Poster .pdf

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STRTEAMGAGE PREDICTION IN
THE NORTHEAST

ABSTRACT
STREAMGAGES ARE TOOLS THAT MEASURES THE AMOUNT OF WATER MOVING
THROUGH A RIVER OR A STREAM. THE USGS HAS OVER 1.5 MILLION OF THESE
ACCROSS THE UNITED STATES. ONE GOAL IS TO BE ABLE TO USE DATA THAT THESE
GAGES PROVIDE AND COME UP WITH EQUATIONS TO PREDICT THE PEAK RIVER FLOW
A GAGE WILL ENCOUNTER IN THE FUTURE. THE USGS HAS AN ONLINE TOOL , CALLED
STREAMSTATS, THAT USES REGRESSION EQUATIONS BUILT FROM PREVIOUS DATA TO
MAKE THESE PREDICTIONS. ONE THING THAT STANDS OUT IS OFTEN TIMES THESE
EQUATIONS WILL CHANGE WHEN STATE LINES ARE CROSSED. THE GOAL OF THIS
PROJECT WAS TO SEE IF THE WAY THE EQUATIONS ARE BOUNDED (BY STATE LINES)
SEEMS TO YIELD A PATTERN OF INCONSISTENCY. IN OTHER WORDS, CAN ALL THE
PREDICTIONS BE LOOKED AT ACROSS MULTIPLE STATES AND VISUALIZED USING GIS
TECHNOLOGY TO SHOW THAT THIS METHOD OF CHOOSING A REGRESSION
EQUATION FOR A SITE IS SOMEWHAT BACKWARDS. THE IDEA IS THAT IF NATURE
DOES NOT PAY ATTENTION TO STATE BOUNDARIES, WHY IS THAT WE ARE USING
THESE BOUNDARIES TO PREDICT NATURAL EVENTS. WE PEER INTO DATA AND
PREDICTION FOR SOMETHING THAT IS EXTREAMLY VARIABLE AND THUS NEEDS TO BE
LOOKED AT CAREFULLY. THE RESULTS BELOW ARE FROM A RELATIVELY SMALL SET
OF A MUCH LARGER NETWORK, BUT IF THE GROUND WORK CAN BE LAYED THEN
MAYBE MORE AND MORE OF THESE STUDIES WILL YIELD INFORMATION THAT WILL
CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT STATE BOUNDARIES AND NATURAL EVENTS.

PREDICTIONS

DATA

DATA

THE DATA IS THE KEY TO THIS ENTIRE ENDEVOUR. THE DATA
IS EASY TO CALCULATE, PLENTIFUL AND HARD TO DRAW
CONCLUSIONS FROM. AS THE WORK FLOW POINTS OUT, WE
START WITH ALL THE SITES IN AN AREA THAT HAVE
PREDICTIONS. ONCE THOSE ARE COLLECTED, ALL HISTORIC
DATA FROM EACH USGS SITE NEEDS TO BE GATHERED,
ORGANIZED IN EXCEL AND THEN SET UP TO TO START
CALCULATING ERROR RATES. THE CALCULATION IS SIMPLE.
WE USE AN ERROR PERCENTAGE FORMULA AND SIMPLY
MAKE EVERY PERCENTAGE POSITIVE TO FOCUS ONLY ON
PURE ERROR AND AVOID THE COMPLEXITY OF + OR - .
ERROR PERCENTAGE WAS CHOSEN FOR ITS ABILITY TO NOT
TAKE DISCHARGE SIZES INTO ACCOUNT. WE TREAT EACH
GAGE AS THOUGH IT WERE THE SAME SIZE. HOWEVER, WE
DO COME BACK TO DISCHARGE WITH DIFFERENT
SYMBOLOGY IN THE FINAL MAPS.

