Open Channel Hydraulics Made Easy

Finally, refreshingly easy-to-use open channel modeling software for the modern engineer. Channel Studio is software purposely designed to be an easy-to-use tool for performing day-to-day hydraulic analysis on open channel systems and floodways. Use Channel Studio to compute water surface profiles for any open channel including bridge structures, culvert crossings and inline weirs. Draw realistic river reaches directly on your map, add cross-sections and compute. Stunning graphical outputs are accompanied by easy-to-read tabulated reports and live technical support.

A Breakthrough in Open Channel Hydraulics Software

Even though it uses long established methodologies for open channel hydraulics, this software is brand new, inside and out. It’s not a data wrapper or a pretty user interface on top of some government freeware-type software. Channel Studio is all-inclusive, purpose built for open channel modeling from the ground-up and needs no other software to run.

No back-and-forth importing and exporting. No black box. No stress. A real breakthrough in open channel hydraulics modeling.

Open channel hydraulics software

open channel design software

Draw Realistic River Reaches

Natural channels don’t flow in straight lines right? With Channel Studio, rivers flow the way their supposed to… meandering. Capture an image from Google or Bing, specify coordinate extents and draw river reaches directly on your image map. Even over TIN-based CAD files! Of course you always draw on a blank (coordinate referenced) canvas. It’s your choice.

Easy to Learn & Use

Channel Studio has a modern-day, all-in-one user interface that puts everything in front of you… all the time. We eliminated those annoying dialog boxes, multiple windows and endless pull-down menus, replacing them with intuitive tabs and smart input grids. Compute and visualize results, graphic and numeric, while editing your inputs right there, in a smart grid-style editor. From now on, you can model open channels quickly and stress-free.

open channel modeling software

software for open channel hydraulics

Intuitive, Graphical and Smart

Why waste time hand-calculating or manually inputting when you can do it with a mouse click? Easily add cross-sections to your model by simply rolling your mouse along the river reaches and clicking. Sections are automatically aligned, reach lengths computed, ineffective flow areas established and more!

Easy Geometric Data Entry

Just click on a section and add channel data the easy way. Save time using a TIN Surface, pre-defined section types or enter up to 250 points for user-defined sections.

Input options allow you to copy & paste station, elevation points from a spreadsheet, insert, delete and even reverse section data. Copy data from one section and paste into another. Adjust sections up or down. Even interpolate between any two unique sections!

open channel modeling software
TIN surface open channel

Cut Cross-Sections Over TIN Surfaces

Import a TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network) file from your CAD software and Channel Studio automatically populates your cross-sections with geometric data that matches the surface. With a TIN surface present, you’ll never have to enter station and elevation points. Let your mouse do the work. As your cross-sections move, so does the data.

Import from LandXML or X, Y, Z Point Cloud

Channel Studio can directly import Surfaces from any LandXML file. Don’t have a LandXML file? No problem. You can use your raw field data. Just import a simple X, Y, Z point cloud file and Channel Studio will create a TIN Surface for you.

TIN Surfaces
TIN Surface
TIN Surface

Export Back to a TIN Surface

Once your model is finished, you’ll have the option to export your channel system and water surface back out to a LandXML TIN Surface. Open up in any TIN-Surface supported CAD software for accurate and realistic floodplain mapping and delineation.

Model Bridges

Add bridge structures anywhere on your model and Channel Studio will manage the details like low flow, pressure flow and overtopping flow. Specify high and low deck elevations as well as optional sloped or vertical abutments and piers. The software optionally computes and includes ineffective flow areas for the adjacent up and downstream channel sections. Also computes Contraction and Pier scour. More info below.

hydraulic bridge modeling softwarehydraulics of bridges software

Culvert Design SoftwareCulvert Modeling Software

Model Culverts

Leveraging the technology from Channel Studio’s close cousin, Culvert Studio, it allows you to do this:

Add single- or multi-barrel crossings with various shapes, inlet configurations, materials, slopes, sizes and flow regimes including supercritical flow with hydraulic jumps and overtopping flow… to any section on your river model.

