Advanced floodplain mapping of a Rio Grande Valley resaca using LIDAR and a distributed hydrologic model
Whitko, Annemarie N.
Bedient, Philip B.
Master of Science
The availability of high-resolution LIDAR and GIS data combined with the onset of more powerful computers has made the use of distributed parameter hydrologic models more feasible. This study employs one such model, Vflo(TM), along with a widely used hydraulic model, HEC-RAS, to simulate the runoff-response of a resaca network in Brownsville, TX using newly available LIDAR data. While previous studies have attempted to simulate the runoff-response of a resaca, they were greatly limited by the lack of detailed topographic data and information describing the hydraulic structures that connect one resaca pool to the next. Floodplain mapping in the area revealed that very little flooding occurs in and around the resacas compared to the two main drainage ditches in the area. Furthermore an evaluation of the available storage in the resacas shows great potential for the use of resacas as detention reservoirs in the future for excess stormwater.