Discharge measurement with salt dilution method in irrigation canals: direct sampling and geophysical controls

C. Comina, M. Lasagna, D. A. De Luca, L. Sambuelli
2013 Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> An important starting point for designing management improvements, particularly in irrigation areas, is to record the baseline state of the water resources, including the amount of discharge from canals. In this respect discharge measurements by means of the salt dilution method is a traditional and well-documented technique. However, this methodology can be strongly influenced by the natural streaming characteristics of the canal (e.g. laminar vs. turbulent flow)
more » ... s. turbulent flow) and accurate precautions must be considered in the choice of both the measuring section and the length of the measuring reach of the canal which can affect the plume shape. The knowledge of plume distribution in the measuring cross-section is of primary importance for a correct location of sampling points aimed in obtaining a reliable measurement. To obtain this, geophysical imaging of an NaCl plume from a slug-injection salt dilution test has been performed within this paper by means of cross-flow fast electric resistivity tomography (FERT) in a real case history. Direct sampling of the same plume has been also performed with a multisampling optimization technique to obtain an average value over the measuring section by means of contemporarily sampling water in nine points. Results show that a correct visualization of the passage of the salt plume is possible by means of geophysical controls and that this can potentially help in the correct location of sampling points.</p>
doi:10.5194/hessd-10-10035-2013 fatcat:4mthuiltgvhaxh3fe2gqkwuqpu