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Measuring stream discharge by non-contact methods: A proof-of-concept experiment

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1029/1999GL006087

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Abstract

This report describes an experiment to make a completely non-contact open-channel discharge measurement. A van-mounted, pulsed doppler (10GHz) radar collected surface-velocity data across the 183-m wide Skagit River, Washington at a USGS streamgaging station using Bragg scattering from short waves produced by turbulent boils on the surface of the river. Surface velocities were converted to mean velocities for 25 sub-sections by assuming a normal open-channel velocity profile (surface velocity times 0.85). Channel cross-sectional area was measured using a 100 MHz ground-penetrating radar antenna suspended from a cableway car over the river. Seven acoustic doppler current profiler discharge measurements and a conventional current-meter discharge measurement were also made. Three non-contact discharge measurements completed in about a 1-hour period were within 1 % of the gaging station rating curve discharge values. With further refinements, it is thought that open-channel flow can be measured reliably by non-contact methods.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Measuring stream discharge by non-contact methods: A proof-of-concept experiment
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1029/1999GL006087
Volume
27
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
553
Last page:
556
Number of Pages:
4