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Flood-inundation maps for the East Fork White River at Shoals, Indiana

May 6, 2016

Digital flood-inundation maps for a 5.9-mile reach of the East Fork White River at Shoals, Indiana (Ind.), were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The flood-inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site at depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage on the East Fork White River at Shoals, Ind. (USGS station number 03373500). Near-real-time stages at this streamgage may be obtained on the Internet from the USGS National Water Information System at or the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) at, which also forecasts flood hydrographs at this site (NWS AHPS site SHLI3). NWS AHPS forecast peak stage information may be used in conjunction with the maps developed in this study to show predicted areas of flood inundation.

Flood profiles were computed for the East Fork White River reach by means of a one-dimensional, step-backwater model developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The hydraulic model was calibrated by using the current stage-discharge relation (USGS rating no. 43.0) at USGS streamgage 03373500, East Fork White River at Shoals, Ind. The calibrated hydraulic model was then used to compute 26 water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-foot (ft) intervals referenced to the streamgage datum and ranging from approximately bankfull (10 ft) to the highest stage of the current stage-discharge rating curve (35 ft). The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a geographic information system (GIS) digital elevation model (DEM), derived from light detection and ranging (lidar) data, to delineate the area flooded at each water level. The areal extent of the 24-ft flood-inundation map was verified with photographs from a flood event on July 20, 2015.

The availability of these maps, along with information on the Internet regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage at East Fork White River at Shoals, Ind., and forecasted stream stages from the NWS AHPS, 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.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Flood-inundation maps for the East Fork White River at Shoals, Indiana
DOI 10.3133/sir20165036
Authors Justin A. Boldt
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2016-5036
Index ID sir20165036
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Kentucky Water Science Center