Interactive Street-Level Inundation Map (1936 Potomac River Flood)

Video Animation of 1936 Potomac River Flood in Washington, DC

This historic flood map represents modeled maximum flood extents from a high-resolution inundation model for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas during the 1936 Potomac River Flood. River discharge measurements recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) were used to drive the hydrodynamic model from the Little Falls, MD. Verified water level measurements from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gauge at Washington DC were used to verify timing and flood heights in 1936. Finally, visual spatial comparison between a historic flood impact area map in the Capitol Mall area prior to the implementation of levees in Washington, D.C. was made using the 2008 National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) report.

Model results have been published in the following references:

Wang, H., Loftis, J. D., Forrest, D., Smith, W., and Stamey, B.  (2015). Modeling Storm Surge and inundation in Washington, D.C., during Hurricane Isabel and the 1936 Potomac River Great Flood. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 3(3), 607-629.  PDF

Loftis, J. D. (2014). Development of a Large-Scale Storm Surge and High-Resolution Sub-Grid Inundation Model for Coastal Flooding Applications: A Case Study During Hurricane Sandy. Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary.  PDF

Loftis, J. D. and Wang, H. V. (2012). Simulation of Coastal Inundation Instigated by Storm Surge and River Discharge in the Chesapeake Bay Using Sub-grid Modeling Coupled with Lidar Data. Oceans '12 IEEE/MTS proceedings, Virginia Beach. Virginia Institute of Marine Science. College of William & Mary.

Loftis, J. (2012). Simulation of coastal inundation instigated via storm surge, river discharge, and precipitation in the Chesapeake Bay using sub-grid modeling with lidar-derived digital elevation models. Oceans, 2012, 1-33.  PDF

Links to original data reports: