Documentation and Mapping of Flooding From the January and March 2018 Nor’easters in Coastal New England

Scientific Investigations Report 2021-5109
Prepared in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency
By: , and 

Links

  • Document: Report (5.20 MB pdf)
  • Related Works:
    • USGS web page - The January and March 2018 nor'easters—Flood documentation and mapping of two large storm events in coastal Massachusetts
    • USGS web page - Nor’easter storm events in coastal New England—January 4 and March 2–4, 2018
  • Data Release: USGS data release - Data and shapefiles used to document the floods associated with the January and March 2018 nor’easters for coastal areas of New England
  • Download citation as: RIS | Dublin Core

Abstract

In January and March 2018, coastal Massachusetts experienced flooding from two separate nor’easters. To put the January and March floods into historical context, the USGS computed statistical stillwater elevations. Stillwater elevations recorded in January 2018 in Boston (9.66 feet relative to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988) have an annual exceedance probability of between 2 and 1 percent (between a 50- and 100-year recurrence interval). Stillwater elevations recorded in March 2018 in Boston (9.17 feet relative to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988) have an annual exceedance probability of between 4 and 2 percent (between a 25- and 50-year recurrence interval). Flood maps show that the area inundated by the January storm is slightly more extensive than that of the March storm, reflecting the respective profiles of the two storms. On the basis of a limited dataset, the attenuation of peak water levels was estimated as a function of the hydraulic distance inland and the starting stillwater elevation computed for the flood within 0.6 foot of what was measured in the field. A simple one-dimensional model was calibrated using flood elevation data collected after the January flood, and the results of the model were validated using flood elevation data collected after the March flood to model the attenuation of the flood elevations as the storms move inland.

Suggested Citation

Lombard, P.J., Olson, S.A., Sturtevant, L.P., and Kalmon, R.D., 2021, Documentation and mapping of flooding from the January and March 2018 nor’easters in coastal New England: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5109, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215109.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Stillwater Elevations
  • Mapping of Coastal Flooding
  • Attenuation of Flood Water-Surface Elevations
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Documentation and mapping of flooding from the January and March 2018 nor’easters in coastal New England
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2021-5109
DOI 10.3133/sir20215109
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New England Water Science Center
Description Report: iv, 13 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details