USGS Mobile Water Quality Sensor on Mississippi River Boat

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U.S. Geological Survey expands its network of water-quality sensors to include the American Queen Steamboat as she travels the entire length of the Mississippi River collecting nutrient levels and water-quality data along the way.  (Image Courtesy: Iowa Public Radio, Iowa City, Iowa, limited use USGS only)

Three news stories were recently published showing the collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, and the American Queen Steamboat Company.  This effort was to launch the first-of-its-kind mobile sensors attached to the stern of the American Queen Steamboat as she travels the entire span of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana.

Every five minutes the equipment will measure the water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and nitrate levels in real time, logging GPS information as it goes and will be refreshed online every 15 minutes. The data can then be used by scientists, government offices, municipalities and other stakeholders for analysis.

A kiosk has been installed on the American Queen to inform travelers about the project and how the data collected will be used to create a better understanding of the importance of good water quality on the Mississippi River.