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Rivers and catchments in Google Earth format
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Water quality data exploration tool: help

In order to use the Google Earth interface, you will first need to download and install Google Earth. You can, however, access the tabular data without Google Earth. Some sites are available in Google Maps format.

On the main water resource explorer page, choose whether you wish to browse by primary drainage region, water management area, hydrological sites on rivers or hydrological sites on dams. Primary drainage regions are the broad hydrological catchment areas in South Africa, while water management areas are the water administrative regions. The hydrological sites are the approximately 3000 gauging stations on rivers and dams (lakes): these are the links of interest to hydrologists.

Clicking on the primary drainage region link takes you to a table of drainage regions. If you are unfamiliar with this classification system, choose Select sites from map. Otherwise, choose your drainage region of interest from one of the columns. The first column is for opening the sites in Google Maps, while the next four columns assume that you have Google Earth installed. The last two columns take you to simple (but rather long) tables of sites.

The data set includes thousands of boreholes (wells) with only one or two results each, hence the grouping of sites into no boreholes and with boreholes. Within a group, choose to show either simple icons at each site, or the more complex Maucha diagrams (useful if you are interested in the ionic composition of the water).

If you are just trying out the system, choose Google Earth, no boreholes - Icon markers -- K: Kromme et al.

Depending on your browser configuration, Google Earth may open the file automatically, but sometimes you need to save the K_reg_WMS_nobor.kmz file and open it manually. You can look for possibe solutions to problems of this kind at Google Earth Hacks Forums.

When all the above steps have worked correctly, you will see a piece of the South African coastline (the Garden Route). The Places panel on the left will contain a new hierarchy labelled K surface with icons labelled Canal, Rivers, etc.

If no monitoring sites are visible on the 3D-viewer, you need to expand the time slider at the top right of the viewer: select the right-hand edge of the sliding cursor with your mouse and drag it all the way across to the right. All the monitoring sites should now be visible (incidentally, the slider is very useful for selecting only sites active between certain dates).
time slider

Now double-click on the Rivers site labelled K7H1 [blue square marker with a black dot] . Google Earth zooms into the site and you can use the controls as described in the Google Earth User Guide to zoom in and out and pan and tilt the view.

Check in Google Earth under Tools-> Options-> General that Show results in external browser is ticked, otherwise the next step produces a rather cluttered map.

Single-click on the K7H1 icon and a balloon pops up explaining, sightly cryptically, that this is K7H001Q01 Bloukrans River At Lottering Forest Res/Blaauw Kr. Click on the graph link in the balloon: after a short wait, depending on the server and network speeds, a browser window will open with a PDF graph. The graph is a standard pre-generated time-series of up to 17 water quality indicators, plus flow if available. On the right-hand side axis are statistical summaries of the data.

If you would prefer to draw your own graph, return to the balloon and click on the data link. This will download, which contains the data used to draw the graph, a description of the data and a suggested citation.
If you have downloaded the water quality data, you will have noticed that the flow is missing. To get flow data, click on flow in the balloon. This opens the on-line hydrological database for K7H001 Bloukrans River @ Lotterings For. Res. Note the different codes used for the same site: the water quality database code is 102312, the full water quality code is K7H001Q01 and the hydrological code is K7H001. K70_102312 and K7H1 are other variants used in this browser system.

The key link in the balloon takes you to the page that explains the Maucha salinity symbol that appears in many pop-up balloons.

If you still have problems accessing the system, please contact: Michael Silberbauer (+27 12 808 9605).
Last updated 2016-05-12 14:01
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