Friday, April 5, 2013

Real-time flows on the Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers

December 21st, 2010 By: bret

Refresh your browser screen to get the latest values!
This page contains real-time flow data for two sites on the Virgin River and the mouth of the Santa Clara River, all near St. George, Utah. Discharge is hydrologist-speak for flow in the river. It is measured in cfs or Cubic Feet per Second. One cfs is equal to about 7 gallons per second.
Dec 16-22 Virgin River Flows in St. George at I-15
Dec 16-22 Virgin River Flows in St. George at I-15
The above (not real-time) graph, courtesy of USGS, shows flows for Dec 16-22 for the USGS gaging station on the Virgin River near Interstate 15 in St. George, Utah. Note the peak flow on Tuesday the 21st of about 18,000 cfs. In perspective this is:
  • 1/63 the average flow of the Yangtze
  • 1/25 the average flow of the Mississippi
  • 1/10 the average flow of the Nile
In the content below click on the links labeled “Discharge” or “Gage height” to pull up a graphing tool that will allow you to navigate the water data back and forth in time. Data from each of these stations comes from the USGS, the federal agency that also owns and operates the stations that measure this data.
Real-time data from these stations is transmitted one time each hour via a satellite radio link. The hourly data transmission contains flow values averaged at 15 minute intervals.
During extreme water events like this week, the gaging station equipment or site may sustain damage or undergo changes that make the automated measurements inaccurate. The site on the Santa Clara and the Virgin River site above the gorge seem to have intermittently reported data yesterday (Tues Dec 21) and today (Wed Dec 22).

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