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Fifty-year flood-inundation maps for Olanchito, Honduras

January 1, 2002

After the devastating floods caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, maps of the areas and depths of the 50-year-flood inundation at 15 municipalities in Honduras were prepared as a tool for agencies involved in reconstruction and planning. This report, which is one in a series of 15, presents maps of areas in the municipality of Olanchito that would be inundated by a 50-year-flood of Rio Uchapa. Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages of the flood inundation are available on a computer in the municipality of Olanchito as part of the Municipal GIS project and on the Internet at the Flood Hazard Mapping Web page ( These coverages allow users to view the flood inundation in much more detail than is possible using the maps in this report.

Water-surface elevations for a 50-year-flood discharge of 243 cubic meters per second on Rio Uchapa at Olanchito were estimated using HEC-RAS, a one-dimensional, steady-flow, step-backwater computer program. The channel and floodplain cross sections used in HEC-RAS were developed from an airborne light-detection-and-ranging (LIDAR) topographic survey of the area. There are no nearby long-term stream-gaging stations on Rio Uchapa; therefore, the 50-year-flood discharge for Rio Uchapa was estimated using a regression equation that relates the 50-year-flood discharge to drainage area and mean annual precipitation. The drainage area and mean annual precipitation estimated for Rio Uchapa at Olanchito are 97.1 square kilometers and 1,178 millimeters, respectively.

Publication Year 2002
Title Fifty-year flood-inundation maps for Olanchito, Honduras
DOI 10.3133/ofr02257
Authors David L. Kresch, M. C. Mastin, T. D. Olsen
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2002-257
Index ID ofr02257
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse