficial to chose the maximum results dataset when setting.

Once you have chosen appropriate display settings ensure that you are in the mesh module, select Data >> Film Loop...'.

SMS FilmLoop Item.png
Specify a output file name and location in the Film Loop Files section.

Select the Transient Data Animation in the film loop type (default) and select Next.

SMS FilmLoop 1.png
In the next dialogue the time controls can be altered, the default it to create an animation with one output frame per output over the entire event. This can be restricted, for example if nothing exciting happens for the first two hours, you may wish to omit this from the animation. Select next.

SMS FilmLoop 2.png
At the next dialogue , we can review and modify our display options, as the changes can;t be seen until the animation starts, it is much easier to do this prior to starting the animation. A clock can also be added.
The output quality and frames per second can be modified here. Once happy with these options select Finish to begin the animation creation.

SMS FilmLoop 3.png

SMS FilmLoop ClockOptions.png

After a few seconds (or minutes) depending on the size of the results files, an animation should appear. This animation has an .avi extension and should be playable in most media players. Below is a screen grab of the animation in Windows Media Player.

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Data Calculations

SMS can be used for TUFLOW FV data calculations.

Select: Data >> Data Calculator

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This will open a data the ‘Dataset Toolbox’ shown below

  1. Select the timestep for the desired calculation (or tick the ‘Use all time steps check box’
  2. Double click the dataset you would like to use for the calculation
  3. These steps will automatically populate syntax within the ‘Calculator’ equation editor. Select the desired mathematic operators as desire and also repeat Steps 1 and 2 to enter inputs for additional timesteps or datasets to complete the calculation equation.
  4. Enter a desired output name
  5. Click ‘Compute’ (repeat steps 1 through 4 for additional calculations)
  6. Click ‘Done’

A new mesh dataset will be created. The dataset will use the name specified as the ‘output name’ in Step 4 above.

SMS Calc 001.png

Extracting Point Output

First option is to define points prior to the simulation. A output points file is defined which, this contains 3 columns (x coordinate, y coordinate and point ID). In the example below, the water levels (h), velocity (v) and depth (d) were output at every 10 seconds. For the velocity output, both the x direction and y direction components are output . The point output allows you to extract results more frequently than the map output if desired. This is the preferred approach.

output == points

  output points file == ..\geo\Calib_points_v2.csv

  output parameters == h,v,d

  output interval == 10.

end output

Second option is useful when the model has already been simulated. It is possible to use SMS to extract the results at points, however, you are limited to the 2D map output interval, for file size reasons, this may be less frequent than you would like, however, it can be done! To do this you will need to load the results into SMS and then create (or convert the points) into a map layer. There is a bit more work in extracting the data once the model has been simulated, to do this follow the instructions below:

Right click on the “Map Data” and choose, “New Coverage”.

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Set the type to “Observation”

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Select “Create Feature Point”

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Digitise the points in the map window.

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To extract the information, select Display >> Plot Wizard.

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Choose timeseries.

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Select the points and the datasets you wish to view:

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To export the data you can right click on the chart and choose “Export/Print”.

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Export to text / data and set a file name, the extension can be either .dat or .txt.

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You have numerous options, for exporting to tables or lists and also on the delimiter. You can set these to your preferred option. If you choose comma delimited, the file extension can be changed from .txt to .csv.

If you want to extract the velocity directions, you will need to convert this dataset, before extracting the charts. To do this: select the velocity results and then select “Data >> Data Set Toolbox”.

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You can set if you would like to convert to x and y or magnitude and direction.

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This will give two new datasets:

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You can now plot / extract timeseries for these in the same method outlined above.

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SMS Learning Centre

Aquaveo provide detailed support resources for SMS. These include: