A World Wide Web home page for the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, South Platte River Basin study is now online. The home page includes information about the basinwide investigation and provides viewing and downloading access to physical, chemical, and biological data collected by the study team.
FS-242-96 (PDF Version 80Kb)
The World Wide Web (WWW) is part of a computer information network that provides public access to a wide variety of information. This information commonly is accessed and viewed by means of "home pages" on the WWW.
The South Platte River Basin study team has developed a home page on the Colorado District Web server that is available to any per son with access to a Web browser. The home page contains information on significant find ings from the study investigations, synopses of work activities, listing of and access to publications produced by the study team, and personnel information. It also provides links to other USGS home pages, including the National USGS NAWQA home pages, in addition to other water-information-related links that may be of interest.
Figure 1: The South Platte NAWQA home page.
An innovative aspect of the home page is the availability of data to the public. Physical, chemical, and biological data for the South Platte River Basin study for water years 1992-95 are available over the WWW to any interested party through viewable tables and downloadable data sets. Included are data collected from 136 surface-water sites on 24 streams, 39 sampling locations in 6 reservoirs, and 147 wells at 99 groundwater sites (a single sampling location may have multiple wells) throughout the basin. The home page and data are updated as information and additional data become available.
Most of the data for the South Platte River Basin study were collected during the high intensity data collection phase of the project (March 1,1993, to September 31, 1995). The data consist of (1) physical information such as water-temperature measurements, site descriptions, well-construction information, and suspended-sediment data; (2) chemical data from all surface- and groundwater sites and from fish tissue and bed sediment collected at surface-water sites; (3) biological data, such as habitat and fish community information; and (4) quality-control data associated with each sampling effort.
The data sets can be accessed by clicking on the activity or data sets of interest listed as subheadings below the main headings in the "TABLE OF CONTENTS" (for example, Synoptic Studies under Surface Water). Readers who want a more detailed explanation of each activity should begin by clicking on the main headings in the "TABLE OF CONTENTS" (for example, Surface Water, Ground Water, Biology, and Sediment). Because the data are from multiple sources (analyses from different laboratories, data recorded in the field, data recorded by data loggers), there are many data-storage formats. Three types of data formats are provided to make these data sets more useful: (1) formatted tables (for viewing); (2) American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) flat files (for downloading); and (3) tables in a tab-delimited ASCII format called RDB (for viewing and downloading).
Figure 2a: The Table of Contents as viewed in the report.
Figure 2b: The Table of Contents as viewed in the report.
Each chemical data set is accompanied by explanatory text that contains links to column-description lists that describe each column of data in the ASCII flat files. However, biological data also include RDB formatted tables (physical habitat data), and the explanatory text contains links to different column-description files called data dictionaries.