You are here: Home / FAQ / About surface water / About masking data

About masking data

What is data masking?

Data masking is not making available a period of time-series data that are being automatically recorded because there is concern that the values are invalid. For example, a gage might be ice-affected and "stuck" at a certain point until a spring thaw. In these cases the USGS Water Science Center may mask the suspect values from display until they can be reviewed, so users cannot make incorrect assumptions about the accuracy of the data.

How is data masking affected if the period being masked falls between a provisional period (generally 150 days before now) and the historical period (generally more than 150 days before now)?

If data are approved, then they have been quality reviewed by the USGS. Thus for the historical period there should be no masking.