Water-surface profiles of Raccoon River at Des Moines, Iowa

Open-File Report 67-37
By:  and 



This investigation was undertaken as a part of the cooperative program with the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, the City of Des Moines, and the U.S. Geological Survey.  The purpose of this report is twofold:

1.  To present water-surface profiles and rating curves for existing channel conditions in the 4-mile reach of Raccoon River upstream from the mouth, and

2. To show the effect upon water-surface profiles of raising the Fleur Drive roadway to eliminate road overflow.

The Raccoon River., having a drainage area of 3,630 square miles, borders the south edge of the Des Moines downtown business district before flowing into the Des Moines River at mile 201.6. A large residential area and the city airport are separated from downtown Des Moines by the Raccoon River (fig. 1). Five highway bridges and one railroad bridge span the river between the mouth and mile 205.75, the limits of this report (fig. 1). The river is confined to a narrow channel from the mouth to the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad bridge (mile 202.6); upstream of this bridge the river is not confined and during high water spreads over a wide flood plain. Fleur Drive, a principal traffic artery to the downtown area, is the only roadway of the five that crosses this wide flood plain. It has been flooded 15 times during the period 1903, 1918-1965.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water-surface profiles of Raccoon River at Des Moines, Iowa
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 67-37
DOI 10.3133/ofr6737
Year Published 1966
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Iowa City
Contributing office(s) Iowa Water Science Center
Description Report: 15 p.; 2 Plates: 48.06 x 36.38 inches and 32.10 x 22.10 inches
Country United States
State Iowa
City Des Moines
Other Geospatial Raccoon River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details