Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Ground-Water Information Center Login Exercise

Last Modified by Steve Custer at Montana State University 25 July 2005


    Download (Wells, Lithology)
    File Capture (Wells, Lithology)
    File Manipulation (Wells, Lithology)
    Column Headings
    Specific Capacity
    Report Format


The purpose of this exercise is to help you learn to capture data from the Ground Water Information Center.  Today we will obtain data for the subdivision project.  The purpose of this exercise is to teach you how to access and query the system and to capture the data.  You will also need to manipulate the data in a spread sheet.  There are three steps to the process:  1)  access the database, 2) query the database, 3)  capture the data  4)  parse the data, and 5)  manipulate the data in spreadsheets, in wordpad, and in your word processor.


You will need to bring a diskette with you.


As a reminder,   the subdivision project focuses on

Section 3 T 2 S R 5 E

Thus information from adjacent quarter sections might also be relevant.

Data of interest includes M-Number, location, total depth, static water level, pumping rate, pumping water level, screening information, and lithologic data.

If you can't remember how to use the B LM method of well location review material at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology either graphically or nongraphically.

Access to the Center:

Access to the data is via the internet.   You are strongly encouraged to use Netscape or Mozilla or some other browser with editing capability.

You will benefit from work in small groups.  (Two or three in a group is fine.  Feel free to share the data, but please write your own report.
You should include the names of all the people that worked in your group in the table you develop.) 

Go to the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology and Click on GWIC

GWIC Online Database
     Create a User Name
         Type in your information for your name.  (Write Down Your USERID so you have it for the future)
                Click on wells downloadable Reports Menu
                    Select Township-Range
                        Mark the locations of interest:  T 2 S, R 5 E sec 22.   You may want other sections, think about that later.  
                        (Let's start with sec 22.  This is a demonstration, not an answer.) Once the data is entered click submitt.
                            When data comes up save the data using the following sequence of clicks.
                                EditPage Note:  Excel does this poorly Netscape or Mozilla are recommended for this task.

                                        You are now in composer.  The data should be visible.

                                                SaveAs  (Save where you wish.  This example shows an "a-drive save" but you might save to
                                                to your account or a jump drive, or some other medium.)   
                                            (You want to be able to take the data with you
                                              so don't use the hard drive)
                                            (You could also click on *.txt but the Bureau
                                                has found that HTML works best)
                 Back Button on Browser to Township-Range Search Downloadable
                    Change button to Lithology
                        When data comes up save the data using the following sequence of clicks.
                                         a:YOURFILE (You want to be able to take the data with you so don't use the hard drive)
                                         *.HTML  (you could also click on *.txt but the Bureau has found that HTML works best)
                                    Back Button on Browser
You should obtain data from the relevant sections or quarter sections  in this manner one at a time (the alternative is to capture the whole Township, but that is a lot of wells.)  You can play with water quality, but when I checked there was no data in the sections of interest.  Feel free to play.

Data Manipulation

This section assumes you have successfully obtained the data and that the file name  is sec25wells.html saved on a diskette read by a:  The GWIC also has information on what to do under ON LINE HELP and then under Frequently Asked Questions.

Open your spreadsheet. (I have tried this in Quattro Pro and in Excel.  The procedures work essentially the same in either.
            Look in a:
            File type:  All Files
            Click on sec22.html
Next edit out the bad data (we will discuss this in class, you will need to make a decision about bad data and appropriate data, feel free to work in groups).
         calculate the appropriate means
         calculate the specific capacity
         do what ever cleanup you wish to do
            a:NEWfilename  (You should have a new file saved as a spreadsheet now.)
            What ever file protocol you want the file saved as must be identified

A word of advice.  These files may look better after manipulation in a word processor format.  You can accomplish this by saving the results as a *.txt file under file SaveAs in your spreadsheet.  Beware some clean up is needed.  The Site Name field is a little long and pushes the data out of the column range. Alternatively, in Excel, you can click on the upper left corner of the row/column part of the spreadsheet (there-by highlighting the occupied columns and rows), click on copy, open wordpad or notepad, and past the data into your text processor of choice.  That works well in Excel but in Quattro Pro  the whole spread sheet seems to be captured and the wordpad or notepad copy is not quite as clean.  No matter what procedure you use to spruce up the data,  the file SaveAs procedure is much quicker than typing all the numbers into the correct column and row.  You really do not want to go there.   You are now in position to plot your wells, develop your tables, investigate the geology and write a subdivision report which assesses water availability for your client.

Hydrogeologic Data

The subdivision project asks about information regarding geology and hydrogeology.  A new web page exists which provides this information for the local water quality district.  There are two ways to find this site.  The first is to click on this hot link to the Septic Assessement Web Page.  The second is to
    Go to Montana State University Web Page
        Go to Research and Creativity
            Go to the Geographic Information and Analysis Center
                Go to Septic System Assessment

The Septic System Assessment web page is quite large.  You are likely interested in hydrogeology.  Check out the stratigraphic column, the hydrogeologic map, and the well data.  Beware.  Not all well data in your data set is in this data base because some of the well information does not have a location which is known with precision.  You have two ways to look at the data.  One is as an image.  The other is through ArcIMS.  The problem with ArcIMS is that if you are using the system at home, the rate limiting step is the speed of your phone line.  Beware that there is a large amount of data on this site and it may respond slowly.  Indeed the site may respond slowly today with all the students in the class hitting it at once.  The fastest place to access this site is at MSU where you are on a broad band system which is high speed.