Main Content
Death Valley 1,000-year Flood Event

This October, a system of storms caused significant flooding in most of Death Valley National Park, California. Collectively,  the area only received 1–2 inches (2.5–5 centimeters) of rain, but the annual average in Death Valley is about 2 inches  (5 centimeters). The largest of the storms occurred on October 18. Flash floods from the storm destroyed roads and utilities,  and damaged several historical structures. This was the largest flood event in the recorded history of the area. 

In this image pair Landsat 8 images contrast October 2014 (a year with typical precipitation) to October 2015. The false color images highlight hydrogeology; the areas in green to blue are the locations with moisture content. Especially striking is the Badwater Basin, normally a dry lake bed. In the 2015 image, it is full of water.

Landsat imagery acquired before and after the flood event will help with monitoring and evaluation of landscape response  and impacts.

  Previous Next