Mark Randall

Mark Randall

I have been working in water monitoring with DNRME since 2006 and is based in Cairns. I am currently Chair of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Water Monitoring Technical Standards Committee and the sponsor and author of the three National Industry Guidelines for using hydroacoustic’s. I presents regularly in the USA on the use of hydroacoustics, working closely with international government agencies via the International Hydrometric Association. Since introducing and validating image velocimetry techniques for DNRME I have provided further training to governments interested in adopting these methods. These include governments from Iceland, Sweden, Norway, UK, and New Zealand.

Water security, climate change and flooding/wetlands – Space time image velocimetry – Measuring high flow events in Queensland

River discharge and velocity data are fundamental for managing the resilience of our water resources and riverine environments. Discharge measurements are predominantly a manual task requiring monitoring staff to be onsite however during extreme flooding this is not always possible due to site access problems and/or staff safety concerns. It is during these extreme or large scale flood events that river systems are at their most dynamic causing erosion, transporting sediments and damaging infrastructure. Discharge and velocity data collected during extreme events is therefore vitally important.

Space Time Image Velocimetry (STIV) is a non-contact optical method of measuring and mapping surface velocities using calibrated pixels in a flood video to calculate a discharge.  Since 2016 the Queensland government’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) has successfully been validating this new flow gauging methodology using videos collected from riverside cameras and drones and comparing with excepted discharge measurement methods. The use of STIV has allowed valuable discharge data to be collected at sites that was previously impossible. A network of “fixed camera gauging” sites can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a more traditional gauging station installation allowing a whole of system approach to river monitoring and management. Drones have allowed videos for STIV to be collected quickly at multiple monitoring sites while there increased use by the general public has provided an additional valuable data resource. Flood videos collected and posted on YouTube can also be used with STIV promoting a citizen science approach to data collection.

DNRME have now adopted image velocimetry and STIV as a valid measurement method and are currently one of the world’s leading authorities in using this technique. DNRME has provided advice and guidance on STIV to other government agencies around the world.

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