Developing an Approach to Prioritize River Restoration using Data Extracted from Flood Risk Information System Databases

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San Francisco, CA

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Prioritizing river restoration requires information on river geometry. In many states in the US detailed river geometry has been collected for floodplain mapping and is available in Flood Risk Information Systems (FRIS). In particular, North Carolina has, for its 100 Counties, developed a database of numerous HEC-RAS models which are available through its Flood Risk Information System (FRIS). These models that include over 260 variables were developed and updated by numerous contractors. They contain detailed surveyed or LiDAR derived cross-sections and modeled flood extents for different extreme event return periods. In this work, over 4700 HEC-RAS models' data was integrated and upscaled to utilize detailed cross-section information and 100-year modelled flood extent information to enable river restoration prioritization for the entire state of North Carolina. We developed procedures to extract geomorphic properties such as entrenchment ratio, incision ratio, etc. from these models. Entrenchment ratio quantifies the vertical containment of rivers and thereby their vulnerability to flooding and incision ratio quantifies the depth per unit width. A map of entrenchment ratio for the whole state was derived by linking these model results to a geodatabase. A ranking of highly entrenched counties enabling prioritization for flood allowance and mitigation was obtained. The results were shared through HydroShare and web maps developed for their visualization using Google Maps Engine API.


Abstract H43A-1465 for poster presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU

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