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Q: USA Groundwater Database ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: USA Groundwater Database
Category: Science
Asked by: chemmike-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 05 Dec 2002 09:06 PST
Expires: 04 Jan 2003 09:06 PST
Question ID: 119761
I am looking for an Internet Microsoft Access Database or Excel
spreadsheet, giving the goundwater chemistry in the USA. By state or
by station, as fine as possible. My interest goes particularly to
Silica content in the water.
Subject: Re: USA Groundwater Database
Answered By: kutsavi-ga on 05 Dec 2002 10:24 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hey there Chemmike, 

There is a great Excel spreadsheet published by the USGS which studies
trace elements in 541 streambed-sediment samples collected from 20
study areas across the United States:

I know you need ground water chemistry data on Si, but this is the
only pre-existing spread sheet remotely close to what you had in mind.
 Your specific need follows:

Specific national groundwater chemistry data with reference to silica
is available in tab-delimited text tables from the USGS National
Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program Nutrients National Synthesis
web site.  these tables  can easily be transferred to a data base if
need be, but the text is searchable in any text editor, like Notepad,
or in MS Word if you create a Word document with the data.

In the tables, Silica is represented by the code P00955, where it is
dissolved, in mg/L as SiO2.

The explanation of the ground water table data can be downloaded here:

Shallow Ground-Water Nutrients Beneath Specific Land Use Areas (267k)

Deeper Ground-Water (Major Aquifers) Nutrients (186k)

Ground Water Site Description (120k)

The text table data on ground water can be accessed at the USGS site
“National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program Nutrients National
Synthesis” at:

I’m fairly certain that this is the data that you requested.  If you
need any clarifications, or even help on converting text tables into a
data base, don’t hesitate to contact me back here.  If you select the
“Request Clarification” button, I am notified via e-mail, as opposed
to only leaving a Comment, in which case I am not notified.

Thanks for a fun search!


ground water data

national ground water data

national ground water silica content

ground water chemistry silica

groundwater chemistry silica

Request for Answer Clarification by chemmike-ga on 06 Dec 2002 12:30 PST
I imported all the tables without any problem into MS Access. However
when trying to link the tabel gwsite_tab (the water stations) with
lus_tab (chemistry data), the ID`s did not macth. The Station ID`s are
very long 15 characters. It looks like only the first 6 match, but
then with double countings. I realize that this is more a Database
question, but maybe you have an answer, and also if the Station ID
number has a certain logic or meaning behind it.

Clarification of Answer by kutsavi-ga on 06 Dec 2002 13:07 PST
I do indeed see the discrepancy.  I wrote the following message to the
person responsible for the maintenace of that specific page at the
USGS, and am waiting for his response:

In researching groundwater data, I have come across something that I
can't quite bring together as far as site descriptions are concerned.

I am referring to the Groundwater Data on the page you maintain:

My specific problem is this:
In looking at the Shallow Ground-Water Nutrients Beneath Specific Land
Use Areas, with the URL of
The site location descriptions seem to have no correlation whatsoever
with those listed in the Ground Water Site Description, with the URL

I had wanted to merge the two in an Accel data base, however, as I
mentioned above, there doesn't seem to be any way to correlate the
data regarding site location.  In the Nutrients table, the sites are
listed under "SUCODE" or "STAID".  SUCODE have this format: 
"acfblusag1"  while STAID have the format "ag".  Now, in the Nutrient
studies, site identification is done by latitude and longitude, as
well as by a Station Number in the format "2753470".  How do I relate
these data?

Any help would be appreciated.

Clarification of Answer by kutsavi-ga on 06 Dec 2002 13:50 PST
Hey again Chemmike, 

I received an almost immediate response from the USGS that I hope will
answer the problem, which apparently has to do with a simple alignment
problem.  I will post his reply in full, and hope that this is what
you need:
The two files can be linked using the Station id number (called STAID
lus_tab.txt and STATION in gwsite_tab.txt).  This is usually a

In the data files, the headings look like they are offset from the
of data because the files are tab delimited.  Please check the
to make sure you are clear on what the values of the fields should

The station in lus_tab.txt:

SUCODE-- acfblusag1
TYPE---- ag
STAID--- 305021085211401

The corresponding station info in gwsite_tab.txt for that STAID:

STATION---- 305021085211401
LATITUDE--- 305022
LONGITUDE-- 0852114
LATDD------ 30.839
LONDD------ -85.354

Make sure to let me know if this solves the problem!

Request for Answer Clarification by chemmike-ga on 06 Dec 2002 14:51 PST
Thanks for your reply,

I indeed tried to link through the 15 charachter Station ID. It looks
like only the first 6 characters match, the next 9 characters do not
match wherefore none are linked as we try to link the full 15
characters. An explanation could be that in the table with the
stations and lat., Long. not all the stations with full 15 characters
ID are listed.

Clarification of Answer by kutsavi-ga on 06 Dec 2002 15:58 PST
Gads, sorry about these problems.  I've copied and sent your
description of the issue back to the USGS.  I also asked if he
happened to have a database already constructed with this data, which
in hindsight might have been a good idea in the first place.

In order to get you going and to be more efficient, I origininally
posted the URL for the main page the data is on, which was:
The gentleman's name that takes care of the page and his contacts are
at the bottom of the page.  If the problem isn't remedied quickly, you
will at least have his contact information.  But as I said, I've
written him, and asked for a completed database already, so if
possible, allow a little time.

While waiting for them to respond, (which now, because it's Friday
afternoon, may not be until Monday), I wonder if the problem might lie
with the transportation of data from the original tab.text into your

What you might try is to go back into the original file and extract
three or four complete entries, then make a file out of them, and then
try to import them into a new "mini database," just to make sure the
numbers line in columns where they are supposed to.

I noticed that some of the columns are uncomfortably close to
eachother, and may need to be separated during the importation
process.  If you are using Windows XP, and simply right-clicking to
import into the data base, you might want to acutally open Access
first and use the "Get Data" -> "external file" option from the file
menu.  This should allow you to put in a space between columns if one
isn't there that should be.  (You would want to do this, of course, to
see if the problem was simply with the importation process.)

I will post the USGS reply here as soon as it comes in, but I would
also advise trying the above experiment.

Again, sorry for the problems. 

chemmike-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the answer, this is exactly what I need. And the data has
latitude and Logitude as well, which is excellent for my GIS program.

Subject: Re: USA Groundwater Database
From: neilzero-ga on 05 Dec 2002 20:29 PST
Since silica is abundent in nearly all soil and rock, I would expect
any samples less than 1/2 saturated solution of silica to be atypical
=annomolous = rare. Silica is very slightly soluable in water with a
ph over 7.  Very small particulates of silca = sand would vary widely
and would settle out very slowly.   Neil

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