HS1.2.2 | Advances in river monitoring and modelling for a climate emergency
Advances in river monitoring and modelling for a climate emergency
Co-organized by GM5
Convener: Nick Everard | Co-conveners: Alexandre Hauet, Anette EltnerECSECS, Silvano F. Dal Sasso, Alonso Pizarro
| Wed, 26 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)
Room 2.15
Posters on site
| Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)
Hall A
Posters virtual
| Attendance Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)
vHall HS
Orals |
Wed, 10:45
Wed, 14:00
Wed, 14:00
Water is our planet’s most vital resource, and the primary agent in some of the biggest hazards facing society and nature. Recent extreme heat and flood events are clear demonstrations of how our planet’s climate is changing, underlining the significance of water both as a threat and as an increasingly volatile resource.
The accurate and timely measurement of streamflow is therefore more critical than ever to enable the management of water for ecology, for people and industry, for flood risk management and for understanding changes to the hydrological regime. Despite this, effective monitoring networks remain scarce, under-resourced, and often under threat on a global scale. Even where they exist, observational networks are increasingly inadequate when faced with extreme conditions, and lack the precision and spatial coverage to fully represent crucial aspects of the hydrological cycle.

This session aims to tackle this problem by inviting presentations that demonstrate new and improved methods and approaches to streamflow monitoring, including:
1) Innovative methodologies for measuring/modelling/estimating river stream flows;
2) Real-time acquisition of hydrological variables;
3) Remote sensing and earth observation techniques for hydrological & morphological monitoring;
4) Measurement in extreme conditions associated with the changing climate;
5) Measurement of sudden-onset extreme flows associated with catastrophic events;
6) Strategies to quantify and describe hydro-morphological evolution of rivers;
7) New methods to cope with data-scarce environments;
8) Inter-comparison of innovative & classical models and approaches;
9) Evolution and refinement of existing methods;
10) Guidelines and standards for hydro-morphological streamflow monitoring;
11) Quantification of uncertainties;
12) Development of expert networks to advance methods.

Contributions are welcome with an emphasis on innovation, efficiency, operator safety, and meeting the growing challenges associated with the changing climate, and with natural and anthropogenically driven disasters such as dam failures and flash floods.

Additionally, presentations will be welcomed which explore options for greater collaboration in advancing river flow methods and which link innovative research to operational monitoring.

A session examining all the latest methods for measurement of streamflow, for floods, droughts and everything in between.

Orals: Wed, 26 Apr | Room 2.15

Chairpersons: Alexandre Hauet, Nick Everard, Salvador Peña-Haro
On-site presentation
Gemma Coxon, John P Bloomfield, Wouter Buytaert, Matt Fry, Gareth Old, and Thorsten Wagener

Many countries fund catchment observatories and networks to provide observational data, test models and hypotheses, discover new insights, catalyse the development of new technologies and enhance interdisciplinary collaboration. These catchment networks provide a wealth of observational data, yet synthesising information across catchment observatories to produce process-based understanding is challenging. To generalise findings from place-based studies, we need greater synthesis across catchment networks and thus careful consideration of the design and topology of catchment observatories and monitoring networks.

In this paper, we collate information from 80 catchment observatories/networks and conduct 21 questionnaires with project leads with the aim of reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of catchment observatories to provide recommendations that can inform future catchment observatory and network design. The catchment observatories encompass a wide range of flow regimes, science questions and spatial/temporal scales with 25, 33 and 22 observatories from the UK, Europe, and North America respectively. Most catchment observatories in the monitoring catalogue are concentrated in upland catchment systems monitoring flashy flow regimes, with very few focused on lowland systems and no catchment observatories focused on urban catchments. The choice of catchment observatory location was focused upon logistics and catchment characteristics, with logistics and the day-to-day running of the observatory highlighted as the aspect catchment observatory programme managers found most difficult. Many interviewees noted that the design of the observatory was a key phase in planning and an aspect they would have done differently.

Finally, we recommend key design guidelines for future catchment observatory and networks. This includes the need for a scoping and planning phase, community co-designed, digital infrastructure that enables FAIR data provision, and flexible and extensible catchment topology. Critically, knowledge transfer needs to be built in from the beginning of catchment observatories to enable transferability of new insights and understanding across linked catchment networks to tackle grand challenges within hydrology.


How to cite: Coxon, G., Bloomfield, J. P., Buytaert, W., Fry, M., Old, G., and Wagener, T.: Lessons learned from catchment observatory and network design in the UK, rest of Europe and North-America, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1088, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-1088, 2023.

On-site presentation
Jingon Kim, Kichul Kim, Junghwan Lee, Mookhyunk Kwon, Hyunjin Kim, and Youngsik Jo

Recently, digitalization has impacted drought and flood forecasting systems, and makes the application of technologies and advanced data processing techniques in the water management field possible. Especially, digital twin in the field of water management aims to effectively diminish unprecedented water-related issues such as floods and droughts using 3D objects and high-resolution spatial data. Climate change effects are expected to increase flood and drought risk through more frequent heavy precipitation and global temperature rise, and the water disaster sector is so complex, dynamic, and unpredictable that requires sophisticated management systems. The digital approaches showed effective prediction and decision-making support. This paper presents the state-of-the-art of digital twin concepts along with different digital technologies and techniques in water management contexts. The digital twin platform developed by K-water is a virtual representation of water management for dam operation and urban flood warning with water-related data. It presents a general framework of the digital twin in risk management, optimal operation, and decision-making in the water management and disaster forecasting field. This review also described the water data management, modeling including artificial intelligence, Radar, CCTV, rainfall-runoff module, analysis, prediction, and communication aspects of a digital twin. Digital twin platforms can support decision-makers as the next generation of digitalization paradigm by continuous and real-time water management of the cyber world and simulating the various events in the cyber world.

