How to Define Levees in HEC-RAS?

Define levee using HEC-RAS

HEC‑RAS allows the user to define levees to constrain the flow to the main channel by defining a left and/or right levee station and corresponding elevation at a cross section.

HEC‑RAS Levee Behavior

Levee locations must be defined explicitly or HEC‑RAS assumes that water can go anywhere within the cross section.

Define Levee Behavior in HEC-RAS

When levees are defined, water cannot go left of the left levee station or right of the right levee station until the corresponding levee elevation is exceeded.

Cross Section with High Bank Levee

The user may want to add levees to a cross section in order to see what effect a levee will have on the water surface. A simple way to do this is to set a levee station and elevation that is above the existing ground. If a levee elevation is placed above the existing geometry of the cross section, then a vertical wall is placed at that station up to the defined levee elevation.

Cross Section wo High Bank w Levee

Additional wetted perimeter is included when water comes into contact with the levee wall.

How to Define Levees?

The user can use the Cross Section Data dialog box to manually define the levees by selecting horizontal stations and elevations for each of the levees. The user can select the horizontal stations from either the Map View or from the displayed cross section plot.

Levees are defined in the Cross Section Data dialog box, in the Levees panel.

Cross Section Data dialog box - Levee Panel

Optionally, the user can define that the left and/or right bank stations should act as levees. In that way, water is contained within the channel.

Levee Bank Stations

Alternatively, the user can utilize GIS polylines to define levees. Select Input | Assign Entities | Assign Levees to display the Assign Levees dialog box.

Assign Levees dialog box

From this dialog box, the user can select GIS polylines to define the levees.

About the Author Chris Maeder

Chris Maeder

Chris is an experienced civil engineering and software technology leader, with over 30 years industry experience. With proven expertise in global software development, he has built engineering teams that adapt quickly, focus on what’s important and, most importantly, deliver. He is a licensed professional civil engineer with extensive experience in water resource engineering. He has performed and supervised engineering projects in urban stormwater drainage, transportation and roadway drainage, storm sewer design, detention pond design, stormwater quality, green infrastructure, watershed management planning, wastewater sewers, water distribution networks, pump stations, FEMA flood studies, bridge and culvert design, bridge scour and armoring, dam failure analysis, seepage and groundwater modeling, and environmental permits.

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