Earth Science 121
Lab Assignment: Stream Discharge
(Due at the beginning of class, Tuesday, April 4, 2006)
In this homework
and print out one year’s worth of discharge data for a stream gage in
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”, and then click “Streamflow”. Under “Site Location”, click “State”, and then click “Submit”. Select “Illinois”, and under “Choose Output Format”, select “Table of sites sorted by SITE NAME grouped by COUNTY” (you’ll have to select the words “Site Name” and “County”.) Then, 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 tells you the period of record—in other words, how
the USGS has been keeping records at that site, and the drainage
area of the drainage basin for the point on the stream where the gage
located. Get to know the drainage basin by going to
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, as well--long ago, recent, or anything in between, as long as it's one year. On the “Available Data for this Site” menu, click on “Daily Streamflow” and GO. Under “Choose Output Format”, go to the boxes in the “Retrieve data from” line, and enter the beginning and end of a one-year period. Be sure to use the correct format (YYYY-MM-DD). Also, be sure that the dates you enter fall within the period of record!
Select “Tab-Separated Data”, select “Display in Browser”, and then click the Submit button.
Print this list (it may be long--7 pages or more). Bring your
data to class with you on Tuesday!
© 2006 Laura L. Sanders. Last updated March 28, 2006.