(This article was first published on AdventuresInData , and kindly contributed toR-bloggers)
The Delaware River experienced some high flow in late February 2016, providing an opportunity for an interesting animated graph of river response.
This plot was developed using data from the USGS NWIS system for gauges on the Delaware River, retrieved with the excellent dataRetrieval library for R from USGS and the also great animation library. The plot shows the discharge per drainage area (cfs/square mile) responding to rainfall. Tributaries cause unequal response initially, but then the entire system settles into a flow wave rolling downstream. Most gauges report discharge directly, but discharge was estimated for a few stage-only gauges using local stage-discharge relationships. The concept here is the same as older posts looking at the impact of hurricane Irene and super storm Sandy, but using R to generate an easily portable GIF file.