Tuesday, April 9, 2013

HEC-RAS File Types

Written by Aaron A. Lee   | WEST Consultants
Copyright © RASModel.com. 2013.  All rights reserved.

Behind the scenes, HEC-RAS automatically creates a series of input and output files when working with a model. It is important to know what each of these files does and how they fit into the overall scheme of your project. Keeping track of these files in an organized manner is good practice, especially as your models grow in size and complexity. This post will feature a steady flow example project, and will list common HEC-RAS files that you’ll see for Unsteady flow, Sediment Analysis, Water Quality, and Hydraulic Design projects.  Although these examples all use the number "01" in the extension, RAS can have multiple instances of each of these files for a given project (except the .prj-only one of those).  Numbers can go as high as "99" and are assigned in the order in which the files were created.   This screenshot is a folder containing the input files generated by RAS after opening and saving one of the installed example projects. At the very least, you need these input files to run the model. If someone asks you to send them your model, these files must be sent, at a minimum. Differences between Steady and Unsteady files are listed when relevant. image
  • .prj is the Project file. Contains current plan files, units and project description.
  • .g01 is the Geometry file. Cross-sectional data, hydraulic structures and modeling approach data are stored here.
  • .f01 is the Steady Flow file. Profile information, flow data and boundary conditions written in this file.
    • For Unsteady Flow, .u01 is the flow file extension. This is where hydrographs and initial conditions are stored, as well as any user-defined flow options.
    • For Quasi-Unsteady Flow (for a sediment analysis), .q01 is the flow file extension.
  • .p01 is the Plan file. Contains a list of the associated input files, and all simulation options.
These are all text files and can be directly read and edited in a text editor. The following screenshot shows the input and output files after the steady flow model has been run. Note that some of these are only used by RAS as intermediate files during computations. clip_image004
  • .O01 is the Output file. Contains all of the computed results from the associated plan. This file is written in binary format and can only be read from the user interface.
    • For Unsteady Flow, a .dss file is automatically generated as an output. This file contains time series data that is viewable by any program that can read dss files (typically HEC software).
    • If your model links to a dss file for use as input data (e.g. inflow hydrographs, stage hydrographs, observed data, etc.), then that .dss file will be necessary to run the model and should be included in your group of files you send to a reviewer.
  • .r01 is the Run file for steady flow analysis. Contains all of the necessary input data required for the RAS computational engine. The run file is created during the model simulation, and is not required to view final results.
    • For Unsteady Flow, .x01 is the extension.
  • .comp_msgs.txt is the Computational Message text file. Records the computational messages that pop up in the computation window. The messages file is not required to view final results, but can be useful in troubleshooting errors identified by RAS.
  • .hyd01 is the Detailed Computational Level output file. This can be switched on in the Unsteady Flow Analysis window.
  • .p01.rst is a Restart File (also called a Hot Start File, or Initial Conditions File). This option can be switched on by the user in the Output Control Options window. See the Hot Start post for more guidance.
For Unsteady Flow analysis, these files are categorized as “intermediate,” which means that they are not essential for running a model or viewing results, since they are recreated by RAS during run-time.
  • .c01 is the Geometric Pre-Processor output file. Contains the hydraulic properties tables, rating curves, and family of rating curves for each cross-section, bridge, culvert, storage area, inline and lateral structure. This file is rewritten each time you change your geometry file.
  • .b01 is the Boundary Condition file.
  • .bco01 is the Unsteady Flow Log output file.
  • .p01.blf is the Binary Log file.
  • .IC.O01 is the Initial Conditions file.
If submitting your final model to a client or a reviewer, you will likely only send the necessary input files. Sending output files are optional, but will allow the reviewer to avoid rerunning the model on their end. Including the .c## files might be a good idea for larger models so that RAS can skip the pre-processing step. SEDIMENT ANALYSIS
  • .S01 is the file extension for Sediment Data. This file contains flow data, boundary conditions, and sediment data.
  • .SedCap01 is the extension for Sediment Transport Capacity data. When sediment transport computations are performed, RAS creates a set of intermediate files:
  • .sed is the detailed sediment output file.
  • .SedHeadXS01 is the header file for the cross section output.
  • .SedXS01 is the cross section output file.
  • .H01 is the Hydraulic Design data file.
  • .H01.SiamInput is the SIAM Input Data file.
  • .H01.SiamOutput is the SIAM Output Data file.
WATER QUALITY ANALYSIS
  • .W01 is the file extension for Water Quality data. This file contains temperature boundary conditions, initial conditions, advection dispersion parameters and meteorological data. When water quality computations are performed, RAS creates a set of intermediate files;
  • .bco is the water quality log file.
  • .p01.wqrst01 is the water quality restart file.
  • .color_scales is the file that contains the water quality color scale.
Remember that file extensions can be numbered from 01 to 99, and are assigned in the order that they are created.

