Tilt Current Meter Analyses

2.0 hrs
Run online
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    Alejandra C. Ortiz at Colby College.

Tcm-1 b.jpg
We will be analyzing the data from a month long deployment of a Lowell Tilt Current Meter: These meters were deployed at the boat ramp of Bog Stream in North Pond, Maine (44.647773, -69.865923) from Sept. 25th 2020 - Oct. 22, 2020 as part of a final project for GE 254 at Colby College in conjunction with the 7-lakes alliance (

Classroom organization
This was used as a lab to analyze velocity data from a month long deployment in a nearby stream. It was used as part of a final group project students were doing and to further their introduction and comfort with python and pandas dataframes.

Learning objectives
  • Importing, analyzing, and visualizing time-series data
  • Cleaning up raw data
  • Averaging burst data
  • Exploring potential drivers of velocity changes at our site (meteorological)
Key concepts
  • Averaging Time-series data at different frequencies
  • Importing long-temporal data series
  • learn how to make more complicated plots in python: 2 y-axes or using color of markers to denote a 3rd variable
  • learn how to utilize date-time objects in pandas to work FOR you in time-series analyses

Lab notes
Make sure students have some understanding of how a TCM (tilt current meter) works -

Please go here for the scripts and files used:

This lab can be run on the CSDMS JupyterHub. If you don't already have an account, follow the instructions to sign up at: If you're an educator using this lab in a class, you can get CSDMS JupyterHub accounts for students. For more information, please contact us through the CSDMS Help Desk: Run the lab Notebook by clicking the "start" link under the Run online heading at the top of this page. Note that the data files required for the lab have been uploaded to the CSDMS JupyterHub and placed in the directory /data/TCM_data_CSDMS_Ex; the Notebook will need to be updated with this path. Also note the Notebook uses about 5 GB of memory, so it's possible to run out of memory if many people are using the JupyterHub simultaneously.

If run locally, this lab requires the installation of the Python numpy, pandas, and matplotlib packages. You will also need TCM output data files and a local weather output (I manually cleaned that file of all header information). Download these files from

CSDMS and Mark Piper helped me create and host these labs on jupyterhub.