Discover and Download Turbidity and precipitation data for Larry's Creek Watershed from two different sources using HydroClient

Sharon Dykhoff, Washington D.C. Metro Area - ‎Science Teacher at Dominion Christian School - ‎Dominion Christian School, Susan Brantley, The Pennsylvania State University, Liza Brazil, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.


Now it's time to dig up some data to solve this mystery. Using HydroClient, you will find turbidity data for Larry's Creek Watershed before, during, and after the incident. You will also find precipitation data for the same time period to decide if the turbidity was caused by a rain event or the pipeline leak.

Conceptual Outcomes

Students will learn to search for data and review metadata

Practical Outcomes

Students will learn how to use HydroClient

Time Required

45 minutes

Computing/Data Inputs


Computing/Data Outputs


Hardware/Software Required

internet browser


Start HydroClient.

Open the internet browser on your computer and go to the HydroClient URL at . The HydroClient uses the Google Maps interface as shown below.

Define Geographic Location.

Use the "Enter a location" search box at the top left of the screen to zoom to a geographic area. This example uses Lycoming County, PA. Type this or another location in the search box and press enter. You will notice the Map zooms to the location of interest as shown below.

Define Search Criteria

In the tool bar on the right side of the screen, specify your search criteria.

Click Select Date Range: Enter a range From: 09/01/2011 To: 12/31/2011

Click Select Keywords: In the pop-up window, click Precipitation and Turbidity under the Common keywords tab. Click Save to finish selecting our keywords. Your keyword selections (Turbidity and Precipitation) should appear in the tool bar on the right side of the screen as shown below.

Click Select Data Services:In the pop-up window, enter Idaho State University in the search bar. Click on Idaho State University for GHCN Daily Climate Data for precipitation data. (Row will be highlighted in blue when you make the selection.) Repeat previous step for Shale Network for turbidity data. (Row will be highlighted in blue. Click Close. In the right tool bar under the Select Data Services tab, you will see that you have "Selected 2 of 102" available data sources as shown below.

Search Map and View All Search Results

Click Search Map. After a few seconds several blue markers will pop up on the map as shown below. Each blue marker has a number that indicates how many data series exist for that location. The markers cluster dynamically; if you zoom in you will get more precise locations, while if you zoom out the locations will be more generalized. To see all of the data series on the map, click Show Search Results on the right side tool bar as shown below.

Narrow your search results and select data series

Narrow your search by typing "Williamsport" in the top right search box. This will filter the table to two data series with the site name containing Williamsport. Click on the first data series with the Site Name "WILLIAMSPORT 2, PA." Clicking on the data series will highlight the row in blue. Keep this row highlighted. Now, narrow your search by typing "Salladsburg" in the top right search box. Click on the third data series with the Data Type "Continuous." You can find the Data Type in the forth column in the table of search results.

Save Data Series to Workspace

After highlighting the two data series from Williamsport and Salladsburg, click Select Action and on the dropdown choose Save 2 Selection(s) to Workspace. To open up your Workspace, click on the Workspace button at the top right of the table. This will allow you to plot the data in the next step.

Additional Activities and Variants