Skip to main content
University of Texas University of Texas Libraries


Stuff about Geosciences



Floods have had a major role in the history and development of Texas. This guide will introduce some of the major sources of Texas flood data and help locate these publications in the University of Texas Libraries. The resources included in our other water studies collection guides will also likely prove useful. Also, as this guide does not include journal articles, remember to check the major periodical indexes or databases.

Flooding is a very broad subject that affects many disciplines. If you need information about law, insurance, or policy, it would be best to consult specialized reference works about those topics for information they may contain on water law and policy. Ask for reference assistance at Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) or at law libraries. Similarly, specialized information and resources may be found in the Engineering and Life Sciences libraries. While the University of Texas Libraries is well integrated, each branch has specialties and you are encouraged to make use of the expertise of the staff at each branch.


The Geology Library is the primary repository for USGS publications in the University of Texas Libraries . However, it is important to remember that the vast majority of the thousands of USGS publications available in the Geology Library are in several major series and are not listed by individual author and title. Our United States Geological Survey (USGS) Publication Guide may be helpful.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), particularly the Texas Water Science Center: Water Resources of Texas, is an important source of Texas water data. The national USGS Water Resources Information site has a great deal of useful information as well:

    • Stream Gaging and Flood Forecasting: A Partnership of the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Weather Service

    • USGS Surface-Water Data for Texas

One guide of special interest for historical water information:

Bibliography of United States Geological Survey Reports on the Geology and Water Resources of Texas 1887-1974. USGS #20-75. 
(The Flood entry in the index [p. 141-142] is helpful)

Professional Papers (PP)
QE 75 P9 [paper number] 

Benson, M. A. Flood Peaks Related to Hydrologic Factors in the Southwest. Article 229, #0450-E, p. E161. 1963.

Land, L.F., E.E. Schroeder, B.B. Hampton. Flood Frequency in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area. #1275, p. 238.1981.

Schroeder, E.E., B.C. Massey, Edwin H. Chin. Floods in Central Texas, August 1-4, 1978. #1332, p. 39. 1987.

Water Resources Investigations (WRI or WRIR)
GB 701 W375 [report number] 

Asquith, W.H. Depth-Duration Frequency of Precipitation for Texas. #98-4044. 1998.

Asquith, W.H. and R.M. Slade Jr. Documented and Potential Extreme Peak Discharges and Relation Between Potential Extreme Peak Discharges and Probable Maximum Flood Peak Discharges in Texas. #95-4249. 1995.

Asquith, William H., Raymond M. Slade Jr., and Jennifer Lanning-Rush. Peak Flow Frequency and Extreme Flood Potential for Streams in the Vicinity of the Highland Lakes, Central Texas. #96-4072. 1996.

Demster, George R., Jr. Effects of Urbanization on Floods in the Dallas, Texas Metropolitan Area. #73-60. 1974

Hejl, H.R., Raymond M. Slade, Jr., and M.E. Jennings. Floods In Central Texas, December 1991. #95-4289. 1996.

Index of Flood Maps Prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey through 1973. #73-57.

Lanning-Rush, Jennifer, William H. Asquith, and Raymond M. Slade, Jr. Extreme Precipitation Depths for Texas, Excluding the Trans-Pecos Region. #98-4099. 1998. 
A list of major Texas storms since 1869 and notes on related events, including floods.

Liscum, Fred. Effects of Urban Development on Stormwater Runoff Characteristics for the Houston, Texas, Metropolitan Area. #01-4071. 2001.

Slade, R.M. W.H. Asquith and G.D. Tasker. Multiple-Regression Equations to Estimate Peak Flow Frequency for Streams in Hays County, Texas. #95-4019. 1995.

Water Resources Data: Texas (WRD)
GB 1225 T4 A44 [year] [volume] 
Materials are arranged by river basin and gauging station. 

Water Supply Papers (WSP)
TC 801 U2 [report number] 

Breeding, S. D. and J. H. Montgomery. Floods of September 1952 in the Colorado and Guadalupe River Basins, Central Texas. #1260-A, p. 1-47. 1954.

Breeding, S. D. and Tate Dalrymple. Texas Floods of 1938 and 1939. #0914, p. 116. 1944.

Breeding, S. D. Texas Floods of 1940. #1046, p. 91. 1948.

