Data Collection

Data Collection

Expanded data collection and analysis design and capability

Many factors impact on excellent environmental process modelling, analyses and subsequent design outcomes, potentially the most significant of which is the availability of sufficient, high quality, data. At Water Technology, much of our work is associated with the analysis and interpretation of data such as water levels, salinity and other water quality parameters that are measured in the field. We use the data to assist in developing an in-depth understanding of environmental conditions and to calibrate and validate the wide range of numerical models we develop and apply for different projects. To compliment datasets that are available from a wide array of national and state government sources – such as the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Ocean Data Network and GeoScience Australia, to name a few – Water Technology is constantly expanding our own data collection and data analysis capabilities.

The lack of measured data in remote locations in Northern Australia in particular has recently prompted the expansion of our in-house data collection, monitoring program design and project-based data collection and management capabilities, along with expanding the suite of tools we use for data capture and analysis. We have been capitalising on this upgrade in equipment, and experience, and have been rapidly expanding our data collection capability into urban and rural waterways across Australia.

Staff members involved in field investigations are fully trained in workplace health and safety requirements associated with data collection programs, and hold relevant safety and site access tickets. We also regularly undertake first aid courses and ensure that comprehensive risk management assessments are completed for all our data collection programs.

Recent projects that have benefitted from Water Technology’s data collection and design capabilities include:

 

Changing salinity with depth through the water column.It is presented (right) for two locations west of Darwin.
 
The Dundee South location is close to the mouth of the Finniss River and demonstrates the impact of freshwater flows from the Finniss River following a significant rain event. The salinity of water at the surface at Dundee South is close to 24.5PSU for the top 1m before a sharp change to above 30PSU by 2m below surface. The depth profiling occurred shortly after slack low tide and the freshwater was likely to of been drawn out by the ebb tide into Fog Bay.
 
The salinity depth profiles at the Dundee North location were collected shortly after those at Dundee South, after the flood tide had begun, and approximately 10km to the north. At this location, the impact of freshwater from the Finnish River is significantly diminished (by distance and the incoming tide) and the surface salinity is close to 28PSU to a depth of 2.4m. Bed salinity is similar to that of the profiles to the south, further indicating a wedge of freshwater from the Finniss which extends outwards from the River mouth and likely contracts and extends with the flood and ebb of the tide.
Salinity-Depth relationship at Finniss River, NT

Salinity-Depth relationship at Finniss River, NT

The collection of a suite of oceanographic data (water levels, waves, currents, salinity and temperature) in the extreme macro (greater than 9m) tidal waters of Joseph Bonaparte Gulf.
   
The image (right) shows data loggers on a frame custom designed for deployment and retrieval by helicopter offshore of Legune station, NT and in other locations where access via boat or car would not possible for months at a time.
Data loggers on a custom designed frame for helicopter deployment

Data loggers on a custom designed frame for helicopter deployment

Project design and management of hydrographic survey data collection and post survey analysis and processing for Project Sea Dragon

 

Tidal discharge measurement using an ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) within the Brisbane River and Oxley Creek.
 
The image shows the bank attached flow within the Brisbane River with tidally driven current speeds exceeding 1m/s downstream of the Centenary Hwy bridge.
 
Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler of Brisbane River, QLD

Tidal discharge, using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), of the Brisbane River, QLD

Video Poster
Measurement of current speed and discharge using an ADCP within the Werribee River for the modelling of environmental flow releases by Melbourne Water.
 
The video above shows the ADCP collecting current speed data before floating downstream with the environmental water.
 
Measurement of current speed and discharge using an ADCP within the Werribee River, VIC.

Measurement of current speed and discharge using an ADCP within the Werribee River, VIC.

Measurement of water levels within the Fotheringham Reserve as part of a 2-year study into the billabongs which are home to a large remnant River Red Gum woodlands within 30km of the Melbourne CBD.
 
Water level measurements

Water level measurements

 

Assessment of discharge water dilution and dispersion

Assessment of discharge water dilution and dispersion

   
Assessment of discharge water dilution and dispersion using fluroscene dye in Geelong and Portland.
Collection of salinity data within the Glenelg River for the Glenelg Hopkins CMA to support assessments of the effects of environmental flows into the estuary
Measuring elevation with DGPS

Measuring elevation with DGPS

Collection of elevation data using a differential global positioning system (DGPS) for accurate determination of model bathymetry and to assist with relating measured water level data to water surface elevations.

Along with data collection, Water Technology regularly carries out site visits for condition assessments of the coastline, waterway and urban environments we live in. Stay tuned for an update on the inspections of some of Tasmania’s beautiful wilderness in response to recent flood events.

About The Author

Elise Lawry
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