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White River at Noblesville, Indiana, Flood-Inundation HEC-RAS Model and GIS Data

October 6, 2017

Digital flood-inundation maps for a 7.5-mile reach of the White River at Noblesville, Indiana, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Transportation. The flood-inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science website at, depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the White River at Noblesville, Ind., streamgage (USGS station number 03349000). Real-time stages at this streamgage may be obtained from the USGS National Water Information System at or the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service at http:/, which also forecasts flood hydrographs at the same site as the USGS streamgage (NWS site NBLI3).

Flood profiles were computed for the stream reach by means of a one-dimensional, step-backwater hydraulic modeling software developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The hydraulic model was calibrated using the current (2016) stage-discharge rating at the USGS streamgage 03349000, White River at Noblesville, Ind., and documented high-water marks from the floods of September 4, 2003, and May 6, 2017. The hydraulic model was then used to compute 15 water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-foot (ft) intervals referenced to the streamgage datum ranging from 10.0 ft (the NWS action stage) to 24.0 ft, which is the highest stage interval of the current (2016) USGS stage-discharge rating curve and 2 ft higher than the NWS major flood stage. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a geographic information system digital elevation model (derived from light detection and ranging data having a 0.98-ft vertical accuracy and 4.9-ft horizontal resolution) to delineate the area flooded at each stage.

The availability of these maps, along with internet information regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage and forecasted high-flow stages from the NWS, will provide emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood response activities, such as evacuations and road closures, as well as for postflood recovery efforts.

Publication Year 2017
Title White River at Noblesville, Indiana, Flood-Inundation HEC-RAS Model and GIS Data
DOI 10.5066/F7MG7N0J
Authors Zachary W. Martin
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center