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Compilation of multi-agency specific conductance observations for streams within the Chesapeake Bay watershed

April 11, 2023

Freshwater salinization is an emerging issue for freshwater environments in the Chesapeake Bay, USA region. Salinization is often described by measurements of specific conductance (SC). This data release contains specific conductance observations collected by multiple regional agencies for streams within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This inventory compiles and harmonizes data from the Water Quality Portal (WQP), which is a data repository developed by the National Water Quality Monitoring Council and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System (NWIS). Both discrete measures of SC, which are single measures taken on a particular time and day, and continuous measures of SC, which are repeated measures of SC taken at regular, short intervals, such as 15-minute or hourly intervals, were compiled for this data release. The discrete data were also processed to screen out non-relevant observations and harmonize units. The WQP uses "MonitoringLocationIdentifier" to identify each unique site and monitoring activities, and this term is used throughout the data release to differentiate among unique sites and monitoring activities as well.

The data release includes four items:
1. ["Site_inventory_for_specific_conductance_measures.csv"]: This is a site inventory of all locations where SC data had been collected and compiled for the data release. This file includes information on the monitoring location (coordinates, state, and county), the organization responsible for the data collection, the type of data available (discrete, continuous, or both) and its unique monitoring location and activity.

2. ["Discrete_specific_conductance_results.txt"]: This file contains all discrete SC observations. Identifying information (coordinates, monitoring location name and identifier), along with the observation value, units, and multiple flagging columns which denoted whether any changes were made to the observation or units during the processing steps. Full details are included in the "readme_file_for_Ches_Bay_specific_conductance_inventory.pdf" file.

3. [""]: This zipped folder contains 89 .csv files for all the continuous USGS SC data available in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Each file name includes each unique MonitoringLocationIdentifier.

4. ["readme_file_for_Ches_Bay_specific_conductance_inventory.pdf"]: This document describes all the processing and harmonization steps to generate the site inventory and discrete SC dataset, and for downloading the high frequency SC datasets.

Publication Year 2023
Title Compilation of multi-agency specific conductance observations for streams within the Chesapeake Bay watershed
DOI 10.5066/P98O2HQJ
Authors Rosemary M Fanelli, Andrew J Sekellick, William B Hamilton
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization South Atlantic Water Science Center