Office of Research and Development Publications

Characterizing the Extent of Spatially Integrated Floodplain and Wetland Systems in the White River, Indiana, USA

Citation:

Lane, C., A. Hall, E. D'Amico, N. Sangwan, AND V. Merwade. Characterizing the Extent of Spatially Integrated Floodplain and Wetland Systems in the White River, Indiana, USA. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION. American Water Works Association, Denver, CO, 53(4):774-790, (2017). https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12531

Impact/Purpose:

We mapped potential riparian and floodplain areas and wetland connectivity in the White River of Indiana, U.S.A., through the use of geographic information system (GIS) resources coupled with observed flooding events to assess the quality of our analyses.

Description:

Floodplain delineation may inform protection of wetland systems under local, state, or federal laws. Nationally available Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs, “100‐year floodplain” maps) focus on urban areas and higher‐order river systems, limiting utility at large scales. Few other national‐scale floodplain data are available. We acquired FIRMs for a large watershed and compared FIRMs to floodplain and integrated wetland area mapping methods based on (1) geospatial distance, (2) geomorphic setting, and (3) soil characteristics. We used observed flooding events (OFEs) with recurrence intervals of 25‐50 to >100 years to assess floodplain estimate accuracy. FIRMs accurately reflected floodplain areas based on OFEs and covered 32% of river length, whereas soil‐based mapping was not as accurate as FIRMs but characterized floodplain areas over approximately 65% of stream length. Geomorphic approaches included more areas than indicated by OFE, whereas geospatial approaches tended to cover less area. Overall, soil‐based methods have the highest utility in determining floodplains and their integrated wetland areas at large scales due to the use of nationally available data and flexibility for regional application. These findings will improve floodplain and integrated wetland system extent assessment for better management at local, state, and national scales.

URLs/Downloads:

https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12531   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 08/02/2017
Record Last Revised: 04/08/2019
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 344719

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY BRANCH