Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2012

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Weber, Larry J

First Committee Member

Weber, Larry J

Second Committee Member

Young, Nathan C

Third Committee Member

Muste, Marian V I

Fourth Committee Member

Krajewski, Witold F


Flooding is a major hazard in the Midwest, accounting for more economic damage than any other hazard. Recent major flooding events in Iowa have created a greater need for the monitoring of floodplain areas. The objective of this paper is to evaluate flood risk through the synthesis of geospatial data with flood maps for thirteen Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC 8s) in southwest Iowa. Using ArcGIS, exposure of ecosystem services, population, and environmental hazards can be located within the 10, 50, 100, 500 year floodplains. Additionally, the effectiveness of hydric soils as a floodplain proxy is evaluated using SSURGO soil data. An overview of FEMA HAZUS-MH 2.0 flood loss estimation software is provided and a model of the East Nishnabotna HUC 8 is evaluated. An alternative economic loss framework based on an NED land use raster and structure data is compared for the region. This study aims to provide beneficial floodplain information for development and regulation decisions.


Flood, Floodplain, Geographic Information Systems, Hazus, Hydraulic modeling, Risk


xii, 129 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-73).


Copyright 2012 Benjamin Samuel Reith