Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 536163
Title Prerequisites for Accurate Monitoring of River Discharge Based on Fixed-Location Velocity Measurements
Author(s) Kästner, K.; Hoitink, A.J.F.; Torfs, P.J.J.F.; Vermeulen, B.; Ningsih, N.S.; Pramulya, M.
Source Water Resources Research 54 (2018)2. - ISSN 0043-1397 - p. 1058 - 1076.
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) discharge - index velocity - Indonesia - Kapuas River - rating curve - velocity profile
Abstract River discharge has to be monitored reliably for effective water management. As river discharge cannot be measured directly, it is usually inferred from the water level. This practice is unreliable at places where the relation between water level and flow velocity is ambiguous. In such a case, the continuous measurement of the flow velocity can improve the discharge prediction. The emergence of horizontal acoustic Doppler current profilers (HADCPs) has made it possible to continuously measure the flow velocity. However, the profiling range of HADCPs is limited, so that a single instrument can only partially cover a wide cross section. The total discharge still has to be determined with a model. While the limitations of rating curves are well understood, there is not yet a comprehensive theory to assess the accuracy of discharge predicted from velocity measurements. Such a theory is necessary to discriminate which factors influence the measurements, and to improve instrument deployment as well as discharge prediction. This paper presents a generic method to assess the uncertainty of discharge predicted from range-limited velocity profiles. The theory shows that a major source of error is the variation of the ratio between the local and cross-section-averaged velocity. This variation is large near the banks, where HADCPs are usually deployed and can limit the advantage gained from the velocity measurement. We apply our theory at two gauging stations situated in the Kapuas River, Indonesia. We find that at one of the two stations the index velocity does not outperform a simple rating curve.
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