CE 394K.2  Exercise 1:


Analyzing water data from the USGS NWIS and EPA Storet Systems



1.   Access the prototype HIS Server located at http://his.crwr.utexas.edu/his and execute the HIS Server tutorial located at: http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/GradHydro2007/HISServer/HISServer.htm

which shows you how to obtain streamflow data from NWIS and water quality data from Storet for the Neuse River near Clayton, North Carolina.  Find the names and code numbers of the NWIS and Storet stations at this location. Find the period of data and number of available records for NWIS streamflow  and Storet Nitrate + Nitrite as Nitrogen (note the NWIS streamflow data actually go from the given start date right up to the present).  Use HIS Server to obtain a .csv file of the Storet Nitrogen data.


2.  Access NWIS Analyst developed at the Utah Water Research Laboratory at: http://water.usu.edu/nwisanalyst/   and execute the NWIS Analyst tutorial located at: http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/GradHydro2007/NWISAnal/NWISAnal.htm  which shows you how to plot time series of streamflow or water quality data (currently this application accesses only NWIS data).   Make a plot of the time series of the whole record from 1927 to present, and cumulative frequency, frequency histogram and box and whisker plots of these data.   Make screen captures of these plots and turn them in as part of your solution.  Download an Excel file of the streamflow data.


3. Use HIS Server to identify the period of streamflow record at another USGS station somewhere else in the nation and make similar plots for that station.   Compare and contrast the flow characteristics of your new station with those of the Neuse River near Clayton, NC.


4.  Study the USGS and EPA variable code lists, as given at  http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/pmcodes and  http://www.epa.gov/STORET/legacy/ref_tables.htm for the way that they each characterize nitrogen data.  Describe how each specifies Nitrogen data and which variable code values would have to be used to extract the N data from each of these systems.  Get the Nitrate + Nitrite as N data from NWIS Instantaneous Irregular values using the NWIS Analyst download option.   The complete list of these codes is given as an Excel file at: http://www.ce.utexas.edu/prof/maidment/Ex1/VariableCodes.xls


5.  Nutrient enrichment from the Neuse watershed is leading to algal blooms and contamination of the Albemarle-Pamlico Sound downstream.   By combining the streamflow and water quality data for Nitrate and Nitrite as Nitrogen, make an estimate of the annual Nitrogen load flowing in the Neuse River at Clayton, NC (kg/year).