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Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5094

Prepared in cooperation with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission

Flood-Inundation Maps for the West Branch Susquehanna River near the Boroughs of Lewisburg and Milton, Pennsylvania, 2013

By Mark A. Roland and Scott A. Hoffman

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.1 MB)Abstract

Digital flood-inundation maps for an approximate 8-mile reach of the West Branch Susquehanna River from approximately 2 miles downstream from the Borough of Lewisburg, extending upstream to approximately 1 mile upstream from the Borough of Milton, Pennsylvania, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC). The inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site at http://water.usgs.gov/osw/flood_inundation/, depict the estimated areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage 01553500, West Branch Susquehanna River at Lewisburg, Pa. In addition, the information has been provided to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) for incorporation into their Susquehanna Inundation Map Viewer (SIMV) flood warning system (http://maps.srbc.net/simv/). The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasted peak-stage information (http://water.weather.gov/ahps) for USGS streamgage 01553500, West Branch Susquehanna River at Lewisburg, Pa., 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. Calibration of the model was achieved using the most current stage-discharge relations (rating number 11.1) at USGS streamgage 01553500, West Branch Susquehanna River at Lewisburg, Pa., a documented water-surface profile from the December 2, 2010, flood, and recorded peak stage data. The hydraulic model was then used to determine 26 water-surface profiles for flood stages at 1-foot intervals referenced to the streamgage datum ranging from 14 feet (ft) to 39 ft. Modeled flood stages, as defined by NWS, include Action Stage, 14 ft; Flood Stage, 18 ft; Moderate Flood Stage, 23 ft; and Major Flood Stage, 28 ft. Geographic information system (GIS) technology was then used to combine the simulated water-surface profiles with a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from light detection and ranging (lidar) data to delineate the area flooded at each water level.

The availability of these maps, along with World Wide Web 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 August 8, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, Pennsylvania Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
215 Limekiln Road
New Cumberland, PA 17070
http://pa.water.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Roland, M.A., and Hoffman, S.A., 2014, Flood-inundation maps for the West Branch Susquehanna River near the Boroughs of Lewisburg and Milton, Pennsylvania, 2013: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5094, 13 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20145094.

ISSN 2328-0328 (online)



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Creation of Flood-Inundation-Map Library

Computation of Water-Surface Profiles

Inundation Mapping

Summary

References Cited


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