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SMS (hydrology software)

SMS (Surface-water Modeling System) is a complete program for building and simulating surface water models. It features 1D and 2D modeling and a unique conceptual model approach. Currently supported models include ADCIRC,[1] CMS-FLOW2D, FESWMS,[2] TABS,[3] TUFLOW,[4] BOUSS-2D,[5] CGWAVE,[6] STWAVE,[7] CMS-WAVE (WABED), GENESIS,[8]PTM, and WAM.

SMS Surface-water Modeling System icon.png
Developer(s) Aquaveo
Stable release
12.2 / March 2017
Operating system Windows
Type Surface water modeling software
License Proprietary

Version 9.2 introduced the use of XMDF (eXtensible Model Data Format), which is a compatible extension of HDF5. XMDF files are smaller and allow faster access times than ASCII files.



SMS was initially developed by the Engineering Computer Graphics Laboratory at Brigham Young University (later renamed in September, 1998 to Environmental Modeling Research Laboratory or EMRL) in the late 1980s on Unix workstations. The development of SMS was funded primarily by The United States Army Corps of Engineers and is still known as the Department of Defense Surface-water Modeling System or DoD SMS. It was later ported to Windows platforms in the mid 1990s and support for HP-UX, IRIX, OSF/1, and Solaris platforms was discontinued.

In April 2007, the main software development team at EMRL entered private enterprise as Aquaveo LLC,[9] and continue to develop SMS and other software products, such as WMS (Watershed Modeling System) and GMS (Groundwater Modeling System).

Examples of SMS ImplementationEdit

  • SMS modeling was used to “determine flooded areas in case of failure or revision of a weir in combination with a coincidental 100-year flood event” (Gerstner, Belzner, and Thorenz, 975). Furthermore, “concerning the water level calculations in case of failure of a weir, the Bavarian Environmental Agency provided the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute with those two-dimensional depth-averaged hydrodynamic models, which are covering the whole Bavarian part of the river Main. The models were created with the software Surface-Modeling System (SMS) of Aquaveo LLC” (Gerstner, Belzner, and Thorenz, 976).[10]
  • This article “describes the mathematical formulation, numerical implementation, and input specifications of rubble mound structures in the Coastal Modeling System (CMS) operated through the Surface-water Modeling System (SMS)” (Li, et al., 1). Describing the input specifications, the authors write, “Working with the SMS interface, users can specify rubble mound structures in the CMS by creating datasets for different structure parameters. Five datasets are required for this application” (Li, et al., 3) and “users should refer to Aquaveo (2010) for generating a XMDF dataset (*.h5 file) under the SMS” (Li, et al., 5).[11]
  • This study examined the “need of developing mathematical models for determining and predicting water quality of 'river-type' systems. It presents a case study for determining the pollutant dispersion for a section of the River Prut, Ungheni town, which was filled with polluted water with oil products from its tributary river Delia” (Marusic and Ciufudean, 177). “The obtained numerical models were developed using the program Surface-water Modeling System (SMS) v.10.1.11, which was designed by experts from Aquaveo company. The hydrodynamics of the studied sector, obtained using the SMS module named RMA2 [13], served as input for the RMA module 4, which determined the pollutant dispersion” (Marusic and Ciufudean, 178-179).[12]
  • This study focused on finding “recommendations for optimization” of the “Chusovskoy water intake located in the confluence zone of two rivers with essentially different hydrochemical regimes and in the backwater zone of the Kamskaya hydroelectric power station” (Lyubimova, et al., 1). “A two-dimensional (in a horizontal plane) model for the examined region of the water storage basin was constructed by making use of the software product SMS v.10 of the American company AQUAVEO LLC” (Lyubimova, et al., 2). Evaluations of the SMS-derived, two-dimensional model as well as a three-dimensional model yielded the discovery that “the selective water intake from the near-surface layers can essentially reduce hardness of potable water consumed by the inhabitants of Perm” (Lyubimova, et al., 6).[13]


  1. ^ (1 December 2011). Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  2. ^ (30 August 2011). Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  3. ^ US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  4. ^ Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  5. ^ US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  6. ^ US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  7. ^ US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  8. ^ US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  9. ^ Retrieved on 18 December 2011.
  10. ^ Gersnter, N.; Belzner, F.; Thorenz, C. (2014). Lehfeldt; Kopmann, eds. Simulation of Flood Scenarios with Combined 2D/3D Numerical Models (PDF). International Conference on Hydroscience and Engineering, 2014. Hamburg: Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau. pp. 975–981. ISBN 978-3-939230-32-8. 
  11. ^ Li, Honghai; Sanchez, Alejandro; Wu, Weiming; Reed, Christopher (August 2013). "Implementation of Structures in the CMS: Part I, Rubble Mound" (PDF). Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering Technical Notes-IV-93: 9 pages. 
  12. ^ Marusic, G.; Ciufudean, C. (June 2013). "Current state of research on water quality of Prut River." (PDF). Proceedings of the 11th WSEAS International Conference on Environment, Ecosystems and Development: 177–180. 
  13. ^ Lyubimova, T.; et al. (March 2013). "Numerical modelling of admixture transport in a turbulent flow at river confluence." (PDF). Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 46 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1088/1742-6596/416/1/012028. 

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