Class Year


Document Type


Date of Creation

Summer 2019

Department 1

Environmental Studies


Drone imagery and photogrammetry models of the Gettysburg College campus and the terrain at Boyer Nurseries and Orchards were utilized to study flood patterns in Adams County, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg College has lower-sloped land and moderately built infrastructure while Boyer Orchards has drastically sloped land with many patches of abundant vegetation. The two locations were selected due to the fact that they have starkly different surface features, while the bedrock geology of the areas are very similar. The terrain of the models was isolated before a 3D carver and 3D printer were used to construct physical models to further analyze potential water flow and speed through virtual, modeled flood simulations. The models were used to compare real world rainfall data and flood events in the investigated areas from the months of June to August in 2018. I hypothesized that the Gettysburg College campus would experience more severe flooding that would take longer to subside in comparison to Boyer Orchards due to the steeper slope of the orchards’ terrain. The research revealed that Boyer Orchards experienced more extreme flooding and rainfall than Gettysburg College but was able to neutralize the effects due to plentiful vegetation and physio-graphic differences. Modeled flood simulations demonstrated less rainfall in comparison to actual rainfall values: there were differences of 0.78 cm and 1.32 cm between the actual and simulated rainfall amounts for Gettysburg and the Boyer Orchards area, respectively.


This paper was the winner of the Pennsylvania Geographical Society undergraduate paper competition 2018.

Required Publisher's Statement

This article was published by the Pennsylvania Geographical Society.