Levee breaching is the most frequent and dangerous form of levee failure. A levee breach occurs when floodwater breaks through part of the levee creating an opening for water to flood the protected area. According to National Committee on Levee Safety (NCLS), a reasonable upper limit for damage resulting from levee breaching is around $10 billion per year during 1998 and 2007. This number excludes hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 which resulted in economic damages estimated to be more than $200 billion dollar and a loss of more than 1800 lives. In response to these catastrophic failures, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) started to develop the National Levee Database (NLD) on May 2006. The NLD has a critical role in evaluating the safety of the national levee system. It contains information regarding the attributes of the national levee system. The Levee Analyst Data Model was developed by Dr Norm Jones, Jeff Handy and Thomas Griffiths to supplement the NLD. Levee Analyst is a data model and suite of tools for managing levee information in ArcGIS and exporting the information to Google Earth for enhanced visualization. The current Levee Analyst has a concise and expandable structure for managing, archiving and analyzing large amounts of levee seepage and slope stability data. (Thomas 2009). The new set of tools developed in this research extends the ability of the Levee Analyst Data Model to analyze and mange levee breach simulations and store them in the NLD geodatabase. The capabilities and compatibilities with the NLD of the new geoprocessing tools are demonstrated in the case study. The feasibility of using GSSHA model to simulate flooding is also demonstrated in this research.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





GSSHA, levee breach, flood, inundation, National Levee Database, NLD, levee analyst, WMS, Google Earth