New structure for NRFA station descriptions

Since the NRFA took over responsibility for peak flow data in April 2014, there has been an ongoing process of harmonising metadata between the two sources. This process has now been completed for station and catchment descriptions.

Work has been done by the NRFA over the last year to integrate the text held in the station and catchment descriptions on the NRFA and those shown on the ‘Peak flow’ tab (previously provided by HiFlows-UK). This also presented the opportunity to change the format of the descriptions as some had become quite lengthy. Descriptions for stations not in the peak flow dataset have also been moved across to this new format.

Therefore, station descriptions are now presented in five sections, now shown on the ‘Station info’ tab of NRFA station pages. The catchment description remains in one part and is displayed on the ‘Catchment info’ tab of NRFA station pages. The station descriptions come in five sections:

Summary:  provides a short summary of the station and any points which should be considered when using the data.

General: provides information on the station type, purpose, history and links to other stations.

Hydrometric: provides information on station limitations (e.g. in the high and low flow ranges), development of the rating, common issues (e.g. ice build-up or weed growth) and any relevant changes over time.

Flow Record: provides information on any known events in the record, known reasons for missing data and details of significant re-processing.

Flow Regime: provides information on the general characterisation of the regime (e.g. flashy or baseflow-dominated) and any known artificial influences.

The majority of stations on the NRFA will present this new station description structure. However, the integration has not been fully completed daily flow stations in North West England or North Scotland. Therefore, some stations in these areas will still show the previous structure.

While the station descriptions and other metadata have been harmonised, the overall process is still ongoing. Users should be aware that metadata not yet integrated is presented on the ‘Station info’ tab of NRFA station pages, marked with an *. More information is provided here.