Profile Plotter

Some browsers, such as Chrome, will no longer run applets that are embedded in a webpage.

An alternative is to download and open this file:
which will launch an updated version of the Profile Plotter outside your browser.

Profile Plotter Applet

You need a Java-enabled browser to run this applet.

As an alternative you can download and open the
Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) file linked above.

More info here.


Click and drag the mouse down and right to zoom in, or drag it up and left to zoom out.
Or press the Rescale to fill button to rescale the plot to show all of the current data.
The > and < buttons will advance/retreat to the next/previous profile in the database.
The >> and << buttons will automatically move through the data at the rate you set with the SPEED slider.

If you are at the beginning or end of the data, the affected directional buttons will be disabled.

You can select a different lake from the drop-down list of Lake Access lakes.

Use the date slider to quickly select a particular date. You will get the first profile after noon on that date.

You can select which parameters to plot.

If Clear between plots is not selected, each plot will be drawn over what is already displayed. This can be useful to see the range of values between certain dates. It can also make a big mess. You can clear the graph by changing any of the parameters or the lake (even if you change them back before hitting the Get this Profile button).

Press Get this Profile when you are ready to draw the new plot.

To see the actual data from the profile that is currently showing:

  • Press the Capture this Data button to write the data to the Captured Data Window.

  • Press the Show Captured Data button to view the window.

If you want to copy the data to your own file:

  • Select the data from the data window with your mouse and Copy it (Ctrl-C in Windows)

  • Paste (Ctrl-V in Windows) it into a text file or spreadsheet.

About the applet:

Click for a larger image The Profile Plotter allows a user to make plots of data with depth. Limnologists (folks that study lakes) typically display data in the form of lake profile plots, in which the vertical axis (the Y-axis) represents the lake from top to bottom, and the horizontal axis (X-axis) displays the magnitude of a variable.

Because we acquire four to six profiles per day, we developed the Profile Plotter to "step through" the data sets and observe how factors such as temperature change on a daily or seasonal basis. The Profile Plotter contains a control panel that allows users to select a lake, a date, and which variables to plot. The key feature of the Profile Plotter is the ability to animate the profiles. The single and double arrow VCR controls in the center of the control panel allow the user to step forward or backward through individual data sets (single arrow), or let the program automatically step through the data sets (double arrow). In the automatic option, the user can set the rate at which the 'movie' will play.

This program was adapted and extended from Ptplot 2.0 ( which is available under this agreement.

If you are having trouble running this applet check out our Java troubleshooting page.