Why Watershed Analysts Should Use R for Data Processing and Analysis

  • R.D. (Dan) Moore University of British Columbia
  • David Hutchinson Environment Canada
Keywords: data science, programming languages, reproducible analysis, visualization, watershed analysis


Both the science and practice associated with watershed management involve the processing, presentation and analysis of quantitative information. In this article, the use of open source programming languages by watershed analysts is advocated. The R language, in particular, provides a rich set of tools for the types of data that are commonly encountered in watershed analysis. The utility of R is illustrated through three examples: intensity-duration-frequency analysis of rainfall data, baseflow separation, and watershed delineation and mapping.