Dalrymple, Tate. Major Texas Floods of 1935. #0796-G, p. 223-290. 1939.

Dalrymple, Tate. Major Texas Floods of 1936. #0816, p. 146. 1947.

Ellsworth, C. E. The Floods in Central Texas in September 1921. #0488, p.56. 1923.

Floods of May 1951 in Western Oklahoma and Northwestern Texas, Floods of 1951. #1227-B, p. 135-199. 1954.

Gilbert, C.R. and S.P. Sauer. Hydrologic Effects of Flood Water-Retarding Structures on Garza-Little Elm Reservoir, Texas. #1984, p. 95. 1970.

Hejl, H.R., Jr., R.M. Slade, Jr., and M.E. Jennings. "Floods of December 20-26, 1991, in Central Texas" in Summary of Floods in the United States During 1990 and 1991. #2474, p. 245-247. 1996.

Jones, B.D. "Texas; Floods and Droughts" in National Water Summary 1988-89; Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts. #2375, p. 513-520. 1991.

Mays, Larry W. "Flood Simulation for a Large Reservoir System in the Lower Colorado River Basin, Texas" in National Water Summary 1988-89; Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts. #2375, p. 143-146. 1991.

Mills, W.B., and E.E. Schroeder. Floods of April 28, 1966, in the Northern Part of Dallas, Texas. #1870-B, p. B1-B37. 1969.

Patterson, J. L. Magnitude and Frequency of Floods in the United States; Part 8, Western Gulf of Mexico Basins. #1682, p. 506. 1965.

Schroeder, E.E., R.U. Grozier, and D.C. Hahl. Floods of September-October 1967 in South Texas and Northeastern Mexico. #1880-B, p. B1-B111. 1974.

Taylor, T. U. The Austin Dam. #0040, p. 52. 1900.

Tortorelli, Robert L. "Floods of April and May 1990 on the Arkansas, Red, and Trinity Rivers in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana" in Summary of Floods in the United States During 1990 and 1991. #2474, p. 39-56. 1996.

Yost, I. D. Floods of April-June 1957 in Texas and Adjacent States. #1652-B, p. B1-B321. 1963.

The USGS has published a great deal of material over the years that either stands alone or exists in series that are no longer tracked. A few examples:

   • Breeding, Seth D. Flood of May 17, 1949 at Fort Worth, Tex. 1949. Report produced with Texas Board of Water Engineers.

   • Flood of May 24-25, 1981, in the Austin, TX, Metropolitan Area. USGS Hydrologic Atlas 656. 1982. 2 sheets on aerial photo base map

   • Slade, Raymond M. and John Patton. Major and Catastrophic Storms and Floods in Texas: 215 Major and 41 Catastrophic Events from 1853 to September 1, 2002. Prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Lower Colorado River Authority, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.

Austin Geological Society

Bureau of Economic Geology

Geological Circular (GC)
TN 24 T4 T38 [report number]

Baker, Victor. Flood Hazards along the Balcones Escarpment in Central Texas: Alternative Approaches to Their Recognition, Mapping, and Management. #75-5. 1975.

McGowen, J.C., C.G. Groat, and L.F. Brown, Jr. Effects of Hurricane Celia - A Focus on Environmental Geologic Problems of the Texas Coastal Zone. #70-3. 1970.

Morton, Robert A. and Jeffrey G. Paine. Beach and Vegetation-Line Changes at Galveston Island, Texas: Erosion, Deposition, and Recovery from Hurricane Alicia. #85-5. 1985.

Paine, Jeffrey G., and Robert A. Morton. Shoreline and Vegetation-Line Movement, Texas Gulf Coast, 1974 to 1982. #89-1. 1989.

Report of Investigations (RI)
QE 167 T42 [report number] 

Andrews, Peter B. Facies and Genesis of a Hurricane-Washover Fan, St. Joseph Island, Central Texas Coast. #67. 1970

Hayes, Miles O. Hurricanes as Geological Agents: Case Studies of Hurricanes Carla, 1961, and Cindy, 1963. #61.1967

Center for Research in Water Resources (CRWR), University of Texas at Austin

  • Publishes Water Resources Symposium issues. Some have a Texas emphasis.

Technical Report
TD 201 T3 T492

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

  • The Federal agency charged with helping people predict, prepare for, survive and recover from natural disasters, including floods. Of special interest is the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Hazard Mapping program, providing information on floodplain hazards to homebuyers, homeowners, and developers.

Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence Districts

International Boundary and Water Commission United States and Mexico, United States Section

  • Publishes materials dealing primarily with Rio Grande border conflict negotiations and water resources in the Rio Grande basin.

Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)

  • Information on Colorado River watershed. Searching the site using "flood" produces some useful articles.

National Technical Information Service (NTIS)

  • This index of all government-sponsored research is also useful to identify relevant materials. It is possible for you to order from NTIS microfiche of documents you will require for your research. Ask for assistance at the reference desk in any of the University of Texas Libraries' branches.

National Weather Service River Forecast Center: West Gulf RFC

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

  • It is important to remember while searching this material that the organization names have changed several times. If the call number remains the same, the title is a continuation of the same serial. The TCEQ (and its predecessor agencies) occasionally release limited publication (LP, RG, etc.) reports that are not widely distributed. Here is one line of the agency lineage: Texas Board of Water Engineers (1913) --> Texas Water Commission (1962) --> Texas Water Rights Commission (1965) --> Texas Department of Water Resources (1977) --> Texas Natrual Resources Conservation Commission (1993) --> Texas Commision on Environmental Quality (2002).

Bomar, George W. Analysis of Weather Conditions Relative to Occurrence of Flash Flooding Rains in Central Texas (During the Period of July 30-August 4, 1978). 1978. Texas Department of Water Resources LP-69

Texas Guide to Local Flood Plain Management. 2001. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission RG-12 (Rev.8/01)

Water Commission Bulletin
GB 1025 T4 A35 [report number] 

Meier, Wilbur L., Jr. Analysis of unit hydrographs for small watersheds in Texas. Bulletin 6414. 1964.

Patterson, James L. Floods in Texas: Magnitude and frequency of peak flows. Bulletin 6311. 1963.

Summary of peak flood flow measurements and other measurements of stream discharge in Texas at points other than gauging stations. Bulletin 5807-C. 1959

Texas Water Development Board

  • Search the online index with "floods" or "flooding" as keywords.

Texas Water Development Board Report
TD 224 T4 A333 [report number]

Baker, E.T., Jr. Relation of ponded floodwater from Hurricane Beulah to ground water in Kleberg, Kenedy, and Willacy Counties, Texas. Report 138. 1971.

Grozier, R.U., D.C. Hahl, and A.E. Hulme. Floods from Hurricane Beulah in south Texas and northeastern Mexico, September-October 1967. Report 83. 1968.

Symposium on consideration of some aspects of storms and floods in water planning: Technical papers presented at the October 7-9, 1965 meeting Texas Section, American Society of Civil Engineers. Report 33. 1966.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Water Resources Institute at Texas A&M University

These general climate and meteorology materials aid understanding of the weather events that cause floods.

To search for journal articles and technical reports on Texas floods, you should consult the tools on the University of Texas Libraries Databases page. Note: Most of these resources are licensed for use by UT students and employees only.

Austin, Texas, Flood of May 24-25, 1981. 1982. Committee on Natural Disasters, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Research Council.

Excessive Rainfall in Texas. State of Texas Reclamation Department Bulletin 25. 1941.

Field Trip: Urban Flooding and Slope Stability in Austin, Texas. Victor R. Baker, Keith Young, and E.L. Garner. Austin Geological Society Guidebook 1. 1973.

Flash Floods in Texas. Burnett, Jonathan. 2008.

Flood Geomorphology. Victor R. Baker, R. Craig Kochel, and Peter C. Patton. 1988.

Flood Hazards in the United States: A Research Assessment. White, Gilbert F. 1975.

Flooding Studies of Proposed Repository Locations in the Palo Duro Basin of the Texas Panhandle. Office of Nuclear Waste Isolation. 1985

Floods: A Geographical Perspective. Ward, Roy. 1978.

Floods: Physical Processes and Human Impacts. Smith, Ken and Roy Ward. 1998.

Special Storm Report Chambers Creek Watershed : Tributary of the Trinity River Watershed: Storm of April 20-May 2, 1966. U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service. 1966.

Water in Texas: An Introduction. Austin. Sansom, Andrew; with Emily R. Armitano and Tom Wassenich. University of Texas Press, 2008.

World Catalogue of Very Large Floods. UNESCO. 1976.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.