whatNWISdata: USGS data availability

View source: R/whatNWISdata.R

whatNWISdataR Documentation

USGS data availability


Imports a table of available parameters, period of record, and count. See https://waterservices.usgs.gov/rest/Site-Service.html for more information.


whatNWISdata(..., convertType = TRUE)



see https://waterservices.usgs.gov/rest/Site-Service.html for a complete list of options. A list of arguments can also be supplied.


logical, defaults to TRUE. If TRUE, the function will convert the data to dates, datetimes, numerics based on a standard algorithm. If false, everything is returned as a character


This function requires users to create their own arguments based on the NWIS web services. It is a more complicated function to use compared to other NWIS functions such as readNWISdv, readNWISuv, etc. However, this function adds a lot of flexibility to the possible queries. If the "service" argument is included, the results will be filtered to the proper data_type_cd. This is a great function to use before a large data set, by filtering down the number of sites that have useful data.


A data frame with the following columns:

Name Type Description
agency_cd character The NWIS code for the agency reporting the data
site_no character The USGS site number
station_nm character Site name
site_tp_cd character Site type
dec_lat_va numeric Decimal latitude
dec_long_va numeric Decimal longitude
coord_acy_cd character Latitude-longitude accuracy
dec_coord_datum_cd character Decimal Latitude-longitude datum
alt_va character Altitude of Gage or land surface
alt_acy_va character Altitude accuracy
alt_datum_cd character Altitude datum
huc_cd character Hydrologic unit code
data_type_cd character Data type
parm_cd character Parameter code
stat_cd character Statistical code
dd_nu character Internal database key
loc_web_ds character Additional measurement description
medium_grp_cd character Medium group code
parm_grp_cd character Parameter group code
srs_id character SRS ID
access_cd character Access code
begin_date Date Begin date
end_date Date End date
count_nu integer Record count
parameter_group_nm character Parameter group name
parameter_nm character Parameter name
casrn character Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number
srsname character Substance Registry Services
parameter_units character Parameter units

There are also several useful attributes attached to the data frame:

Name Type Description
url character The url used to generate the data
comment character Header comments from the RDB file
queryTime POSIXct The time the data was returned


availableData <- whatNWISdata(siteNumber = "05114000")

# To find just unit value ('instantaneous') data:
uvData <- whatNWISdata(siteNumber = "05114000",
                       service = "uv")
uvDataMulti <- whatNWISdata(siteNumber = c("05114000", "09423350"),
                            service = c("uv", "dv"))
flowAndTemp <- whatNWISdata(
  stateCd = "WI", service = "uv",
  parameterCd = c("00060", "00010"),
  statCd = "00003"
sites <- whatNWISdata(stateCd = "WI",
                      parameterCd = "00060",
                      siteType = "ST", 
                      service = "site")

dataRetrieval documentation built on Oct. 5, 2023, 5:09 p.m.