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> The River > Science and Monitoring > Geological Channel Surveys


A Description of Channel Geometry and Geological Monitoring of the River (scroll down for video)

USGS Survey

Documenting the shape and geological character of the river channel is a fundamental component of the Trust's monitoring program. To address this priority, we are funding collaboration between researchers from the University of Maine and the U.S. Geological Survey. These investigators have begun making precise measurements of channel geometry and documenting sediment characteristics at 18 permanent river cross-sections. Each section is referenced to permanent monuments on each bank established using high-precisions (sub-centimeter) Leica survey instruments.These monumented locations will provide the reference points for ongoing monitoring. Cross sections are positioned to sample representative environments upstream and downstream of the Great Works and Veazie Dams on the Penobscot River and upstream of the Howland Dam on the Piscataquis River. Channel elevations at cross section are determined using state of the art survey techniques. Total Station infrared laser transit and survey rod are used for measuring elevations at points above the water surface, while underwater point elevations are determined using a combination of the Total Station and an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) for precise depth measurements.

Watch a short video of Pam Lombard of the USGS talking about the USGS' channel survey on the Penobscot River.


... Channel surveys were funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. For more information, please read our press release from June 2009.


Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler screen shot of 
the Penobscot River, courtesy of US Geological Survey


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