Extent and frequency of inundation of Schuylkill River flood plain from Conshohocken to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Open-File Report 66-2




Information on flood conditions plays an important part in the development and use of river valleys. This report presents maps, profiles, and flood-frequency relations developed from past flood experience on the Schuylkill River from Conshohocken to Philadelphia, Pa. The maps and profiles are used to define the areal extent and depth of flooding of the August 24, 1933, and August 19, 1955, floods. The flood of October 4, 1869, which is the greatest flood known on the lower Schuylkill River, is presented on the flood profile and on the ten cross sections. The area inundated by the 1869 flood is not defined because insufficient data are available and because hydrologic and hydraulic conditions have undoubtedly changed to such an extent that such a definition would have little present significance. The basic flood data were prepared to aid individuals, organizations, and governmental agencies in making sound decisions for the safe and economical development of the lower Schuylkill River valley. Recommendations for land use, or suggestions for limitations of land use, are not made in this report.

The responsibility for planning for the optimum land use in the flood plain and the implementation of flood-plain regulations to achieve such optimum use rests with the State and local interests. The preparation of this report was undertaken after consultation with representatives of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and the Montgomery County Planning Commission who expressed the need for flood-plain information and their willingness to consider floodplain regulations.

The area covered by this report extends downstream along the Schuylkill River from Plymouth Dam in Conshohocken to the mouth of Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia. Flooding along Wissahickon Creek is not included in the report. The reach studied extends from 13.0 miles to 21.0 miles upstream from the river mouth. All river distances used in the report are river miles upstream from the mouth of the Schuylkill River as used by the Corps of Engineer, U.S. Army and by the U.S. Geological Survey (Bogart, 1960, p. 194). For the convenience of users a tabulation of river miles of selected points upstream from the mouth of the Schuylkill River is included at the end of this report (table 1).

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Extent and frequency of inundation of Schuylkill River flood plain from Conshohocken to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Pennsylvania Water Science Center
vii, 49 p.
United States
Conshohocken, Philadelphia
Other Geospatial:
Schuylkill River