I was trying to visualize flood depth in 3D using ArcScene. What I had for this purposes are:

  1. high-resolution DTM of the valley
  2. orthophoto and
  3. Raster with flood depth information.

I have draped the orthophoto over the DTM and it looks like as follows:

enter image description here

Then I draped orthophoto over it:

enter image description here

Finally I overlayed flood map on top of orthophoto: enter image description here

My question is , is there any way to visualize flood water in 3D with height. it looks like Flood depth raster only touches the base of the DTM. But I need to incorporate DTM + raster height in Flood depth map . How can I do it ?

2 Answers 2


I would use this approach:

  1. Add flood deep to DTM to create a new surface raster (use Plus (3D Analyst) tool). enter image description here

  2. Drape the flood raster to the new surface.


You need to use the DTM as the base height for your flood depth raster and calculate a new height by adding the flood depths raster value to the dtm base height as a vertical offset.

bearing in mind that water is flat (waves aside), you could also use a flat plane and calculate the flood limits as a height above sea level and set the height of the plane equal to that.

  • Thanks for your comment. Regarding your first suggestion, the 'Expression' option (layer properties -> base height)is dead for a raster file in my ArcScene 10.1. This is only active when I use vector file. Would you please elaborate your second thoughts ?
    – Zaman
    Apr 2, 2014 at 10:43

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