Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and
BASINS is a system that integrates Arcview, national watershed data, and
environmental assessment and modeling tools into one package. Among
its uses, one can assess the path of pollutants that may be
flowing through the streams of a watershed(such as the Cahaba), the amount
of pollutants that maybe generated by mines and other industries. It also
contains data such as locations of monitoring stations and the level of
hazard posed by objects built to control the flow of certain rivers and
streams such as dams.
Now that you have learned some basics of Arcview, we will continue with
BASINS which is an application with a customized Arcview GIS interface,
meaning it has some tools that are not included in the standard Arcview
Getting Started with Basins:
- Click on the Start icon on the taskbar. Go to Programs, point on
Basins and then click on Basins in the submenu.
- In the dialog box, double click on basins.apr project.
- The basins.apr project contains data on the Cahaba River
- Notice that the tools for the view component in Arcview are
present in BASINS with a few additions. In the menu bar there are menus
such as Target and
Assess meant for performing analyses for
the watershed. In the second row of tool buttons, you also see 4 buttons
that are used only for BASINS. The buttons are titled:
BASINS also contains software that models water quality when affected
by various factors such as pollution. The three models are:
These models can be accessed either throught the Model menu in
the menu bar or by the Start icon in the taskbar.
The additional menus in the menu bar also provide facilities for
creating reports and updating data. The Report menu in the menubar
is used to create reports and the Utility menu is used to
reclassify land, meaning changing the purpose of the land around the
watershed. For example, if the land was originally classified as
"farmland", it can be reclassified for its new purpose: recreation.
This is only a short introduction to BASINS, in order to learn about it in
site is very useful.
- Data Mining
- Watershed Delineation
- Cleaning Watershed
- Add a water quality station
Water Assessment Tools
Target is used to perform broad based water quality and/or point source
loading data evaluations on the entire project area. This means that this
tool can assess the water quality on more than one watershed. It can also
evaluate data at particular points which are sources of pollution.
Assess is used to perform water quality assessments on an individal
Data mining is used to provide links between tables and maps for
individual water quality stations. It is similar to
hot linking features.
Creates boundaries within the watershed boundary to evaluate and model
water quality conditions on a smaller scale.
It is used to delete a boundary created by the watershed
Adds a new water quality station to the watershed.
QUAL2E allows users to simulate fate and transport of water quality
particles in streams under a given flow condition. This tool requires the
user to specify a flow rate, the particles and the stream through which it
This tool performs simple assessments of pollutant concentrations in
NPSM is a very powerful modelling tool that can simulate
nonpoint source runoff and associated pollutant loading. NPSM can
account for point source discharges and perform flow and water quality
routing through stream reaches.
Using the techniques you learned in the earlier ArcView exercises, answer the following:
- Through how many counties does the Cahaba River run? Name them.
- How many sites classified as "Hazardous and Solid Waste Sites" have been identified by the EPA in the Cahaba River Basin?
- In what county is the Paul M. Grist State Park? (Hint: use the managed area database theme)
- The Cahaba basin is located in two EPA ecoregions. Name them.
- What is the distance (approximately) from the National Priority List site
to the closest Drinking Water Supply site?
Glossary for BASINS, includes all technical jargon related to BASINS.
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