90
70
50
30
10

HISTORIC

EXCEL

LAT + LONG

TABLE
JOINS
MAP
IT

DISPLAY
XY

ARCPRO
ERROR
CALC

THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY TO REPRESENT THESE RESULTS WAS TO DISPLAY THEM IN A HEAT MAP SYMBOLOPGY. USING A HEAT MAP FOCUSED ON A SPECIFIC FIELD ALLOWS US TO WATCH TRENDS CHANGE OVER TIME.
THESE MAPS ARE INTUITIVE AND READ LIKE YOU WOULD THINK. ZONES THAT ARE ‘HOTTER’ HERE REPRESENT DENSE AREAS THAT HAVE HIGH ERROR RATES. AS THE ERROR YEARS INCREASE, WE CAN START TO SEE WHERE
CONSISTENCY HAS ARISEN. AREAS THAT START HOT IN THE 2 YEAR ERRORS AND CONTINUE THRU THE 25 YEAR ERRORS ARE PLACES THAT SEEM TO KEEP HAVING HIGH ERROR RATES, WHETHER THAT BE HIGH OR LOW. THE
SECOND PIECE OF INFORMATION TO NOTICE ARE THE ACTUAL STREAMGAGE LOCATIONS AND THESE ARE LARGER IF THEY DEAL WITH MORE DISCHARGE OF WATER. THE BIG THING WE LOOK FOR IN THESE MAPS ARE ‘HOT’
AREAS WITH LARGE STREAMGAGE POINTS. THIS WOULD INDICATE ERRORS WHERE WE CERTAINLY DON’T WANT THEM. AS ALWAYS, LOOK AT THE MAPS KNOWING THAT SOME SPOTS DO NOT HAVE DATA WHICH WILL SHOW
UP AS A YELLOW DOT WITH NOT SHADE OF BLUE AROUND IT AT ALL. THESE LOCATIONS DID NOT HAVE THE HISTORIC DATA TO COMPARE.

FINDINGS

2 YEAR ERROR

5 YEAR ERROR

10 YEAR ERROR

< -0.5 Std. Dev.
-0.5 - 0.5 Std. Dev.
0.5 - 1.5 Std. Dev.
1.5 - 2.5 Std. Dev.

SUMMARY

> 2.5 Std. Dev.

0

PERCENT ERROR

N

25 YEAR ERROR COLOR ONLY

WORK FLOW

BY SVEN McCALL JR.

≤ 14
≤ 32
≤ 60
≤ 157
≤ 299

10.5

21

42

SCALE 1:788,065

84
MILES

WHEN WE TAKE A GOOD LONG LOOK AT THE DATA THERE ARE SOME APPARENT
AREAS WHERE WE SEE CONSISTENT HOT ZONES ON LARGER DISCHARGE ZONES
WHICH WOULD BE DEVASTATING FOR FLOODING IN THE POSITIVE DIRECTION AND IT
WOULD BE A WASTE OF RESOURCES IN THE NEGATIVE. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT
WHAT WE ARE SEEING HERE IS A SMALL ZONE OF THE MUCH LARGER PICTURE BUT
WE REALLY SEE NO APPARENT TRENDS OF ZONING ISSUES. THESE PATTERNS WOULD
PRESENT AS VERY DRASTIC CHANGES IN ERRORS NEAR STATE LINES. WE SEE SIMILAR
PATTERNS CLUMPED NEAR STATE LINES WHICH SUGGESTS THAT THEY SEE SIMILAR
AMOUNTS OF WATER AND THAT THE EQUATIONS ARE DOING WHAT THEY ARE
SUPPOSE TO. HOWEVER, THE DATA DOES SHOW THAT THERE IS STILL A LONG WAY
TO GO WITH STREAMGAGE PREDICTION BUT TO STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION,
STUDIES LIKE THESE NEED TO BE DONE. THE NEXT STEP IN THE PROCESS WOULD BE
TO START TO PUSH GAGES INTO ZONES BASED ON THEIR SURROUNDING GEOGRAPHY
AND IF WE SEE A STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT RESULT THAT THERE IS A PATTERN OF
SHARED ERROR PERCENTAGES, THEN THAT WOULD SUGGEST A NEW ZONING
METHOD THAT WOULD BE FAR MORE ACCURATE. SINCE ONLY ONE VARIABLE GOES
INTO WHICH EQUATION TO USE (THE STATE IN WHICH A GAGE LIES) , ADDING A
SECOND LEVEL OF COMPLEXITITY BASED ON SURROUNDING GEOGRAPHY SHOULD
MAKE THESE ERROR PERCENTAGES DROP SIGNIFICANTLY.

25 YEAR ERROR

SOURCES


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