Reviewing HEC-RAS 2-D Models: Pretty Colorful Animations are Not Always Accurate

Recorded On: 11/11/2021

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For past five years, the H&H community is delighted to use HEC-RAS 5.0 and its subsequent versions, which are public domain, free, and meticulously tested software from HEC and include fully 2-dimensional (2-D) and combined 1-dimensional (1-D) and 2-D unsteady flow modeling in addition to its traditional 1-D modeling capabilities.  In this period, use of HEC-RAS for 2-D modeling has increased exponentially.  HEC-RAS version 6.0, released in May 2021, has many added capabilities and features over previous versions including faster speeds, variable time step, and pre-processing tools.  This will attract even more users using this software.  There are many advantages of using a 2-D HEC-RAS model, including the ease with which a 2-D model can be set up. Does that mean all 2-D models that run and provide results are justified and correct? That is the most important question when tasked with reviewing a 2-D model. This workshop will discuss good modeling practices and identify common mistakes that are overlooked in creating a 2-D HEC-RAS model.  The workshop will include a live interactive demonstration of HEC-RAS 2-D during which participants will play a reviewer’s role in finding model problems.  This workshop is not intended to teach attendees how to use HEC-RAS 2-D; instead, it will focus on providing information for those who review HEC-RAS 2-D models. The workshop will also cover best practices for conducting dam breach analysis and discuss new pre-processing and advanced modeling features of HEC-RAS version 6.0. All participants will receive a checklist for HEC-RAS 2D model reviews.

This workshop will be of interest to Engineers, H&H modelers (all levels), government employees (model reviewers), dam owners.

Eligible for 4 PDHs

Brought to you in part by  


Brandon Hilbrich

Project Manager


Brandon Hilbrich is a Project Manager at HDR and he currently leads or manages water resources, stormwater management, and transportation drainage projects throughout Texas. He has 13 years of experience performing complex H&H analyses for feasibility studies, CIP projects, dam assessments, and FEMA floodplain remapping efforts in both rural and urban settings. The majority of his complex 2D experience has been in the XPSWMM and HEC-RAS software packages. He has conducted multiple workshops and presentations on 2D hydraulic modeling at technical conferences.  

Mark E. Forest

Principal Professional Associate


Mark has over 39 years of experience in water resources engineering. He specializes in flood control planning and design, floodplain management, flood control and stormwater master planning, preparation of flood insurance studies, rainfall/runoff modeling, hydraulic modeling, dam breach analysis, modeling of alluvial fans, erosion control, airport drainage design, and PMF analyses.  He has considerable experience in the use of several software packages developed for hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, including the Corps of Engineers hydrologic and hydraulic modeling programs HEC-1, HEC-2, HEC-RAS (steady and unsteady flow), HEC-RAS 2D (version 5.0 and 6.0), HEC-HMS, and many other similar tools.

He also has considerable experience in both the public and private sectors performing technical review of hydrologic/hydraulic reports, drainage master plans, FEMA map revision requests for municipalities in Nevada and Arizona.  He has served as an expert witness in several flood damage and drainage related accident cases in Nevada, California, Idaho, Texas and South Dakota.

As the Senior Business Class Leader (Surface Water Hydrology and Hydraulics) and Principal Professional Associate, he is responsible for development of technical best practices and training in 
these disciplines, oversight of the Surface Water Modeling Practice Group and providing technical leadership and risk management on projects involving floodplain analysis, regulatory compliance, and 
hydrologic and hydraulic modeling. Mark also performs training courses on hydrologic and hydraulic modeling and floodplain management within HDR and has performed HEC-RAS 2D analysis training 
both internally and externally to HDR clients and at technical society conferences in the U.S. 

Sarah Davis


Sarah is a PE and CFM at HDR in Austin, TX in the water resources group. With 4 years of experience under her belt, Sarah is well-versed in performing H&H analyses. She has developed 1D and 2D hydraulic models in support of flood risk reduction projects, watershed master plans, floodplain mapping, stream restoration, dam breach analysis, dam rehabilitation, and transportation (rail, pedestrian, & roadway) projects. Sarah regularly presents on HEC-RAS 2D modeling at the state and national levels.


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HEC-RAS Model Review QC Review Form
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Online Workshop
11/03/2021 at 10:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/11/2021
11/03/2021 at 10:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/11/2021
Online Workshop Evaluation
2 Questions
PDH Certificate
4.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
4.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
Reviewing 2D Models- presentation
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.