Model Inline Weirs

Perfect for those occasions where you need to regulate upstream water surface profiles. Just add an inline weir structure to your model, set the crest elevation and you’re good to go. Channel studio automatically and dynamically determines the weir type (broad or sharp crested) based on the computed water depth and weir width, and applies the appropriate weir coefficient, Cw.

open channel inline weir software

Blocked Obstructions & Ineffective Flow Areas

Add blocked obstructions or ineffective flow areas to any cross-section on one or both sides of a channel. Blocked obstructions can be added to account for flow areas that are permanently blocked from conveying flow. Conveyance obstructions can include such things as buildings, walls, sheet piling or any other post-development structure that decrease the flow area and adds wetted perimeter where the water comes in contact with the obstruction(s).

Blocked obstructions can change into effectively carrying flow when the computed water surface elevation is above the defined Trigger elevation. To make them permanent, raise the top Trigger Elevation to the highest point on the channel section as shown here.

Open channel hydraulics software

open channel hydraulics software

Time-tested Procedures & Features

Water surface profile calculation options include standard friction-loss methods. N-values can vary across sections via Left and Right Overbank stations. Graphically draw ineffective and blocked flow areas for more accurate results. Compute using up to three unique user-defined flow profiles, each with varying Qs and starting tailwater.

Accepted Calculation Methods

Channel Studio is not a wrapper around HEC-RAS, rather it employs the same methodologies for performing water surface profile calculations. These procedures are widely known and are used for open channel hydraulics calculations in Channel Studio. It handles subcritical and supercritical flow regimes with hydraulic jumps. It includes cross-section subdivision for conveyance calculations, composite Manning’s n across the channel section, velocity-weighing coefficients for Alpha, distance-weighted reach lengths and contraction and expansion losses.

Open Channel Modeling in 3D

When it comes to water surface profiles, nothing explains it better than 3-dimensional perspectives. Channel Studio renders accurate 3D plots of any channel system with lightening speed. It even shows bridges, culverts, inline weirs, blocked obstructions and the water surface. Your clients will be impressed with the realistic colors and shading.

Plus, They’re Interactive

You’ll have a host of options on how you display and use these drawings. Click on any section or its number label and edit data right on the spot for immediate updating. Set the beginning and ending sections for higher detail.

Adjust the X and Y perspective parameters for different viewing angles. A simple move of your mouse wheel zooms in and out while a right-click saves the image to a file. These drawings are also included in your printed reports.

Open Channel modeling software
hydraulics of bridges

open channel analysis software

Import Projects from Raw Survey Data

Channel Studio makes simple work of going from field to finish… in one step. You can import your reaches and/or cross-sections from any .csv file containing Easting (X), Northing (Y), Elevation (Z) values and their associated Feature Codes.

Import/Export RAS GIS Files

Not only can you import data from RAS GIS files, you can easily share your project with other RAS GIS-supported CAD software for post-processing or GIS-based flood plain delineation.

Integrate With CAD

While you can import any dxf or image-based background map, you can also export. Channel Studio provides a georeferenced map of your flood plain for which you can export as an overlay back into your base cad drawings for flood plain delineation and other processing.

Open channel CAD analysis

Bridge Scour Software

Software for Bridge Scour

Evaluates Bridge Scour Instantly

Channel Studio has the added ability to perform scour analysis through any bridge structure. It uses methods described in Hydrologic Engineering Circular 18 (HEC-18). All that is needed are two inputs; bed material, D50 and a selection of your pier shape if piers are present. Once input, Channel Studio automatically includes the scour calculations with the water surface profiles.

Contraction Scour

Channel Studio computes bridge contraction scour based on your median size bed material (D50). It employs both Live-bed and Clear-water equations during its evaluation.

Pier Scour

Pier Scour can be evaluated for each individual pier. Just indicate the pier nose shape (Rounded, Square or Sharp-triangular) and Channel Studio takes care of the rest.

It’s Time to Get Your Water Surface Profiles Dressed

Your expert engineering deserves an expert reward. Treat yourself to exceptional looking print-outs including plans, cross-sections, water surface profiles and tabulated reports.

