Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists correct Amazon water level gauges from space

Date:
June 11, 2012
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
NASA's laser satellite, ICESat, has been used to make corrections to water level gauges that are critical in monitoring water flow in the Amazon, the world's largest river. The new study will improve our understanding of water flows and floodplain processes.

ICESat passes over the Amazon Basin study area.
Credit: Image by Amanda Hall

NASA's laser satellite, ICESat, has been used to make corrections to water level gauges that are critical in monitoring water flow in the Amazon, the world's largest river. The new study, conducted by scientists at the University of Bristol, will improve our understanding of water flows and floodplain processes.

Related Articles


Previously, gauges used to measure changes in water level in the Amazon were not on the same reference level. This meant water levels could not be directly compared, limiting the use of the gauges in research, especially understanding and modelling water flows and flooding.

Amanda Hall, a PhD student in Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol and lead author of the study, said: "When we first calculated the river slope, the water seemed to be flowing uphill. So we used data from ICESat to calibrate the Amazon gauges to the same level, allowing us to make direct comparisons between the gauges and get accurate readings of actual water levels."

The research, published June 11 in the American Geophysical Union's journal Water Resources Research, is the first study to use ICESat elevation data to make the necessary adjustments to the water levels at each gauging station, to ensure they are all on the same initial level.

The technique was carried out for six Amazon gauges upstream of Manaus, Brazil where the river is known as the Solimυes. The corrections to the gauges were large and ranged from -7.82m to 13.37m.

Accurately estimating water levels and river slope in the Amazon is essential for understanding the exchange of water with the floodplain and other processes, such as the transport of sediments and the release of greenhouse gasses from Amazon wetlands into the atmosphere.

The method developed by the Bristol scientists can be applied to other unlevelled gauges in areas where ICESat data are available.

"ICESat elevations can also be used to find water levels in places where there are no gauges at all," said Amanda Hall. "This is significant in terms of modelling remote river basins, where gauges don't exist or are difficult to access. We can now get accurate water levels for model comparison where there were none before."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amanda C. Hall, Guy J.-P. Schumann, Jonathan L. Bamber, Paul D. Bates, Mark A. Trigg. Geodetic corrections to Amazon River water level gauges using ICESat altimetry. Water Resources Research, 2012; 48 (6) DOI: 10.1029/2011WR010895

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Scientists correct Amazon water level gauges from space." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611122548.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2012, June 11). Scientists correct Amazon water level gauges from space. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611122548.htm
University of Bristol. "Scientists correct Amazon water level gauges from space." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611122548.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins