Flood Science Initiative

Flooding causes more deaths and damage than any other weather-related phenomena, and three-quarters of all federal disaster declarations are due, at least in part, to flooding. In the Midwestern United States, 2008 was an exceptional year in terms of flooding; large floods occurred in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, and September in the region. The June 2008 flooding was particularly widespread and damaging. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is providing the region with robust flood science and data resources to help make our communities and ecosystems more resilient to flood hazards.
USGS EEAP Introduction

The USGS collects accurate and timely information from modern earth observation networks, assesses areas at risk from natural hazards, and conducts focused research to improve hazard prediction. The USGS provides practical, unbiased information about the Nationís rivers and streams that is crucial in mitigating hazards associated with floods. Some of the scientific investigations conducted by the USGS that include data collection and scientific interpretation to address flood issues include the following:>MORE

  • Operating a nationwide network of long-term streamgages.
  • Determining and documenting high water-mark elevations.
  • Constructing inundation maps.
  • Determining peak streamflow at miscellaneous locations by using indirect methods.
  • Collecting remotely-sensed geospatial information.
  • Analyzing trends, geographic distribution, and flood probabilities.
  • Determining paleoflood occurrence, timing, and magnitude.
  • Modeling flood processes, including rainfall-runoff, flood wave movement, multidimensional hydraulics of floods, and sediment transport.


Funding for USGS flood data and science resources comes from a variety of sources including the: Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USGS, other federal agencies, and many state and local partner agencies and organizations throughout the region.

USGS Flood Inundation Mapping Flood Inundation Mapping
The USGS Midwest Area is developing state-of-the art flood inundation mapping products.
Flood Science and Spill Remediation Flood Science and Spill Remediation
Digital flood-inundation maps for a 15-mile reach of the Kalamazoo River from Marshall to Battle Creek, Michigan.
WaterAlert WaterAlert
Provides email and text message updates at any of the sites where USGS collects real-time water information.
Flooding in the United States Midwest, 2008 Flooding in the United States Midwest, 2008
Compilation of multi-state flood data for the Midwest in 2008.
USGS Midwest Area Initiatives
WaterWatch - Flood Maps WaterWatch - Flood Maps
Interactive map that shows USGS streamgages currently in high flow/flood conditions.
Surface-Water Data for the Nation Surface-Water Data for the Nation
Provides real-time, historic, and peak-flow data from USGS network of streamgages.
StreamStats StreamStats
Integrated GIS that computes streamflow statistics for ungaged sites.
USGS EEAP Contacts

I have a question. Who do I contact?

For questions, please contact one of the USGS leads for the Flood Science Initiative:

USGS Midwest Area Initiatives

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