High-Resolution Hydrographic Mapping in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties

Science Center Objects

Project Period: December 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016
Cooperators: Cities of Harrisburg and Sioux Falls, Lincoln County, East Dakota Water Development District, South Dakota Department of Transportation, and the Mid-America GIS Consortium
Project Chief: Ryan Thompson and Dan Driscoll

Executive Summary

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is cooperating with five local and State agencies to perform ”high-resolution hydrographic mapping” in three 10-digit hydrologic units (HUs) in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties.  The location of the study area is shown in figure 1.  Cooperating agencies include the cities of Harrisburg and Sioux Falls, Lincoln County, East Dakota Water Development District, and South Dakota Department of Transportation.  The basic approach involves use of lidar-derived digital elevation models to achieve dramatically improved digital mapping of drainage features, relative to what currently is available from the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) or Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD).  A primary component of the approach will involve hydro-enforcing culverts into the digital elevation model. This will be accomplished by utilizing existing culvert databases, and making preliminary assumptions regarding presumed culvert locations, which will guide efforts for confirming culvert locations, to the extent practicable. The improved drainage mapping has many practical applications relative to urban stormwater management, floodplain management and related issues, watershed management, infrastructure related to highways and local roads, agricultural drainage issues, and myriad other applications. 

A good example of the anticipated output from this study is available from results of an earlier pilot project for three 12-digit HUs west of Sioux Falls.  Results of this work can be easily viewed via the www (or on most mobile devices with www access) at: http://bit.ly/sf_lidar.  An 11 x 17 graphic for the Wall Lake 12-digit HU is provided as figure 2 as an example. For additional details, contact Dan Driscoll (605.394.3211) or Ryan Thompson (605.352.4241 ext 225).



The objective of this project is to develop high-resolution hydrographic map products for three 10-digit HUs in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Primary products will include locations of flow conveyance features (primarily culverts) and flow direction, flow accumulation, and fill-difference grids, all of which will be delivered to cooperating agencies in GIS and will include associated metadata.  Other products will be revised lidar-derived watershed boundaries corresponding to the existing 12-digit WBD for South Dakota and further subdivision of the 12-digit HUs into 14-digit HUs.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Map showing location of study area for high-resolution hydrographic mapping in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties, South Dakota.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Example of hydrographic map product for the Wall Lake 12-digit hydrologic unit that resulted from an earlier pilot project.