Earth Science 121
Lab Assignment: Stream Discharge
(Due at the beginning of class, 5:40 pm, Tuesday, November 21, 2006)
In this homework
and print out one yearâ€™s worth of discharge data for a stream
Illinois. We will work with the data in class.
1) FIND THE SOURCE OF ILLINOIS STREAM GAGE DATA
Keep a map of Illinois handy--a road map is fine, or you can use one of the maps in the classroom. Go to the USGS web site http://water.usgs.gov/. Under "NWIS Web Water Data", click "Surface Water". Then, in the fourth paragraph under "Introduction", click the link for "Daily Streamflow Data". Under "Site Location", click "State", and then click "Submit. Under "State", select "Illinois". Scroll down, and near the bottom of the page, under "Choose Output Format", select "Table of sites sorted by SITE NAME grouped by COUNTY" (you will have to select the words "Site Name" and "County" from the dropdown menus.) Finally, scroll down a little further and click the "Submit" button.
This will give you a list of all the stream gages in Illinois,
by county. (Long streams will flow through several counties, so
may choose to click "Back" and instead of selecting "county", select
unit". That will show you all the gages on each stream no matter
what county they are in.)
2) BROWSE THE DATA AVAILABLE ON THE WEB.
Pick any stream gage, and click on the Site Number. This will
take you to a site specifically for that particular gage. For
gage, it gives you numerous pieces of information about the watershed (also called drainage basin). Get to know
the watershed by going to the area near the top titled "Available
data for this site" and selecting such choices as "Station Site Map",
Home Page", and "EPA Surf Your Watershed" (click GO to visit each of
5) COLLECT ONE YEAR'S WORTH OF DISCHARGE DATA
Choose a one-year time period--long ago, recent, or
anything in between! On the "Available
Data for this Site" menu, click on "Daily Data"
and GO. Under "Output Format", click "Table". Go to the
boxes for "Begin date" and "End date", and enter the beginning and end
of a one-year
Be sure to use the correct format (YYYY-MM-DD). Also, be sure
the dates you enter fall within the period of record! (If you get
an error message, that's probably why.)
Click GO. Print the list (it may be several pages long).
data to class with you!
© 2006 Laura L. Sanders. Last updated November 14, 2006.