66 comments:

  1. we are facing one problem while computing sediment transport analysis. one dialogue box showing flow or temp time series data is not sufficient to run requested time window although we have entered everything which is required for the computation. can you please help us to understand the problem as soon as possible??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please double check that your flow time series data AND temperature time series data at the very least span your computation time. I get this question a lot where people are sure they have all their time series data entered, but they actually don't Other possible problems may be in how you type in your dates. Should be US format, i.e. 4/7/2013 is the correct way to enter April 7, 2013. Also, make sure your Windows International settings are set to English language, United States setting. Other than that, I'm not sure.

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  3. I was run HEC-RAS for sediment analysis. there is some issue i.e.

    1. how to maintain Constant Water level (MDDL/FRL) in reservoir.
    2. How to maintain Gate opening for different discharges for constant water Level (FRL/MDDL).
    3. how to view the sediment analysis result i.e how much sediment deposit in reservoir and how much sediment pass through GATE (Down-stream of Dam)
    can you please help us to understand the problem as soon as possible??

    ReplyDelete
  4. The sediment transport analysis runs, seemingly, without any problems but I can't open any of the output plots, neither sediment spatial plot nor time series plot. An error message appears saying "Error reading format of file C:\Users\...\.sed03 Type mismatch"
    Have you seen this before?

    When the .sed03 .SedHeadXS03 and .SedXS03 are opened in Notepad there is a lot of gibberish, like "...DBè E˜™ B}Ä%?YÞä?Ò O:Ó#JEe ‘CÚ ÿFª+...", though more scattered symbols in .SedHeadXS03.
    Can you please help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't read those files because they are written as binary files. The only way to read them is in the RAS output windows. Not sure why you're getting that error. You might try deleting all output files, rebooting your computer, and then recomputing. Perhaps something was corrupted? Beyond that, you'll probably have to send in a bug report to HEC to find out why this is happening. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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    2. I have the same Problem!!!
      Halla, could you fix it anyhow?
      Or does somebody else knows a solution?
      Thank you for help!

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    3. Hi Halla, could you fix the problem?
      I get the same message and would be happy to find a solution...
      Can anyone help???

      Delete
    4. Hi I have the same problem, I just want to know how to fix it.

      Delete
    5. Not sure if this is the root of the problem, but you might try reducing the "Number of Increments Between Profile/Time Series Output to something smaller than the default of 10. Sediment Transport Analysis...Sediment Output Options.
      Chris G.

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    6. http://hec-ras-help.1091112.n5.nabble.com/Sediment-Transport-Analysis-Error-reading-output-file-td468.html
      it worked with me!! yeah!

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  5. does anybody knows how to read the *.hyd?? output file?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a binary file, so it's not readable in a text editor. Best option is to view the computation level output plots and tables directly in RAS (View...Unsteady Flow Spatial Plot/Time Series Plot).