Keywords: Digital Twin, Dam Operation, River, Spatial Data, AI, Urban Flood

How to cite: Kim, J., Kim, K., Lee, J., Kwon, M., Kim, H., and Jo, Y.: Digital Twin Water Management Platform - Innovative approach for optimal water management, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4589, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-4589, 2023.

Virtual presentation
Jérôme Le Coz, Michel Lang, Stéphanie Poligot-Pitsch, and Bruno Janet

In July 2021, several western European countries were stricken by extreme floods due to exceptional rainfall events. In North-Eastern France overbank flows started to occur in several rivers on July 14th. The local field hydrologists of the national hydrological service (Vigicrues) managed to conduct mobile-boat ADCP discharge measurements during the floods at many hydrometric stations. They often observed dramatic high-flow rating shifts, typically with measured discharges being 20% to 60% smaller than the discharges computed from the stage-discharge rating curves. Such unusual rating shifts are substantially larger than the uncertainty of the ADCP discharge measurements (5%-10%). To avoid biases in flood forecast, the rating curves had to be recalibrated with limited information on the fly, which was uncomfortable. The local field hydrologists reported that the rating shifts may be due to the floodplain vegetation being very different from the winter conditions of the flood discharge measurements used to build the high-flow ends of the rating curves. In July 2021 indeed, floodplains were covered with high summer crops that had not been harvested due to the unusually cold and rainy weather.

To test this assumption on a hydraulic basis, the rating curves of seven stations on the rivers Aisne, Oise, Helpe Majeure, Chiers and Loison in North-Eastern France were re-analysed using the Bayesian method BaRatin implemented in the BaRatinAGE open-source software. At all of these stations, the identified controls include the main channel (and possibly other low-flow controls) and a relatively wide, rural floodplain. For each station, two rating curves and their uncertainty envelopes are computed: the “normal” rating curve using all valid discharge measurements except those of the July 2021 flood, and the “July 2021” rating curve using no flood discharge measurements but those of the July 2021 flood. For the “July 2021” rating curve, the prior height (offset) of the floodplain is usually taken as the posterior (calibrated results) of the “normal” rating curve, but the coefficient of the floodplain control is calibrated using the July 2021 ADCP discharge measurements. The obtained rating curves are consistent with the rating curves estimated manually by the local field hydrologists. The floodplain friction factors  estimated by BaRatin for the “July 2021” rating curve are decreased by a factor of 1.6 to 14, typically (i.e. Strickler coefficients from 15-20 m1/3/s to 2-10 m1/3/s), which is spectacular but consistent with available look-up tables for friction factors in bare or vegetated fields.

The proposed Bayesian analysis appears useful for field hydrologists to evaluate the possible extent of rating shifts due to unusual floodplain roughness at their stations, and to be prepared for the recalibration of their rating curves would an overbank flood occur outside the winter season again. It is also a convenient way for them to inform and prepare the flood forecasters on the causes and occurrence of such rating shifts, and on the related discharge uncertainty they would have to take into account.

How to cite: Le Coz, J., Lang, M., Poligot-Pitsch, S., and Janet, B.: Quantifying high-flow rating shifts due to unusual floodplain roughness during the July 2021 European flood, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6984, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-6984, 2023.

On-site presentation
Shervan Gharari, Hongli Liu, Jim Freer, Paul Whitfield, Tricia Stadnyk, Alain Pietroniro, and Martyn Clark

Reliable and accurate river streamflow or discharge measurement and reporting are essential for engineering, economic, and social decision-making. Discharge values are often perceived as true and deterministic by users, modelers, and decision-makers. In this study, the processes of discharge estimation by the Water Survey of Canada, WSC, are presented. The process of inferring the discharge (water volume over time) based on stage (water level) through stage-discharge relationships or “rating curves” including related terminologies is described. Multiple practices of rating curve construction and discharge estimation across WSC hydrometric stations are explored. Major processes of "override" and "temporary shift" which significantly affect the discharge estimation are elaborated. The reproducibility of the published discharge data using data from the production process for approximately 1750 active hydrometric stations operated by WSC is examined. Other impacts of temporary shift and override have been evaluated on the properties such as discharge residuals or performance metrics. Recommendations are made for wider access to metadata and measurements that are essential to quantify the reproducibility and uncertainty of reported discharge values. Open science, particularly Earth system modeling, demands clear communication of reproducibility, and uncertainty of published discharge.

How to cite: Gharari, S., Liu, H., Freer, J., Whitfield, P., Stadnyk, T., Pietroniro, A., and Clark, M.: Reproducibility and uncertainty for national Canadian hydrometric stations, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10348, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-10348, 2023.

On-site presentation
Jason J. S. Yang and Steven V. Weijs

In November 2021, an atmospheric river swept the Pacific Northwest region, causing one of the costliest natural disasters in Canadian history. Among others, the Coldwater River in Merritt, British Columbia caused widespread flooding on November 15th, 2021, resulting in extensive damage to the infrastructure and total evacuation of the residents.

Estimating the magnitude of this flood is difficult, as it damaged the local flow monitoring station and altered the surrounding landscape. However, parts of this flooding event, including the flow close to its peak, were filmed by local residents using mobile devices or drones. Though with significant perspective distortion and imprecision, they still provide valuable information on the extreme flow event, which would have otherwise been lost or neglected. The objective of this study is to apply image velocimetry techniques to these videos, with limited resources and geodata, for reconstructing surface velocities and discharges during the flood.

The analysis method consists of using LSPIV and Farneback optical flow on the original clips where possible. Objects are identified in the videos, then geolocated or surveyed after the flood, for rectification of raw velocities. This allows multiple iterations, accounting for uncertainties in the rectification parameters. Discharges are then calculated using surveyed or reconstructed transects, and water surface elevations estimated from the video frames.

