I am trying to calculate a watershed layer and have followed instructions from this previous question:

General steps to create watershed boundary in ArcGIS Spatial Analyst?

I have combined all these steps and run it as one in ModelBuilder. Its current status is snapping pour points, but it has been doing this very slowly for the last 20 minutes. I know asking this is akin to asking "how long is a piece of string" but having never used this tool before in ArcGIS 10.3 does it generally take a long time to run?

  • 1
    If you have a very high resolution DEM the steps will take considerably longer. I recommend testing your model and getting some basic familiarity with the tools on a coarser DEM. Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEMs are quite coarse at 90 meters, if I recall, so if you tested your model on an SRTM dataset it should finish quickly--then you'll know your model is good. After that you can confidently invest the time to run the model on the DEM you're researching.
    – elrobis
    Jan 22, 2016 at 18:21
  • @elrobis That sounds like advice well worth copying into an answer so it does not get overlooked.
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 22, 2016 at 20:23

1 Answer 1


Depends on the machine specs and dataset size and number of points. One way to speed things up is to set the environment processing extent of the snap pour point tool. So if you are snapping a few points in a sub-catchment onto a flow accumulation for the whole of America then may be thats why...

Try setting the extent to the extent of your study region. This will limit the area the tool needs to process.

When you set the extent make sure snap raster is set to the flow accumulation grid to ensure snapped pour points are aligned to the underlying raster.

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