 HEC-RAS means hydrologic Engineering center’s river

analysis system  Developed by U.S. Army corps of engineers  It was developed as a part of the Hydrologic engineering center’s “next generation” of hydraulic engineering software.


 It encompasses several aspects of hydraulic    

engineering, including: Rainfall-runoff analysis (hec-hms) River hydraulics (hec-ras) Reservoir system simulation (hec-ressim) Flood damage analysis (hec-fda)


 Hec-ras is an integrated system of software, designed

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for interactive use in a multi-tasking environment. It is comprised of GUI (graphical user interface) Separate analysis components Data storage Management capabilities Graphics and reporting facilities


 Hec-ras system contains four 1-d river analysis

components for 1. Steady flow water surface profile computations 2. Unsteady flow simulation 3. Movable boundary sediment transport computations 4. Water quality analysis


 All the above discussed components use a common

geometric data representation and common geometric and hydraulic computation routines. In addition to these four, it contains hydraulic design features.


 Performs 1-d hydraulic calculations for a full network

of natural and constructed channels.  Following are the main capabilities of HEC-RAS


Capabilities of HECRAS

User interface

River analysis components

Data storage and management

Graphics and reporting


File management

Steady flow water surface profiles

Data entry and editing

Unsteady flow simulations

Sediment transport / movable boundary computation River analysis Water quality analysis Tabulation and graphical display

Reporting facilities

Online help


 The user interacts hec-ras through a graphical user

interface (GUI).  Main focus in the design of the interface was to make it easy to use the software.  Maintaining a high level of efficiency for the user.  Following functions are provided by interface


 One may create a new file or edit an existing file and

save it;  open or load a pre-existing file into memory;  or close a file without saving it.  Additionally, one may group related files in directories.


 Data may be entered from the keyboard into one or

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more columns in the Data Editor (i.e. the spreadsheet). Through the Data Entry Form, which links with the data editor. Most users find the data editor window a convenient format for both viewing and entering data. The Edit Box To enter or edit text


 Steady flow profiles,  unsteady flow simulations,  Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) floodway        

encroachments, Split flow optimization, sediment transport capacity and bridge scour, dam and levee breaching, navigation dam operations, channel modifications, mixed flow regime, sediment budget analysis, mobile boundary sediment transport, water temperature modeling, and model calibration features.

 Water surface profile plots, cross sections, rating

curves, stage and  Flow hydrographs, generalized profile plot of any variable (i.e., velocity), 3-D view of river system, and graphical animations


 Online help is also available as a part of making the

work easier.  Also to help to do effective work. Some manuals and other refering materials are also a part of HEC-RAS  Designed examples of the HEC-RAS are also present in the library.


1.Steady flow water surface profiles: This component of the modeling system is intended for calculating water surface profiles for steady gradually varied flow. The system can handle a full network of channels, a dendritic system, or a single river reach. The steady flow component is capable of modeling subcritical, supercritical, and mixed flow regimes water surface profiles. The basic computational procedure is based on the solution of the one-dimensional energy equation.

The effects of various obstructions such as bridges, culverts, weirs, and structures in the flood plain may be considered in the computations.

The steady flow system is designed for application in flood plain management and flood insurance studies to evaluate floodway encroachments Special features of the steady flow component include: multiple plan analyses; multiple profile computations; multiple bridge and/or culvert opening analyses; and split flow optimization.

 This component of the HEC-RAS modeling system is capable of

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simulating one-dimensional unsteady flow through a full network of open channels. The unsteady flow component was developed primarily for subcritical flow regime calculations. The model can now performed mixed flow regime (subcritical, supercritical, hydraulic jumps, and draw downs) calculations in the unsteady flow computations module. The hydraulic calculations for cross-sections, bridges, culverts, and other hydraulic structures that were developed for the steady flow component were incorporated into the unsteady flow module. Special features of the unsteady flow component include: Dam break analysis; levee breaching and overtopping; Pumping stations; navigation dam operations; and pressurized pipe systems.



 Component of modeling system intended for simulation of

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1-d sediment transport/movable boundary calculations resulting from scour and deposition over moderate time periods (typically years, although applications to single flood events are possible). Sediment transport potential is computed by grain size fraction. The ability to model a full network of streams, channel dredging, various levee and encroachment alternatives. The use of several different equations for the computation of sediment transport. Long-term trends of scour and deposition in a stream channel.


 Used to evaluate deposition in reservoirs,  design channel contractions required to maintain

navigation depths,  predict the influence of dredging on the rate of deposition,  estimate maximum possible scour during large flood events,  evaluate sedimentation in fixed channels.



 It allows the user to perform riverine water quality

analyses.  The advection dispersion module add capability to model water temperature.  Solve the one-dimensional advection-dispersion equation using a control volume approach with a fully implemented heat energy budget.



 Accomplished through “flat” files (ASCII and binary)

and also HEC-DSS.  Input data stored in project, plan, geometry, steady flow, unsteady flow, and sediment data.  Output data stored in binary files.  Data can be transferred to other formats by using HEC-DSS.



 Graphics include X-Y plots of the river system

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schematic, cross-sections, profiles, rating curves, hydrographs, and many other hydraulic variables. A three-dimensional plot of multiple cross-sections is also provided. Tabular output is available. Predefined tables or own-tables can be used. Can be obtained by word-processor or spreadsheet. Reports can be customized as to the amount and type of information desired.


 perform inundation mapping of water surface profile

results directly from HEC-RAS.  Using the HEC-RAS geometry and computed water surface profiles, inundation depth and floodplain boundary datasets are created through the RAS Mapper.  Additional geospatial data can be generated for analysis of velocity, shear stress, stream power, ice thickness, and floodway encroachment data.  The resultant depth grid is stored in the .flt format while the boundary dataset is store in ESRI’s Shapefile format for use with geospatial software.


 Used by :             

All Corps District and Division Offices USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) which has adopted it for 1-D River Hydraulics over their own software; Other Federal agencies including FEMA, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), National Weather Service (NWS), Fish and Wildlife; State and local governments; Private industry; Environmental organizations, Universities, Engineers worldwide

 Initial screening and reconnaissance studies  Feasibility investigations and alternative evaluations  Design studies  Real-time forecasting  Spatial scale of application (small urban areas with small

drainage systems, moderate-size river systems with natural and constructed channels, large-scale river systems)  Time scale of applications (peak flow profiles, single event simulations, long-term simulations)  New features and additional capabilities targeted include additional bed mixing algorithms, unsteady flow sediment transport, and additional water quality constituents