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  6. Quick question. I've inherited a HEC RAS file that doesn't have any specifies projection and I'm applying the RAS Mapper to it. I can tell that the coordinates are in UTM. How can I assign this projection to it? I see the option to "Define Projection", but it is asking for a prj file, which is exactly what I don't have. How can I assign this or do I need to find a UTM projection file to use?
    Thanks!
    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you need to get a .prj file (not, by the way, an HEC-RAS project file) from a GIS application. ArcGIS, AutoCAD, are a couple that should be able to make one for you.

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  7. I cant see the water profile results: a windows message apears "Error loading output data for profile plot"
    dou you have some advices?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it helps to shut your computer down and reboot. But most of the time when I've seen that message, it's because your model crashed before it could make an output profile. In that case, you'll need to stabilize your model first.

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  8. Hello,

    I find your blog pretty interesting. Fortunately I'm working as modeller, then I visit it very often.

    I would like to clean the folder HEC-RAS of a project. But I don't like to erase important information. I have a lot of files with the word "scratch". They aren't important, are they?

    I would also like to clean RAS Mapper, but I can't erase geometries. How could I do, please?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can get rid of all of the "scratch" files. They'll be regenerated when you compute again. In fact, you can get rid of all files that are not input files. If you're looking to clean up your folder, you can delete everything except for the .prj, .p##, .g##, .f##, .u##, .s##, .h##, and .w## files. Everything else is recreated when you compute.

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    2. Thanks Chris, that's really useful information for us. Are there any new (important) file types with 2D simulations in HEC-RAS 5?

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    3. Yes, most notably the geometry and plan hdf files, as well as the rasmapper file. The geometry hdf file (.g##.hdf) contains all of the geometric data (like the g## file), but keeps it in HDF5 format. The plan hdf file (.p##.hdf) contains all of the output plus all of the geometry input in HDF5 format. The .rasmapper file just has some basic information layers, projections, and settings for RAS Mapper.

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  9. Thanks for your answer.

    I will try it during next days.

    Another question please. How can I delete several plans or geometries at the same time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the geometry window, you can go to File...Delete Geometry. In the Unsteady Analysis Window, you can go to File...Delete Plan. I believe you can only do one at a time this way, but it's very fast. Now if you so many that you don't want to use the File...Delete command, you can always go to windows explorer and delete multiple geometry and plan files. But so that RAS isn't looking for those files the next time you boot up the software, you can go into the .prj text file and delete any listing of the .g## and .p## files that you don't want any more.

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    2. Thank you.

      I have a planty of them. Then I would like to delete several at the same time.

      Delete
    3. Hello,

      I have a "*.DSC" file type. It that important? Can I delete it without having problems later?

      Thanks

      Delete
    4. The *.dsc file is a catalog of DSS pathnames that are referenced in your model for boundary conditions. It's what I call a "convenience" file in that it is not necessary to have, but could be useful if you want to see all of your DSS boundary condition pathnames in one place. The DSS boundary condition pathnames are also stored in your unsteady flow file, and because of this redundancy, it is okay to delete the *.dsc file if you want to (though this file should normally be very small, so why not just keep it?). RAS will automatically recreate the *.dsc file the next time you edit your DSS boundary condition pathnames or if you add a new one.

      Delete
  10. Hello,

    I really enjoyed your blog.

    I do not speak English, I am using a translator.

    I'm currently using HEC-RAS to simulate water quality of a river. I saw that the HEC only shows results in dynamic conditions (concentrations varying over time) of the constituents (nutrients). However, I would like to simulate the water quality of the river in stationary conditions (not time-varying). Is this possible?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RAS simulates the change in water quality through a system over time. You have to come up with the initial conditions on your own.

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  11. Hello,
    can I have one question? I´m performing an unsteady flow simulation and min output step available is 1 min, but I need a min step about 2 or 5 s. Is there a way how to get datas in this much shorter step? I mean if I can get them from any output file hec created?
    Thank you.
    P.K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can get some of the data at smaller output intervals (than 1 minute) by checking the "Computation Level Output" on the Unsteady Flow Analysis window. This will give you output at the Computation Interval. To see this output, you have to rerun the model then go to the main HEC-RAS window and select View...Unsteady flow Spatial Plot, or Unsteady Flow Time Series Plot.

