Unuk River Super Gage

Science Center Objects

Unuk River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Return to Water >> USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska 

Real-time Streamflow of the Unuk River Graph

Real-time Streamflow of the Unuk River | Historical Water Quality DataSummary of all Available Data

A Super Gage is a conventional streamflow gage equipped with continuous water-quality monitors. Super gages provide real-time data specifically designed to improve our understanding of watershed processes and to address specific water-resource issues such as climate and land-use effects or hazardous substance spills. Our ability to model estimates of water quality constituents based on a record of continuous data help improve estimates of loads to downstream areas that are critical for salmon spawning and rearing habitats.

Unuk River

Unuk River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska. (Public domain.)

What types of equipment do we use in a super gage?

Water-quality monitors for measuring water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, and turbidity.

How do we know the super gages are functioning correctly?

We do representative stream-width and depth-integrated sampling to verify the super gage data and to collect data for surrogate models.

What's a surrogate model?

We are currently developing a surrogate model for the Unuk River by comparing measured in-stream values of a parameter to measured concentrations of a constituent and then developing a regression model to estimate concentrations during non-sampled periods. From the surrogate model, we get computed or estimated concentrations of a constituent of greater interest.

Additional Graphs

  • Temperature, water, degrees Celsius  [Graph]
  • Specific conductance, water, unfiltered, microsiemens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius  [Graph]
  • Dissolved oxygen, water, unfiltered, milligrams per liter  [Graph]
  • pH, water, unfiltered, field, standard units  [Graph]
  • Turbidity, water, unfiltered, formazin nephelometric units (FNU)  [Graph]
  • Temperature, air, degrees Celsius  [Graph]

Water Quality Measurements

Water quality samples are collected on the Unuk River every 6-8 weeks depending on weather and aircraft availability. The measured constituents are included in the following table and results are posted to the USGS National Water Information System.

Constituent Group Analytes
Physical Specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, water temperature, pH
Solids Total dissolved solids, total suspended solids
Nutrients Dissolved ammonia, dissolved nitrite+nitrate, total ammonia+organic nitrogen, total phosphorus, dissolved orthophosphorus
Major Ions Calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, suflate
Alkalinity Alkalinity as CaCO3
Trace Metals Total recoverable and dissolved aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, lithium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silver, strontium, thallium, uranium, vanadium, and zinc
Organic Compounds Total organic carbon, inorganic carbon, total particulate carbon, total particulate nitrogen