Numerical reports can also be exported as text or comma delimited files for importing into spreadsheets for further customizing.

Each are designed to command authority while being easily understood by your peers and your reviewers.

Expert Technical Support

What’s worse than being stuck on a channel modeling project that’s under a deadline and having no one to turn to but 1,500-pages of text? Nothing.

Don’t worry. Our software includes technical support to keep you moving ahead. And it’s only a phone call or email away. Get your answers fast.


List of Technical Highlights

Channel Studio is just as powerful inside as it is outside. Here are some of the technical highlights:


  • Add up to 100 reaches at any length.
  • Add up to 100 cross-sections.
  • Reaches can be curved or straight.
  • Automatically computes reach lengths with user override.
  • User-defined canvas and map extents.
  • Import reaches and sections from raw survey data.
  • Import and export projects from RAS GIS files.

Channel Sections

  • Computes water surface profiles using energy-based procedures following HEC-RAS methodologies.
  • Calculation friction-loss methods including Ave Conveyance, Ave Friction Slope and Geometric Mean.
  • Compute using up to three unique user-defined flow profiles, each with varying Qs and tailwater.
  • Up to 250 user-defined points can be used to describe User-defined channel sections.
  • N-values can vary across sections via Left and Right Overbank Stations.
  • Computes supercritical flow profiles with hydraulic jumps.
  • Specify any known tailwater elevation, normal depth or critical depth as a starting control point.
  • Automatically constructs and includes ineffective flow areas upstream and downstream of bridge and culvert sections.
  • Allows you to graphically draw ineffective flow areas for any cross-section.
  • Reverse cross-section data from looking upstream to downstream and visa versa.
  • Copy and paste geometric data from other cross-sections to minimize user input.
  • Interpolate cross-section data between any two sections for easy section insertion.
  • Adjust geometric cross-section data up or down with a single input.
  • Extracts cross-section points directly from a TIN Surface


  • Computes hydraulic grade line (HGL) with flow regimes including supercritical flow and hydraulic jumps.
  • Models inlet and outlet control flow regimes.
  • Computes roadway/embankment overtopping flows.
  • Uses FHWA – HDS-5 methodology.
  • Handles partial, full and surcharged flow regimes automatically.
  • Models circular, rectangular, arch and arch-open bottom sections.


  • Computes hydraulic grade line (HGL) through bridge crossings.
  • Specify high and low chord elevations, left and right abutments and multiple vertical piers.
  • Abutments can be sloped or vertical.
  • Computes roadway/deck overtopping flows.
  • Computes contraction and pier scour.

Inline Weirs

  • Computes hydraulic grade line (HGL) over inline weir structures.
  • Weirs can represent emergency spillways or overflow structures. Broad or sharp crested.

Output Features

  • Colorful, professional reports are easy to read and interpret.
  • Georeferenced Plan, Section and Profile plots for easy floodplain delineation.
  • Tabulated reports are exportable to .txt or .csv file formats.
  • Finished Plan Views can be exported to .DXF, TIN Surfaces or a variety of image formats.
  • Print Preview.


  • U.S. Customary
  • Metric

The Latest Programming Technology

While open channel hydraulics calculation methods may be decades old, Channel Studio’s user interface is brand new.

Built on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

Built from the ground up using Microsoft’s dot-net WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) it provides a rich and clean presentation while taking advantage of today’s modern hardware. Built on top of Microsoft’s DirectX, WPF makes graphics rendering lightning fast while using device-independent pixels. Everything is automatically scaled up or down as the target PC changes. Learn more about WPF here.

System Requirements

Channel Studio is a stand-alone software product. Any off-the-shelf PC running Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10 and beyond will run Channel Studio. An internet connection is recommended for automatic updates and online help. No additional software is required.

Click-Once Installation

Channel Studio employs Microsoft’s “Click-Once” technology for easy, no-hassle installations. No zip files to open or messy procedures to follow. Just click the Download button and within seconds your new open channel hydraulics software is up and running. Program updates occur with a single mouse click. Download your free trial here.

Get Practical. Buy Channel Studio today and start saving yourself some time… and money.