Preliminary results of both methods will be presented and compared on the use of lens distortion correction, different contrast enhancement block sizes, and interrogation area or filter sizes. Validations of the calculated discharges against flow observations from the Water Survey of Canada will also be included.

How to cite: Yang, J. J. S. and Weijs, S. V.: Use of image velocimetry techniques on citizen videos of the November 2021 flooding event flows in Merritt, British Columbia, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10094, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-10094, 2023.

On-site presentation
Nicholas Hutley, Nathaniel Deering, Daniel Wagenaar, Ryan Beecroft, Josh Soutar, Alistair Grinham, Badin Gibbes, and Simon Albert

Real-time monitoring networks are increasingly prevalent in supporting the management of environmental systems as the technology for live data collection becomes more accessible. Additionally, ecosystem and water resource pressures have persisted and intensified under climate pressures and an expanding anthropogenic footprint. The way in which models and data are fused in the day-to-day management of water resources operations, as well as for long-term planning and investment, has been a critical field of research. An adaptive real-time monitoring-integrated learning modelling approach was developed and applied to improve the understanding of the mixing dynamics in a water supply reservoir in Queensland, Australia. This was accomplished through the combination of sequentially linked catchment and reservoir models with in situ real-time measurements of temperature and flow along with meteorological forecasts from an Australian numerical weather model, to produce short-term water quality forecasts. An adaptive learning catchment model was developed and linked for each inflow arm of the reservoir using the Australian Water Balance Model. This framework enabled automated online communication to researchers and managers around the current performance of the inflow predictions and the confidence expected in the current forecasts. Moreover, this live learning catchment model was coupled with a real-time adaptive three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the reservoir iteratively training using data from the deployed real-time temperature monitoring system. A prototype internet-connected remotely operable autonomous surface vessel was deployed with a winching system for conducting dynamic water quality profiling operations under the guidance of waypoints guidance generated from the real-time adaptive modelling forecasts. Data collected by ASV was subsequently provided back to the modelling system in real-time. The complete system facilitated the online adaptive forecasting of mixing dynamics in the reservoir and the automated identification of features of interest for water quality profiling, as well as dynamically monitoring the areas potentially most valuable for model learning development to improve system-wide understanding and forecast certainty through addition into the live dataset for ongoing training and evaluation. Evidence was found in support of a rolling iterative calibration procedure for increasing model skill sensitivity to different processes occurring over temporal and spatial scales across both catchment and receiving water models. Dynamically guided spatial monitoring generated from maximum predicted areas of variation and parameter sensitivity in the real-time adaptive receiving water model demonstrated that monitoring of the receiving water inflow arms during inflow events was necessary during inflow events to train the model on the strongest signal of the driving force of changes in the receiving water environment. Overall, the uncertainty in rainfall events from both forecasted and observed sources cascading with the uncertainty in catchment simulations with only static indirect monitoring of flow (ungauged at any of the inflow arms to the reservoir) was found to be the most significant hindrance to the utility of the applied real-time adaptive modelling framework. The application of an adaptive computer vision-based stream gauging approach was then trialled on one of the ungauged inflow arms in order to supplement this gap.

How to cite: Hutley, N., Deering, N., Wagenaar, D., Beecroft, R., Soutar, J., Grinham, A., Gibbes, B., and Albert, S.: Adaptive real-time forecasting using model-driven monitoring of catchment inflows and water supply reservoir dynamics, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14020, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-14020, 2023.

On-site presentation
Ida Westerberg, Valentin Mansanarez, Steve Lyon, and Norris Lam

Accurate and reliable streamflow monitoring data are urgently needed for many new locations to tackle the on-going climate emergency, where we now see increasingly severe impacts on society from extreme flows. Yet, traditional river monitoring methods depend on empirical rating-curve methods for which it typically takes many years or decades to obtain reliable data, in particular for extreme flows. This gap between increasing needs and current monitoring capabilities calls for new methods to be developed.

Drones provide an unprecedented ability to measure both the physical and hydraulic characteristics of a river in an efficient manner. Topography, water surface slope, surface water velocity and even bathymetry can be derived from drone images and drone lidar data. We exploited this potential by incorporating drone data into the framework for Rating curve Uncertainty estimation using Hydraulic Modelling (RUHM). The RUHM framework combines a one-dimensional hydraulic model with Bayesian inference and together with drone data it allows us to efficiently estimate a reliable rating curve and its associated uncertainty based on as few as three gaugings.

We present our results from applying RUHM to Swedish gauging stations where we model rating curves and streamflow based on drone data. We primarily used low-cost camera drones to collect both the input (DEM, vegetation, bathymetry) and calibration data (water surface slope, surface velocity) for the hydraulic model, but also tested the capabilities of drone lidar data. Our aim was to estimate reliable rating curves with RUHM based only on data from the drone flights. We assessed the uncertainty in the drone-derived model input and calibration data compared to traditional fieldwork techniques, as well as their impact on the RUHM-modelled rating curves and streamflow results.

We find that careful planning of when to fly the drone is important for obtaining good-quality model input and calibration data. Using a combination of drone camera and drone lidar data we were able to obtain all the data needed for RUHM from the drone flights. Extreme low and high flows were reliably modelled with RUHM with constrained uncertainty based on as few as three low and middle flow gaugings, without the need for gauging extreme flows. We conclude that using RUHM with drone data is an efficient and promising alternative to traditional streamflow monitoring methods, being much less time-consuming and costly, as well as involving fewer risks to field staff.

How to cite: Westerberg, I., Mansanarez, V., Lyon, S., and Lam, N.: Rapid streamflow monitoring with drones, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12058, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-12058, 2023.

On-site presentation
Issa Hansen, Salvador Peña-Haro, Beat Lüthi, Frank-Andreas Weber, Juan Ramirez, Benjamin Eberhardt, Thomas Gattung, Julian Teege, Enrico Neumann, Ralf Becker, and Jörg Blankenbach

The use of modern digital technologies in water management is an important driver for obtaining better data for assessing the status of water bodies and their development. These data can be beneficially implemented for the monitoring and management of rivers and especially waterways.

In the BMDV-funded project RiverCloud, an autonomous tandem system consisting of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) is being developed under the coordination of the gia of RWTH Aachen University, which will provide spatially and temporally high-resolution data for the development and maintenance of waterways as well as for river management. The contribution introduces the developed coupled UAV/USV tandem system with its mounted sensors for high resolution data acquisition and continuously accurate georeferencing and presents some significant results using the example of a study area on the Rhine River (Tomateninsel).

The data presented are, among others, camera-based flow measurements using an image processing method, discharge data of a precise ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) with 2000 kHz frequency and ten water quality parameters using a multi-parameter probe. All data mentioned were simultaneously collected in two locations of the study area on the Rhine River in September 2022. The 4 seconds videos collected by the UAV-camera were processed using an image processing method based on the surface velocity after implementing a new developed stabilisation tool. The cross-section data collected by ADCP were used for the configuration of the two sites. The agreement between ADCP and camera-based flow and discharge data was very good on both sites with less than 5% deviation for a discharge value of approx. 600 m3/s and 1.63 m/s mean velocity. The water quality parameters collected during the measuring campaign were temperature, conductivity, salinity, pH value, oxygen concentration, oxygen saturation, ammonium, turbidity, Total suspended solids (TSS) and total dissolved solids (TDS). The water quality data were in the expected ranges for river water (e.g. average values: pH 7.8, T 21.8°C, EC 0.35 mS/cm, Sal 0.71%, O2 7.5 mg/l, NH4+ 0.3 mg/l).

The results, specific requirements of the developed solution and challenges under the measuring conditions of the study area are presented in this paper. The data collected are used as the input of an overview report for river or waterway water flow and quality monitoring.

How to cite: Hansen, I., Peña-Haro, S., Lüthi, B., Weber, F.-A., Ramirez, J., Eberhardt, B., Gattung, T., Teege, J., Neumann, E., Becker, R., and Blankenbach, J.: Quantitative and Qualitative River Monitoring Using an Innovative UAV-USV Tandem System, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16552, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-16552, 2023.

Virtual presentation
Gaurav Kailash Sonkar and Kumar Gaurav

We perform hydrodynamic modelling using a 2D HEC-RAS model to assess the hydraulic habitat suitability in a data-constrained reach (7 km) of the Ganga River. This reach of the Ganga River is located within two structural barriers of the upper Ganga plain, namely the Bijnor barrage in upstream and the Narora barrage in downstream. It is an active river dolphin and gharial habitat. To setup and run the 2D flow simulation in HEC-RAS, we used topographic data from a LiDAR drone survey, channel bathymetry from field campaigns, time-series river stage (to define the boundary conditions of the model domain), and water surface slope from using the real-time kinematic GPS. We use water level time series data from a satellite altimeter (downstream) and discharge measured in the field using an ADCP for model calibration and validation, respectively.

We found that the study reach has poor habitat suitability at low flow, which improves at median flow. The use of altimeter datasets for model calibration is quite handy when the in-situ data is not readily available. This study provides a methodological framework to assess the hydraulic habitat suitability in rivers near structural interventions.

How to cite: Sonkar, G. K. and Gaurav, K.: Hydrodynamic modelling to assess habitat suitability of the Ganga River, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-11248, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-11248, 2023.

On-site presentation
Ci-Jian Yang, Jens.M Turowski, Qi Zhou, Hui Tang, Ron Nativ, and Wen-Sheng Chen

Bedload transport is a natural process that strongly affects the Earth’s surface system. An important component of quantifying bedload transport and establishing early warning systems is obtaining the parameters at the onset of bedload motion. Bedload transport can be monitored with passive acoustic methods, e.g., hydrophones. Yet, an efficient method for identifying the onset of bedload transport from long-term continuous acoustic data is still lacking. Benford’s Law defines the specific frequency distribution of the first digits of datasets that have been used to distinguish stochastic from chaotic processes in nature when this process causes higher energy events than baseline. Here, we apply Benford’s law to continuous acoustic recordings from Baiyang hydrometric station, a tributary of Liwu River, Taiwan at the frequency of 32 kHz from stationary hydrophones deployed for three years since 2019. We construct a workflow to parse sound combinations of bedload transportation and analyze them in the context of hydrometric sensing constraining the onset, and recession of bedload transportation. We identify two bedload transportation events that lasted 17 and 45 hours, respectively, covering about 0.35% of the time per year. Our workflow allows filtering 99% of background signal and focuses on two events including bedload motions. Given that fluvial seismology has successfully monitored fluvial processes, continuous monitoring in three directions (N-S, W-E, vertical) brings board discussion orientations, e.g., the direction of source or migration of mass movement. Therefore, we suggest that the application of Benford’s law on seismic data of Earth's surface processes has great potential.

How to cite: Yang, C.-J., Turowski, J. M., Zhou, Q., Tang, H., Nativ, R., and Chen, W.-S.: Measuring bedload motion time at sub-second scale using Benford's law from long-term acoustic recordings, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13332, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-13332, 2023.

Posters on site: Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 | Hall A

Chairpersons: Anette Eltner, Nick Everard
Felipe Mendez Rios, Jérôme Le Coz, Benjamin Renard, and Theophile Terraz

Hydrometric stations may be influenced by the sea tide, disrupting the stage-discharge relation and making it difficult to estimate discharge through a traditional rating curve. Twin-gauge stage-fall-discharge (SFD) rating curves, based on a flow friction equation and stage and water slope measurements, are a possible alternative, but they were found to perform poorly when the tide effect is strong. To capture the complex flow dynamics, including flow reversal, an approach via a 1D hydrodynamic model is proposed.

To set up the model, the cross-sectional geometry, friction coefficient, upstream discharge and downstream water level are required. In hydrodynamic modelling, the friction coefficients are the main calibration parameters and spatial changes of roughness combined with unsteady flow make their manual calibration difficult. Moreover, the understanding and quantification of uncertainties associated with data and model is an important step of the calibration process. Therefore, an automatic calibration of friction coefficients is proposed via Bayesian inference. In terms of numerical tools, the selected 1D hydrodynamic code is Mage, developed by INRAE, solving the 1D Saint-Venant equations for subcritical, transient flows. Likewise, the Bayesian Modeling (BaM) framework (https://github.com/BaM-tools) is used to specify prior information and estimate friction coefficients and their uncertainty, using stage and discharge observations.

The case study is the Lower Seine River in France, because it comes as a simple hydraulic model with a strong tidal effect with gauging campaigns and stage records available. Discharge time series of the Seine at Poses and of the Eure, the only significant tributary, are specified as upstream boundary conditions.  The downstream boundary condition is the stage time series of the Seine at Saint-Léonard, reflecting the tidal signal. Calibration data include stage records at different stations and times, and ADCP discharge measurements at Rouen during several tidal cycles.

For all reaches, a lognormal distribution with 95% probability interval [33; 49] is used as a prior for the Strickler coefficient. Bayesian estimation then provides their posterior distributions, represented by a large number of samples generated by means of a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm. These samples can be used to identify optimal “maxpost” coefficients (maximizing the posterior density), but also to quantify and propagate their uncertainty. Thereafter, a propagation is performed to estimate the stage and discharge series of all cross-sections along with their uncertainty.

This study aims to provide an alternative solution for the continuous monitoring of discharge from stage records and upstream discharges in tidal rivers in order to improve flood forecasting, warning systems and the understanding of tidal-influence on hydrometric stations.

How to cite: Mendez Rios, F., Le Coz, J., Renard, B., and Terraz, T.: Bayesian calibration of a 1D hydrodynamic model used as a rating curve in a tidal river: Application to the Lower Seine River, France, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6587, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-6587, 2023.

Anette Eltner, Pedro Zamboni, Ralf Hedel, Jens Grundmann, and Xabier Blanch

Obtaining real-time water level estimations is crucial for effective monitoring and response during emergencies caused by heavy rainfall and rapid flooding. Typically, this type of monitoring can be a difficult task, requiring river reach preparations and specialized equipment. Moreover, in extreme flood events, standard observation methods may become ineffective. This is why the possibility of developing low-cost, automatic monitoring systems represents a significant advancement in our ability to monitor river courses and allow emergency teams to respond appropriately.

Image-based methods for water level estimation facilitate the development of a low-cost river monitoring strategy in a quick and remote approach. These techniques are faster and more convenient regarding the setup than traditional water stage monitoring methods, allowing us to efficiently monitor the river from different locations with a cost-effective approach. By increasing the density of the observation network, we can improve flood warning and management.

The approach presented involves placing cameras in secure locations to capture images of the river, for which we have previously modelled the terrain in 3D using Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithms supported by GNSS data. With the images obtained every 15 minutes, we perform a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) segmentation based on artificial intelligence algorithms that allow us to automatically extract the contours of the water surface area. In this study, two different neural network approaches are presented to segment water in the images.

Using a photogrammetric strategy, we reproject the water line extracted by the AI on the 3D model of the scene. This reprojection is also supported by the use of a keypoint detection neural network that allows us to accurately identify the ground control points (GCPs) observed in the images captured by the surveillance camera. This approach allows us to automatically assign to each image the real coordinates of the GCPs and subsequently estimate the camera pose.

This AI segmentation and automatic reprojection into the 3D model has allowed us to generate a robust centimetre-accurate workflow, capable of estimating the water level in near-real time for daylight conditions. In addition, the automatic detection of the GCP has permitted to obtain automatic water level measurements over a longer period of time (one year). This approach represents the basis for obtaining other river monitoring parameters, such as velocity or discharge, which allow a better understanding of river floods and represent key steps for the development of early warning systems for flood events.

How to cite: Eltner, A., Zamboni, P., Hedel, R., Grundmann, J., and Blanch, X.: Image-based methods for real-time water level estimation, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6745, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-6745, 2023.

Silvano F. Dal Sasso, Robert Ljubicic, Alonso Pizarro, Sophie Pearce, Ian Maddock, and Salvatore Manfreda

The use of image velocimetry techniques for river monitoring has been increasing in the last few years, but there are some limitations to be solved related mainly to natural environmental conditions and operative framework (Dal Sasso et al., 2021). Along with these issues, the need for surface tracking features or homogeneously distributed materials across the cross-section represents one of the challenges for outdoor applications. In a natural environment, flows can present low seeding densities or locally distributed tracer clusters. These conditions can introduce a high variance and underestimate the flow velocity field, especially near the riverbanks.

In this work, the Farnebäck dense optical flow method (Farnebäck 2003) implemented in SSIMS-Flow software (Ljubicic, 2022) was tested and compared with LSPIV technique (Thielicke et al., 2021) to estimate surface flow velocities under different seeding conditions. The application was carried out on the Arrow River (UK) along two meandering river reaches during low-flow conditions. Four different seeding conditions were experimented from low (natural) to high (artificial) seeding density of tracers . Tracers were manually distributed onto the water surface and videos were acquired from DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Seeding metrics were used to estimate seeding conditions including: mean tracer area, seeding density, spatial tracer distribution, and the SDI index (Pizarro et al., 2020). Conventional velocity measurements were used as benchmark purposes along various transects.

This study highlighted the good performances of the two tested image velocimetry methods, with results comparable to traditional techniques. On the one hand, the Farnebäck optical flow method proved to be more sensitive to changing setting parameters (e.g., feature extraction rate) with respect to LSPIV. On the other hand, optical flow showed low sensitivity to seeding density (error reduction 30-40%). This is due to the capacity of the Farnebäck method integrated with an ad-hoc pooling technique for spatial velocity averaging to represent surface velocity under sporadic and uneven seeding (e.g., near the convex bank).


Dal Sasso, S. F., Pizarro, A., Manfreda S. (2021). Recent Advancements and Perspectives in UAS-Based Image Velocimetry. Drones 5, 3: 81.

Farnebäck, G. (2003). Two-frame motion estimation based on polynomial expansion, Scandinavian conference on Image analysis. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Ljubicic, R. (2022). SSIMS-Flow: UAV image velocimetry workbench, https://github.com/ljubicicrobert/SSIMS-Flow

Pizarro, A., Dal Sasso, S.F., Manfreda, S. (2020). Refining image-velocimetry performances for streamflow monitoring: Seeding metrics to errors minimization. Hydrol. Process. 2020, 34, 5167–5175.

Thielicke, W., Sonntag, R. (2021). Particle Image Velocimetry for MATLAB: Accuracy and Enhanced Algorithms in PIVlab. Journal of Open Research Software, 9, Ubiquity Press, 2021.

How to cite: Dal Sasso, S. F., Ljubicic, R., Pizarro, A., Pearce, S., Maddock, I., and Manfreda, S.: Image-based velocity estimations under different seeded and unseeded river flows, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6936, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-6936, 2023.

André Kutscher, Jens Grundmann, Anette Eltner, Xabier Blanch, and Ralf Hedel

The measuring of flood events is associated with many challenges. Among them is the determination of flow velocities for the derivation of discharge. Most of the applied methods for velocity determination the disadvantage that they work in direct contact with water. This often makes measuring under critical flow conditions dangerous. Optical measurement methods have a great advantage because they can work remotely, i.e., without water contact.

For representative discharge measurements, flow velocity measurements over the entire width of the river cross-section are required. This is a major challenge in the application of PTV, because visible particles must be present across the entire cross-section, which is not always the case. The potential measurement gaps in the surface velocity distribution have a negative effect on the quality of the discharge determination. Because optical measurement methods are relatively new in hydrology, there is not yet a standardised procedure with which the discharge can be determined. 

The "OptiQ" method presented here is an approach for determining discharge using PTV. This method is based on the continuity equation, which is dependent on two variables, the flow area and the mean flow velocity. The challenge here is to determine the depth-averaged flow velocity, because PTV is used to determine the surface velocity. To get the depth-averaged flow velocities, the PTV results are averaged over a transect and converted using a velocity coefficient. The arithmetic mean, the velocity area method (DIN EN ISO 748:2008-02) and the moving average are considered as averaging methods. A statistical approach was chosen for closing measurement gaps that occurred in the velocity distribution. In this approach, the measurement results with similar discharge conditions in the entire time series, i.e. PTV results for the same water levels, are statistically analysed, filtered and summarised in a lookup table. The gaps in the measurements due to missing particles are filled with the data from the lookup table.

For the data collection, three camera gauges were installed at regular gauging stations of the Saxon State Agency for Environmental and Agricultural Monitoring (BfUL). The camera gauges recorded short video sequences at regular time intervals, which were used to determine the velocity distributions using the FlowVelo tool (Eltner et al., 2020). This resulted in three time series covering a period of 10-15 months. For the validation of the optical discharge time series, the regular water level and discharge measurements of the BfUL are used. 

The application of "OptiQ" shows a significant adjustment of the optically determined discharge data to the reference measurement at all three gauging stations. While acceptable results were determined with the arithmetic mean only at higher discharge, the results with the velocity area method and the moving average are similarly good at all discharges. At the gauging station in Elbersdorf, the average difference from the reference value could be reduced from 29% to 15% with "OptiQ". In the next step, it is planned to further develop the statistical model "OptiQ" by using Deep Learning.

How to cite: Kutscher, A., Grundmann, J., Eltner, A., Blanch, X., and Hedel, R.: Application of optical Particle Tracking Velocimetry (PTV) to determine continuous discharge time series, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9946, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-9946, 2023.

Guillaume Bodart, Jérôme Le Coz, Magali Jodeau, and Alexandre Hauet

The operator effect is a prominent error source in image-based velocimetry methods. The LSPIV method is known to be sensitive to the parameters and choices of the user, as shown in the literature and emphasized by the results of a video gauging intercomparison, the Video Globe Challenge 2020 (VGC2020) (Le Coz et al., 2021). The intercomparison was carried out during the COVID-19 lockdown of spring 2020 and involved 15 to 23 participants using the LSPIV method among other techniques on 8 videos representative of the diversity of river gauging conditions and imaging viewpoints. Each video came with a discharge reference and associated uncertainty.

An in depth investigation of the intercomparison results has been carried out to identify the most sensitive parameter(s) for each video and also to review the common setting mistakes (cf. Bodart et al., 2022). The investigation highlighted the strong impact of the image temporal sampling (extraction framerate) and of the velocity filtering on the discharge errors. The ortho-rectification and the surface coefficient were also found to be impacting in given cases.

Based on these observations, several assistance tools and automated filters are proposed to reduce the operator effect. They are evaluated on the intercomparison dataset. The assistance tools use available information (e.g. transect data) or basic user inputs (e.g. manual spotting of some velocities) to determine the optimal extraction framerate, grid points and searching area (SA) for LSPIV computation. The sequence of automated filters is built for the specific context of discharge measurement: spatial coherency of the velocities in a local neighborhood and temporal coherency of the velocities computed at a point. These velocity filters are systematic and do not require any input from the user.

