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Summary

This document is a how-to guide for using the USGS Water Monitoring Location Pages, which can be used to access data from thousands of water monitoring locations across the United States, US territories, and outlying areas. This document describes how to use features available in these web pages, as well as common questions users ask. Throughout this document, unless otherwise noted, the example monitoring location is 01584050, which is associated with a STREAM in BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND.

Important information

Provisional data

New data are collected continuously. In an effort to make water data and information available to users as rapidly as possible, and until new data can be checked and reviewed and approved, the USGS releases data in near real-time in a provisional status. Provisional data are shown on graphs with a line color that is orange, and approved data are shown with a line color that is dark blue (these colors are subject to change). The color code legend for the graphs can be found below the graphs. When viewing the data in tabular form, the value “P” is provided for provisional data and “A” is provided for approved data in the field for “Data-value qualification code.” The colors used on the graph are subject to change with the evolution of this product; we will update this guide as necessary. We encourage all users to familiarize themselves with the limitations of provisional data by reading the provision data statement linked below the hydrograph.

Screenshot that highlights the provisional data statement below the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red box at the bottom of the image which highlights the provisional data statement located below the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Interact with the hydrograph

Move your computer mouse or tap your device’s screen over top of the plot to expose the date, time, and value on the graph.

Screenshot that highlights the selected condition on the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red boxes that highlight the selected condition, which in this example is gage height, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Compare to previous data / display median

Select ‘Compare to last year’ and / or ‘Display Median’ to add historical data and statistical data, when available. Note: Median is not computed for gage height, but it is sometimes available for other parameters.

Screenshot that highlights the toggles for 'compare to last year' and 'display median,' located below the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red box is highlighting the toggle options for ‘compare to last year’ and ‘display median,’ which are located below the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Select a preset or custom time span

Choose a 7-day, 30-day, or 1-year preset time span. Consider viewing the period of record for the specific parameter beforehand. To choose a custom date range, click “change time span.” The date range of your choice will populate once you click the second “change time span.”

Screenshot that highlights option to change the displayed time span on the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red boxes which highlight the ability to change the displayed time span of the hydrograph. This option is available on every monitoring location page, including this one for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Alter the timeframe

Drag the handles on the plot below the main plot to zoom in on a specific time frame. Drag the shortened window (shown in the highlighted red box below) to pan across other dates.

Screenshot that highlights the ability to alter the timeframe, which is located below the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

The red box on this image highlights the timeframe adjustment option, which is located below the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Download data for this monitoring location

Download data by clicking on the “Retrieve data” tab, to the right of the “Change time span” tab. Select one of the three options, then click “Retrieve” at the bottom.

Screenshot that shows the ability to retrieve, or download, the data, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red box that hightlights the option to retrieve (or download) the data - located above the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Select data parameters

Below the hydrograph, under the header, “Select Data to Graph,” is the option to graph various available data parameters. Select one radio button at a time to display different data types available for each site.

Screenshot that highlights the ability to select multiple types of data. Option is located below the hydrograph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red box below the hydrograph which highlights the user’s option to select which type of available data to graph, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Hydrograph data tables

This section provides hydrograph data in tabular format. Toggle this menu visible and invisible by clicking the horizontal line on the right, as noted by the red box.

Screenshot that highlights option to view hydrograph data in tabular form, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

The red boxes on this image highlight the toggle option to view the hydrograph data in tabular form, which is on every monitoring location page, including this one for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Interact with the map

Press and hold your cursor or finger on the map, then drag the cursor in any direction to move the focused view of the map.

Screenshot that shows the ability to interact with the map for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red arrows on the map which indicate a user can move the map to view nearby monitoring locations, the upstream basin, and other features listed in the map legend. This is the map for the monitoring location page for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Other monitoring locations

Notice the red dots on the map, which indicate other nearby active monitoring locations, as indicated by the Legend in the bottom right corner of the map. You can click or tap on the red dots to view other locations.

Screenshot that shows the nearby monitoring locations on the map for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red boxes on the map which indicate the nearby monitoring locations. This is the map for the monitoring location page for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Different map layers

Users can change the map background by clicking on the symbol that looks like a stack of papers at the top right of the map. Selected background options are available.

Screenshot that shows the available map layers for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red box in the right top corner of the map which shows the different layers that can be viewed. This is the map for the monitoring location page for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Groundwater data

Some groundwater sites are monitored continuously at various time-series intervals. Monitoring location 350002110355501 is an example well in Navajo County, Arizona where depth-to-water level is continuously monitored at 15-minute intervals.

Screenshot that shows the nearby monitoring locations on the map for monitoring location 350002110355501 which is associated with a WELL in NAVAJO COUNTY, ARIZONA.

Notice the red boxes which indicates the toggle for groundwater data, which are only available for some monitoring locations. This is for monitoring location page for ‘monitoring location 350002110355501 which is associated with a WELL in NAVAJO COUNTY, ARIZONA’.

Affiliated networks

One monitoring location can be associated with a group of monitoring locations; those groups, or networks, help us understand more about water resources. This section displays links to networks of monitoring locations. Toggle this menu visible or invisible by clicking the horizontal line on the right, as seen by the red box.

Screenshot that shows the affiliated networks for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red boxes that shows the option to toggle the affiliated networks category. This monitoring location page is for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Summary of all available data

The monitoring location page shows some of the most important data, but often the monitoring locations have a lot more data available; this section displays a summary of all the types of data available, with link(s) to access the data. Toggle this menu visible or invisible by clicking the horizontal line on the right, as noted by the red box.

Screenshot that shows the summary of all available data for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red boxes that shows the option to toggle the summary of all available data category. This monitoring location page is for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Location metadata

Metadata provides context for data and provides additional information about the monitoring location such as when the station was established, its elevation, etc. Toggle this menu visible or invisible by clicking the horizontal line on the right, as noted by the red box.

Screenshot that shows the location metadata for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red boxes that shows the option to toggle the location metadata category. This monitoring location page is for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Cooperators

USGS monitoring locations are operated using funding and support from USGS and/ or from other sources such as other federal agencies, states, cities, local agencies, and others. The ‘cooperating’ funding source agencies are shown below the Metadata section.

Screenshot that shows the cooperators associated with this particular monitoring location at Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red box that highlights the cooperator logos which now populate automatically. This monitoring location page is for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Navigate to other USGS pages that relate to water science.

Screenshot that shows the affiliated networks for Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD.

Notice the red box highlighting the navigation bar at the top of the webpage. This monitoring location page is for ‘Long Green Creek at Glen Arm, MD’.

Data information

Visit links that provide additional information about water data reliability, availability, and collection. Our provisional data statement is vital to correctly interpreting water data from USGS – make sure to give it a read!

Screenshot that shows a second pathway to view the provisional data statement.

Notice the red box highlights another way to find our provisional data statement.

About water data for the nation and social media

Stay connected with us! Follow our blog by clicking What’s New in Water Data for the Nation. Our blog provides easily understandable explanations of water data techniques and methods, and R code. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well by following the icons in the top right, as indicated by the red box.

Screenshot of a monitoring location page with a red box highlighting the social media icons in the top right corner.

Notice the red box highlights social media icons in the top right of the page.

Data inventory

This drop-down menu provides links to other pages with more water data or descriptions of data for this monitoring location. Explore them to learn more!

Screenshot of a monitoring location page with the Data Inventory navigation button selected.

Data Inventory at the top of the page provides additional information on our water data.

Common Requests

How can I view 30 Day Rainfall data?

  1. Select the correct timeframe by selecting a preset timespan of 30 days.
  2. Select precipitation by choosing the correct data to graph.