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Scientific Investigations Map 3262

Prepared in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Flood-Inundation Maps for the Saddle River from Upper Saddle River to Saddle River, New Jersey, 2013

By Kara M. Watson and Heidi L. Hoppe

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.5 MB)Abstract

Digital flood-inundation maps for a 4.1-mile reach of the Saddle River from 0.6 miles downstream from the New Jersey-New York State boundary in Upper Saddle River Borough to 0.2 miles downstream from the East Allendale Road bridge in Saddle River Borough, New Jersey, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site at, depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to select water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage 01390450, Saddle River at Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Current conditions for estimating near real-time areas of inundation using USGS streamgage information may be obtained on the Internet at The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts flood hydrographs at many places that are often collocated with USGS streamgages. NWS-forecasted peak-stage information may be used in conjunction with the maps developed in this study to show predicted areas of flood inundation.

In this study, 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 relations (in effect March 2013) at USGS streamgage 01390450, Saddle River at Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, and documented high-water marks from recent floods. The hydraulic model was then used to determine eight water-surface profiles for flood stages at 0.5-foot (ft) intervals referenced to the streamgage datum, North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88), and ranging from bankfull, 0.5 ft below NWS Action Stage, to the upper extent of the stage-discharge rating which is approximately 1 ft higher than the highest recorded water level at the streamgage. Action Stage is the stage which when reached by a rising stream the NWS or a partner needs to take some type of mitigation action in preparation for possible significant hydrologic activity. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a geographic information system 3-meter (9.84 ft) digital elevation model (derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data) in order to delineate the area flooded at each water level.

The availability of these maps along with real-time streamflow data and information regarding current stage from USGS streamgages and forecasted stream stages from the NWS 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 July 5, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, New Jersey Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
810 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 206
West Trenton, NJ 08628

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:

Watson, K. M., and Hoppe, H. L., 2013, Flood-inundation maps for the Saddle River from Upper Saddle River Borough to Saddle River Borough, New Jersey, 2013: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3262, 8 p., 8 sheets,





Constructing Water-Surface Profiles

Inundation Mapping


References Cited

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