The page is broken up into parts reflecting vocabularies from the various parts of the model, along the lines of the following diagram.

The question for the RGS group is: we can also support internal codes by encodings just using the internal vocabulary, but it is desirable to have some common terms. Do we want to define the ones below for use in standard? The main references below are from USGS codes as they tend to have fairly comprehensive codes with decent web availability. We really need input from you guys (the experts!) on these. If you have other vocabularies that can be used in harmonisation, please drop them here or link to them.


Methodology for developing vocabs

There is a simple workflow from here ( showing a process for developing a vocab/CV.

Gives a basic view of how things generally proceed..


Development method code

Specifies the method used for developing the rating curve.
Term Definition Reference(s)
Equation Rating was developed using a theoretical equation.  
Estimated Rating share was estimated in some way.  
fromGauging Rating was developed using a collection of discrete gauging observations  
unknown Development method is not known.  

Status codes

Term Definition Reference(s)
Working The rating is the current working version  
InReview The rating is under review.  
Approved The rating has been approved for use.  
Submitted The rating has been submitted for review  

Domain feature class

From the HY_features feature types we get a good top-level feature vocabulary:


Flow measurement method

I've created a vocab for this based on the ISO measurement of flow in open channels (the terms are shown in above diagram). USGS also has the following:

Q Meas Type CdQ Meas Type NmQ Meas Type Ds
UNSP Unspecified Discharge measurement made by an unspecified method
WADE Wading Discharge measurement made by wading into the water.
BRUS Bridge upstream side Discharge measurement made from a bridge on the upstream side.
BRDS Bridge downstream side Discharge measurement made from a bridge on the downstream side.
CWAY Cableway Discharge measurement made from cableway.
ICE Ice Discharge measurement made through river ice.
MBOT Manned moving boat Discharge measurement made from a moving manned boat.
SBOT Stationary boat Discharge measurement made from a stationary manned boat.
RC Remote control boat Discharge measurement using a remote control boat.
OTHR Other Discharge measurement was made by other means.
BOAT Boat Discharge measurement was made from a boat (only used for tranfer not user-selectable).
CRAN Bridge (crane) Discharge measurement was made using a bridge crane (only used for tranfer not user-selectable).
Most of these map to the ISO ones; however the ISO one is missing ice.

Relative direction

We currently only two showing, but USGS has following (from
Gage Rel Loc CdGage Rel Loc NmGage Rel Loc Ds
UNSP Unspecified The relative location of the measurement section was not specified by user.
ATGA At the gage The measurement section was at the gage.
UPST Upstream The measurement section was upstream from the gage
DNST Downstream The measurement section was downstream from the gag

Control conditions

USGS codes (

UNSP         The stream control conditions were not specified.
AICE         The stream control is covered with anchor ice.
CICE         The stream control was convered by ice.
CLER         The stream control was clear of any obstructions.
FILL         The stream control was filled.
HVDB         The stream control was heavily covered with debris.
LGDB         The stream control was lightly covered with debris.
ALGA         The stream control was covered with moss/algae.
MAHV         The stream control was heavily covered with moss/algae.
MALT         The stream control was lightly covered with moss/algae.
MAMD         The stream control was moderately covered with moss/algae.
MDDB         The stream control was moderately covered with debris.
NFLW         There was no flow over the stream control.
SCUR         The stream control has scour conditions.
SICE         The stream control has shore ice.
SUBM         The stream control was submerged.

Stage determination method

Straight from USGS (

Code  Description
A     Airline          Airline measurement.
B     Analog           Analog or graphic recorder.
C     Calib. airline   Calibrated airline measurement.
E     Estimated        Estimated.
F     Transducer       Transducer.
G     Pressure-gage    Pressure-gage measurement.
H     Calib.Pres.Gage  Calibrated pressure-gage measurement.
L     Geophysical log  Interpreted from geophysical logs.
M     Manometer        Manometer measurement.
N     Nonrec. gage     Nonrecording gage.
O     Observed         Observed.
P     Acoustic Pulse   Acoustic Pulse measurement
R     Reported         Reported, method not known.
S     Steel tape       Steel-tape measurement.
T     Electric tape    Electric-tape measurement.
V     Calib.Elec.Tape  Calibrated electric-tape measurement.
W     Calib.Elec.Cable Calibrated electric cable.
X     Uncal.Elec.Cable Uncalibrated electric cable.
Z     Other            Other.

Velocity method (not currently in the model)

We should probably add this to the gauging method metadata. From

Meth CdMeth TpMeth NmMeth Ds
SADVM SWVL Velocity, Sideways looking ADVM Stream velocity measured using a sideways looking acoustic doppler velocity meter.
UADVM SWVL Velocity, Upward looking ADVM Stream velocity measured using an upward looking acoustic doppler velocity meter.
V-EST SWVL Stream velocity, estimated Stream velocity, estimated
VADCP SWVL Stream velocity, ADCP Stream velocity, acoustic doppler current profiler
VADV SWVL Stream velocity, ADV Stream velocity, acoustic doppler velocimeter
VELC SWVL Velocity,Electromagnetic Vel Mtr Stream velocity measured using an Electromagnetic Velocity Meter
VICE SWVL Stream Velocity, Ice Vane Meter Stream velocity measured with Ice Vane Meter
VIPAA SWVL Velocity, Polymer Cup AA Meter Stream Velocity measured with a Price AA meter with polymer cups
VIPYG SWVL Velocity,Polymer Cup Pygmy Meter Stream Velocity measured with a Price Pygmy meter with polymer cups
VOPT SWVL Stream velocity, optical current Velocity measured by a surface velocity stroboscopic device
VOTT SWVL Stream velocity, horiz. shaft Stream velocity, horizontal shaft (Ott) meter
VPAA SWVL Stream velocity, Price AA Stream velocity, Price AA meter
VPYG SWVL Stream velocity, pygmy Stream velocity, Price pygmy meter
VRAD SWVL Stream velocity, radar Stream velocity, radar
VTIME SWVL Stream Velocity, Time of Travel Stream velocity measured by any time of travel method
VTRNS SWVL NWIS 4.8 Transferred Velocity The method used to measure the velocity is not known.
VULT SWVL Stream velocity, ultrasonic Stream velocity, ultrasonic meter

Water state

Straight from USGS (
Hyd Cond CdHyd Cond Nm
4 Stable, low stage
5 Falling stage
6 Stable, high stage
7 Peak stage
8 Rising stage
9 Stable, normal stage
A Not determined
X Not applicable


The quality codes could apply to the stage measurement, the discharge measurement or an overall 'gauging quality'. This needs discussion. We also have the generic waterml2 part 1 codes:

Discharge quality

Term Definition Reference(s)
Excellent The data is within 2% (percent) of the actual flow
Good The data is within 5% (percent) of the actual flow
Fair The data is within 8% (percent) of the actual flow
Poor The data is within >8% (percent) of the actual flow



-- PeterTaylor - 14 Mar 2014
Topic revision: r2 - 17 Mar 2014, PeterTaylor

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