Measuring the Volumetric Storage Changes in the Mississippi River
Creators:von Clausburg, Alexander
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Earth Sciences Senior Theses; 2017
Storage change in rivers is a fundamental indicator of hydraulic processes, providing a numerical link between fluxes in and out of the channel, both via tributaries and via exchange with hyporheic groundwater. The spatial nature of storage change makes its in situ characterization impossible over long distances. New applications of remote sensing allow for measurement of this fundamental quantity. River width and height measurements derived from satellite data can be used to compute change. Storage change for a 2000 km stretch of the Mississippi River was computed for 2008 to 2010 assuming no temporal change in river width. Rates of storage change varied from -0.3 to 0.25 km3 per day. These values of change approximately followed seasonal cycles and were consistent with discharge data from the river as well. Temporal integration of storage change yields storage anomaly, which can be thought of as the difference between the actual river storage and storage at the initial time. Storage anomaly has a range of approximately 10 km3, which is approximately 2% of the annual flow of the river.
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