McBreach Probabilistic Dam Breach Modeling Software

Written by Chris Goodell | May 31, 2019

Fellow HEC-RAS modelers. Today is National Dam Safety Day.  Dam Breach modeling is a key component to a well-rounded and robust dam safety program.  If you’re doing dam breach modeling, you need to check out McBreach. Probabilistic hydraulic modeling is where we’re heading with dam breach analysis. Why not get a head start with McBreach. This is free software and works seamlessly with HEC-RAS.


  1. Langston

    on June 10, 2019

    Amazing post with lots of informative and useful and amazing content. Well written and done!! Thanks for sharing keep posting.

  2. Alexandre Ângelo

    on June 26, 2019

    Great! Can we use the output of MCBreach directly into hec-ras? Beside this, can we save the only the WSE max of a specific cell of all monte-carlo simulations on hec-ras?
    What I mean is, with MCBreach we create a probabilistic Dam Break Hydrogragh, but to make a probabilistic inundation boundary we will need to analyse the results of the monte-carlo simulation into the hec-ras, correct? or not?
    That is, the probabilistic analisys is defined like this: Given a hydrograph whith X% exceedance probability, the boundary resultant of a deterministic hidrodynamic simulation is the inundation with X% probability or I need to analyze the number (Z) of times a specific cell was inundated into N simulations and my probability of inundation of this cell is Z/N?

    So, congratulations for the work and the model, I want try to use this as soon as possible.


  3. Chris G.

    on June 26, 2019

    Yes. You can take McBreach output and create plans based on it. the probabilistic exercise is applied to the breach outflow hydrograph. Not individual cells or cross sections downstream. So once you have your exceedance probability hydrographs, you can then route those downstream for mapping. The downstream routing for now is deterministic, but future versions of McBreach will allow for probability to be applied to all nodes downstream (cells and cross sections). This is more like you described in your example. Keep your eyes out for the release…it will be very soon! In the mean time, make sure to sign up on the website so you will be notified.

  4. Anonymous

    on August 11, 2019

    After having some time to play around with this software, I'd like to thank you Chris and Kleinschmidt for your efforts. I think it will greatly help demonstrate potential variability in these types of assessments.

  5. Mano

    on September 26, 2019

    Hi Chris, sorry for an irrelevent question. I am trying to figure out why the computation messages isn't showing the actual time taken for the computation. The actual time taken for model run is shown with the blue progress bar which is much higher than what is shown in computation messages. I want to know the model run-time for my previous model runs (100s of model runs actually), but the duration given in computation message isn't correct. Is there any other way to find out duration of the model runs from previous model runs? Thanks.

    P.s: I asked the same question in twitter as well where I posted the screenshot for clarification.

  6. Chris G.

    on September 26, 2019

    The time listed in the Unsteady Flow Simulations box is hours of simulation time. The time listed below in the Computations Summary is the actual clock time it took to run the simulation. If you wish to retrieve the time past simulations took, you can open the plan you are interested in and go to Options…View Runtime messages. If you want to read the simulation times programmatically, they can be extracted from the plan HDF file under Results>Summary>Compute Processes. There you will see the compute time for each process of the simulation, in milliseconds.

  7. fasika

    on September 23, 2020

    I am facing a problem to select the “compute” button in the McBreach software and also unable to minimize the platform.

  8. Chris Goodell

    on September 24, 2020

    I sent you an email. Hopefully that helps.

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