Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

John D. Quaranta

Committee Co-Chair

Leslie Hopkinson

Committee Member

Hema Siriwardane


Inundation mapping is a major component of floodplain management, providing critical information as to the consequences of potential failures of flood control structures, such as dams. To develop inundation maps, a dam and river system are modeled with engineering computer programs, and a simulation of the dam failure is performed to generate data for the flood. This output data is input into other programs to develop inundation maps. Inundation maps have traditionally been produced in a paper format, but recent advances in computer modeling have provided the capability for virtual inundation maps. Thus, these mapping methods need to be investigated to determine the applications and relevance to floodplain management.;The goal of this research is to advance the development and use of inundation maps by floodplain managers and emergency agencies. In this work, a simulation of a potential dam failure was performed for a candidate river system, and the inundation maps were created using two procedures: Terrain Tiles and Google Earth. An analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each mapping procedure was conducted. The Terrain Tiles procedure has advantages in displaying critical information, such as arrival times and water depths. However, this mapping procedure is more labor-intensive, and the online file sharing may not be accessible for all users. The strengths of the Google Earth procedure include two-dimensional and three-dimensional views for analysis, user-friendly file sharing, and the inclusion of built-in critical infrastructure and terrain data. Drawbacks of this procedure are that the inundation must still be generated in ArcGIS, that the display of critical information is not as clear, and that the online file sharing may pose security issues. Thus, the Terrain Tiles procedure should be used for the development of emergency response measures, while the Google Earth procedure should be used by emergency responders in the event of an actual emergency.