Welcome to Waterviz

A Water Cycle Visualization Tool at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest

The data in this visualization accurately reflect water moving through a small forested watershed in New Hampshire, USA right now. The number in the v-notch is current stream flow in mm/hour. Click on the visualization key below for an explanation of the graphic elements and hear the data as music via Internet Radio on our Listen In page.

We invite you to explore Waterviz and learn more about the science and art behind our project. 

  Visualization Key

The background image is a painting of water at Hubbard Brook by Xavier Cortada. Moving particles animate different sections of the painting which represent different flows within the water cycle. The number of particles and speed with which they move are directly proportional to the data generated by environmental sensors in the Hubbard Brook. Starting from the bottom, the purple shapes represent soil water; the particles flowing from left to right in the middle of the painting are stream flow; the particles rising from the surface of the stream represent evaporation; the particles rising from the surface of the vegetation are transpiration; the particles seen occasionally in the upper left hand quadrant are precipitation (as rain and snow); and in the winter, the snowpack can be seen growing and shrinking in proportion to actual snow depth.

12.3 percent saturation
Soil is made of many small mineral and organic particles, interspersed with pore space that can be filled with air or water. Water held in a soil is described by the term water content. At full capacity, the top 20 inches of soil in our Hubbard Brook watershed can hold approximately 8.4 inches of water. The current amount of that capacity is shown here as water in a barrel. When the barrel is at 100%, the soils are holding ~8.4 inches of water, and are at full capacity. Additional precipitation entering the watershed will most likely flow directly out of the watershed, and may cause downstream flooding. Conversely, when the barrel is at less than 100%, the soils have the ability to retain incoming precipitation, and may store water and buffer downstream ecosystems from flooding.
Air Temperature:
44.6 F
0.00 in
0.0000 in
0.0132 cfs

The data that drives Waterviz comes from a variety of sensors installed at Hubbard Brook. An hourly processing routine gathers data from the different sensor files, merges these data, and updates the Waterviz database. More than a dozen measurements are used for Waterviz and related data visualization and sonification. This table shows a subset of the most recent hour of data available.

For more information, visit http://smartforests.org/hbefsmarttech.shtml and http://hubbardbrook.org/data/realtime.shtml.

This graph shows precipitation inputs and streamflow at the Hubbard Brook

This graph shows water input and output from the system. Water input is measured by precipitation sensors, and water output is the sum of stream discharge and evapotranspiration (modeled from air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, and barometric pressure).