Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019TN249B

Flood history from paleoflood deposits in cut bank soil profiles in Chickamaugua Reservoir, Tennessee River

Institute: Tennessee
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-05-31 End Date: 2020-05-30
Total Federal Funds: $4,790 Total Non-Federal Funds: $2,443

Principal Investigators: Larry McKay

Abstract: Floods are one of the most dangerous natural hazards on earth. They can cause major economic losses and greatly impact our society [1, 2]. In the United States, flood damages continue to increase despite the large amounts of money invested in flood control and mitigation [3]. One of the main issues with flood control and mitigation is the lack of long-term flood records to estimate parameters such as Annual Exceedance Probabilities (AEP) [4]. Historic records of past floods are available only for some streams and only for the past 100-150 years [2]. In most cases they cannot show the maximum flood an area can have. AEPs derived from historic flood records tend to have high degrees of uncertainty for floods that exceed a probability of 1 in 100 years, whereas major infrastructure like nuclear power plants may be required to withstand much greater floods [4]. Preserved flood sediments can be used to extend the flood records by thousands of years [5] [6] [7]. Information on extreme floods derived from studying the geological record of flood sediments exposed along streams can be incorporated into flood analyses of frequency and magnitude, providing essential information for predicting future floods [8].