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Development of New Sensors for Monitoring Velocity and Sediment Discharge in a Watershed

This study examines inexpensive sensors to monitor sediment discharge at the watershed scale to better understand the temporal and spatial distribution of sediment flux. The sensors examined are part of a quasi real-time sediment discharge monitoring network currently being developed. The effectiveness of the sensors to measure velocity and sediment concentration was assessed under field and laboratory conditions. Laboratory measurements were used to create a calibration curve which was then compared to measurements made in the field. Results of the study show that the sensors are capable of making temporally resolute measurements of velocity and sediment concentration. Errors in sediment concentration may be attributed to experimental design or secondary variables such as size distribution and color.

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