Hydrologic Investigation of the 1996 flood in Aurora, IL

By Chris Mueller


In the late summer of 1996, a record rain fell in many parts of the Chicagoland area. Rainfall values exceeded the 100 year values in much of the area. Aurora, IL recorded a rainfall of 16.9 inches in about 24 hrs. This value is the second highest rainfall ever recorded in the U.S. This project will attempt to explain just how much water this is and where it went.

Project Objectives

There are several project objectives for this investigation:

Information Sources

I hope to obtain much of my information from world wide web sources. For example, Nexrad radar information on the flood may still be available. I will probably need some sort of rainfall information from somewhere. Ideally, a hyetograph would be the best source of data to conduct the water balance. Other information that will be needed relates to the shape of the watershed. I would suspect that the USGS might have this information available. I also worked for a civil engineering firm (Rempe-Sharpe & Assoc., Geneva, IL) that may have information on the watershed under consideration.

Expected Results

I would like to correlate the water balance as closely as possible to the actual data. i.e. the flood stage should match the the water level predicted by the hyetograph. This correlation may depend on the methods used to analyze the data. I think that the compiled information would make a very neat home page. I have some pictures that I could post on the page, then I could post the water balance info, etc. I could chart the inflow vs. outflow.....Many possibilities.