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CatchmentSIM is a stand-alone GIS based terrain analysis system designed to help setup and parameterise hydrologic models. It automatically delineates catchments, calculates their properties and creates run files for other models (eg., WBNM, RORB, RAFTS, URBS, DRAINS, HEC-HMS etc).


A brief overview of CatchmentSIM features includes:

Create a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) from a wide range of data sources including LiDAR, raster, TIN, contour and spot height based models.

LiDAR import routine includes a facility to extract specific data point types (e.g., ground points) to populate the DEM.

Supports projection and transformation between a wide range of coordinate systems and datums.

Remove flat spots and pits from the DEM using advanced filling and breaching algorithms.

Allows mapping of drainage paths for any point in the terrain.

Automatically delineate watershed and stream networks complete with Horton ordering and a full range of hydrologic attributes including (but not limited to) area, subcatchment and stream slope, flow path lengths, % impervious, bifurcation ratio, and drainage density.

Automatically breakup a watershed into a number of smaller subcatchments based on a stream network, target subcatchment size or target number of subcatchments.

Automatic calculation of impervious proportions of subcatchments based on any GIS polygon layer.

Supports a wide range of raster background imagery.

Automatically develop stage – area – volume relationships for reservoirs and lakes.

Chart a wide range of hydrologic attributes to gain perspective into the expected rainfall response.

Reliably model flow in urban environments using gutter and channel type hydraulic controls.

A raster calculator allows any vector GIS layer to be converted to a raster entity and used in conjunction with lookup tables for assigning additional hydrologic parameters (e.g., Manning’s roughness).

Visualise your project with 3D OpenGL graphics.

Create a nodal link network layout for export to a hydrologic model.

Seamless integration with any external hydrologic software via a macro language. Buit-in scripts allow creation of files compatible with a wide range of software.  

Export watershed boundaries, streams and associated hydrologic attributes to a variety of third party GIS applications including ArcGIS, MapInfo and Google Earth.


This help file is divided into the following sections.



How to Use Help


Context sensitive help can be viewed at any time in CatchmentSIM by pressing the F1 key. The help screen displayed will be relevant to the particular form, control or menu item that had the focus when the F1 key was pressed.


The help file can also be navigated using the table of contents (Contents tab), searching via full text search (Search tab) or using the Keyword index (Index tab).


The help file is divided into the following sections:




Installation and Registration


Using CatchmentSIM's Algorithms
       Descriptions of algorithm theory and discussion of how they may be used to complete a typical CatchmentSIM project.


Program Reference
This section contains information of every menu option and form within CatchmentSIM. The information is organised by menu.


Key Integrations and Scripts
This section describes some of the key software that CatchmentSIM integrates with via macro scripts.


Key Challenges
This section contains more detailed information on a number of key challenges within CatchmentSIM including, projection of raster data, hydrologic conditioning, hydrologic analysis of subcatchments, using CatchmentSIM's hydraulic control tools and online GIS data sources.

CSTalk Macro Language Guide
Provides instructions and reference material for writing and editing CSTalk macro scripts for use with CatchmentSIM software.  Macro scripts can be used to couple CatchmentSIM with a range of third party software.

Four tutorials are documented and guide the user through the basic steps involved with using CatchmentSIM, from importing source data to catchment partitioning, hydrologic analysis and integration with a back-end hydrologic modelling package.



Data Requirements


Input data


CatchmentSIM is based on raster DEMs which can be created in a number of ways including:

Interpolation from contour and stream alignment vector GIS files;

Importing an external raster DEM;

Sampling or re-projecting an external raster DEM;

Sampling an external Triangular Irregular Network (TIN); or,

Sampling an XYZ spot height or LiDAR data file.


Other optional data that may be used in a CatchmentSIM project includes:

Polygon based impervious area database;

Subcatchment outlet GIS files;

Land use and soil types GIS files;

GIS files of channel and gutter alignments; and others.


Predicted or calculated data


CatchmentSIM can generate:

Subcatchment boundaries, network arrangements and hydrologic parameters;

Calculated vector stream networks with Strahler / Horton ordering;

Runfiles for a wide range of hydrologic models;

Runoff curve numbers for CatchmentSIM delineated watersheds or watersheds from an external GIS application;

A number of charts of subcatchment hydrologic properties;

GIS files of all derived layers;

Text or binary files in any desired format (using the CSTalk macro language);

3D Visualisations;

Animations of parameter variance; and more.


Copyright and Legal Information


© Catchment Simulation Solutions 2002-2013


To the extend permitted by law, Catchment Simulation Solutions (including its employees and consultants) accepts no responsibility and excludes all liability whatsoever in respect of any person's use or reliance on this publication or any part of it