Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Database

Acceptance and utilization of LTER data requires that:

(1) The Principal Investigator be sent a notice stating reasons for acquiring any data and a description of the publication intentions.
(2) The Principal Investigator of the data set be sent a copy of the report or manuscript prior to submission and be adequately cited in any resultant publications.
(3) A copy of any resultant publications should be sent to:

Principal Investigator
Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL St.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Dataset URLs:METADATA: HTML, Rich Text, XML(EML compliant)
DATA: Comma Delimited, Excel file with Metadata and data
Dataset ID:WAT-YSI-Urban-2006.04
Dataset Title:Year 2006, 10 or 30 minute measurements of stage in a small headwater stream draining a highly suburban catchment (72% residential), Saw Mill Brook, Burlington, MA.
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Wilfred
Last Name:Wollheim
Address line 1:Morse Hall
Address line 2:UNH
Address line 3:
Zip Code:03824
Associate Investigators:
Keywords:PIE LTER, disturbance, Saw Mill Brook, suburban, discharge, water temperature, water stage, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen.
Abstract:Year 2006 continuous measurements, every 10-30 minutes, were made of stage in a small headwater stream, Saw Mill Brook, Burlington, MA, draining a highly suburban catchment (72% residential). Some water temperature, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen numbers during the summer. Discharge is determined from stage using discharge vs stage regressions.
Contact: Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Information Manager
The Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Lab
7 MBL St
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone (508) 289 7485
Online URL:
Data File URL
Data File Name WAT-YSI-Urban-2006
Beginning Date 1/1/2006
End Date 12/31/2006
Number of Data Records 32753
Other Files to Reference All in the YSI series.
Availability Status Type 1
Quality Control Information
Maintenance Description Periodic with improvement of rating curve, particularly as more high discharge events are incorporated.
Log of Changes: This file was initially loaded in September 2007.
Version 01, 30 Oct 2007 updated metadata to EML level 3+
Version 02, 21Jan2010 keyword update
Version 03, 10June2010, date and rating curve data update, revised in 2009 to standardize YSI depths to HOBO datalogger depths used in later years - uses revised rating curve that includes all measurements between 2001 and 2009
Version 04: February 14, 2014, data and metadata updated to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Sep2013.xlsm 9/30/13 02:57 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Geographic Description Watershed water collection and stream characterization site for Saw Mill Brook (urban landuse), Burlington, MA  
Location Bounding Box    
West Bounding Coordinate    
East Bounding Coordinate    
North Bounding Coordinate    
South Bounding Coordinate    
OR if single point location    
Latitude 42.5236  
Longitude -71.185  
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied
Methods:This file consists primarily of depth data collected using four approaches: 1) A hobo data logger temporarily deployed Jan 6 - March 8, 2006 (TEMP_HOBO), 2) A HOBO datalogger deployed in a stilling well from July 26th - Dec 31st 2006, 3) Sigma Autosampler Jan 1-2, 2006 and Mar 8 - Apr 22nd, 2006, 4) YSI depth sonde Apr 22nd - July 26th 2006. Depths were standardized to the HOBO measurement in order to create a consistent data set that is applied to the standard rating curve. Depth were standardized either using simultanous readings of the instrument, or by comparing instrument measurement and manual stage height reading at the YSI stilling well.

YSI 6200 data sondes were deployed vertically in a pool deep enough to contain water during dry conditions. Discharge from Sigma depth measurements should be used with caution due to periodic unreliability of the readings.

YSI: The YSI sonde was deployed in a PVC tube, which was attached to ree-bar driven into the stream bed. The PVC tube had holes drilled to allow adequate water circulation. Dissolved oxygen measurements are of poor quality because the the bottom of the pool was often filled in with detritus following intermediate sized storms, leading to anoxic conditions. To alleviate this problem, the PVC tube was raised 10.1 cm on 7/16/03. This file includes the raw depth measurement (RAWYSI_Depth), as well as the depth measurement corrected to the YSI depth after the change in tube height (YSI_Depth_STD). In this file they are the same (maintained from earlier years).

The PVC tube was surveyed upon original deployment in 2001 and resurveyed in 2002 to ensure that elevation did not change during winter ice period. No change was detected. No evidence of change has been noted through 2006 based on discharge measurements. See discussion below for development of the discharge-stage relationship.

Recalibration of conducitivty and depth was performed roughly every 4-6 weeks. Instrument drift during deployment periods was not significant.

