I am trying to execute the TopologicalBreachBurn script in Whitebox GAT. This is my first time using this software so am generally unfamiliar with how it operates. I imported a DEM as an ASCII .txt to convert it to the required .dep format needed for the script. Then I selected a streams vector .shp. When I hit run, it gives me the error: "an error occurred during operations. See log for details."

When I open the log there is nothing there, so I am not able to ascertain what the error actually is. Anyone run into this issue or know what may be happening?

  • One possibility is your streams shapefile contains multipart object(s). In my test case (which reproduced error) the log says java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: 80 in the Error in Topological Breach-Burn (Stream Burning) section. If it is the case please convert your shapefile to single parts and try to run the tool again.
    – Kazuhito
    Nov 4, 2017 at 8:52
  • @Kazuhito Thank you for this suggestion, I converted my file to singlepart features and am still receiving the error. Perhaps anyone else has a solution?
    – Kerry
    Nov 7, 2017 at 14:34
  • Are they the same coordinate system?
    – Hornbydd
    Nov 23, 2017 at 12:34
  • @WhiteBoxDev Might have an idea.
    – traggatmot
    Jul 26, 2018 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


I ran into the same problem and was able to get the tool to run, though I'm not exactly sure why my steps worked. In my case I did have error messages in the log.

The first error message was "java.lang.NullPointerException" which wasn't much help. But after reading the paper referenced in the help I realized that the way it worked might mean that the stream network needed to be split at all intersections, which mine was not. I used GRASS' v.clean to break the lines at intersections and exported a shapefile.

This time I got the error message "java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: Negative array index [-32769] too large for array size 952" I guessed that something was not right with my shapefile(since it had 952 features) so I used QGIS to convert it to a geojson file and then back into a shapefile.

Third time was a charm and it ran successfully. I'd try using a tool like v.clean to correct topology errors and/or try converting out of the shapefile format and back in to see if either of those steps help.

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