The application of the assistance tools and automated filters to the intercomparison dataset leads to a significant improvement of the results. On the eight videos, the mean interquartile range of the percent error initially at 17% is reduced to 2% and the mean median of the percent error initially at -9% is reduced to 0.6% with the assistance tools and filters. The results are encouraging and can be implemented in software tools for the operational deployment of the LSPIV method for discharge measurement.

Le Coz, J., Hauet, A., and Despax, A. (2021). The Video Globe Challenge 2020, a video streamgauging race during the Covid-19 lockdown, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2116, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2116, 2021

Bodart, G., Le Coz, J., Jodeau, M., and Hauet, A.: Quantifying the operator effect in LSPIV image-based velocity and discharge measurements, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4457, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4457, 2022.

How to cite: Bodart, G., Le Coz, J., Jodeau, M., and Hauet, A.: Reducing the operator effect in LSPIV image-based discharge measurements, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5779, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-5779, 2023.

Blaise Calmel, Jerôme Le Coz, Hauet Alexandre, Despax Aurélien, and David Mueller

The moving-boat Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) gauging method is extensively used to measure the discharge of rivers and canals. Inter-comparison of ADCP measurements are necessary not only to validate the instruments and their deployment, but also to study the discharge measurement uncertainty. Uncertainty estimates provided by the propagation methods cannot be validated for in situ conditions because of the complexity of the ADCP data workflow and the uncertainty of discharge references in rivers and canals. To solve this issue, a complementary approach to uncertainty propagation methods is the repeated measures experiments, also known as inter-laboratory comparisons. ADCP inter-comparisons have been done for decades and with very different conditions. These data sets are precious in order to test and validate uncertainty propagation methods.

The OURSIN ADCP uncertainty analysis is validated using empirical uncertainty estimates on inter-comparison experiment. This propagation method has been implemented in the QRevInt software which provides an ADCP data quality review. QRevInt is developed by Genesis HydroTech LLC (Mueller, 2021) with the guidance and contributions from an international board of hydrological agencies. QRevInt helps to clean ADCP measurements from avoidable errors and to homogenize the discharge computations irrespective of the instrument manufacturer and model.

However, post-processing inter-comparison results is a long and complicated process particularly if users want to determine and quantify uncertainty sources. There are as many practices as there are hydrometric services. Uncertainty is an indispensable component of discharge measurement and should be estimated for as many measurements as possible. To popularize these practices and homogenize them, a user-friendly tool has been developed.

From raw ADCP measurements, it applies QRevInt post-process quality analysis, the OURSIN uncertainty propagation method, and the empirical uncertainty computation based on the repeated-measures experiment. The tool applies Grubbs and Cochran statistical tests to validate the measurement selection. It returns tables with a row for each measurement with information, such as, discharge and uncertainty decomposition from QRevInt. It also returns an overview of the inter-comparison with graphs of the discharge and its uncertainty among measurements, computed uncertainty, and empirical uncertainty. The tool allows replaying data with homogeneous parameters and users can manually exclude a measurement if it does not seem consistent. The tool will be open source and freely available.

Beyond the operational application, it could be used to replay historical inter-comparisons. With an inter-comparison database, it will be possible to study diverse types of rivers to improve and validate uncertainty estimation in various conditions. A first synthesis is proposed from one inter-comparison data set and will be extended to as much data as possible in the future.

How to cite: Calmel, B., Le Coz, J., Alexandre, H., Aurélien, D., and Mueller, D.: Comparing ADCP inter-comparison results using an automated post-processing tool, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-7073, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-7073, 2023.

Hessel Winsemius, Salvador Peña-Haro, Frank Annor, Rick Hagenaars, Wim Luxemburg, Gijs Van den Munckhof, Felix Grimmeisen, and Nick Van de Giesen

In the last years, several methods to establish surface flow velocities and river flow from camera videos have been developed and codified into software. Together with a hardware setup, these may be used to establish near real-time observations of river flow. The hardware setup used and associated quality of the camera, methods to pre-process, process and post-process the videos may all result in errors, and uncertainties. In this contribution we assess what the main sources of uncertainty are, and under what conditions these may appear, focusing on both hardware and processing methods. We do this by co-locating two different camera setups, and using two different software processing methods. For camera setups we use a very simple and low cost FOSCAM FI9900EP running at its maximum of 4Mbps and a much better quality Vivotek IB9367-EHT running at 20Mbps. As systems we use the DischargeKeeper and pyOpenRiverCam.

The cameras were co-located over a significantly long period at a site in Limburg in The Netherlands, and footage analyzed with 15-minute intervals. Videos were treated with as much as possible the same settings, reprojection resolution and window. Results were compared in terms of the ability to resolve velocities (amount and quality) and the impact of post-processing. Integrated flow over a cross-section is also compared. We assess under what conditions flow and velocity estimates are robust and similar and under what conditions these diverge focusing on the platform used, light conditions, and flow conditions.

Keywords: River flow monitoring, stage-discharge relationships, OpenRiverCam, DischargeKeeper, computer vision

The work leading to these results has received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the CLIENT II program (Drought-ADAPT, FKZ: 01LZ2002B) and the European Horizon Europe Programme (2021-2027) under grant agreement no. 101086209 (TEMBO Africa). The opinions expressed in the document are of the authors only and no way reflect the European Commission’s opinions. The European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information.

How to cite: Winsemius, H., Peña-Haro, S., Annor, F., Hagenaars, R., Luxemburg, W., Van den Munckhof, G., Grimmeisen, F., and Van de Giesen, N.: Sources of uncertainty in video-based flow observations, revealed by co-location experiment, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14234, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-14234, 2023.

