Results of paleoflood investigations for Spring, Rapid, Boxedler, and Elk Creeks, Black Hills, western South Dakota

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Abstract

Flood-frequency analyses for the Black Hills area are especially important because of severe flooding of June 9–10, 1972, that was caused by a large mesoscale convective system and resulted in at least 238 deaths. This paper summarizes results of paleoflood investigations for six study reaches in the central Black Hills. Stratigraphic records and resulting long-term flood chronologies, locally extending more than 2,000 years, were combined with observed and historical flood information to derive flood-frequency estimates. Results indicate that floods as large as and even substantially larger than 1972 have affected most of the study reaches. Results of the paleoflood investigations provide better physically based information on low-probability floods than has been previously available, substantially improving estimates of the magnitude and frequency of large floods in the central Black Hills and reducing associated uncertainties. Collectively, the results provide insights regarding regional flood-generation processes and their spatial controls, enable approaches for extrapolation of results for hazard assessment beyond specific study reaches, and provide a millennial-scale perspective on the 1972 flooding.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book
Publication Subtype Conference publication
Title Results of paleoflood investigations for Spring, Rapid, Boxedler, and Elk Creeks, Black Hills, western South Dakota
Volume 91
Year Published 2012
Publisher South Dakota Academy of Science
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Dakota Water Science Center, South Dakota Water Science Center
Description 19 p.
First page 49
Last page 67
Country United States
State South Dakota
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N