Estuaries are unique coastal regions where a river meets a large open body of water. Recent studies show that changing climate can dramatically affect the flow dynamics and ecosystems of estuaries. For example, observed global mean sea levels have risen steadily over the past century and are projected to increase into the future. These changes in downstream water levels affect the slope of estuarine rivers, yielding a shift in discharge patterns. In addition, episodes of heavy precipitation show upward trends and global climate models predict tropical storm rainfall will increase under a changing climate, creating abnormal estuary discharge. While the importance of changing climate in estuaries is recognized, our ability to quantify riverine or estuarine discharge during extreme precipitation events like typhoons or thunderstorms is hindered by a lack of reliable and sustainable measurement techniques. The overall goal of the research is to examine the river/estuary hydrograph and peak discharge in relation to storm event category, precipitation, and duration to determine how the estuary responds to different levels of high-flow events. To effectively measure riverine/estuarine discharge under extreme weather conditions, we are developing an Automated River-Estuary Discharge Imaging System (AREDIS). We use AREDIS to measure the discharge of the Danshui Estuary in Taiwan, Yahara River in Wisconsin, and Sheboygan River entering into Lake Michigan during high-flow events, such as typhoons or thunderstorms. These extreme measurements would allow us to better understand of the impacts of changing climate on estuaries and rivers.
(a) AREDIS on the Danshui River in Taiwan. (b) The length of the river cross section is 400 m. (c) AREDIS dual-camera system for far- and near-field
(d) AREDIS Remote Graphical User Interface (e) Large-Scale PIV (LSPIV) for far-field view (f) LSPIV for near-field view
(e) AREDIS2 at Lafollette Dam, Yahara River, WI (f) LSPIV for non-uniform surface velocity (g) Discharged measured by a moving ADCP
Dane County Land and Water Resources Department
Water Resources Agency MOEA, Taiwan
Wisconsin Hilldale Faculty/Undergraduate Research Fellowships
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Status : Active
Yuli Liu (PhD)
Graduated: Adam Bechle (PhD), Nobuaki Kimura (PhD), Wei-Bo Chen (PhD), W.C. Huang (MS), William Kasch (MS).
Collaborators: Professor Wen-Cheng Liu
Professor Nobuaki Kimura