The U.S. Geological Survey developed flood elevations in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a 30-mile reach of the Deerfield River from the confluence of the Cold River tributary to the Connecticut River in the towns of Charlemont, Buckland, Shelburne, Conway, Deerfield, and Greenfield in Franklin County, Massachusetts to assist land owners, and emergency management workers prepare for and recover from floods. Peak flows with 50-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, 1-, 0.5-, and 0.2-percent annual exceedance probabilities were computed for the reach from updated flood-frequency analyses. These peak flows were routed through a one-dimensional step-backwater hydraulic model to obtain the corresponding peak water-surface elevations and to place the tropical storm Irene flood of August 28, 2011 into historical context. The hydraulic model was calibrated by using current  stage-discharge relations at two U.S. Geological Survey streamgages in the study reach—Deerfield River at Charlemont, MA (01168500) and Deerfield River near West Deerfield, MA (01170000)—and from documented high-water marks from the tropical storm Irene flood, which had between a 1- and 0.2-percent AEP.
The hydraulic model was used to compute water-surface profiles for flood stages referenced to the two streamgages. Two sets of flood-inundation map libraries were created from the modeled profiles. The library for the upstream, western portion of the modeled reach is 9.1 miles long, extends from just downstream of the confluence of the Deerfield River with the Cold River to just upstream of the confluence with Clesson Brook, and is calibrated to the Deerfield River at Charlemont, MA streamgage. The library for the downstream, eastern portion of the modeled reach is 8.9 miles long, extends from just downstream of the confluence of the Deerfield River with the South River to just upstream of the confluence with the Green River, and is calibrated to the Deerfield River near West Deerfield streamgage. Stages for mapped profiles of the upstream reach range from 8.7 feet (ft) at the local datum (525.6 ft when converted to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 [NAVD 88]) to 25.7 ft (542.6 ft at NAVD 88) at the Charlemont streamgage, and stages for mapped profiles of the downstream reach range from 8.5 ft (165.2 ft at NAVD 88) to 29.0 ft (185.7 ft at NAVD 88) at the West Deerfield streamgage. The simulated water-surface profiles were combined with a geographic information system digital elevation model derived from 0.5-ft vertical accuracy light detection and ranging (lidar) data to create the two sets of flood-inundation maps.
The availability of the flood-inundation maps at http://water.usgs.gov/osw/flood_inundation/, combined with information regarding current (near real-time) stage from the two U.S. Geological Survey streamgages in the study reach, can provide emergency management personnel and residents with information to aid in flood response activities, such as evacuations and road closures, and with postflood recovery efforts. The flood-inundation maps are nonregulatory, but provide Federal, State, and local agencies and the public with estimates of the potential extent of flooding during selected peak-flow events.
|Title||Flood-inundation Maps for the Deerfield River, Franklin County, Massachusetts, from the Confluence with the Cold River Tributary to the Connecticut River|
|Authors||Pamela J. Lombard, Gardner C. Bent|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Maine Water Science Center|