This question is specific to the HEC-RAS software.

I'm trying to use the software to shift a river channel. I've used the Geometric Data Editor for the Cross Sections to edit the positions of the bank stations, and it seems to have worked:

Comparison of cross-sections in HEC-RAS Geometric Data Editor

But when I save and export this geometry file and map it, either using the RAS mapper or in GIS, there doesn't appear to be any change. Here's a part of the channel, with blue showing the original river channel, cross-sections & bank stations and red showing the edited ones:

Depiction of river channel in HEC-RAS RAS mapper.

I know that the geometry data is altered because if I view the data in a text editor, I see the new values there; but it doesn't seem to be present otherwise. There seems to be an HDF file associated with this layer, but I don't know what that is or how to edit it.

If I cannot fix it quickly I will just try a solution in Python.

  • You can use Civilgeo's GeoHECRAS to quickly do this and many other geometry modification on the fly (civilgeo.com). Jan 11, 2019 at 7:15
  • It is not clear whta shifting mean in your context. What are you using to produce your geometry? How are you retrieving the elevation data? Do you have an elevation rater map to retrieve the cross sections of something eles?
    – Marco
    Jan 14, 2019 at 11:02

1 Answer 1


I did not understand completely what you mean by "shift a river channel", but you should, at least, be aware of what the program does when you change the stations of a cross section: It does exactly and only that, there is no change on the location (coordinates) of any element.

I seems you want to change the location of the cross sections. They are called XS Cut Lines and you can access them throgh the GIS Tools and XS Cut Lines Table....

HEC-RAS is quite bad at handling the gis data and the hydraulic model data, they are handled independently whithin HEC-RAS. It is easier to make them work together with RAS Mapper, but it is only easier, they are not tight each other.

  • Thank you for the help, @Marco. I know this is delayed, but I eventually realized independently that as you say, a shift in the geometry file didn't correspond to coordinates of a shapefile that I could read into GIS. As such, I found a solution using arcpy in GIS directly.
    – El-
    Jan 28, 2019 at 20:46

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