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Flood-inundation maps for the Yellow River at Plymouth, Indiana

November 16, 2016

Digital flood-inundation maps for a 4.9-mile reach of the Yellow River at Plymouth, 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 05516500, Yellow River at Plymouth, Ind. Current conditions for estimating near-real-time areas of inundation using USGS streamgage information may be obtained on the Internet at In addition, information has been provided to the National Weather Service (NWS) for incorporation into their Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) flood-warning system (http:/ The NWS AHPS forecasts flood hydrographs at many sites that are often collocated with USGS streamgages, including the Yellow River at Plymouth, Ind. NWS AHPS-forecast peak-stage information may be used in conjunction with the maps developed in this study to show predicted areas of flood and forecasts of flood hydrographs at this site.

For this study, flood profiles were computed for the Yellow River reach by means of a one-dimensional step-backwater model. The hydraulic model was calibrated by using the current stage-discharge relations at the Yellow River streamgage, in combination with the flood-insurance study for Marshall County (issued in 2011). The calibrated hydraulic model was then used to determine eight water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-foot intervals referenced to the streamgage datum and ranging from bankfull to the highest stage of the current stage-discharge rating curve. The 1-percent annual exceedance probability flood profile elevation (flood elevation with recurrence intervals within 100 years) is within the calibrated water-surface elevations for comparison. The simulated water-surface profiles were then used with a geographic information system (GIS) digital elevation model (DEM, derived from Light Detection and Ranging [lidar]) in order to delineate the area flooded at each water level.

The availability of these maps, along with Internet information regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage 05516500, Yellow River at Plymouth, Ind., and forecast 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 postflood recovery efforts.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Flood-inundation maps for the Yellow River at Plymouth, Indiana
DOI 10.3133/sir20165117
Authors Chad D. Menke, Aubrey R. Bunch, Moon H. Kim
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2016-5117
Index ID sir20165117
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Indiana-Kentucky Water Science Center