Flood inundation maps for the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana

Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5119
Prepared in cooperation with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs



Digital flood-inundation maps for a 3.68-mile reach of the Wabash River extending 1.77 miles upstream and 1.91 miles downstream from streamgage 03378500 at New Harmony, Indiana, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The flood-inundation maps, which can be accessed through the USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Science Web site at http://water.usgs.gov/osw/flood_inundation/, depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage at Wabash River at New Harmony, Ind. (station 03378500). Near-real-time stages at this streamgage may be obtained from the USGS National Water Information System at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ or the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/, which also forecasts flood hydrographs at this site (NHRI3).

Flood profiles were computed for the stream reach by means of a one-dimensional step-backwater model. The hydraulic model was calibrated by using the most current stage-discharge relations at the Wabash River at New Harmony, Ind., streamgage and the documented high-water marks from the flood of April 27–28, 2013. The calibrated hydraulic model was then used to compute 17 water-surface profiles for flood stages at approximately 1-foot intervals referenced to the streamgage datum and ranging from 10.0 feet, or near bankfull, to 25.4 feet, the highest stage of the stage-discharge rating curve used in the model. The simulated water-surface profiles were then combined with a geographic information system digital elevation model (derived from light detection and ranging (lidar) data having a 0.98-ft vertical accuracy and 4.9-ft horizontal resolution) to delineate the area flooded at each water level.

The availability of these maps along with Internet information regarding current stage from the USGS streamgage at Wabash River at New Harmony, Ind., and forecasted stream stages from the NWS will provide emergency management personnel and residents with information that is critical for flood response activities such as evacuations and road closures, as well as for post-flood recovery efforts.

Suggested Citation

Fowler, K.K., 2016, Flood-inundation maps for the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5119, 14 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165119.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract 
  • Introduction
  • Creation of Flood-Inundation Map Library
  • Summary
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Flood inundation maps for the Wabash River at New Harmony, Indiana
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2016-5119
DOI 10.3133/sir20165119
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Indiana Water Science Center
Description Report: vii, 14 p.; Metadata; Read Me; Spatial Data
Country United States
State Indiana
City New Harmony
Other Geospatial Wabash River
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y