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Flood Inundation, Flood Depth, and High-Water Marks for Selected Areas in West Virginia from the June 2016 Flood


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Watson, K.M., and Cauller, S.J., 2017, Flood Inundation, Flood Depth, and High-Water Marks for Selected Areas in West Virginia from the June 2016 Flood: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) worked in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to document the June, 2016 storm event in West Virginia. Heavy rainfall occurred across central and southern West Virginia in June 2016 as a result of repeated rounds of torrential thunderstorms. The storm caused major flooding and flash flooding, with Kanawha, Fayette, Nicholas, and Greenbrier Counties among the hardest hit. This data release contains the flood inundation polygons, flood-depth rasters, and high-water mark (HWM) locations for the eight selected river basins of West Virginia during June 2016 flood event. The impacted river reaches include Cherry River, Elk River, Gauley River, Greenbrier River, Howard Creek, Meadow [...]

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Point of Contact :
Kara M Watson
Originator :
Kara M Watson, Stephen J Cauller
USGS Mission Area :
Water Resources
SDC Data Owner :
Virginia-West Virginia Water Science Center


Flood documentation maps were created using GIS to show the extent of inundation along impacted river reaches in West Virginia. Flood-inundation maps are intended to estimate the areal extent and depth of flooding that correspond to the HWMs identified and surveyed by USGS hydrographers following the flood event. The first step in the generation of the flood-inundation maps was the creation of a flood-elevation raster surface. Flood extent and depth surfaces were created independently for each community using the HWM elevations and a GIS interpolation technique. A geographic limit was placed on the extent of the generated surface based on the distribution of HWMs and an understanding of the natural hydrologic flow in the area of each community. For this study two sets of inundation layers were generated for each reach. Differences in elevation between the surveyed HWMs and the land-surface elevation from the DEM data provided uncertainty in the inundation extent of the generated layers. Often elevation differences of 20ft (+/-) were noticed between the surveyed elevation from a HWM and the DEM land-surface elevation. Due to these elevation differences, we incorporated a second method of interpolating the water-surface layer. The recorded height above ground value from the surveyed HWM as added to the DEM land-surface elevation at that point. The product from this method is called the DEM derived inundation layer.


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DOI doi:10.5066/F76T0K4K

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