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Scientific Investigations Map 3243

Prepared in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Transportation

Flood-Inundation Maps for the Tippecanoe River near Delphi, Indiana

By Chad D. Menke, Aubrey R. Bunch, and Moon H. Kim

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Digital flood-inundation maps for an 11-mile reach of the Tippecanoe River that extends from County Road W725N to State Road 18 below Oakdale Dam, Indiana (Ind.), 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, depict estimates of the areal extent of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at USGS streamgage 03333050, Tippecanoe River near Delphi, Ind. Current conditions at the USGS streamgages in Indiana may be obtained online at In addition, the information has been provided to the National Weather Service (NWS) for incorporation into their Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) flood warning system ( The NWS forecasts flood hydrographs at many places that are often co-located at USGS streamgages. That forecasted peak-stage information, also available on the Internet, may be used in conjunction with the maps developed in this study to show predicted areas of flood inundation.

In this study, water-surface profiles were simulated for the stream reach by means of a hydraulic one-dimensional step-backwater model. The model was calibrated by using the most current stage-discharge relation at USGS streamgage 03333050, Tippecanoe River near Delphi, Ind., and USGS streamgage 03332605, Tippecanoe River below Oakdale Dam, Ind. The hydraulic model was then used to simulate 13 water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-foot intervals reference to the streamgage datum and ranging from bankfull to approximately the highest recorded water level at the streamgage. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a geographic information system digital elevation model (derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data) in order to delineate the area flooded at each water level. A flood inundation map was generated for each water-surface profile stage (13 maps in all) so that, for any given flood stage, users will be able to view the estimated area of inundation.

The availability of these maps, along with current stage from USGS streamgages and forecasted stream stages from the NWS, provides 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 13, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, Indiana Water Science Center
5957 Lakeside Blvd
Indianapolis, IN 46278
Telephone: (317) 290–3333
Fax: (317) 290–3313

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:

Menke, C.D., Bunch, A.R., and Kim, M.H., 2013, Flood-inundation maps for the Tippecanoe River near Delphi, Indiana: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3243, 13 sheets, 9-p. pamphlet, available at





Constructing Water-Surface Profiles

Inundation Mapping


References Cited

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