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Open-File Report 02-261

Fifty-Year Flood-Inundation Maps for Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Prepared in cooperation with the

By M.C. Mastin and T.D. Olsen


After the devastating floods caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, maps of the areas and depths of the 50-year-flood inundation at 15 municipalities in Honduras were prepared as a tool for agencies involved in reconstruction and planning. This report, which is one in a series of 15, presents maps of areas in the municipality of Tegucigalpa that would be inundated by a 50-year flood of Río Choluteca, Río Grande, Río Guacerique, and Río Chiquito. Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages of the flood inundation are available on a computer in the municipality of Tegucigalpa as part of the Municipal GIS project and on the Internet at the Flood Hazard Mapping Web page ( These coverages allow users to view the flood inundation in much more detail than is possible using the maps in this report.

Water-surface elevations for an estimated 50-year-flood on Río Choluteca, Río Grande, Río Guacerique, and Río Chiquito at Tegucigalpa were determined using HEC-RAS, a one-dimensional, steady-flow, step-backwater computer program. The channel and floodplain cross sections used in HEC-RAS were developed from an airborne light-detection-and-ranging (LIDAR) topographic survey of the area and ground surveys at bridges. There are no nearby long-term stream-gaging stations; therefore, the 50-year-flood discharges were estimated using a regression equation that relates the 50-year-flood discharge to drainage area and mean annual precipitation. The estimated 50-year-flood discharge is 922 cubic meters per second at Río Choluteca at downstream end of the study area boundary, 663 cubic meters per second at the mouth of the Río Grande, 475 cubic meters per second at the mouth of the Río Guacerique, and 254 cubic meters per second at the mouth of the Río Chiquito.


Description of Study Area
Fifty-Year Flood Discharge
Water-Surface Profiles of the 50-Year Flood
Fifty-Year Flood-Inundation Maps
Data Availability
References Cited

This report and associated figures are available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Download the report (PDF, 1.9 MB)

Select 11x17 high resolution versions of Figure 1 (PDF, 16.7 MB)
and Figure 5 (PDF, 850 KB) to view or print.

Geographic Information System coverages of flood inundation and flood depth are available at

Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Acrobat Reader 5.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.

Send questions or comments about this report to the author, Mark Mastin ( 253.428.3600 ext. 2609.

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