thumbnail

Potential for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems applications for identifying groundwater-surface water exchange in a meandering river reach

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, , ORCID iD , , , , , and
https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL075836

Links

Abstract

The exchange of groundwater and surface water (GW-SW), including dissolved constituents and energy, represents a critical yet challenging characterization problem for hydrogeologists and stream ecologists. Here, we describe the use of a suite of high spatial-resolution remote-sensing techniques, collected using a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), to provide novel and complementary data to analyze GW-SW exchange. sUAS provided centimeter-scale resolution topography and water surface elevations, which are often drivers of exchange along the river corridor. Additionally, sUAS-based vegetation imagery, vegetation-top elevation, and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) mapping indicated GW-SW exchange patterns that are difficult to characterize from the land surface and may not be resolved from coarser satellite-based imagery. We combined these data with estimates of sediment hydraulic conductivity to provide a direct estimate of GW “shortcutting” through meander necks, which was corroborated by temperature data at the riverbed interface.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Potential for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems applications for identifying groundwater-surface water exchange in a meandering river reach
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1002/2017GL075836
Volume:
44
Issue:
23
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
AGU
Contributing office(s):
OGW Branch of Geophysics
Description:
10 p.
First page:
11868
Last page:
11877