USACE/CHL Surface Water Modeling System (SMS) Information Page

This page is intended to provide information about current version of SMS, best version, if not the current one, to use with CHL models and how to get SMS license information for USACE employees and contractors.

Several CHL models are included in the Surface Water Modeling System (SMS) and, therefore, CHL supports its use for various hydrodynamic modeling applications.  Included in SMS is the CHL developed/supported Adaptive Hydraulics (AdH), Advanced Circulation (ADCIRC), Coastal Modeling System (CMS), Particle Tracking Model (PTM), Steady State Spectral Wave (STWAVE), Wave Model (WAM), and the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CSTORM-MS)

SMS is developed by Aquaveo ( in close collaboration with CHL engineers and scientists.  As such, CHL may provide free license codes to USACE users and their contractors.  To obtain a license, please email with your name, affiliation, and SMS security string (provided during the SMS installation process).  Non-USACE users should consult the Aquaveo website for use and purchase options.

Aquaveo ultimately maintains the development and release schedule for SMS.  Although CHL tests the development versions of SMS, we do not control the release of updated versions of SMS.  It is possible that a SMS release will not function properly with some CHL model features. Therefore, we will provide on this website information about versions of SMS to use with CHL models when issues have been found with the latest release version of SMS.

USACE users on an Ace-IT managed network/machine must obtain SMS through the App Portal.  Ace-IT allows only two versions of a software on the portal at any time.  CHL is now included in the approval process for upgrading SMS versions on the portal and will include any changes to these available versions on this page.

Important Updates 

  • SMS version 13.2 includes significant changes in defining model specific properties.  See the Aquaveo documentation as well as the specific CHL model site (links above) for more information.
  • For AdH in SMS 13.2, the model set up is available as in previous versions as well as using the newly developed dynamic model interface (DMI).
  • For ADCIRC in SMS 13.2, the model set up is significantly different from versions prior to 13.  Users are encouraged to look over the new training material, see Aquaveo’s SMS training, to become familiar with the new ADCIRC setup workflow within SMS 13.2.

Ace-IT App Portal versions available

  • SMS 13.2 (release date 11/14/2022)

Recommended versions for use with

  • AdH – 13.2.14 (training material has not yet been updated for the AdH DMI in 13.2)
  • ADCIRC – 13.2.14 (updated training material is available on Aquaveo’s website)
  • CMS - 13.1
  • PTM - 13.2,14
  • STWAVE – 13.2.14 (updated training material is available on Aquaveo’s website)