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Exploring USGS streamflow data with dataRetrieval and Swirl

Author(s): David Manning

University of Nebraska at Omaha

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This Swirl lesson walks through how to retrieve, view, and visually analyze streamflow and water quality data from the National Water Information System (US Geological Survey).

Licensed under CC Attribution 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 18 Jun 2021 doi:10.25334/RC39-XZ24 - cite this


In this Swirl lesson, we use publicly available data collected by USGS to explore patterns of hydrology in Nebraska streams with the R package 'dataRetrieval' (De Cicco, L.A., Hirsch, R.M., Lorenz, D., Watkins, W.D., 2018, dataRetrieval: R packages for discovering and retrieving water data available from Federal hydrologic web services, doi:10.5066/P9X4L3GE). The lesson provides a framework for students to access USGS data, and then visualize the data in R for graphical analysis. This is a lesson that could occur during or after a lab, lecture or discussion that introduces streamflow and effects of human activities in watersheds on river flow regimes (e.g., urbanization, dams, climate change). A complementary Swirl lesson or other pre-lesson module that introduces R basics (vectors, data frames), and ggplot2 would be beneficial.

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