The "Current Conditions" page for HRECOS is new and improved! We added tools to the web interface so simple analyses can be performed online and we restructured the database to allow access to data of the highest quality.
The first tool we added to the web interface is the ability to plot two parameters at one time. Using this feature, you can recreate most of the graphs displayed in the HRECOS stories. For example, last month I wrote the story, "Storm Surge Impact Observed From NY Harbor to Albany" about coastal northeastern winds that caused unusually high water levels throughout the Hudson River Estuary. To observe this impact yourself, plot wind speeds at the harbor station, Castle Point, against water depth at any HRECOS station. As another example, the story, "Comparing the Metabolic Activity of Three Ecosystems in the Hudson River," explored the different metabolic activities of the ecosystems surrounding Norrie Point and that of Tivoli Bays North. To observe this difference yourself, plot dissolved oxygen or acidity at both Norrie Point and Tivoli Bays North. The measurements at Tivoli Bays North fluctuate much more broadly than at Norrie Point, reflecting a higher activity in this community.
The second tool we added to the web interface is the ability to plot daily averages for up to one year. This tool is useful for looking at annual trends. For example, the annual cycles of air temperature, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, acidity, radiation, and wind speeds can be viewed very nicely using daily averages. For some variables, however, the result may be misleading. For instance, the daily average of water depth is often skewed because the tidal cycle does not always fit into a 24 hour day.
Finally, a third tool added to the web interface is the ability to see quality flags. Data of questionable quality is flagged by an automatic process and by station managers. Data that is flagged as suspicious is highlighted on the web interface in a lighter color. Data that is flagged for rejection or that is outside the range of the instrument is not displayed.
In addition to the new tools available on the web interface, we also restructured the database to allow users to access data of the highest quality. Previously, the flags and comments added to questionable data were only available through the "Historical Data" page. Now, these flags and comments are in the HRECOS database and can be retrieved by any user through the "Current Conditions" page. The Historical Data files are still available for those who prefer to download data as batch files instead of piecemeal.
This work is the result of a collaboration between the HRECOS Coordinator and David Runnels at the Stevens Institute of
Technology. It was made possibly by funding provided by the Hudson
River National Estuary Research Reserve. We are very grateful to both organizations for making these improvements possible.