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Water Resources of New Hampshire and Vermont
Instrumentation and Data Collection

This page summarizes the types of data, period of collection,   and instrumention used for both the pre-WEBB (1959-1990) and WEBB (1990-present)   periods. Because of the several Federal entities active at the site, each with their own protocols of data archiving, during a period of rapidly changing  technologies, assembly of the data into a common user-friendly database has  been a longstanding challenge. Recently we have made some headway but there  is a long way to go. Anyone interested in data should inquire about its status  using the contact info on the home page. Soon we hope to provide an interface  for user retrieval of certain archived datasets. This will probably occur  first for the WEBB-era data (since 1990). Meanwhile, click below for hydrologic data available on the USGS real-time website for our two largest streamgages (W-3 and W-5).   

Historic / continuing data sets:

Historic data is stored in a variety of formats  and media.  THe USGS assembled the most critical data on spreadsheets and  are working with Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) to organize the rest.
Streamflow 2 sites, 1959-present
15 sites, 1959-1979
Soil water lysimeters installed in a soil pit with three soil horizons in the forested W-9 catchment in Danville, Vt. Click picture to view a more detailed version.
Air Temperature hourly, 13 sites, 1959-present
Precipitation hourly, 13 sites, 1959-present
Relative humidity hourly, 13 sites, 1959-present
Snow depth and water equivalent weekly, 13 sites, 1959-present
Ground frost depth weekly, 36 sites, 1983-present

Photograph above shows soil water lysimeters installed in a soil pit with three soil horizons in the forested W-9 catchment. In these zero-tencsion  devices, water collected at three points at each soil depth drains to a common collection vessel, from which the sample is pumped out.  In this inceptisol soil, water is collected from the O-horizon (dark brown), B-horizon (light tan), and C-horizon (olive/gray).  The C-horizon is the glacial till parent material. 
Additional current data collection activities:

USGS time series data are stored in the Montpelier office on a MacIntosh-based  4th-Dimension data base.  The customized 4-D program allows efficient management and significant data compression by storing only inflection points of time series curves, but can generate re-expanded time series at any desired time step.  Data sets can be provided on request.

Current time series physical data (electronic logging):

Streamflow 7 sites total
Photograph of the Weir crossing Sleepers River at site W-5.  Click on picture to view more detailed version.
The weir at W-5, the outlet to the entire Sleepers River Research Watershed (43 sq. mi., 111 sq. km.)
Stream temperature 7 sites
Specific conductance  (beginning 1998) 4 sites
Soil temperature 5 sites, 2-3 depths
Groundwater level 3 sites
Soil moisture, TDR 3 sites
Short- and long-wave incoming and reflected radiation (CRREL) 3 sites
Wind speed and direction (CRREL) 3 sites
Discrete physical data (manual measurements):
Groundwater level monthly, 40 sites  

Chemical and isotopic data:

Approximately 1000 samples per year collected for major ions (Ca, Mg, Na, K, ANC,  SO4, NO3, Cl, Si), pH, DOC, oxygen-18.  Selected samples carbon, lead, and strontium isotopes, and for dual isotopes of nitrate.  U.S. Forest Service - Hubbard Brook analyzes weekly precipitation and stream samples for DON.

Waters sampled include precipitation, snowpack, snow meltwater (from snowmelt  lysimeters), zero-tension soil water (3 depths), groundwater (many depths), and streamwater (7 sites).

Sampling frequency: weekly - precipitation and headwater stream; monthly - other streams, soil water, selected groundwater; quarterly - additional groundwater; selected events (especially snowmelt) - precipitation, meltwater, soil water, streams.

Soil sampling - 447 samples from headwater basin for C-N-S analysis.


