Surface-Water Data Program - Arkansas

Science Center Objects


Short Title: Surface-Water Data Program

Project Chief: William Baldwin

Cooperators: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Little Rock District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Vicksburg District, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, Arkansas Geological Survey, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Buffalo National River (U.S. National Park Service), Hot Springs National Park (U.S. National Park Service), City of Batesville, City of Fort Smith, City of Fayetteville, City of Newport, City of Hot Springs, City of Hardy, City of Little Rock, Rogers Water Utilities - City of Rogers, Central Arkansas Water, Beaver Water District, Entergy, Inc., Audubon Arkansas, Buffalo Outdoor Center, Arkansas Canoe Club

Project Time Frame: 1927 - present

The USGS has monitored and assessed the quantity of our Nation's streams since its inception in 1879. The USGS continues its mission to provide timely and relevant water resources data and information that is available to all levels of government, non governmental organizations, industry, academia, and the general public. This information provides a scientific basis for decision making related to resource management and restoration, and how we interact with our environment.

In Arkansas, the USGS has monitored streamflow since 1903. The first USGS streamflow gaging station was located on the Ouachita River near Malvern. Surface-water data in Arkansas includes stream levels, streamflow (discharge), reservoir and lake levels, and rainfall. The data are collected by automatic recorders and manual field measurements at gaging stations across the State. These gaging stations measure and record stage, streamflow, and precipitation data in 15-minute increments and are a part of a network of over 7,300 the USGS operates Nationwide, with over 150 located in Arkansas. Operation of the USGS gaging stations in Arkansas is made possible through the combined efforts of the USGS and Federal, State, local governments, and some private agencies

Real-time stage, streamflow, and precipitation data are relayed through satellites to the Arkansas Water Science Center where they are stored and processed. The data are relayed through the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system, processed automatically in near real time, and are available online from the USGS webpage within several minutes of transmission. The satellite transmissions at the gaging station usually occur once every 1 - 4 hours (in the future, all transmissions will occur once every hour). Once a complete day of readings are received from a site, daily summary data are generated and made available online. Annually, the USGS finalizes and publishes the daily data in a series of water-data reports.


USGS Fact Sheet 2008-3103
Floods of Selected Streams in Arkansas, Spring 2008,
By Jaysson E. Funkhouser and Ken Eng

Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5065
Low-Flow Characteristics and Regionalization of Low-Flow Characteristics for Selected Streams in Arkansas,
By Jaysson E. Funkhouser, Ken Eng, and Matthew W. Moix

Water-Data Report WDR-US-2007
Water-resources data for the United States Water Year 2007

Water-Data Report WDR-US-2006
Water-resources data for the United States Water Year 2006

Water-Data Report AR-05-1
Water Resources Data, Arkansas, 2005,
by T.H. Brossett, T.P. Schrader, and D.A. Evans