Remote Sensing of Streamflow in Alaska Rivers—New Technology to Improve Safety and Expand Coverage of USGS Streamgaging

Fact Sheet 2019-3024
By: , and 



The U.S. Geological Survey monitors water level (water surface elevation relative to an arbitrary datum) and measures streamflow in Alaska rivers to compute and compile river flow records for use by water resource planners, engineers, and land managers to design infrastructure, manage floodplains, and protect life, property, and aquatic resources. Alaska has over 800,000 miles of rivers including the Yukon River, the third longest river in the United States. These rivers are home to rare and important ecosystems and are used for recreation, hydropower generation, commercial fishing, and transportation. River flow measurements are essential for wise and safe development and use of Alaska rivers.

Suggested Citation

Conaway, J.S., Eggleston, J., Legleiter, C.J., Jones, J.W., Kinzel, P.J., and Fulton, J.W., 2019, Remote sensing of river flow in Alaska—New technology to improve safety and expand coverage of USGS streamgaging: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019-3024, 4 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Why Measuring River Flow in Alaska Is Important
  • How Streamflow Is Measured Today
  • How Remote Sensing Can Improve Flow Measurement
  • New Remote Sensing Technology
  • The Future of Remote Sensing Streamgages in Alaska
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Remote sensing of river flow in Alaska—New technology to improve safety and expand coverage of USGS streamgaging
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2019-3024
DOI 10.3133/fs20193024
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Water, Colorado Water Science Center, Pennsylvania Water Science Center, Virginia Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
Country United States
State Alaska
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details