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  12. Is it possible to get cross-section info as well as catchment information from a HEC-RAS project from a DSS results file?
    Thanks
    DR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The DSS file will have a lot of cross section output data, but it doesn't contain catchment information (from RAS). HMS may store some catchment output data in DSS though.

      Delete
  13. Thanks, so to see cross-section geometry, catchment rainfall-runoff properties etc I will need to see the prj files from HMS and RAS, correct?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the cross section geometry is stored in the *g## file in RAS and the catchment properties are stored in the basin file in HMS.

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  14. Hi, I attemp several times to run my unsteady flow analysis in HEC RAS but I always got an error which says that " simulation went unstable at...." everytime I clicked the compute tab. What should be the possible reason why I always got a result like that and how can I address that problem?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Please review Chapter 8 of the HEC-RAS User's Manual, particularly the section on Model Accuracy, Stability, and Sensitivity.

    ReplyDelete
  16. When you get a chance, can this be updated with the v.5 file types. The developers managed to add a few more file types:
    color_scales, g##.hdf, p##.hdf, p##.blf, rasmap, plus a couple for the terrain processing. thx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea! I think I'll wait until the official version comes out, just in case they slip in a new file type between now and then. In the meantime, is there a particular file or files you are wondering about?

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  17. Hello I got a mesage that says "Error determining output format. Bad name or number" what does it means?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could be any number of things. Most likely, your model is going unstable though and is therefore having trouble writing output.

      Delete
  18. How is the HECRAS 5.0 beta version better than HECRAS 4 version. And, could anyone please tell me how do I interpret the results from the output of running a simulation model?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2D and unsteady sediment, to name a few reasons. Please read through the manual for suggestions on interpreting results.

      Delete
  19. Is it possible to extract geometric data by hec-GeoRAS for use in hec-RAS after georeferencing maps in ARCGIS?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello!

    First of all, thank you for your website. You've saved me from punching through my computer on multiple occasions.

    At this point, I have to send my model to someone and until this moment I didn't realize that I had to send all of the files (ie: .g01 through .g20). Quite frankly, I'm embarrassed to send such a large file. Is there any way to "start over" with the numbers in the file name without having to do everything again?

    If not, is there a way to avoid this in the future?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can, but it involves manually renaming the files in windows explorer, then changing the associated file extensions in the prj and plan text files.

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  21. Hi

    Running a simple water analysis on a river connected to a storage area with a conservative tracer in the lake. I get this "Number of storage areas in hydrodynamics file does not match the number in the cross section properties file." in the computational window and nothing happens until I click stop.

    Any chance you know what might be going wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi

    Any chance you might know what this means "Number of storage areas in hydrodynamics file does not match the number in the cross section properties file."

    The comment pops up in the computational window (after you click "compute") when I run a Water Quality Analysis Simulation. Nothing happens until I click "Stop"

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What RAS version are you running? 5.0 has a WQ bug. If you are not already, use 5.0.1.

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  23. Running HEC RAS 4.1.0. Do I still need to upgrade? Only because it will be a hassle to get Admin Authorization, but can do it if need be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm. 4.1 should be good. If you want to send me your dataset ill take a quick look to see if I can figure it out.

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    2. cgoodell@westconsultants.com

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    3. Thank you very much for the offer. I took my data home and ran the sim on the latest version and there was no longer any error. So, so far so good.

      Thank you for your help.

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  24. Chris,
    I am trying to set up a 2D model and when ever I try to compute the mesh for the 2D flow area it says there are no computation points. Any idea on what I can do to fix this? The terrain is connected to the geometry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you entered your cell center spacing? you need to click the "Generate Computation Points on Regular Interval..." button, then enter a DX and DY.

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  25. one dialogue box showing " a project must be loaded before simulations can be performed"
    please help me with this issue...

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  26. when i simulate the results shows that p01.rst file not found.. what should I do?

    ReplyDelete
  27. HOLA TENGO UNA PREGUNTA ESTOY HACIENDO UN MODELO EN UNDESTADY FLOW Y CUANDO LE DOY CORRER ME APARECE ESTE MENSAJE.

    STARTING SIMULATION DATE&TIME WAS NOT RECOGNIZED, CHECK THE DATE AND ITS FORMAT Y PARA LA SIMULACION FIN AL IGUAL QUE PODRIA HACER.
    GRACIAS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please read this: http://hecrasmodel.blogspot.com/2014/06/international-settings.html

      Delete
  28. Hello, I am a master degree student. I am doing dam break analysis using HECRAS-4.1.Model is runned sucessfully. But I don't know how see the breach flow hydrographs from HECRAS. I have done inundation using ArcGIS but not much area is inundated. Please reply me soon...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First, make sure you actually have the breach parameters input and you've selected the box that says "Breach This Structure". Next, make sure that you've set your trigger failure so that the breach actually initiates. If you've set your trigger to a WS Elev, and your reservoir never gets that high, it won't breach. You can check to see if it's breached by animating the cross section plot (from the main RAS window, View...cross sections). Breach flow hydrographs are displayed in the flow and stage hydrograph output (from the main RAS window, View...Stage and Flow Hydrographs. Make sure in the stage and flow hydrograph plot to select the inline structure type by going to Type...Inline Structures.

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  29. Chris, You mention that the "computed results" are binary files. Is it possible to get the computed results in a .txt file or other file format that MSExcel can read?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None of the output is sent to a txt file. However, in version 5, output is also sent to an hdf file (*.p##.hdf). With an hdf viewer, you can pull up specific data and copy and paste to excel. You can get a free hdf viewer here: https://support.hdfgroup.org/products/java/hdfview/

      Also, stage and flow output data is available in your ouput dss file. You can read that data using HEC's DSSVue which also supports copy/paste to excel. http://www.hec.usace.army.mil/software/hec-dssvue/

      Both of these options allow you to view specific outputs at specific locations in your model. To automate the procedure of retrieving output and bringing it into excel, you can get my book, Breaking The HEC-RAS Code-it will show you how to do that. http://hecrasmodel.blogspot.com/p/book.html

      Finally, you could try to find your output in the log output file, but I wouldn't wish that on anyone. :)

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  30. Hello. I have run a 1D_2D model in Hecras , the simulation was very long took three days.The problem is that when I click on a cell to get the time series the post processing file faces an error when getting generated.I also couldn't copy the p.hdf file to try it on another laptop and I have no time to re run .I have a coming submission!!PLEASE HELP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're short on time and your simulation did in fact complete, I would suggest getting the HDF Viewer (https://support.hdfgroup.org/products/java/hdfview/), and opening up the plan hdf file (*.p##.hdf) in the HDF Viewer. Then find the cells you are interested in and copy/paste the data from the HDF Viewer into Excel to make graphs or tables. It may take a bit of time to figure out how to drill down to the cell you want to see, but if your simulation did complete, it is in the HDF file. You just have to find it. Good Luck.

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  31. Hello Chris.I need help. I have run a 1D_2D model in HECRAS which took three days to run.The problem is that now the post processing file is not generating in order to get the times series depth for cells. It gives an error(unhandled exception).I also can not copy the p.hdf file to any other laptop to try. I have a submission so not time to rerun.Please help!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're short on time and your simulation did in fact complete, I would suggest getting the HDF Viewer (https://support.hdfgroup.org/products/java/hdfview/), and opening up the plan hdf file (*.p##.hdf) in the HDF Viewer. Then find the cells you are interested in and copy/paste the data from the HDF Viewer into Excel to make graphs or tables. It may take a bit of time to figure out how to drill down to the cell you want to see, but if your simulation did complete, it is in the HDF file. You just have to find it. Good Luck.

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