HEC‑RAS Output Water Surface Profile Plots

The software can generate profile plots (sometimes called long sections or longitudinal profiles) of the HEC‑RAS steady flow and unsteady flow computational results, displaying the water surface elevation, energy gradeline elevation, critical depth elevation, channel invert, bank stations, structures and more. In addition, the profile plots can be printed and exported to AutoCAD.

See this section for additional options for customizing the profile plots.

Displaying Profile Plots

To display the analysis output results in a profile plot, select Results | Profile Plot from the ribbon menu.

Profile Plot Menu Item

Selecting this menu command will display the HEC‑RAS analysis results in a profile plot.

Profile Plot

Selecting Profiles to Plot

To change what water surface profiles should be displayed on the profile plot, click the [Profiles] button at the top of the window to display a dropdown combo box listing the computed profiles. Select the check boxes for the profiles to plot.

Selecting Profiles to Plot

Selecting River Reaches to Plot

For a HEC‑RAS model with multiple river reaches, the user can select one or more river reaches to plot. Click the [Reaches] button at the top of the window to display a dropdown combo box listing the river reaches contained within the model. Select the check boxes for the river reaches to plot.

Selecting River Reaches to Plot Profiles

Profile Plot Variables

To change the variables to be displayed on the profile plot, select Options | Variables from the menu. The software will display the Select Variables dialog box where the user can select the variables to plot.

Selecting Variables to Plot

Printing Profile Plot

The cross section plots can be printed with one or more cross sections per page. To print a single current cross section, select File | Print from the menu. The Print Options dialog box will be displayed.

Printing Profile Plot

From the displayed dialog box the user can define the horizontal and vertical print scale to use for printing the profile plots. If the profile plot occupies more than one page, the software will automatically paginate the profile plot across multiple pages.

Exporting Profile Plots to AutoCAD

The profile plot can be exported to AutoCAD. To export a profile plot to AutoCAD, select File | Write DXF File from the menu. A dialog box will be displayed for specifying the DXF file to be exported.

Export Profile Plot to AutoCAD

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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