A drifter for measuring water turbidity in rivers and coastal oceans

Marchant, Ross, Reading, Dean, Ridd, James, Campbell, Sean, and Ridd, Peter (2015) A drifter for measuring water turbidity in rivers and coastal oceans. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 91. pp. 102-106.

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Abstract

A disposable instrument for measuring water turbidity in rivers and coastal oceans is described. It transmits turbidity measurements and position data via a satellite uplink to a processing server. The primary purpose of the instrument is to help document changes in sediment runoff from river catchments in North Queensland, Australia. The 'river drifter' is released into a flooded river and drifts downstream to the ocean, measuring turbidity at regular intervals. Deployment in the Herbert River showed a downstream increase in turbidity, and thus suspended sediment concentration, while for the Johnstone River there was a rapid reduction in turbidity where the river entered the sea. Potential stranding along river banks is a limitation of the instrument. However, it has proved possible for drifters to routinely collect data along 80 km of the Herbert River. One drifter deployed in the Fly River, Papua New Guinea, travelled almost 200 km before stranding.

Item ID: 42368
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: turbidity; satellite tracking; river plumes
ISSN: 1879-3363
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 03:29
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0203 Classical Physics > 020303 Fluid Physics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 100%
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