flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

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banzer
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flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by banzer » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:00 pm

Hi

SEPA and EA river gauges show you the flow on a river for the last few days. Is there function that will go back much further? Ideally a graph showing flow levels every day, showing peaks and troughs over the course of a year.

For instance, whilst rainfall is fairly random (though more in some months) I would be interested to see if snowmelt makes much of a difference to Cairngorm rivers like the Tilt or Feshie, in the same way that it quite predictably does to rivers in the Alps.

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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by banzer » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:03 pm

I think I've found it... National River Flow Archive
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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by Poke » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:34 pm

Shoothill's gauge map may be an easier way of finding the same data: http://www.gaugemap.co.uk/
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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by Chris Bolton » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:34 pm

You can also try https://www.riverlevels.uk - which I think is based on National River Flow Archive but presented differently, and showing levels rather than flow.

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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by charleston14 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:54 pm

The national river flow archive publishes quality assured data that has been checked and validated by local hydrometry teams in the ea and sepa

The live data on gaugemap and the ea site is raw telemetry data that is unchecked and must be used with more caution as there are many reasons why raw telemetry data cannot be totally relied upon (instrument issues, sensor resets, local problems like blocked intake pipes, I could go on and on.)

The ea and sepa go to great efforts to ensure that the data that is sent on to the national rivers flow archive is the best quality it can be

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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by charleston14 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:57 pm

What’s more the national river flow archive will have many many more flow records than are available on any telemetry feed website as most of the flow gauges in the country do not report flow in real time, they measure level and the flow is calculated in another archive based on the geometry of the flow gauging weirs structure.

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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by Poke » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:27 am

banzer wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:00 pm
For instance, whilst rainfall is fairly random (though more in some months) I would be interested to see if snowmelt makes much of a difference to Cairngorm rivers like the Tilt or Feshie, in the same way that it quite predictably does to rivers in the Alps.
To answer this question, yes, it can do. Paddling in Scotland in Easter 2015, aside from a single rainstorm it was quite dry, but warm, and the snowmelt was really obvious on some of the graphs.

The "unchecked" data would be more than good enough to give you an idea of the contribution of snowmelt (though interesting to know the NRFA data is subtly different to the online data collected), but unfortunately the graphs for Spean, Tilt and Nevis (it was one of these three that I remember seeing the effects of snowmelt on) the data only goes back as far as Aug 2015.

If the NRFA has the data, as a starter for ten, have a look at those 3 rivers around 6th Apr 2015...
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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by Poke » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:35 am

charleston14 wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:57 pm
What’s more the national river flow archive will have many many more flow records than are available on any telemetry feed website ...
Just had a further look. Unfortunately the NRFA appears to only have a single averaged flowrate per 24 hours - which is next to useless to see the daily cycle of high water in the afternoon vs low water in the mornings from snow melt. The shoothill gauges have much better granularity on the data (multiple data points each day, not just one!).

https://nrfa.ceh.ac.uk/data/station/meanflow/15039

For the date range I was talking about on the Tilt, you can kind of see the effect of snow in the NRFA data (I suspect the tilt would drop much faster than this if it was just rainfall)... The melt starts on the 4th, and then tails off as the snow quantities decrease... Still, not quite what you were after, I guess.
02/04/2015 5.167
03/04/2015 7.351
04/04/2015 12.83
05/04/2015 12.13
06/04/2015 11.26
07/04/2015 10.89
08/04/2015 10.02
09/04/2015 9.412
10/04/2015 9.599
11/04/2015 6.855
12/04/2015 6.514
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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by tomcrow99 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:23 pm

An FOI request to SEPA will get you the full data range for any gauge you are interested in. You might need to wait 27 days though!

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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by banzer » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:09 pm

Thanks all

Basically what I am after is: what month, statistically, is most likely to be the best to have a 'Tilt' (haha) at the Eidart / Upper Feshie? December is likely to have the most rainfall but also, crucially, shortest days. Reading the account in the WW guidebook of sleeping underneath kayaks due to running out of daylight, this is going to be key. I usually do my Scotland trips in late Oct / early Nov as I feel this gives the most reliable chance of rain whilst not yet being Baltic temperatures nor dark at 3:30.

It's also looking like a looong carry as the bridge across the Feshie halfway up the glen was washed away a few years ago, removing any chance of 4WD access over the tops. S'pose you would just have to try to get your friendly gamekeeper to take you as far up the Feshie as they can then walk from there.

Having just spent many long hours on the new edition of the guidebook, a full run of the Eidart Gorges and Top Feshie is surely the 'last great' whitewater challenge left in the country. You put on at 756 metres above sea level! Take out about 320m!

(If someone has actually done all this - the falls under the metal bridge and all - where was the write up???!!!)

The 2015 Easter might have worked for you Tim, but other years don't necessarily back this is. It's all pretty random. I think I would go for either my usual 'window' or prob late March I reckon.

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Re: flow graphs from SEPA / EA river gauges?

Post by charleston14 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:30 pm

Yes environment agency and sepa flow and level data is usually recorded at 15 minute intervals. Daily mean flows are sent to the national river flow archive. If you want to look at the data in detail just contact either the ea or sepa for the data.

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