Virginia Estuarine & Coastal Observing System (VECOS)
Until recently our capacity to measure, monitor, and evaluate water quality constituents in detail over ecologically relevant regions and time scales was limited. However, the recent development of a Surface Water Quality Mapping System (DATAFLOW) allows high speed, high resolution mapping of surface water quality from small vessels capable of sampling shoal and littoral areas. In addition, continuous measurements of water quality constituents can be taken from fixed, shallow water monitoring stations using YSI underwater datasondes to assess temporal variability and the new weekly and instantaneous criteria. The combined application of these two new technologies will allow the assessment of water quality criteria as well as an assessment of physical and biological processes controlling attainment or non-attainment.
Users of the VECOS website can currently view three types of water quality data; interpolated images of surface water quality generated by the Dataflow (Underway) program, graphs of shallow water quality data from fixed stations that has gone through quality assurance protocols, and real time data from the last 7 days at available stations. Users can download quality assured data from both Dataflow cruises and fixed continuous monitoring stations but are not be able to download real time data from the stations where it is available.