An ambitious plan to turn back the hands of time by nearly a century on the Elwha River in northwest Washington State is being carefully studied by stakeholders on other river systems where long-standing dams may someday be breached. Dismantling two concrete hydroelectric dams built in the early 20th century requires careful planning, skilled execution, and close attention to the flow of water that will nurture the reemergence of the river’s salmon population.
But behind the massive tunnels and the huge catch basins is a system just as staggering – the SMART Project’s nerve system, a network of flood detection equipment and automated management machinery linked by a Supervisory Data Acquisition and Control (SCADA) brain that uses the information it gathers to automatically engage flood management gates and pumps.
HidroMares has installed its SISMO systems at seven port complexes around Brazil, from ocean terminals in the south to an inland river port in the Amazon basin. At the heart of each system is a SonTek acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), which provides current velocity and direction data throughout the water column, as well as water level. That allows SISMO units to provide current data to pilots at six depths—from the surface to 12 meters, in two-meter increments—as well as highly accurate depth measurements from a vertical acoustic beam and a pressure sensor, all refreshed every five minutes. In Rio de Janeiro’s Sepetiba Bay, HidroMares positioned three bottom-mounted SonTek Argonaut-XR systems in the channel, leading their cables up to surface buoys outfitted with data transmission equipment. HidroMares also positioned an Argonaut-SL side-looking ADCP at the end of the pier to deliver a current profile extending 120 meters from the dock.
India is emerging as a world leader in irrigation schemes, and the 458-km Narmada Main Canal – the largest concrete-lined irrigation canal in the world – stands as a monument to the opportunities and challenges that face water providers. The scale of the SSNNL canal system, velocity changes due to volume and management, and the constant battle against siltation illustrate the importance for accurate measurement of flow and discharge.
As the regulatory requirement to assess United Kingdom reservoirs and lakes expands to include smaller bodies of water, SonTek’s HydroSurveyor system has been configured into a remote control boat so that hydrometric data can be obtained quickly, simply, safely and accurately.
It’s hard to picture just how flat Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin is, but picture this – tens of thousands of square kilometers braided with slow-flowing rivers and streams with virtually no fall in their channels. Amid the tangle is Colombo Creek, a modest stream with a slope of just 31 meters in 60 kilometers (about 3 feet per mile). With such a flat profile, the backwater effect of confluences, fallen trees, slumped banks and even algal blooms can dramatically impact flow and affect accuracy of rating curves.
The federal government saw the need for a flood control system through Terrebonne (Louisiana) and neighboring parishes, and in 1992, began a study to map out a project. Congressional acts in 2007 and 2014 resulted in authorizations for a $10.8 billion plan—dubbed the Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection System after the town that marks its projected starting point— but the government never funded the projects. Closely monitoring stage and flow in real-time with instruments such as the SonTek-SL has allowed the levee district team to see the dramatic effects of landscape, wind, and tide on surges across the parish.
Greenland meltwater researchers use the RiverSurveyor-M9 to study “terrestrial rivers” and see how discharge changes diurnally.
The HydroSurveyor-M9 system from SonTek, a Xylem brand, is an instrument/technology that Indian Railway has employed to rapidly measure bathymetry data along with velocity data. The HydroSurveyor is a multi-frequency acoustic Doppler current profiling system (ADCP) equipped with nine acoustic beams, five of which are used to survey at any one time; four slanted beams provide a velocity profile from up to 128 cells as well as measure depth, and then there is a vertical beam with an 80m range which measures the depth directly below the system.
A group of Arctic researchers has employed the latest monitoring technology to investigate the effects of climate change, by measuring temperature and salinity in the water column beneath surface ice. The results of the investigation, which utilised SonTek’s new CastAway-CTD™ instrument, could cast new light on our understanding of the ways in which shifting ocean currents impact the climate in northern Europe.