Abstract

The Kansas District of the Water Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the State Geological Survey of Kansas, has been establishing a data-processing system for the storage and retrieval of hydrologic data since 1963. The data bank developed contains thousands of well-inventory, water-quality, water-level and lithologic-log records. Accuracy of data in the bank is assured through a system that begins with coding forms, includes computer programs that check for logic errors, and ends with manual proofing of computer output. Numerous computer programs that manipulate and analyze data from the bank have been written and these programs have enhanced the interpretive capability of a hydrologist. Methods of examining data that were not practicable before the advent of the computer are now feasible. Computer usage has encouraged development of new analytical techniques and the adaptation of methods from other scientific fields for hydrologic data interpretation. Utilizing a high-speed digital computer, the Kansas District can do specific tasks, achieving higher interpretive quality in less time and at lover cost.

Introduction

The Kansas District of the Water Resources Division, USGS, in cooperation with the Geological Survey of Kansas, has been developing techniques for handling hydrologic data with high-speed digital computers since 1963, in accord with guidelines established by the Water Resources Div., Washington, D. C. The techniques of coding, storing, retrieving and analyzing data are designed to facilitate the manipulation and synthesis of large quantities of basic data from a data bank. These data consist of tens of thousands of data sets [Table 11; a set being, for example, one chemical water analysis or one well-inventory record. Many programs may been written for use with these data; some programs were developed on the IBM 7040 and GE 625 computers at the U. of Kansas Computation Center, and are available for use on the USGS's IBM 360-65 Computer in Washington, D. C.

COMPUTER ADVANTAGES

Handling water data manually is a time consuming, impractical job when large-scale problems are considered, and large-scale problems are considered, and large-scale problems are becoming more evident as population problems are becoming more evident as population and industry increase. Many data-handling procedures used in the past, both for reports procedures used in the past, both for reports and in answering requests for information, require a multitude of repetitious operations. The availability of the digital computer made the development of an automatic data processing system an obvious solution for increasing the efficiency of handling water data. Unlike a hydrologist, the computer consistently does monotonous tasks accurately without tiring. The computer can do the repetitive work efficiently, allowing a hydrologist to pursue solutions to problems for which time formerly was not available.

The development of a successful automatic data processing system may be considered as having two major facets: [1] a method must be perfected to enter the basic records into a perfected to enter the basic records into a computer data bank, and [21 programs must be developed to instruct the computer to select specified data from the bank and rearrange or manipulate the data to obtain the desired printout. printout. The use of a computer allows the hydrologist to examine all available data, thereby reducing costs since chances for error are reduced to a minimum. The actual cost of a normal project may not be reduced, but the data are examined more thoroughly in the same length of time.

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