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Scientific Investigations Map 3185

Prepared in cooperation with the DuPage County Stormwater Management Division

Flood-Inundation Maps for a 1.6-mile reach of Salt Creek, Wood Dale, Illinois

By David T. Soong, Elizabeth A. Murphy, and Jennifer B. Sharpe

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (6.73 MB)Abstract

Digital flood-inundation maps for a 1.6-mile reach of Salt Creek from upstream of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad to Elizabeth Drive, Wood Dale, Illinois, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the DuPage County Stormwater Management Division. The inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site at depict estimates of the areal extent of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (gage heights) at the USGS streamgage on Salt Creek at Wood Dale, Illinois (station number 05531175). Current conditions at the USGS streamgage may be obtained on the Internet at

In this study, flood profiles were computed for the stream reach by means of a one-dimensional unsteady flow Full EQuations (FEQ) model. The unsteady flow model was verified by comparing the rating curve output for a September 2008 flood event to discharge measurements collected at the Salt Creek at Wood Dale gage. The hydraulic model was then used to determine 14 water-surface profiles for gage heights at 0.5-ft intervals referenced to the streamgage datum and ranging from less than bankfull to approximately the highest recorded water level at the streamgage. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a Geographic Information System (GIS) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) (derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data) in order to delineate the area flooded at each water level. The areal extent of the inundation was verified with high-water marks from a flood in July 2010 with a peak gage height of 14.08 ft recorded at the Salt Creek at Wood Dale gage.

The availability of these maps along with Internet information regarding current gage height from USGS streamgages provide emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood response activities such as evacuations and road closures as well as for post-flood recovery efforts.

Revised August 23, 2013

First posted July 16, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Illinois Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
1201 W. University Avenue, Suite 100
Urbana, IL 61801

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Soong, D.T., Murphy, E.A., and Sharpe, J.B., 2012, Flood-inundation maps for a 1.6-mile reach of Salt Creek, Wood Dale, Illinois: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3185, 8 p. pamphlet, 14 sheets, scale 1:6,500.

Pamphlet Contents



Purpose and Scope

Study Area Description

Previous Studies

Constructing Water-Surface Profiles

Hydrologic Data

Topographic/Bathymetric Data

Energy Loss Factors

Model Verification and Performance

Development of Water-Surface Profiles

Inundation Mapping

Inundation Verification

Salt Creek, Illinois, Flood-Inundation Maps on the Internet

Uncertainty Associated with Inundation Maps



References Cited

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