Traditional water quality measurement techniques have evolved from ex-situ testing to multi-parameter in-situ testing of spatially discrete or temporally continuous samples. The next advancement of these techniques seeks to achieve spatially continuous sampling. By incorporating multi-parameter measurement into an existing spatially continuous river surveying platform with GPS location, a water quality map can be generated for any body of water. This project integrated a YSI 6920 Compact Sonde into the techniques of the streambank mapping platform previously developed at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. For proof of concept, a section of the Tennessee River, specifically the confluence of the Holston River and French Broad River, was mapped via cross sections across the mixing zone. The intention was to assess water quality parameters at a point where differences in the two influents would be apparent. The expectation, and reality, is that the distinction between influents would become less distinct further from the confluence. A GIS plot of various parameters will be presented and demonstrates the gradient change across multiple river cross-sections, while supporting the anticipated pattern of the mixing zone; differing water quality between the Holston and French Broad Rivers will also be compared. Resultant data and the feasibility of collection support the continued use of multi-parameter water quality units with spatially continuous data systems.
Barbour, William, "Integration of Spatial and Continuous Water Parameter Measurement with Existing Aquatic Habitat and Streambank Mapping Systems" (2015). Select or Award-Winning Individual Scholarship.