Fifty-year flood-inundation maps for Juticalpa, Honduras

Open-File Report 2002-253

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After the devastating floods caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, maps of the areas and depths of 50-year-flood inundation at 15 municipalities in Honduras were prepared as a tool for agencies involved in reconstruction and planning. This report, which is one in a series of 15, presents maps of areas in the municipality of Juticalpa that would be inundated by a 50-year flood of Rio Juticalpa. Geographic Information System (GIS) coverages of the flood inundation are available on a computer in the municipality of Juticalpa as part of the Municipal GIS project and on the Internet at the Flood Hazard Mapping Web page ( These coverages allow users to view the flood inundation in much more detail than is possible using the maps in this report. Water-surface elevations for a 50-year-flood on Rio Juticalpa at Juticalpa were estimated using HEC-RAS, a one-dimensional, steady-flow, step-backwater computer program. The channel and floodplain cross sections used in HEC-RAS were developed from an airborne light-detection-and-ranging (LIDAR) topographic survey of the area. The estimated 50-year-flood discharge for Rio Juticalpa at Juticalpa, 1,360 cubic meters per second, was computed as the drainage-area-adjusted weighted average of two independently estimated 50-year-flood discharges for the gaging station Rio Juticalpa en El Torito, located about 2 kilometers upstream from Juticalpa. One discharge, 1,551 cubic meters per second, was estimated from a frequency analysis of the 33 years of peak-discharge record for the gage, and the other, 486 cubic meters per second, was estimated from a regression equation that relates the 50-year-flood discharge to drainage area and mean annual precipitation. The weighted-average of the two discharges at the gage is 1,310 cubic meters per second. The 50-year flood discharge for the study area reach of Rio Juticalpa was estimated by multiplying the weighted discharge at the gage by the ratio of the drainage areas upstream from the two locations.

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Fifty-year flood-inundation maps for Juticalpa, Honduras
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Open-File Report
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11 p.