Salvador Peña-Haro, Daniel Hernandez, and José M. Cecilia

Measuring the volumetric water flow in ephemeral streams, typical of semi-arid climates, in which water rarely flows, is challenging since water only flows some days per year and some times it is in the form of flash floods. In this type of conditions it is important to detect when there is water in the stream. For this, we have implemented a machine learning algorithm for water detection and for stream gauge measurement.

Machine learning was used to differentiate pixels of the image that contains water from those those that do not via image segmentation. Different segmentation models have been proposed, but in our case we used an encoder-decoder DNN architecture based on DeepLabV3. To train the model, we used the ArtificiaL And Natural waTer-bodIes dataSet (ATLANTIS) data-set. However not all the images were used since these data-set includes classes that are not representative for our application, hence the total number of images used for training was 685. Additionally the original defined classes were merged to reduce the problem to a semantic binary segmentation problem, since our objective is to simply detect the presence of water on the stream. In addition to those images, we have used other images recorded by fix cameras looking at some ephemeral streams to improve the training.

The trained network was used to analyze 50 images with different water levels or no water. To evaluate its performance and indicator was defined which considered the number of pixels classified as water inside the image area covered by the stream over the total number of potential pixels having water, and a 60% threshold was used to determine if there is water in the stream. From the 50 images analyzed, only 3 were wrongly classified giving promising results.

This work has been supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101017861 and also by projects RTC2019-007159-5 and Ramon y Cajal Grant RYC2018-025580-I, funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, “FSE invest in your future” and “ERDF A way of making Europe”

How to cite: Peña-Haro, S., Hernandez, D., and Cecilia, J. M.: Machine learning for water detection in ephemeral streams, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14752, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-14752, 2023.

Omar Wani, Brayden Noh, Kieran Dunne, and Michael Lamb

Human settlements and infrastructure in alluvial floodplains face erosional risk due to the lateral migration of meandering rivers. There is a large body of scientific literature on the dominant mechanisms driving river migration. However, it is challenging to make accurate forecasts of river meander evolution over multiple years. This is in part because deterministic mathematical models are not equipped to account for stochasticity in the system. Besides, uncertainty due to model deficits and unknown parameter values remains. For a more reliable assessment of risks, we therefore need probabilistic forecasts. In this work, we suggest a workflow to generate river-migration risk maps using probabilistic modeling. Forecasts for river channel position over time are generated by Monte Carlo runs, using a distribution of model parameter values inferred from satellite data, enabling us to make risk maps for river migration. We demonstrate that such risk maps are more informative in avoiding false negatives, which can be both detrimental and costly, in the context of assessing erosional hazards due to river migration. 

How to cite: Wani, O., Noh, B., Dunne, K., and Lamb, M.: Generating risk maps for river migration using probabilistic modeling, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17240, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-17240, 2023.

Posters virtual: Wed, 26 Apr, 14:00–15:45 | vHall HS

Chairpersons: Anette Eltner, Salvador Peña-Haro
Seth Schweitzer and Edwin A. Cowen

In recent years the changing climate has resulted in an increased prevalence of extreme weather, with corresponding extreme precipitation and surface flow events. Adapting management of water and other natural resources to these conditions requires accurate and robust tools to measure water flow, and in particular the development of non-contact measurement methods.

Once such method is Infrared quantitative image velocimetry (IR-QIV), which is a large scale surface velocimetry method that uses infrared imagery to calculate the mean and instantaneous velocity at high resolution in space and time, over large spatial areas (Schweitzer & Cowen, WRR 2021). IR-QIV can operate continuously for extended periods (days, weeks, etc.) without requiring artificial illumination or particle seeding of the flow. The high resolution, continuous, measurement capabilities of IR-QIV make it particularly well suited to applications where the spatial and temporal variance of the flow must be resolved, such as fishery management, air-water heat and gas exchange, and flow-structure interaction studies.

We present metrics of turbulence, estimates of gas transfer rates, and other hydrodynamic properties calculated from velocity measurements conducted by IR-QIV at the surface of several rivers in California, and Michigan, USA. The measurements were made as part of fishery management projects, motivated by efforts to better understand and manage the interaction of migrating fish and the hydrodynamic environment. Results are validated by comparison with acoustic velocity measurements. 

How to cite: Schweitzer, S. and Cowen, E. A.: Turbulence metrics at the surface of rivers, measured by Infrared Quantitative Image Velocimetry (IR-QIV), EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16919, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-16919, 2023.

Abhishek Kumar and Manoj Kumar Jain

Rapidly collected river discharge data can be used for flood forecasts, hydraulic structure design, and impromptu response during floods. This calls for the monitoring of both water level and velocity at the same time, which is not feasible using conventional invasive methods. Non-contact techniques like doppler radar and satellite remote sensing techniques are the sole options. Doppler radar sensors are gaining popularity in the recent decade due to their accuracy and user-friendly operation. The study was conducted using data collected at two gauging sites at Devprayag on Bhagirathi and Ganga, two significant Himalayan Rivers. This study compares the observed discharge measured using a current meter and ADCP with the entropy-based discharge estimated using radar telemetry data for water level and surface velocity. Radar-derived water level and one-point surface velocity observations were used to estimate the discharge using probability-based Shannon and Tsallis Entropy laws. The discharge varied from 77.09 to 4265.4 cumec, while the surface velocities ranged from 0.283 to 8.35 m/s. The estimated discharges using radars were compared with observed discharges using Goodness-of -fit statistics which showed a good agreement between observed and estimated discharges as well as velocities, suggesting that radars can be effectively used to estimate real-time discharge for its improved applications in Himalayan mountainous rivers.

How to cite: Kumar, A. and Jain, M. K.: Non-contact Entropy-based flow Estimation in Himalayan Rivers, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4765, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-4765, 2023.