Flood-inundation maps for Grand River, Red Cedar River, and Sycamore Creek near Lansing, Michigan

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5101
Prepared in cooperation with the City of Lansing; Michigan, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
By:  and 



Digital flood-inundation maps for a total of 19.7 miles of the Grand River, the Red Cedar River, and Sycamore Creek were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the City of Lansing, Michigan, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The flood-inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site at http://water.usgs.gov/osw/flood_inundation/, show estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at three USGS streamgages: Grand River at Lansing, MI (04113000), Red Cedar River at East Lansing, MI (04112500), and Sycamore Creek at Holt Road near Holt, MI (04112850). Near-real-time stages at these streamgages can be obtained on the Internet from the USGS National Water Information System at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ or the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service at http:/water.weather.gov/ahps/, which also forecasts flood hydrographs at all of these sites.

Each set of flood profiles was computed by means of a one-dimensional step-backwater model. Each model was calibrated to the current stage-discharge relation at each streamgage and to water levels determined with stage sensors (pressure transducers) temporarily deployed along each stream reach. The hydraulic model was used to compute a set of water-surface profiles for flood stages from nearly Action Stage to above Major Flood stage, as reported by the National Weather Service. The computed water-surface profiles were then used in combination with a Geographic Information System digital elevation model derived from light detection and ranging (lidar) data to delineate the approximate areas flooded at each water level.

These maps, used in conjunction with real-time USGS streamgage data and NWS forecasting, provide critical information to emergency management personnel and the public. This information is used to plan flood response actions, such as evacuations and road closures, as well as aid in postflood recovery efforts.

Suggested Citation

Whitehead, M.T., and Ostheimer, C.J., 2015, Flood-inundation maps for Grand River, Red Cedar River, and Sycamore Creek near Lansing, Michigan (ver. 1.1, February 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5101, 19 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155101.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Creation of Flood-Inundation-Map Library
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix - Modeled stage combinations for Grand River, Red Cedar River, and Sycamore Creek
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Flood-inundation maps for Grand River, Red Cedar River, and Sycamore Creek near Lansing, Michigan
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2015-5101
DOI 10.3133/sir20155101
Edition Originally posted August 26, 2015; Version 1.1: February 2, 2016
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Ohio Water Science Center
Description Report: v, 19 p.; Downloads Directory
First page 1
Last page 19
Country United States
State Michigan
County Eaton County, Ingham County
City Lansing
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details