Advances in Streamgaging | Reach-Scale Monitoring Experiment (1 of 2)

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Detailed Description

In this first installment of a two part series, The Arizona Water Science Center has developed new stream gaging methods that would measure flood flows remotely. However, they have to verify the accuracy of these techniques, so they designed an experiment in partnership with the USDA Southwest Watershed Research Center at the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed that utilize supercritical runoff flumes as a control to test against the data collected from their sensors. This video introduces the set up to that experiment.

Be sure to look for Part II of this video series to find out the post-flood results and learn how well this method worked!


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:20

Location Taken: Tucson, AZ, US

Video Credits

Music by Kai Engel, “Daedalus” 
CC license 4.0

Storm Sounds “Thunder Strike 2” by Mike Koenig, 
CC license 3.0

Images of Earth (Public Domain)
NASA Blue Marble: Next Generation


(calm music)

- Accurately measuring stream flow

in the Desert Southwest is important

to keeping our citizens
safe, and providing

valuable information on managing our

water resources for
our growing population.

To meet these needs, the
Arizona Water Science Center

has been developing new techniques to help

increase the accuracy
of our stream flow data.

To learn how well these methods perform,

we need to test them against measurements

taken in a controlled environment.

To do this, we have initiated a reach-scale

monitoring experiment
at the USDA Southwest

Watershed Research Center
in Tombstone, Arizona.

Where we will use supercritical

flumes as the control to test our methods.

This experiment will further refine

our field techniques, and allow us

to meet the Southwest need for
highly accurate water data.

Today we are at Flume 11,
which is on the Walnut

Gulch Research Experimental Watershed.

And they have a number of these flumes,

that you see behind me, that
measure the complete amount

of runoff that comes
out of this Watershed.

And what we've done is we've instrumented

reaches below these
flumes, so that we can test

some of the reach skill
monitoring methods.

- Flume Six, which is
where we're at right now,

drains about 2/3 of the Walnut
Gulch Experimental Watershed,

and we have about eight or nine

additional large concrete flumes.

This is called, you know,
getting a little technical,

it's a Supercritical Runoff Flume.

It accelerates the flow to a much higher

velocity, and that clears the sediment.

So you don't have a
bunch of sediment piling

up on this, which will interfere and make

your discharge measurements less accurate.

- This experiment provides us a control.

We've surveyed the entire stream channel,

and deployed all of our
sensors in the reach.

The sensors will be collecting
data, and we can just

hope that we have a big
monsoon flow this season.

(thunder crackling)

(calm music)