Graduate student Nathan Stephan will share information on a new method of data collection of river discharge– fluorescent dye– at the March 23 WERC Friday Seminar.
Using dye tracers to estimate river discharge during spring breakup
Discharge in arctic rivers is often near its annual maximum during spring breakup. However, the presence of swiftly moving ice at this time of year leads to unsafe boating conditions, thus complicating the collection of discharge information through modern methods such as an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP). Beginning in September 2010, and resuming in May 2011, a field study was performed to evaluate the breakup discharge of Alaska’s Itkillik River using RhodamineWT, a fluorescent dye. Our studies were based upon the slug-injection method outlined in the USGS paper “Measurement of Discharge Using Tracers” (1984). Notable advantages of the method included the ability to inject and collect the dye without entering the water. A disadvantage of the method was the confounding effects of turbidity and/or suspended solids.
Courtesy Nathan Stephan
Dye injection in the Itkillik River during field work in summer 2011.
Friday Seminar Series
- What:Using dye tracers to estimate river discharge during spring breakup
- Who: Presenter Nathan Stephan
- When: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, March 23
- Where: 531 Duckering
Seminar schedule in PDF