Project 1 – VA water quality study

Project 1
Water quality: distribution of Mercury in Virginia waters in 2016

Your goal is to use the skills you have developed completing the exercises and in class to finish the following task.  You may work with one other person, but be mindful that you need to keep developing your own skills and should be able to complete all the processes by yourself by the end of the project.  But DO learn from each other. Please do you own work as an individual or pair; don’t release your process to other groups or use another’s in some way.

The data needed for the project are either online or in a geodatabase in R:\Geol260\sharedwork\project1 folder, which you should copy to your own drive (P if working alone, Q:\students\username_gradyear\GIS\Projects\ folder if you want to work with another person.  Please save at least one new project file (not folders) into that copied folder. It/they should that start with your last name(s) and include “project_1” somewhere.

The data:

  1. Drainage Basins:
    Outlines of the major basins in the US by “Hydrologic Unit Code” are available through ArcGIS online. HUC detail is nested, and for this project you will use level 6 or “HUC_6”. You can search for the data layer in ArcGIS online, and then open it in ArcGIS Pro, or just search for it and open it directly from ArcGIS Pro by adding data from the “Living Atlas.”
    Hint: Don’t use the original data online for the entire US!  Extract a subset of those basins you need to your geodatabase (remember your metadata).  It will run much faster.
  2. Mercury Water Quality data:
    Excel sheet with Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) water quality data for state fiscal year 2016 (the last time the state was extensively sampled). I parsed these data so that they can work with ArcGIS. You should look at both the original and parsed data to make sure you know what you’re using. These are the metadata so far

    1. These data were downloaded as an excel file from this page at DEQ.
    2. I downloaded the table called “Table Dissolved Metals in Surface Waters SFY16” and went to the tab in that file called “1_Metals_Dissolved_Clean_All_Ba” to get the data.
    3. I extracted this tab to a new spreadsheet s named “DEQ_dissolved_metals_2016.xlsx”and completed the following changes to the “edited4ArcGIS” tab. The original is kept on a separate tab.
      1. edited the top three rows so that only one row of headers remained. This is a requirement for ArcGIS to read it.
      2. took out the extra columns between the concentrations for the various metals
      3. removed the rows that had no mercury values.
  3. 2016 DEQ monitoring stations:
    This point file can be found in the project database. I made this layer from the latitude and longitude given in the DEQ Excel file. I computed the decimal degrees of latitude and longitude from the degrees, minutes and seconds and used those coordinates to make the feature class for all the points in the file “DEQ_dissolved_metals_2016.xlsx.” Note that I have no idea what datum is used for these data. I assumed it is NAD 1983. If you can find an online source that explains the coordinate system that the DEQ used, reveal your source for an extra 2 points. See metadata in that file for more explanation of my geoprocessing.

The Task

  • Use the GIS (not Excel) to discover the minimum, maximum and average concentration of Mercury in streams (not wells, estuaries, etc; see attribute “Lv1 Code”) for each major watershed that is all or part in Virginia. Others should be eliminated from display and analysis. The DEQ data stray outside Virginia in some cases.

    Make sure you use all the sampling data, even if it isn’t in Virginia. Some sample locations have multiple measurements per year, others just one. Use all the data.
  • Choose how to analyze the data.
  • Create or edit the metadata
    • for the data (in the Catalog View) for any file that you used, changed or created.
    • for the layer (in the layer properties box). If you display a file with a certain type of symbology, put that  information in the layer metadata (equal area? fixed interval? etc). Although I can look at the symbology myself, this is good practice (if you save a “layer file” for example).
    • for the map. For this project, you do not need to put metadata on the map (although you can do so in the program).
  • Choose how to display, label and/or view the setting and the results in a single 8.5×11 layout, including what coordinate system to use.
  • You may include multiple maps and/or tables in your layout.  Each should have appropriate location and geospatial information, including legends, scale bars, and north arrows. Your name(s) and the filename & path of the project should appear on your layout.
  • Export the layout as a pdf.  Make sure the exported image quality is to your liking (check the pdf).

The deliverables

  • Please post the exported PDF to your (or your partners, or both) digication eportfolio in a new tab called “VA Water Quality Project” and post the following information to that same page
    • who completed the project
    • where the project folder is located
    • a list of data layers (by their feature or grid name as stored in the geodatabase) that contain the information and metadata used for the project
    • a snip of the catalog view of your geodatabase
    • a very brief bulleted list of the steps  taken (here use only a few words, put the detail, if necessary, in the metadata)
  • I will evaluate your numbers plus the utility and presentation of your final map. I will also look at your project folder and assess the geoprocessing history and metadata on files that are downloaded and/or changed during the project. It should be clear to me from the “Item Description” part of the metadata (the one part it makes sense for you to edit) plus the Geoprocessing history what you did to make this magic happen.
  • I will use this evaluation rubric to evaluate your project (75 pts total).
Pts Excellent Good Fair Poor
geoprocessing –  steps taken 5 5 – simple path to correct analysis and listed in ePortfolio 4 – got the right data but meandered, steps listed 3 – incorrect or convoluted steps that cloud actual process, not listed completely <3 – untraceable or incomprehensible path
geoprocessing -getting the right data 20 20 – All data properly analyzed to yield correct values for max, min and ave Hg in each basin 16-19 – Most data correct, but a processing error yields partially incorrect values 12-15 – processing errors distort the relationship between bad and good water quality <12 – presented values have no similarity to actual basin quantities
layout presentation general 10 10 –the presentation uses the space wisely and fully, making all elements easy to read and interpret 8-9 –presentation would benefit from better arrangement, size or kind of layout elements 6-7 –poorly organized for presentation of data or use of space <6 – maps, titles and portions of necessary elements dropped into a layout with no thought to utility
map elements (legends, north arrow, scale etc) 10 10 – has all the elements and considers extra details that aid understanding 8-9 – has most elements requested 6-7 – is missing key elements, which clouds information <6 – lacks necessary items to interpret spatial context and data
presentation of map data (symbology, tables and/or labels, etc) 15 15 – results can be easily understood from the map(s) 12-14 – map(s) are clear but some information is complex or less easy to interpret 9-11 – data are presented but in a fashion that is difficult for the reader to understand or see <9 – data are not presented, or are so done in such a way that readers can’t understand
metadata 15 15 – all necessary  data and layers have clear and brief metadata edited in the catalog view or layer properties of maps. 12-14 – most or all data and layers have metadata but some is unclear or unnecessarily verbose, or misplaced 9-11 –  insufficient or missing metadata, or it is not recorded correctly <9 – most data  files  and layers lack metadata