Table 1. Drainage areas and periods of discharge records for subwatersheds of the Sleepers River Research Watershed, Vermont

Subwatershed No. Drainage area (km2) Period of record
W-1 43.15 1958-85
W-2 0.59 1958-78; 1991-present
W-3 8.40 1959-present
W-4 43.70 1959-85
W-5 111.60 1959-present
W-6 0.68 1960-75
W-7 21.90 1960-75
W-8 15.71 1960-79
W-9 0.41 1961-78; 1990-present
W-10 16.39 1962-85
W-11 2.29 1963-75
W-12 2.03 1964-75
W-13 1.04 1964-75
W-14 3.72 1964-75
W-15 4.76 1964-75
W-16 2.99 1965-92
W-18 0.52 1968-78

A cross section of a 97-cm thick snowpack on April 11, 2001. Click on image to view a more detailed version.

A cross section of a 97-cm thick snowpack on April 11, 2001.  Dye was sprayed on the face of the snow pit by CREEL reseachers to highlight the various layers and ice lenses typical of snowpacks of eastern North America.  These layers reflect various snowfall, rainfall, freezing rain, and thaw events during the winter and subsequent snowpack metamorphosis.


Table 2. Summary of measurements and instrumentation for Sleepers River Research Watershed, Vermont.

[Use of brand, trade, or firm names is for identification only and does not imply  endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey; WEBB, Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical  Budgets; CRREL, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory; cm3, cubic centimeter]

Type of measurement sites Original Instrumentation Period of record Measurement frequency Number of stations

Pre-WEBB measurements (started before 1990):
Air temperature Platinum resistance element 1959-present Hourly 13
Vapor pressure Lithium chloride dewcell, 1.0 meter above snow 1969-1979 Hourly 13
Wind speed Three-cup anemometer, 1.0 meter above snow 1969-present Hourly 3
Incident solar radiation Eppley pyranometer 6/70-present Hourly 2
Reflected solar radiation Eppley pyranometer 3/73-present Hourly 2
Precipitation Shielded universal gage, 6 feet above ground 1959-present Hourly 15
Soil temperature Thermocouples, 3, 6, 12, 24, 36 inches in depth 12/68-9/87 Hourly 1
Snow-cover depth Snow courses and snow stakes 1959-present Daily 1
Snow-cover density Adirondack snow tube 1959-present Weekly 14
Snow-surface density 500-cm3 CRREL tubes 12/68-present Weekly/Variable 1
Snow-cover temperature Thermocouples attached to wooden stake 12/68-9/87 Hourly 1
Snow-cover outflow Two 10-foot diameter lysimeters 12/68-present Hourly 2
Stream temperature Grant Model 1200 1984-present Half-hourly 3
Stream discharge Stevens A-35 stage recorder 1959-present Continuous 3
Frozen ground depth Methylene-blue-dye frost tubes 1984-present Weekly 31

WEBB Measurements (started 1990 or later):
Precipitation chemistry Wetfall/dryfall collector 9/91-present Weekly 1
Stream discharge Potentiometer and pressure transducer 11/90-present 5-minute 7
Stream chemistry Automatic water sampler and grab samples 4/91-present Weekly plus events 7
Snow chemistry Plexiglas tube 3/92-present Weekly in season 3
Snowmelt chemistry Plexiglas plate with drain 3/92-present Daily in season 8
Soil moisture Time-domain reflectometry (TDR) 11/91-present Half-hourly 22
Ground-water chemistry Peristaltic pump 7/92-present Bimonthly plus events 30
Ground-water temperature CR-10 datalogger with precision thermistors 8/92-present Hourly to weekly 7
Ground-water levels Potentiometer/datalogger 6/91-present 5-minute 7
Ground-water levels Electric tape 6/91-present Biweekly plus events 80
Soil water chemistry Zero-tension lysimeter 11/91-present Events (incremental) 8
Soil temperature CR-10 datalogger with precision thermistors 11/91-present 5-minute 20
Thermal conductivity Transient hot-wire thermistor 9/92-present Periodic 20
Stream temperature CR-10 datalogger with precision thermistors 4/91-present 5-minute 5

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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 25-Jan-2017 13:27:54 EST