Floods on White Rock Creek above White Rock Lake at Dallas, Texas

Open-File Report 63-36

Prepared in cooperation with the City of Dallas



The White Rock Creek watershed within the city limits of Dallas , Texas, presents problems not unique in the rapid residential and industrial development encountered by many cities throughout the United States. The advantages of full development of the existing area within a city before expanding city boundaries, are related to both economics and civic pride. The expansion of city boundaries usually results in higher per capital costs for the operation of city governments.

Certainly no responsible city official would oppose reasonable development of watersheds and flood plains and thus sacrifice an increase in tax revenue. Within the words "reasonable development" lies the problem faced by these officials. They are aware that the natural function of a stream channel, and its associated flood plain is to carry away excess water in time of flood. They are also aware that failure to recognize this has often led to haphazard development on flood plains with a consequent increase in flood damages. In the absence of factual data defining the risk involved in occupying flood plains, stringent corrective and preventative measures must be taken to regulate man's activities on flood plains to a point beyond normal precaution.

Flood-flow characteristics in the reach of White Rock Creek that lies between the northern city boundary of Dallas and Northwest Highway (Loop 12) at the upper end of White Rock Lake, are presented in this report. Hydrologic data shown include history and magnitude of floods, flood profiles, outlines of areas inundated by three floods, and estimates of mean velocities of flow at selected points.

Approximate areas inundated by floods of April 1942 and July 1962 along White Rock Creek and by the flood of October 1962 along Cottonwood Creek, Floyd Branch, and Jackson Branch, are delineated on maps. Greater floods have undoubtedly occurred in the past but no attempt is made to show their probable overflow limits because basic data on such floods could not be obtained. Depths of inundation can be estimated from the information shown. Elevations shown are in feet above mean sea level, datum of 1929.

The data and computations supporting the results given herein are in the files of the Geological Survey in Austin, Texas.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Floods on White Rock Creek above White Rock Lake at Dallas, Texas
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Austin, TX
Contributing office(s):
Texas Water Science Center
ii, 15 p.
United States
Other Geospatial:
White Rock Creek