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Archive for March, 2012

The good folks at CUASHI have been working hard at making improvements to their various analytic tools.

Jeff Horsburg has moved Time Series Analyst to a new server and hence a new URL:

http://tsa.usu.edu/nwisanalyst/

Rather than simply entering 00060 as the variable for mean daily flow, a user now needs to enter: 00060/DataType=Average.  Other than that change, the web app still works the same and provides some nice summary graphics for your gauge of interest.

On the HydroDesktop side, the latest version (currently listed as experimental) has included built in functionality for data import using the data import plug-in. This means that txt, csv or Excel files can be imported into HydroDesktop. Very cool.  The latest version of HydroDesktop can be downloaded from this site http://hydrodesktop.codeplex.com/. Click on the Downloads tab and choose whether you want to use a recommended version or an experimental version.  HydroDesktop is actively being developed and improved, so it’s worth checking from time to time to see what the current release is.

Many sincere thanks to all the great developers at CUASHI. I very much appreciate your efforts, updates and diligence towards making your products more robust and easier to use.

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The Bureau of Reclamation has posted presentations to a LWD conference held in Seattle, WA earlier this year here:

http://www.usbr.gov/research/science-and-tech/conference/large-wood/index.html

Scroll to the bottom to see the list of presentations that have been converted to pdf’s.

HT: Doug Shields

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I just received this email and as a Utah State alum, I thought it was worth posting:

—————————————————————————————————

August 6-10, 2012
Intermountain Center for River Rehabilitation & Restoration
Utah State University
Logan, Utah

For more information and registration: http://cnr.usu.edu/icrrr/

This course is for those who wish to understand and apply the principles of sediment transport to alluvial channel assessment and design.  Principles of open channel flow and sediment transport are combined with watershed hydrologic and sediment source analysis to place channel assessment and design in the appropriate context. The course balances advance reading, lecture, field work, and hands-on exercises for estimating sediment supply, calculating sediment transport rates, forecasting channel response to water and sediment supply, and a class project incorporating gravel augmentation into channel design for dynamic fish habitat.  This course is intended for participants who are familiar with basic principles of river geomorphology.

Topics include:

  • Spatial analysis tools for estimating sediment supply at the watershed to reach level
  • Threshold and alluvial channel models, with guidelines for assessment and design incorporating uncertainty
  • Sediment transport calculations: challenges and methods, sediment rating curves, cumulative transport
  • Field measurement of sediment transport and guidance for different sampling approaches
  • 1-d flow and transport models: HEC-RAS applied to flow competence and sediment transport capacity
  • Forward and inverse application of mixed-size surface-based transport models

Principal Instructors

Peter Wilcock (course director), Professor, Geography and Environmental Engineering,
Johns Hopkins University

Tyler Allred, Principal, Allred Restoration

Patrick Belmont, Professor, Watershed Science, Utah State University

Susannah Erwin, Postdoctoral Associate, Watershed Science, Utah State University

Milada Majerova, Postdoctoral Associate, Watershed Science, Utah State University

The course is taught among the majestic peaks of the Wasatch and Bear River mountains near Logan UT. Cache Valley is a delightful place to visit in August.  Salt Lake City is easy to fly into and there are abundant opportunities for outdoor adventure before & after the course.

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The USGS has added some nice functionality to its WaterWatch site.  Roll your mouse over the word toolkit, then click on raster hydrograph.  The procedure was developed by Rick Koehler and it’s a neat way to see multiply years of flow data all at once. It also allows one to start to see hydrologic trends and patterns.  Rivers that are impacted by dams should have a pretty clear signal that the flow has been altered. Try entering 01175500 as a site number to see what the Swift River at West Ware looks like – its the outflow of the Quabbin Reservoir.   Prior to 1940, you’ll see a natural hydrograph, through the 1950’s and 1960’s, you’ll see what a weekly cutoffs look like, the from mid 1960’s on, the you can see periods of extended low flows throughout the year.  Only about 7 0r 8 years in the past 45 has the Swift River seen flows in excess of 1,000 cfs, when prior to 1940, this used to be a near annual occurrence.

What sort of signal do you see with your local gauge of interest?

I’m rather impressed that the entire routine can be done via a web browser.   The procedure used to require manipulating flow data in Excel and then using specialized software such as ESRI’s ArcGIS or SURFER to make a raster plot.  The warning is indeed accurate, it does take a few minutes to develop the plot. But when one considers the vast time savings this tool creates, it is well worth the wait. Nice work Rick and your colleagues that helped develop the tool.  This is a great addition to the WaterWatch site!

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This is not exactly hot off the press, but there is a wealth of good information here.  The state of Montana held a training back in December, 2009 and has posted what looks like essentially all the training material that David Williams developed for the course.

http://www.dnrc.mt.gov/wrd/water_op/floodplain/streambank_course/default.asp

Be sure to scroll through the whole list of resources and check out the spreadsheets on the bottom of the page.

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For those of you who use ArcGIS Desktop, I’ve noticed that ESRI has developed some ever improving web maps and web services that can provide some nice basemaps.  This recent post from the ESRI Hydro blog sums up some of their recent developments nicely.

The easiest way I’ve found to add some of ESRI’s hydrologic basemaps is to add their service in ArcCatalog.

Under GIS Servers, click on Add ArcGIS Server, then add this URL to the dialog box:

http://hydro_bm_esri.com/ArcGIS/services

No User Name or Password is required. Once you do this, you should always have access to this service and then it is just a matter of dragging one of the map services from ArcCatalog into an ArcMap session.

The other GIS service that I’ve found quite handy is the FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer.  In ArcCatalog, click on Add WMS Server, then add this URL to the dialog box:

https://hazards.fema.gov/wmsconnector/wmsconnector/Servlet/NFHL?REQUEST=GetCapabilities&SERVICE=WMS&

As with the ESRI Service, it will just be a matter of dragging WMS Layers from ArcCatalog and dragging them into an ArcMap session.  The Q3 Flood Hazards (red) is the layer I typically add first when I want to see FEMA’s floodplain for an area of interest.  Depending on your area of interest, sometimes you can luck out and see cross section locations and base flood elevations.

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Yes – this is off topic, as was my Sarychev Peak Eruption post, but that’s about it so far.

This video put a smile on my face and it is only 21 seconds. I highly recommend the diversion.

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