StandardizedHoboDepths = YSI_Depth_STD + 0.21

SIGMA AUTOSAMPLER: Depth is recorded using a depth sonde integrated with the Sigma autosampler. Sonde was secured to cinder block driven into the stream bottom and the measured depth referenced to YSI depth. When available, YSI depth is used in preference to Sigma depth because the latter is less reliable. Sigma depth is referenced to HOBO depth based on overlap of HOBO, YSI and Sigma measurements, and using manual stage measurements at the YSI installation. Discharge using Sigma depth should be used with caution because of instrument problems and a less stable mount on the stream bottom, though an effort was made to provide a reasonable depth/discharge estimate that can be used to compare across instruments/times.

StandardizedHoboDepths =SIGMA_DEPTH + 0.237

HOBO Datalogger: Depth and water temperature are recorded by the HOBO data logger. Depths are corrected for barometric pressure changes using readings in an additional HOBO datalogger deployed at Marshview Farm. Between Jan and March 2006, a borrowed data logger was deployed attached to a cinder block placed on the stream bottom, but should give consistent measurements during the deployment.. A newly purchased HOBO data logger was deployed in a permanent stilling well in July 2006. The HOBO is deployed in a a PVC tube, which was attached to ree-bar driven into the stream bed. The PVC tube has holes drilled to allow adequate water circulation.

The temporary HOBO is standardized to HOBO depth using comparison with periodic stage height measured manually at the YSI stilling well:

StandardizedHoboDepths =TEMP_HOBO + 0.227

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH LOCATION COORDINATES: In addition to the decimal degree coordinates given above, locations are also given here in Massachusetts State Plane coordinates. The stream is called SawMill Br. and is located in Burlington MA. Small amounts of forest remain (~14% in 1999), much of which is along the stream channel near the gaging site.

YSI-SB 225840 919310

Velocity measurements were made using a Marsh McBirney current meter and starting in 2009 with a Sontek Flowtracker. Discharge estimates in Saw Mill are based on a power rating curve that contains measurements up to a stage depth of 1.2 meters, which is above bankfull stage. Rating curve has an R2 of 0.89 using 40 measurements between 2001 and 2009. The rating curve has not noticeably changed over the period. Prior to 2007, stage was measured with various other instruments (YSI, Sigma depth sonde, HOBO). All files in this series (2001-2009) are now standardized to HOBO depth. The rating curve is based on the standardized HOBO depth's (and actual HOBO depths since 2007).

Discharge rating curve :
Discharge (l/s) = 889.65*depth^5.8788
where depth is StandardizedHoboDepths

A flow reading that was reported by the Sigma is also included. Sigma flow was calculated using a rating curve programed into the Sigma using an old rating curve. This is used for reference to the nutrient sampling performed by the Sigma when programmed under a flow-weighted program. The column Depth_Device is included when combining files from several years, over which several different devices were used to calculate depth.

Also, at times depth and discharge may be periodically erroneous due to leaf pack accumulation at a riffle downstream causing backup. We remove this whenever we visit the site. Generally we believe the depth error is on the order of 2-4 centemeters. The depth data have not been corrected for errors associated with temporary debris dams.

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
Date date (yyyy-mm-dd)   datetime     yyyy-mm-dd NA NA = not available
Time time (hh:mm) 24 hour   datetime     hh:mm NA NA = not available
Temp water temperature (oC) celsius interval   real   NA NA = not available
SpCond specific conductivity (mS/cm) millisiemenPerCentimeter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
DO% dissolved oxygen percent of saturation (%) percent ratio   real   NA NA = not available
DOConc dissolved oxygen concentration (mg/l) milligramPerLiter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
pH log of the H+ ion concentration dimensionless ratio   real   NA NA = not available
RAWYSI_Depth stage height measured by YSI (m) meter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
YSI_Depth_STD stage height measured by YSI (m) (standardized) meter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
SIGMA_DEPTH stage height measured by Sigma (m) meter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
SIGMA_FLOW discharge using Sigma_Depth and old rating curve programmed into the Sigma literPerSecond ratio   real   NA NA = not available
HOBO_Depth stage height measured by HOBO (m) meter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Device_Depth depth measurement device used to determine discharge   nominal YSI = YSI depth sonde | SIGMA = Sigma autosampler depth sonde | TEMP_HOBO = HOBO depth sonde deployed in temporary stilling well | HOBO = HOBO depth sonde deployed in permanent stilling well     NA NA = not available
StandardizedDepths depth standardized to rating curve meter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Discharge discharge literPerSecond ratio   real   NA NA = not available