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Islam M.S.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Bonner J.S.,Clarkson University | Page C.A.,Texas A&M University
Environmental Engineering Science | Year: 2010

Real-time observations of coastal environments are needed to capture episodic events that control aquatic ecosystem dynamics. The National Science Foundation established the Water and Environmental Research Systems Network to test various aspects of real-time observatory design and operation, and Corpus Christi Bay (TX) was selected as one of the Water and Environmental Research Systems test beds. Implementation of a real-time observation system faces challenges such as use of heterogeneous monitoring instrumentation, measurement of critical parameters at greater spatial and temporal resolution, reduction of sensor biofouling, reliable data acquisition and delivery, and data management. We developed a robotic profiler system that moves a suite of water quality sensors in the water column, collecting data at multiple depths. This system significantly reduces biofouling of the sensors and accommodates a diverse array of sensors that measure various environmental parameters. In addition, the associated cyberinfrastructure provides sensor data to stakeholders in real time and allows remote access to the fixed robotic platforms, which supports instrument management, data quality assurance and quality control, implementation of event-based sampling schemes, sensor troubleshooting, and so on. Moreover, it can process diverse data streams and reliably transfer measured data to the users. Two snapshots of observational data are presented in this article to illustrate the system capability in measuring parameters that can shed light on important processes controlling episodic events in the bay. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source


Islam M.S.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Islam M.S.,Clarkson University | Bonner J.S.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Bonner J.S.,Clarkson University | Ojo T.O.,Clarkson University
Watershed Management Conference 2010: Innovations in Watershed Management under Land Use and Climate Change - Proceedings of the 2010 Watershed Management Conference | Year: 2010

The burgeoning human growth, climate change and its variability are putting stress on our finite water resources. To ensure an adequate supply and quality of water forv present and future needs under these critical conditions, it is necessary to understand the effects and consequences of the anthropogenic activities and natural variability on these resources. Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries (BIRE) in collaboration with Clarkson University and IBM Corporation are in the stage of implementing River and Estuary Observation Network (REON) that will collect wide varieties of physical, chemical and biological parameters via an integrated network of sensors, robotics and computational technology distributed throughout the Hudson River in New York. Data collected from this large network will help to understand the important processes controlling water quality of the river. These large and diverse datasets are managed through the developed database schema in this study for easy discovery, access and dissemination to the broader user communities. Our developed database is capable to handle both point and gridded observations such as surface current maps captured by the high frequency (HF) radar system. The observational datasets are also stored with the metadata such as location and unit of measurements, calibration coefficients, data qualifying comments, etc. which facilitate easy interpretation of the stored datasets. This database will be interfaced with the point observation data model (ODM) developed by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI), Inc. and thereby, will facilitate interoperability of our data model and will provide greater access to the broader user communities. In addition, the developed data visualization software in this study queries the data into the database and publishes simple color-coded contour plots of measured data for a specified time (e.g., the last 24 hrs, last 7 days, or last 30 days of measurement) on the static Web pages of BIRE's Web portal. This simple illustration of measured data in near real time will make general public aware of the environmental conditions and thereby, promote their participations in implementing policies in conserving our natural water resources. © 2011 ASCE. Source


Islam M.S.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Bonner J.S.,Clarkson University | Page C.,Texas A&M University | Ojo T.O.,Clarkson University
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2011

Corpus Christi Bay (Texas, USA) is a shallow wind-driven bay which experiences hypoxia (dissolved oxygen < 2 mg/L) during the summer. Since this bay is a very dynamic system, the processes that control the hypoxia can last on the order of hours to days. Monitoring systems installed on a single type of platform cannot fully capture these processes at the spatial and temporal scales of interest. Therefore, we have integrated monitoring systems installed on three different platform types: (1) fixed robotic, (2) mobile, and (3) remote. On the fixed robotic platform, an automated profiler system vertically moves a suite of water quality measuring sensors within the water column for continuous measurements. An integrated data acquisition, communication and control system has been configured on our mobile platform (research vessel) for synchronized measurements of hydrodynamic and water quality parameters at greater spatial resolution. In addition, a high-frequency radar system has been installed on remote platforms to generate surface current maps for the bay. With our integrated system, we were able to capture evidence of a hypoxic event in summer 2007; moreover, we detected low dissolved oxygen conditions in a part of the bay with no previously reported history of hypoxia. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Islam M.S.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Islam M.S.,Clarkson University | Bonner J.S.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Bonner J.S.,Clarkson University | And 3 more authors.
OCEANS'11 - MTS/IEEE Kona, Program Book | Year: 2011

Aquatic particles represent a significant sink for hydrophobic contaminants including Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCB). The riverbed of the Hudson River near Ft. Edward, New York is contaminated with PCBs due to the discharge of these chemicals from two General Electric Company (GE) capacitor manufacturing plants into the river from approximately 1947 to 1977. The contaminated sediments continue to be an active PCB source to the water column and biota. GE initiated remedial dredging operations in 2009 to remove the contaminated sediments and subsequently reduce PCB concentrations in fish, river water and sediment, and to minimize downstream transport. To meet these objectives, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required GE to follow three engineering performance standards (production, re-suspension and residual) during the dredging operation. Data collected from the River and Estuary Observation Network (REON) are presented in this paper to provide evidence of the capability of the observation network in characterizing particle dynamics which can guide in adaptive dredging operation to meet the objectives, and to track the improvements of water quality due to this remediation action. In this study, the particle dynamics at the Thompson Island Pool (TIP), where high PCB concentrations are found in the sediment and biota, were characterized with respect to stream velocity profiles, suspended sediment concentration and particle size distribution during a flood event. This characterization presented sediment resuspension and advection as potential mechanisms for sediment and sediment bound PCBs transport during a flood event. Moreover, integration of the monitoring datasets with the PCB fate and transport model can serve as a valuable diagnostic tool for investigating the impacts of PCB on the ecosystem of the Hudson River. © 2011 MTS. Source


Islam M.S.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Bonner J.S.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Ojo T.O.,Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries | Page C.,Texas A&M University
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2011

Corpus Christi Bay (TX, USA) is a shallow wind-driven bay and thereby, can be characterized as a highly pulsed system. It cycles through various episodic events such as hypoxia, water column stratification, sediment resuspension, flooding, etc. Understanding of the processes that control these events requires an efficient observation system that can measure various hydrodynamic and water quality parameters at the multitude of spatial and temporal scales of interest. As part of our effort to implement an efficient observation system for Corpus Christi Bay, a mobile monitoring system was developed that can acquire and visualize data measured by various submersible sensors on an undulating tow-body deployed behind a research vessel. Along with this system, we have installed a downward-looking Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler to measure the vertical profile of water currents. Real-time display of each measured parameter intensity (measured value relative to a pre-set peak value) guides in selecting the transect route to capture the event of interest. In addition, large synchronized datasets measured by this system provide an opportunity to understand the processes that control various episodic events in the bay. To illustrate the capability of this system, datasets from two research cruises are presented in this paper that help to clarify processes inducing an inverse estuary condition at the mouth of the ship channel and hypoxia at the bottom of the bay. These measured datasets can also be used to drive numerical models to understand various environmental phenomena that control the water quality of the bay. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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