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Observed and forecast flood-inundation mapping application-A pilot study of an eleven-mile reach of the White River, Indianapolis, Indiana

November 23, 2011

Near-real-time and forecast flood-inundation mapping products resulted from a pilot study for an 11-mile reach of the White River in Indianapolis. The study was done by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Indiana Silver Jackets hazard mitigation taskforce members, the National Weather Service (NWS), the Polis Center, and Indiana University, in cooperation with the City of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water. The pilot project showed that it is technically feasible to create a flood-inundation map library by means of a two-dimensional hydraulic model, use a map from the library to quickly complete a moderately detailed local flood-loss estimate, and automatically run the hydraulic model during a flood event to provide the maps and flood-damage information through a Web graphical user interface. A library of static digital flood-inundation maps was created by means of a calibrated two-dimensional hydraulic model. Estimated water-surface elevations were developed for a range of river stages referenced to a USGS streamgage and NWS flood forecast point colocated within the study reach. These maps were made available through the Internet in several formats, including geographic information system, Keyhole Markup Language, and Portable Document Format. A flood-loss estimate was completed for part of the study reach by using one of the flood-inundation maps from the static library. The Federal Emergency Management Agency natural disaster-loss estimation program HAZUS-MH, in conjunction with local building information, was used to complete a level 2 analysis of flood-loss estimation. A Service-Oriented Architecture-based dynamic flood-inundation application was developed and was designed to start automatically during a flood, obtain near real-time and forecast data (from the colocated USGS streamgage and NWS flood forecast point within the study reach), run the two-dimensional hydraulic model, and produce flood-inundation maps. The application used local building data and depth-damage curves to estimate flood losses based on the maps, and it served inundation maps and flood-loss estimates through a Web-based graphical user interface.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title Observed and forecast flood-inundation mapping application-A pilot study of an eleven-mile reach of the White River, Indianapolis, Indiana
DOI 10.3133/sir20115138
Authors Moon H. Kim, Scott E. Morlock, Leslie D. Arihood, James L. Kiesler
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2011-5138
Index ID sir20115138
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Indiana Water Science Center