Flood modeling of the Hart Ditch - Little Calumet River System

Mohammad Mazen Karim, Purdue University


The Little Calumet River System located in Northwestern Indiana has encountered numerous flooding events in recent years. In 2008, Hurricane Ike contributed a large amount of rainfall to The Little Calumet River System leading to destructive flooding events. Following this flooding event, United States Army Corps of Engineers installed a flow diverter near a major tributary in the system for flood mitigation. Levees were also constructed for managing water movement. In this study, a two stage modeling process commonly used in hydrologic modeling was considered. A rainfall – runoff model was prepared in the first stage using HEC-HMS (Hydrologic Engineering Center-Hydrologic Modeling System). Radar rainfall and point rainfall were considered and used to construct flow hydrographs from rainfall events. In the second stage, flow hydrographs were used to model the flood stages in The Little Calumet River System. HEC-RAS (Hydrologic Engineering Center-River Analysis System) was used to conduct unsteady flow simulations. The HEC-RAS model was constructed with the help of field cross sectional surveys done by Purdue University Calumet senior design groups. Simulations were conducted with and without the diverter and levees to determine the performance of the flood management structures. Peak flow and water surface elevations were considered and analyzed for The Little Calumet River System. With the construction of the diverter in the Little Calumet West reach, peak flow in the west reach decreased by 10.19%. Peak flow in the Little Calumet East River increased by 10.05% following the construction of the diverter. The water surface elevation did not show a significant change throughout the model. An increase in peak flow while maintaining a steady water surface elevation indicates that the construction of the diverter allows the system to direct a larger volume of water without increasing the possibility of flooding.




Viswanathan, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Civil engineering|Environmental engineering

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server