Geology Home Page physical geology historical geology planetary gems
Roger Weller, geology instructor
by Kathleen Stevens
Watching Arizona and Beyond
Ever wondered what was going on with our geology and the environment but were
unable to go and find out in person? The internet provides many different
sources that can be accessed to view and asses both current and future
conditions around Arizona and beyond.
Let’s begin with the United States Geological Service (USGS).
The USGS website allows individuals to access many different sites which monitor a variety of water issues.
The colors on the initial map match the chart which indicates how the month in question compares to the historical average for that month.
When you click on one of the circles located on this map you will be provided precise information that location as well as a graph of the daily discharge there for the last week.
Daily Stream-Flow Map:
Another interesting page available from the USGS is the Real Time or Daily Stream-flow Map.
This map allows individuals to monitor short-term changes in
the rivers and streams around Arizona. This information is listed in
percentiles which are based on the historical daily stream flow of that area.
And like the previous map, when you click on one of the circles you are directed
to further information on that particular flowing body of water. While at this
page you can also access the “Statewide Streamflow Tables.” This table provides
real-time data such as: height, discharge and long-term median flow on flowing
water throughout the state; this data is updated every 1-4 hours.
Flood & High Flow Condition Map:
this page, the USGS allows the public to view their monitoring of flood
conditions in Arizona.
This map shows water in stream gages that are at or above flood stage. Although for most of the year this map would be very empty of data. When experiencing periods of heavy rain this map could be incredibly important in monitoring any streams or rivers nearby.
At the time this image was copied there was a blue circle which indicated there
was information regarding the “TERMINAL CANAL WASTEWAY NR YUMA” when I clicked
on the blue circle I discovered that the discharge was “15 cfs” as well as other
data. This information is open and available for anyone willing to take the
time to look.
This USGS map shows the 7-day average stream flow as compared to historical data
for that particular day.
The information in this map is shown by different colors which each represent a different percentile or severity of drought in the area.
Groundwater Level Network:
This map provides information on wells throughout the state.
This graphic provides a wide variety of information on different wells located in Arizona. When clicking on the county of interest you are directed to another page which lists individual wells in the county and information on each well, including well depth. When clicking on an individual well the viewer is provided further information regarding that particular well including the description, map of the location, altitude, water level graph and lowest and highest water level.
Ever wonder what’s shaking in Arizona? Just check with USGS and find out.
This map shows provides information on recent earthquakes around the state.
Quakes are indicated by a scale which indicates how recent (last hour, last day,
or last week) the quake occurred as well as how strong the quake was on the
(Unfortunately I am unable to provide a copy of the imagery available at this site for you to see here.)
This site uses imagery from a variety of satellites to provide an aerial view of
earth. It is very easy to use; by clicking on a source the viewer can choose
which type of map they would like to see. After the source has been chosen all
one needs to do is click and drag the “earth” to the location you wish to see.
If you want a closer view all that is necessary is a quick roll of the mouse to
zoom in for a closer look at the varied landscape of the earth on which we live.
of all the internet sites available to see and monitor what is happening in our
world, the one I visit and use the most is yahoo weather, where the weather
information is provided by The Weather Channel.
At weather.yahoo.com you can find a huge array of information regarding the
weather (unfortunately I again was unable to copy an image for you to view
When you first access the site you are directed to input a location of interest
by using either a city and state or zip code. After you provide this
information the site is redirected to give you the current data for your
particular area of interest.
A list of the type of information available is as follows:
Current conditions, including information on:
High and low predictions for that day
What temperature it actually feels like
Percentage of humidity
Sunrise & sunset times for the day
Predictions for the next 10 days
A radar map with current, as well as a looping picture of the past radar and future (predicted) radar patterns
Heat index for the day
A detailed forecast for the next several days which includes: sky conditions,
high and low temps as well as predicted wind speed.
If you are interested to know at what exact hour the snow is supposed to begin
falling in your area, you can access the “hour-by-hour” forecast. On this graph
you can clearly see the hourly predictions for the next 40 hours which include
the precipitation percentages as well as the predicted temperature for the
Using the “Month” tab it is possible to look back to determine what the sky conditions, high and low temperatures as well as the amount of precipitation were for a particular day of a particular during the current or previous month. You can also look forward by using that same tab to look at this same information as it is forecasted for either the remainder of the month or the following month.
If you have a particular activity or hobby you like to engage in, it is even
possible to get predictions as to what the conditions for that activity will be
for that day.
It is utterly amazing the amount of information that can be found on this and other internet sites. It is almost unnecessary for one to leave their home to know what is going on the physical world around them; with internet access and a click of a mouse it is possible to know not only the conditions for the stream near your home but also what the weather conditions and predictions are for your family across the nation. The internet has become an incredible and never ending source of information regarding the environment and its functioning around the state and around the world.