Streamflow Estimation from Advanced Imaging (LSPIV) in Pennsylvania

Science Center Objects

Pennsylvania Water Science Center and the Next Generation Water Observing Systems (NGWOS) Program are implementing new technologies for streamflow estimation at sites in Pennsylvania where conventional measurement techniques are inadequate.

Large Scale Particle Image Velocimetry (LSPIV) is an emerging technique to obtain measurements of surface velocity in streams and rivers. USGS scientists are applying LSPIV in Frankford Creek at Castor Avenue in Philadelphia where the dynamic flow and channel conditions make conventional measurement difficult. The image below shows about 52 million points collected in July 2020 using laser techniques which define the channel in three dimensions. WIth this high resolution survey data, collection of video of moving particles in the water from a bridge camera can be used to estimate the streamflow rate every minute. 

 

Lidar scan and rectifying frame for Frankford Cr

Lidar scan and rectifying frame for Frankford Cr. Data will be used within LSPIV setup for estimation of streamflow. (Credit: John Young, USGS. Public domain.)

Photo of a camera system that will be tested to measure water level and surface velocity

Example of a camera system that will be tested to measure water level and surface velocity at the East Branch Brandywine Creek below Downingtown. This technology is part of the USGS Next Generation Water Observing System in the Delaware River Basin. (Photo by USGS staff, Public domain.)