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Geospatial Data and Surface-Water Model Archive for a Flood-Inundation Mapping Study of the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018

October 3, 2018

The development and the generation of the datasets that are published through this data release, were based on the results and findings of this report: Kohn, M.S. and Patton, T.T., 2018, Flood-Inundation Maps for the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5114, 14 p., The geospatial dataset contain final versions of the raster and vector geospatial data and its related metadata, and the model archive dataset contains all relevant files to document and re-run the surface-water hydraulic model that are discussed in the report. Digital flood-inundation maps for a 4.5-mile reach of the South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado from Morgan County Road 16 to Morgan County 20.5, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board. The flood-inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science web site (, depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to select water levels (stages) at USGS streamgage 06759500, South Platte River at Fort Morgan. Current conditions for estimating near-real-time areas of inundation using USGS streamgage information are available through the National Water Information System web interface or the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (http:/ Water-profiles were computed for the stream reach by means of a one-dimensional, step-backwater model. The September 15, 2013 and May 20, 2017 floods were used to calibrate the model, and the June 15, 2015 and May 29, 2017 floods were used to independently validate the model. Nine pressure transducers were deployed to record the stage at nine different locations along the reach and to document the floods of May 20 and 29, 2017 at the South Platte River at Fort Morgan streamgage. The calibrated hydraulic model was then used to determine 16 water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-foot intervals referenced to the streamgage datum and ranging from 12 ft (3.66 m) or below bankfull to 27 ft (8.23 m), which is 1 ft (0.3 m) greater than the highest recorded water level (25.73 ft [7.84 m] on September 15, 2013) at the South Platte River at Fort Morgan streamgage during its period of record and the 2013 flood exceeds the major flood stage of 21.5 ft (6.55 m) by more than 4 ft (1.2 m) as defined by the National Weather Service. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a geographic information system digital elevation model (derived from light detection and ranging) to delineate the area flooded at stages ranging from 12-ft to 27-ft. The availability of these inundation maps, along with internet information regarding the current stage from the USGS streamgage 06759500, South Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado, and forecast river stages from the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, provides emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood response activities such as evacuations and road closures, as well as for post-flood recovery efforts.