Historic USGS Streamgage on the Wabash River at Lafayette Indiana

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Detailed Description

This video will provide a brief history and purpose for one of the oldest streamgages in Indiana. The gage is at the Wabash River at Lafayette, Indiana. The site number is 03335500. This video was produced at the request of the West Lafayette Parks Department where this historic gage is located. A QR code is displayed on an interpretive plaque next to the gage which is located in a high profile location within a city park adjacent to Purdue University. Park visitors can view a brief video on their smart phone which will educate them on the history of the gage and provide them with information on how to obtain current readings. The USGS WaterAlert text or email notifications is also featured. Our goal is to better educate the public on the importance of USGS streamgages in Indiana and the data we provide to the nation.

Some material in this video is copyrighted and for use by USGS only. Contact Producer for details.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:53

Location Taken: Indianapolis, IN, US

Video Credits

Associate Producer - Jeff Woods
Cooperators: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Louisville District, The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, The USGS National Streamflow Information Program


In March 1903, Professor G.E.

Waes_che of
Purdue University in Lafayette established

several streamgaging stations near the
University for several months.

took over operation these gages that

summer of 1903.

These gages were some of the first
streamgages in the State of Indiana.

In July 1903, the USGS took over the
operation of the stations that were

equipped with chain gages to record water

The great flood of 1913 and those, which
occur today, have proved the importance of

USGS streamgages.

Real-time data from streamgages helps
protect people and property.

The first recorded discharge measurement
at this gage was in November of 1915.

Measurements are still being taken at this
site today.

In 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps
built a concrete stilling well which still

stands today on the abandoned Brown Street
bridge pier.

This gage was in service for 85 years up
until July of 2015.

Today’s streamgage uses the latest
technology to record and transmit water

levels of the Wabash River at Lafayette
every hour to the Web.

Real-time gage heights are transmitted
hourly and displayed as hydrographs on


Red asterisks indicate when USGS
scientists have made measurements such

here on April 20, 2013.

Boats using Acoustic Doppler technology
measure depth and velocities that are used

to determine the amount of water, or what
is called discharge, here on the Wabash


Today you can receive water alerts via
email or text when the river reaches a

gage height or discharge parameter that
you set.

Go to the site on the screen to set up
your water alert.

The USGS, along with the following
cooperators fund and maintain this gage

here in Lafayette, Indiana.

From all of us at the USGS, thank you.