curricula water on the web
about us understanding data curricula resources
what's new at wow site map
Search Site
basic science teaching
Aquatic Respiration
Chemistry of Oxygen Solubility
Data Interpretation
Diel Temperature Variation in Lakes
Effect of pH
Effect of Photosynthesis and Respiration on Aquatic Chemistry
Fish Stocking Decisions
Heat Budgets of Lakes
Increased Conductivity
Modeling Water Quality
Properties of Water
Rain Storms, Landuse and Lake Turbidity
Sustaining Life Under
the Ice
Thermal Stratification
WOW Teaching
Navigating the
WOW website
Using WOW Data
with Excel
Using WOW
Visualization Tools
  Using WOW Data with Excel Tutorial

Student Name(s): ____________________________________________

Date: ________________

One of the important features of WOW is the water quality data provided.

  1. Click on "Data" in the WOW home page. Here you find you have the option of selecting any of the lakes where data are collected by a RUSS (Remote Underwater Sampling Station).
  2. Click in the circle in front of Ice Lake (a dot will appear in the circle), then also click in the circle under number 2 where it says "Current". Now scroll to the bottom of the page and click in "Get my information."

    You have gone to the location where you can see data organized by the week in which it was collected. The data is available under two file formats: html or Excel.

    The html column provides lake-testing data in a chart-like form in your browser for you to read and interpret. You can also use this information to make your own graphs of the data.

    The Excel column provides lake-testing data that are already in a spreadsheet form for data management and analysis. (If your computer does not have Excel it will not open the Excel files.)
  3. Scroll through the data page for Ice Lake until you find the week of 7/12/98. Click on word "Excel" for this date. (You must have the cursor on the word Excel on the row dated 7/12/98.)
  4. You may get a dialogue box at this point asking you if you want to open this file or save it to disk. Choose to "open" the file from its current location. (If you want to save the file to disk, you may have to save it to a floppy or zip disk. Many computer labs will not let you save files to the hard drives.)
  5. You should now have the WOW data from July 12, 1998 before you. To familiarize you with how to graph we will compare temperature (in degrees Celsius) and dissolved oxygen (mg/L) at the depths tested by the RUSS.

    * If you are using some versions of Internet Explorer you will find the Excel spreadsheets opened in your browser window.

    * If you are using some versions of Netscape, you will find the Excel spreadsheets opened in a new window. If you cannot see the whole screen, go to the blue bar at the top of the chart above the columns A, B, C, D, etc. Put the cursor on the blue bar, click and hold the mouse button down. As you move the mouse, the chart should move with it. Release the mouse button when the chart is where you want it.
  6. Military time is used for this data. (See image below.) Scroll to line 29 where it says Ice Lake, 07/12/98, 10:01:31 and highlight the column labeled "Sched. Dpth m". (Do this by clicking on 1.0 and dragging down to 12.0, then releasing the mouse button. There should now be a box around that portion of the column with all numbers shaded in, except the number 1.0)

    You will now be copying and pasting this information into a template that permits easy graphing of data.
  7. Go to the "Edit" menu at the top of your browser. Click on "Edit", then select "Copy". This will make the border around the portion of the column you have selected blink.
  8. Now go to the bottom of the browser screen to the word "Chart 1" and click on that. Under the column labeled "Y-axis" you will find a box labeled "Depth (m)".
  9. Click in the box. Then go to the "Edit" menu at the top of your browser. Click on "Edit", then select "Paste". You will see the scheduled sampling depths pasted into the box for depth. (The computer on board RUSS was programmed to take measurements at these depths. The next column, "Sample Dpth m" indicates the depth at which the samples were actually taken.)
  10. Now repeat many of these steps to paste the temperature data for that date and time into the next box.
  11. Begin by returning to the actual data. Click on the tab at the bottom of the browser screen where you see the word "Data". You should now again see a spreadsheet of data.

    Select and copy the temperatures from column F just like you did for the depth. (Make sure you begin highlighting the temperatures from row 29. You want to use data from the same day and time.)
  12. Again click on "Chart 1" at the bottom of the browser screen. Place your cursor inside the top of the data box labeled "X1" and paste the temperature data.
  13. Now you need to create data legends for the data you have just placed in the box.

    * If you are using some versions of Internet Explorer, double click just above the top of the box where you have placed the temperature data. A rectangular border should appear with the cursor flashing in the border. Type the word "temp", and it will appear in the border. Then click elsewhere on the screen. The data legend has now been entered for that column.

    * If you are using some versions of Netscape, just click above the top of the box where you have placed the temperature data. A rectangular border appears. Type the word "temp" in the border and then press the enter or return key. The data legend has now been entered for that column.
  14. Now enter the dissolved oxygen (labeled "diss02" in the data worksheet) data for the same day and time into the "X2" data box on Chart 1. Use the same approach as you used in the previous steps 15-20. Create a data legend for this data and title it "DO" for dissolved oxygen.
  15. You should now have 2 sets of data, plus depth, recorded in the data boxes. Scroll down further in the worksheet titled "Chart 1". Here you will see a graph that has been automatically created from the data you have selected.
  16. If you want you can change the size of your graph. Click just inside the border on the white portion of the graph. The graph border will add small squares at the corners and in the middle of the border lines. By clicking and dragging from a square on the border you can change the dimensions for the graph.
  17. Print a copy of your graph, and sign it.
  18. Now let’s use Chart 2. This works very similar to Chart 1, but requires that you add your Y-axis values each time you add your X-axis values. (This will be useful if, for example, you want to compare water quality parameters at the actual sample depths where measurements were taken as opposed to the scheduled depths.)
  19. Create a graph of the temperature profiles in Grindstone Lake for each Wednesday at 14:00 CDT (2 pm) in the month of September, 1999.
  20. Print the graph, sign it, and describe any patterns or trends you observe in the graph. Note that when you interpret these results you are often not comparing temperatures from exactly the same depth.
  21. Use the skills you have developed from the exercise above to create a graph of dissolved oxygen profiles for a 24 hour period in Halstead Bay of Lake Minnetonka. Graph the profiles for Sept. 4, 1999 (00.00 CDT, 06:00 CDT, 12:00 CDT, 18:00 CDT) and for Sept. 5, 1999 (00:00 CDT).
  22. Print a copy of your graph, and sign it. Add a note summarizing the changes in dissolved oxygen that are demonstrated by the graph during that 24 hour period.
  23. Turn in your graphs to demonstrate you have mastered this part of using WOW.

back to top
Water on the Web
about us  :  understanding  :  data  :  curricula  :  resources
what’s new  :  site search  :  site map  :  contact us
date last updated: Wednesday March 03 2004