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Scientific Investigations Map 3241

Prepared in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Transportation

Flood-Inundation Maps for the Flatrock River at Columbus, Indiana, 2012

By William F. Coon

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.3 MB)Abstract

Digital flood-inundation maps for a 5-mile reach of the Flatrock River on the western side of Columbus, Indiana, from County Road 400N to the river mouth at the confluence with Driftwood River, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Transportation. The inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site at and the Federal Flood Inundation Mapper Web site at, depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage on the Flatrock River at Columbus (station number 03363900). Near-real-time stages at this streamgage may be obtained on the Internet from the USGS National Water Information System at or the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, which also presents the USGS data, at

Flood profiles were computed for the stream reach by means of a one-dimensional step-backwater model. The model was calibrated by using the most current stage-discharge relation at the Flatrock River streamgage, high-water marks that were surveyed following the flood of June 7, 2008, and water-surface profiles from the current flood-insurance study for the City of Columbus. The hydraulic model was then used to compute 12 water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-foot (ft) intervals referenced to the streamgage datum and ranging from 9 ft or near bankfull to 20 ft, which exceeds the stages that correspond to both the estimated 0.2-percent annual exceedance probability flood (500-year recurrence interval flood) and the maximum recorded peak flow. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a Geographic Information System digital elevation model (derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data having a 0.37 ft vertical accuracy and 3.9 ft horizontal resolution) to delineate the area flooded at each water level.

The availability of these maps on the USGS Federal Flood Inundation Mapper Web site, along with Internet information regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage, will 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.

First posted March 5, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, Indiana Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
5957 Lakeside Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46278

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:

Coon, W.F., 2013, Flood-inundation maps for the Flatrock River at Columbus, Indiana, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3241, 12 p., 12 sheets, available only at




Constructing Water-Surface Profiles

Development of Flood-Inundation Maps



References Cited

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