Dam-breach analysis and flood-inundation mapping for selected dams in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and near Atoka, Oklahoma

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5052
Prepared in cooperation with the City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
By: , and 



Dams provide beneficial functions such as flood control, recreation, and storage of water supplies, but they also entail risk; dam breaches and resultant floods can cause substantial property damage and loss of life. The State of Oklahoma requires each owner of a high-hazard dam, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency defines as dams for which failure or improper operation probably will cause loss of human life, to develop an emergency action plan specific to that dam. Components of an emergency action plan are to simulate a flood resulting from a possible dam breach and map the resulting downstream flood-inundation areas. The resulting flood-inundation maps can provide valuable information to city officials, emergency managers, and local residents for planning an emergency response if a dam breach occurs.

This report presents results of a cooperative study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the City of Oklahoma City to model dam-breach scenarios at 11 dams controlled and operated by Oklahoma City, Okla., and to map the potential flood-inundation areas of such dam breaches. To assist the City of Oklahoma City with completion of the emergency action plans for the 11 dams, the U.S. Geological Survey used light detection and ranging (lidar) elevation data (2004), which produced a 2-foot contour elevation map for the flood plains around Oklahoma City. A 5-meter Digital Terrain Map was used to model the flood plain below Atoka Reservoir in southeastern Oklahoma.

Digital-elevation models, field survey measurements, hydraulic data, and hydrologic data (U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations North Canadian River below Lake Overholser near Oklahoma City, Okla. [07241000], and North Canadian River at Britton Road at Oklahoma City, Okla. [07241520]), were used as inputs for the one-dimensional dynamic (unsteady-flow) models using Hydrologic Engineering Centers River Analysis System (HEC–RAS) software. The modeled flood elevations were exported to a geographic information system to produce flood-inundation maps. Water-surface profiles were developed for a 75-percent probable maximum flood dam-breach scenario and a sunny-day dam-breach scenario, as well as for maximum flood-inundation elevations and flood-wave arrival times at selected bridge crossings. Points of interest such as community-services offices, recreational areas, water-treatment plants, and wastewater-treatment plants were identified on the flood-inundation maps.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Dam-breach analysis and flood-inundation mapping for selected dams in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and near Atoka, Oklahoma
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2015-5052
DOI 10.3133/sir20155052
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Oklahoma Water Science Center
Description iv, 62 p.
Country United States
State Oklahoma
City Atoka, Oklahoma City
Datum North American Datum of 1983
Projection Oklahoma State Plane North Projection
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details