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Flood-inundation maps for the Muddy River, near Moapa, Nevada

May 23, 2023

The Muddy River provides habitat for several wildlife and endemic aquatic species protected under the Endangered Species Act. Near Moapa, Nevada, in the Bureau of Land Management’s Muddy River Floodplain Restoration Project Area, a previously constructed levee on the east side of the river alters the natural hydrology and decreases connectivity between the river and its floodplain. The Bureau of Land Management is interested in restoring the project area to a more natural state and proposed removing the existing levee (at the time of this study in 2019) on the east bank of the river and replacing it with a new levee farther away from the river. The 50-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, and 1-percent annual exceedance probability flood streamflows were estimated based on a flood-frequency analysis of a streamgage in the study area. River cross-sections were surveyed and combined with a digital elevation model of the floodplains to create a coupled one- and two-dimensional hydraulic model of the study area. The estimated flood streamflows were used as inputs in the hydraulic model to simulate how flood-inundation extents would change with the proposed restoration. Simulated inundation extents expand with increasing flood magnitudes, with nearly the entire valley inundated by the 2-percent flood streamflow. Within the project area, inundation extents with restoration increased on the east floodplain and decreased on the west floodplain for the 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, and 1-percent flood streamflows. Outside the Muddy River Floodplain Restoration Project Area, inundation extents decreased with restoration east of the project area for the 20- and 10-percent flood streamflows, but changes in extent for larger streamflows were minor because most of the streamflow leaves the main river channel upstream of the restoration area.

Publication Year 2023
Title Flood-inundation maps for the Muddy River, near Moapa, Nevada
DOI 10.3133/sir20235033
Authors Christopher M. Morris, Hampton K. Childres
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2023-5033
Index ID sir20235033
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Nevada Water Science Center