Category: Hydro

Environmental Data Collector extension for ArcGIS 10.0

Charged by NOAA Fisheries, Applied Science Associates (ASA)–a global science and technology solutions company–developed an ArcGIS extension called the Environmental Data Collector (EDC).

EDC is a tool–now available for ArcGIS 10--that allows users to connect to and download environmental data served by Thematic Real-time Environmental Distributed Data Services (THREDDS).

THREDDS data catalog includes, but is not limited to

Experimental 8 day composite from ERDDAP Sea Surface Temperature

Experimental 8 day composite from ERDDAP Sea Surface Temperature

With EDC, an ArcGIS user can quickly and easily view THREDDS environmental data, select spatial and temporal limits, download raster and feature data and view the dataset as a temporal animation, using the Time Slider window in ArcGIS Desktop 10.

The EDC tool is available to download for free from ASA or NOAA.

Special thanks to Caitlin Scopel for providing the post. Questions for Caitlin: 

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Arc Hydro Groundwater Tools Applied to Physical Oceanography

It’s interesting to see the range of disciplines that share common 3D data structures and tools.

In a recent post on the University of Texas’s CRWR blog, Eric Hersh demonstrated how Subsurface Analyst tools are used to describe water masses in the Chukchi Sea (off the northwest coast of Alaska) that were identified based on density differences in salinity and temperature.

Using Subsurface Analyst tools, Eric was able to create a set of indexed rasters and derive volumes representing the water masses.

Volume elements representing water masses in the Chukchi Sea. 
































Volume elements representing water masses in the Chukchi Sea.


Eric includes in his post

       “Although the AHGW [Arc Hydro Groundwater] Tools were developed for modeling groundwater 

        and geologic data for applications in hydrogeology, similar stratigraphic concepts allow for the

        exact same tools to be applied in a very different realm-physical oceanography!”


We see similar potential for applications in any discipline that uses 3D data structures to describe the environment, be it the subsurface, oceans and lakes, or the atmosphere.

For more information on Arc Hydro Groundwater, visit the Hydro Resource Center Groundwater page, Education gallery, or


Special thanks to Gil Strassberg for providing the post. Questions for Gil: 


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Hydro Basemap BETA now available on

Hydro Basemap

The Hydro Basemap is a multi-scale web map comprised of the Hydro Reference Overlay cached map service and the World Terrain Basemap from ArcGIS Online. The two combine to make the Hydro Basemap of the United States for ~147M to 18K scales.

The Hydro Basemap is a hydrography-centric web map created with the following:

Hydro features:

•    NHDPlus Flowlines, which contain mean annual flow values,
•    NHD Hydrographic Units,
•    NHD Waterbodies,
•    NHD Areas, and
•    Dams                                                                              

Three Lakes

Reference features:

•    TeleAtlas administrative boundaries,
•    U.S. Census cities,
•    TeleAtlas streets, and
•    TeleAtlas airports

Hydro Basemap

The map was designed to highlight hydrography in context with less prominent reference information.
Use it as a basemap for online hydro mapping applications OR as a basemap in ArcGIS Desktop projects.

Add Basemap 

The Hydro Basemap – BETA is on

Please take time to explore the map and leave comments in the item, or on this blog if you find any issues with the map design, or underlying data.

We are eager to get your feedback.

 Hydro Basemap - BETA

Special thanks to Caitlin Scopel for providing the post. Questions for Caitlin: 

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Creating Well Permitting Workflows with Arc Hydro Groundwater's MODFLOW Analyst Tools

Arc Hydro Groundwater’s MODFLOW Analyst tools help you integrate MODFLOW models into ArcGIS. The tools enable you to import a complete MODFLOW model into a geodatabase, and special editing and visualization tools help you edit the model and create maps of the model inputs and results.

Because the tools were developed as geoprocessing tools we can create different workflows that combine MODFLOW analyst tools with the standard ArcGIS tools, scripts, and other 3rd party tools.

One common example is the process of well permitting: In a well permitting workflow, a MODFLOW model is used to estimate the effects (either the change in water levels, drawdown, or flow) of new wells or increasing pumpage in existing wells. MODFLOW analyst allows you to add wells to your model and visualize the effects of the new wells on simulated heads or drawdown.

General workflow for analyzing candidate wells in a well permitting application

General workflow for analyzing candidate wells in a well permitting application.


Aquaveo developed a workflow to support running a regional MODFLOW model in the Coastal Plain aquifer in Virginia. The model is a 10-layer MODFLOW model used to analyze impacts of candidate wells on the potentiometric surface and drawdown. Model builder was used to link together a set of geoprocessing tools, which enabled the automation of the workflow to quickly add candidate wells to the baseline model and create maps of simulated heads and drawdown to analyze the effect of the new wells.

A workflow for updating a baseline MODFLOW model and creating drawdown maps 

A workflow for updating a baseline MODFLOW model and creating drawdown maps.


The end result is a set of maps showing the areas of impact, which is defined in this case as drawdown of 1 foot.  Using MODFLOW Analyst tools enabled the development of ArcGIS based workflows that could support decision making and reduce the time required to perform the analysis.

Map showing simulated areas of impact as part of a well permitting workflow           Map showing simulated areas of impact as part of a well permitting workflow

Maps showing simulated areas of impact, created as part of a well permitting workflow.


For more information on Well Permitting with MODFLOW analyst please view Aquaveo’s MODFLOW presentation from Esri’s 2010 User Conference.

thanks to Gil Strassberg for providing the post. Questions for Gil:

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Global EVAPOTRANSPIRATION data accessible in ArcMap thanks to MODIS toolbox!

Evapotranspiration (ET), a combination of evaporation and plant transpiration from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere, is an important and substantial component of the hydrologic cycle, and should not be overlooked. Scientists at the Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group at The University of Montana are keeping ET in the forefront, making it possible to access actual levels of ET across the globe, using imagery collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectoradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard the NASA satellite Terra. Dr. Qiaozhen Mu and Dr. Steve Running created monthly-averaged estimates with 1 km resolution for the entire globe – MOD16 Project – and are the first to provide such a resource.

Lucky for us, researchers at the Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas – Austin have gone one step further, and created a toobox – MODIS Toolbox – that imports the MODIS images directly into ArcGIS, and produces four data products: evapotranspiration, land surface temperature, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and enhanced vegetation index (EVI).

ET in Texas      NDVI in Botswana

The MODIS toolbox is found in the Geoprocessing Model and Script Tool Gallery in the Geoprocessing Resource Center, and is currently available for use with ArcGIS 10.

For additional information about the MODIS Toolbox check out the DATA.CRWR BLOG entry Accessing Historical Evapotranspiration Data in ArcGIS.

Special thanks to Daniel Siegel for assisting with this blog entry. Questions for Daniel:

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Newly Available! Arc Hydro Groundwater 3.0 with Supporting Tutorials

Arc Hydro Groundwater version 3.0 is now available for download from Aquaveo Image

Version 3.0 offers new tools (as well as the regular improvements and bug fixes) such as

  • Create Unique ID Table and Assign HydroID GW—these tools create and assign unique identifiers in an Arc Hydro Groundwater geodatabase.
  • BoreholeLog to Points—use this tool with your BoreholeLog table to derive 3D points which are used to interpolate rasters and generate GeoSection or GeoVolume features.

Borehole data to GeoRasters


For a full
list of new features

available in Arc Hydro Groundwater Version 3.0 check the Arc Hydro Groundwater Wiki.

Additionally, new tutorials are available in the Arc Hydro Groundwater Learning Center, including:


We hope you find the new tools and tutorials useful.

*For more information on Arc Hydro Groundwater check out the Hydro Resource Center’s
Groundwater page


thanks to Gil Strassberg for providing the post. Questions for Gil:

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ArcGIS Online Soils Survey Map now available

A national map of the Department of Agriculture’s SSURGO data is
available on ArcGIS Online.

Two blogs have already been written
about the topic:

Mapping Center - BETA Release: Esri/NRCS Soil Web Map Service and Application

ArcGIS Online Blog - ArcGIS Online Soil Survey Map now available

Here are some images from the online map service…

9.2M Map Scale - Montana

2.3M Map Scale - Linn/Lane County, Oregon 2.3M Map Scale - Lake County, OR

4.6M Map Scale - Oregon

144K Map Scale - Hancock County, Ohio

144K Map Scale - Crosby County, TX

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Hydrography Event Management Tool for ArcGIS 10

National Hydrography Dataset






The Hydrography Event Management (HEM) Tool Version 2.4 for ArcGIS 10 is now available!

The HEM Tool provides full functionality for adding and editing events in the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD).

Events are informational data linked to the NHD using a linear
referencing system on NHDFlowlines.  The use of events allows vast
amounts of scientific information to be linked to the NHD.

The HEM tool handles all linear referencing mechanics to make working with events easy.  It works on point, line, and area events and allows events to be located interactively, imported, or calculated.

A number of state and federal partners have adopted HEM: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) incorporated HEM to meet Clean Water Act reporting requirements, the U.S. Forest Service incorporated HEM functionality into their National Resource Information System (NRIS) Aquatic Surveys application, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) incorporated HEM to support event creation for its Oregon/Washington Aquatic Resource Information Management System
and is evaluating its use for a national Riparian Database, and the HEM
Tool is used to georeference water quality data to the NHD, and this
information is then used for Section 303(d) water quality reports on impaired waters.

HEM effort is a unique collaboration between the BLM, U.S. Geological
Survey (USGS), and the EPA that results in ongoing tool development and
support to the expanding HEM user community.

The USGS provides basic to advanced HEM training with easy to follow exercises:

and additional user support in the Troubleshooting Guide.

OR you can request training and support on a specific HEM topic.

To find out more information visit USGS’s HEM site.

NHD Tools



Special thanks to Ariel Bates for providing the post. Questions for Ariel:

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Arc Hydro Groundwater: GIS for Hydrogeology book now available from Esri Press

A new book, Arc Hydro Groundwater: GIS for Hydrogeology, is now available.

The book describes in much detail the Arc Hydro Groundwater
data model and provides an insight on the different components of the
data model and how they can be used to represent hydrogeologic data and
support visualization and analysis.

You can find more details (including a sneak peak) on the Esri Press website.

We hope you find the book useful and a good read.

 Arc Hydro Groundwater cover

















Cover photo by Yory Frenklkh, courtesy of Shutterstock

*For more information on Arc Hydro Groundwater check out the Hydro Resource Center’s Groundwater page and Aquaveo’s Arc Hydro Groundwater Wiki.

Special thanks to Gil Strassberg for providing the post. Questions for Gil:

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Arc Hydro Tools Version 1.4 now available!

Arc Hydro Tools version 1.4 Final for ArcGIS 9.3/9.3.1 are now available for download.

Version 1.4 tools are upgraded to work with ArcGIS 9.3/9.3.1, and have added functionality to expand Arc Hydro’s  surface water modeling capabilities.

Ponded water depth, Kissimmee River

New additions include:

  • a GIS Data Exchange tool that allows the export, import and transformation of XML files,
  • Green Ampt and Time of Concentration tools to help calcuate infiltration for H & H Modeling,
  • Terrain Morphology tools to produce a more realistic model of your study area,
  • and geoprocessing tools to automate terrain preprocessing workflows.

Additions to the toolset were developed through work with users like the Southwest Florida Water Management District, to expand the functionality–so you get more bang for your buck–and to help users work more efficiently and with less headaches by using the terrain preprocessing geoprocessing tools.

We hope you find Version 1.4 useful, and welcome any and all feedback.  Arc Hydro Tools Version 2.0 for ArcGIS 10 is currently in the works, and should be released in the coming weeks.  To find earlier versions of Arc Hydro Tools, check the Arc Hydro Data Model site, or contact

To download, find the latest version here:

For more information about Arc Hydro, see the Hydro Resource Center, and for the latest updates check the Hydro Blog!

Special thanks to Caitlin Scopel for providing the post. Questions for Caitlin:

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