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River Analysis Package

The River Analysis Package (RAP) contains a suite of tools for analysing the hydrology and hydraulics of a river and their relationship to ecology (Stewardson and Marsh, 2004). This section contains a summary of the tools within RAP. Most of the tools can be integrated with Source through the Plugin Manager.

The stand-alone RAP tools and accompanying user guides are available from

Table 1 provides plugin file and locations details of these tools.

Table 1. RAP tools
RAP toolName of plugin fileLocation in Source
Hydraulic Analysis
C:\Program Files\eWater\<Source version>\Plugins\Ecology.RAP.HA.dll
Tools » Plugins » Ecology.RAP.HA
Time Series Analysis
C:\Program Files\eWater\<Source version>\Plugins\Ecology.RAP.TSA.dll
Tools » Plugins » Ecology.RAP.TSA
Time Series Manager
C:\Program Files\eWater\<Source version>\Plugins\Ecology.RAP.TSM.dll
Tools » Plugins » Ecology.RAP.TSM


<Source version> refers to the version of Source in use.

Note: The partial series flood threshold is randomly selected to achieve the desired average number of floods each year. You should check the partial series threshold flood and number of floods to ascertain that these are acceptable, as the threshold may not have converged.

Hydraulic Analysis module

The Hydraulic Analysis (HA) module of the River Analysis Package (RAP) is based on the Flow Events Method (Stewardson and Gippel, 2003) of allocating environmental flows. It allows you to:

  • Construct a one dimensional hydraulic model of a river reach and to determine ecologically-relevant flow thresholds based on hydraulic parameters such as water depth and velocity; and
  • Create a time series of potentially ecologically relevant hydraulic data for subsequent analysis in Time series Analysis module and comparison with biological data or alternative flow regimes.

The main output from the hydraulic analysis module is a time series of hydraulic parameters.

HA can import HECRAS (US Army Corp of Engineers - USACE) cross-section data, as well as user input cross-section data, to create a 1-D hydraulic model of a river reach. The FldWav (pronounced "Flood Wave") (USA National Weather Service) 1-D hydraulic model is used to calculate hydraulic parameters in the reach for multiple alternative discharges.

The hydraulic parameters are presented as a rating curve for each of the hydraulic parameters vs discharge - a time series of discharge can then be converted to a time series of hydraulic parameters for analysis using RAP’s Time Series Analysis module.

HA uses channel cross-sectional data to create a one-dimensional hydraulic model. To run the 1-D hydraulic model, you must assign channel roughness factors for each cross-section. The channel roughness (Manning’s n) can be varied according to discharge, or set as a constant value for all discharges.

Time Series Analysis module

The Time Series Analysis (TSA) module of the River Analysis Package (RAP) allows you to investigate time series. 

TSA is an interpretive tool. Its input must be daily time series, as it is designed for stream flow data, but can equally be used for hydraulic time series or meteorological data. The algorithms underlying TSA are used by the Rules Based Models (RBM) module and Quantitative Models (QM) module of RAP to predict biological responses to alternate flow scenarios.

The basic time unit of TSA is daily, however sub-daily, monthly, seasonal and annual time series can also be handled by TSA. Time series must be gap-free (ie. no empty cells if viewed in a spreadsheet). As well as a visual output, TSA provides tabulated numeric output that can be saved as a comma-delimited file for input into other post processing statistical packages.

TSA calculates time-series metrics for post-processing in other statistical packages:

  • General statistics, Mean, median, Q90, Q10, Skew, coefficient of variation;
  • High and low flow spell analysis;
  • Colwell’s statistics;
  • Rates of rise and fall;
  • Base flow analysis;
  • Partial series flood frequency; and
  • Annual series flood frequency.

TSA provides a graphical display of alternative metrics changing through time:

  • Input data;
  • Graphical interpretation of time-series metrics (based on annual, seasonal, monthly basis);
  • Flow duration curves (whole period, annual, seasonal, monthly);
  • Flood Frequency curves (partial and annual series); and
  • Base flow component of flow.

TSA allows a simple drag-and-drop of daily stream flow data:

  • Comma delimited (.CSV) with the first column a daily time-step date and subsequent column(s) as data; and
  • IQQM-standard output format from the Integrated Quality, Quantity Model produced by the New South Wales Department of Land and water Conservation.

See Data file formats for more information.

Time Series Manager

The Time series Manager (TSM) is a tool for manipulating, infilling, cleaning and transforming time series. It can be used to investigate time series, and apply any rating curve to create new time-series data sets. 

It is intended as an interpretive tool and is ideal for workshop or seminar-like situations, as well as standard desktop analysis. TSA handles most common time series formats such as *.CSV, *.CDT, *.IQQM and *.SILO8. Time series must be free of gaps and null entries (ie -9999).

The rating curves can be saved as .xml, which can be opened and viewed in MS Excel. Time series of hydraulic metrics can be saved as .CSV or .CDT (comma delimited time series). Bit-maps of plots can also be copied and pasted into graphics programs.

The TSM module interacts with the other three components of RAP, and can:

  • Accept the rating curves developed in the Hydraulic Analysis (HA) module and apply them to time series; and
  • Input time series to the Time series Analysis (TSA) module.