Australian Water Information Dictionary

Standards: National Industry Guidelines for hydrometric monitoring

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acoustic Doppler current meter

A point velocity meter that uses two acoustic transducers, each acting as transmitters and receivers for the purpose of water velocity measurement, when undertaking a discrete discharge measurement (gauging).

This definition applies to:

acoustic Doppler current profiler

A family of acoustic based instrumentation used to measure water velocities and water depths during a discrete discharge measurement (gauging).

This definition applies to:

acoustic Doppler velocimeter

A point velocity meter that uses a single acoustic transducer as a transmitter and separate dedicated transducers as receivers for the purpose of water velocity measurement, when undertaking a discrete discharge measurement (gauging).

This definition applies to:

acoustic Doppler velocity meter

A family of acoustic based instrumentation used for continuous in-situ measurement of water velocities.

This definition applies to:

ADC

acoustic Doppler current meter

A point velocity meter that uses two acoustic transducers, each acting as transmitters and receivers for the purpose of water velocity measurement, when undertaking a discrete discharge measurement (gauging).

This definition applies to:

ADCP

acoustic Doppler current profiler

A family of acoustic based instrumentation used to measure water velocities and water depths during a discrete discharge measurement (gauging).

This definition applies to:

ADV

acoustic Doppler velocimeter

A point velocity meter that uses a single acoustic transducer as a transmitter and separate dedicated transducers as receivers for the purpose of water velocity measurement, when undertaking a discrete discharge measurement (gauging).

This definition applies to:

ADVM

acoustic Doppler velocity meter

A family of acoustic based instrumentation used for continuous in-situ measurement of water velocities.

This definition applies to:

AHD

Australian Height Datum

The datum that sets mean sea level as zero elevation. Mean sea level was determined from observations recorded by 30 tide gauges around the coast of the Australian continent for the period 1966–1968.

See Geoscience Australia for further information.

This definition applies to:

aquifer

A geological formation, group of formations or part of a formation; able to receive, store and transmit significant quantities of water.

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artificial control

A hydraulic structure (e.g. weir, flume or gate) installed in an open channel where in most cases the discharge can be derived from the measured upstream water level.

Note: The structure is an artificial reduction of the cross-sectional area in the channel, where part of the upstream total head is converted into kinetic energy used to obtain critical streamflow.

This definition applies to:

Australian height datum

The datum that sets mean sea level as zero elevation. Mean sea level was determined from observations recorded by 30 tide gauges around the coast of the Australian continent for the period 1966–1968.

See Geoscience Australia for further information.

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backscatter

The deflection of waves or particles through angles greater than 90 degrees by an obstacle.

Source: © Macquarie Dictionary Fourth Edition, 2005, Macquarie Dictionary Publishers

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backwater

Water backed-up or retarded in its course as compared with its normal or natural condition of flow.

Source: USGS, viewed 2 October 2018.

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bias error

A measurement error that remains constant in magnitude for all observations; a kind of systematic error.

Source: McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms sixth edition, Copyright © 2003, McGraw-Hill Education

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blanking distance

The distance from the transducers of an ADCP in which no measurement is taken. Also known as the “blank”.

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bore

A hole drilled in the ground, a well or any other excavation used to access groundwater. May be used for observation of groundwater (including water level, pressure or quality).

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bottom tracking

Acoustic method used to measure boat speed and direction by computing the Doppler shift of sound reflected from the stream bed relative to the ADCP.

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BT

bottom tracking

Acoustic method used to measure boat speed and direction by computing the Doppler shift of sound reflected from the stream bed relative to the ADCP.

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calibration

The process of comparing the response of a measuring device with a calibrator or a measuring standard, of known accuracy, over the measurement range.

Note: The comparison may result in no significant error being noted on the device under test, a significant error being noted but no adjustment made, or an adjustment made to correct the error to an acceptable level either by physical adjustment or by establishing a relationship for obtaining a result from the primary measured value.

Source: derived from AS 3778.1—2009 Clause 7.17. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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casing

The construction component that lines a bore and provides the conduit from the water-producing zone to the surface.

Related: construction log

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cease to flow

The level or physical location at which a stream stops flowing. The lowest point in the low flow control.

This definition applies to:

continuous monitoring

Collecting repeated measurements of a parameter over time, typically using automatic sensing and recording instruments.

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control

Physical properties of a cross-section or a reach of an open channel, either natural or artificial, that govern the relation between stage and discharge at a location in the open channel.

Source: AS3778.1—2009 Clause 1.91. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

This definition applies to:

cross-section

The section of a stream is the section normal to the mean direction of flow bounded by the free surface and wetted perimeter of the stream.

Source: AS3778.1—2009 Clause 1.58. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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CTF

cease to flow

The level or physical location at which a stream stops flowing, the lowest point in the low flow control.

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cumecs

Cubic metres per second (m³/s). International System of Units (SI Units) of measure for instantaneous discharge (rate unit).

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current meter

Instrument for measuring water velocity.

Source: AS3778.1—2009 Clause 2.56. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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data ingestion

The process of receiving, processing (decoding) and storing data collected from sites in data-user and data-provider systems.

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datum

A point, plane, or surface to which systems of measurement are referred or related to one another.

Source: Geoscience Australia, viewed 2 October 2018.

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deploy

To prepare an instrument to retrieve data, then take measurements in contact with the water in its data retrieval mode.

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depth

The vertical distance below the free surface of a stream to a point of reference, e.g. a measuring instrument, or the bottom of the stream at any point on a cross-section.

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depth cell

A volume of water at a known distance and orientation from the transducer. Also known as a bin.

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DGPS

Differential Global Positioning System

An enhancement to Global Positioning System (GPS) that uses a network of fixed ground based reference stations to broadcast the difference between the positions indicated by the satellite systems and the known fixed positions.

The underlying premise of differential GPS is that any two receivers that are relatively close together will experience similar atmospheric errors. DGPS requires that a GPS receiver be set up on a precisely known location. This GPS receiver is the base or reference station. The base station receiver calculates its position based on satellite signals and compares this location to the known location. The difference is applied to the GPS data recorded by the second GPS receiver, which is known as the roving receiver. The corrected information can be applied to data from the roving receiver in real-time in the field using radio signals or through post-processing after data capture using special processing software.

Source: ESRI, viewed 2 October 2018. Copyright © 1995–2013 Esri.

This definition applies to:

Differential Global Positioning System

An enhancement to Global Positioning System (GPS) that uses a network of fixed ground based reference stations to broadcast the difference between the positions indicated by the satellite systems and the known fixed positions.

The underlying premise of differential GPS (DGPS) is that any two receivers that are relatively close together will experience similar atmospheric errors. DGPS requires that a GPS receiver be set up on a precisely known location. This GPS receiver is the base or reference station. The base station receiver calculates its position based on satellite signals and compares this location to the known location. The difference is applied to the GPS data recorded by the second GPS receiver, which is known as the roving receiver. The corrected information can be applied to data from the roving receiver in real-time in the field using radio signals or through post-processing after data capture using special processing software.

Source: ESRI, viewed 2 October 2018. Copyright © 1995–2013 Esri.

This definition applies to:

discharge

Volume of liquid flowing through a cross-section in a unit time.

Source: AS3778.1—2009 Clause 1.37. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

This definition applies to:

discrete monitoring

Operating sensors or instruments by hand to collect measurements of a parameter. This can include regular or irregular measurements.

Synonym: manual monitoring

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electric tape

A water level measurement device comprising a graduated measurement tape with a moisture detector on one end and a signal device on the other.

The moisture detector is lowered into the bore and sends an electrical signal to the surface when it makes contact with the groundwater. This triggers the signal device, usually a light or sound, enabling the operator to measure the distance to water.

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ensemble

A column of depth cells equivalent to a vertical in conventional current meter gauging. An ensemble or profile may refer to a single measurement of the water column or an average of pings or profile measurements.

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feature

A part of the physical environment with properties that can be observed; these include natural features such as rivers, aquifers and the atmosphere, and human defined or constructed features such as channels, irrigation districts and urban supply areas.

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FSD

full scale deflection

The full range of observations which can be recorded by an instrument.

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full scale deflection

The full range of observations which can be recorded by an instrument.

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gauge height

The water level, typically measured at a water monitoring site.

Synonym: stage

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gauging

Physical measurement of instantaneous streamflow to develop the stage-discharge relationship.

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GDA2020

Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020

A geocentric (earth-centred) coordinate reference system that is Australia’s official national datum (since December 2017). It is a plate-fixed datum that is aligned with the 2014 realisation of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame 2014.

GDA2020 coordinates differ from GDA94 coordinates by approximately 1.5 to 1.8 metres.

For more information on GDA94 and GDA2020 see Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping

Source: Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping, viewed 05 December 2018.

This definition applies to:

GDA94

Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994

A coordinate reference system whose origin coincides with a determination of the centre of mass of the earth, hence the term ‘geocentric’. GDA94 is a plate-fixed or static coordinate datum based on the International Terrestrial Reference Frame 1992, held at the reference epoch of 1 January 1994.

GDA94 was the official geodetic datum before GDA2020.

For more information on GDA94 and GDA2020 see Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping

Source: Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping, viewed 2 October 2018.

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GGA

Data string that provides geographic position information determined by the GPS.

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global positioning system

A system of radio-emitting and -receiving satellites used for determining positions on the earth. The orbiting satellites transmit signals that allow a Global Positioning System receiver anywhere on earth to calculate its own location through trilateration. Developed and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, the system is used in navigation, mapping, surveying, and other applications in which precise positioning is necessary.

Source: ESRI GIS Dictionary, viewed 15 April 2013, Copyright © 1995–2013 Esri.

This definition applies to:

GPS

Global Positioning System

A system of radio-emitting and -receiving satellites used for determining positions on the earth. The orbiting satellites transmit signals that allow a Global Positioning System receiver anywhere on earth to calculate its own location through trilateration. Developed and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, the system is used in navigation, mapping, surveying, and other applications in which precise positioning is necessary.

Source: ESRI GIS Dictionary, viewed 05 December 2018, Copyright © 1995–2019 Esri.

This definition applies to:

HDOP

horizontal dilution of precision

A measure of the geometric quality of a GPS satellite configuration in the sky. Horizontal Dilution of Precision is a factor in determining the relative accuracy of a horizontal position. The smaller the dilution of precision number, the better the geometry.

Source: ESRI GIS Dictionary, viewed 05 December 2018, Copyright © 1995–2013 Esri.

Related: PDOP

This definition applies to:

horizontal dilution of precision

A measure of the geometric quality of a GPS satellite configuration in the sky. Horizontal Dilution of Precision HDOP is a factor in determining the relative accuracy of a horizontal position. The smaller the dilution of precision number, the better the geometry.

Source: ESRI GIS Dictionary, viewed 05 December 2018, Copyright © 1995–2019 Esri.

Related: PDOP

This definition applies to:

hydrometric project

An individual or collaborative work to monitor components of the hydrological cycle including rainfall, surface water and groundwater characteristics, as well as water quality.

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index velocity rating

The computation of discharge using measured water velocities that are an index or predictor of the mean channel velocity.

Note: More than one variable may be used in the creation of a rating if this would improve the accuracy of the overall rating.

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ISO

International Organization for Standardization

An international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organisations.

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IVR

index velocity rating

The computation of discharge using measured water velocities that are an index or predictor of the mean channel velocity.

Note: More than one variable may be used in the creation of a rating if this would improve the accuracy of the overall rating.

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mAHD

The abbreviation for elevation in metres with respect to the Australian Height Datum.

Related: Australian height datum

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manual monitoring

Operating sensors or instruments by hand to collect measurements of a parameter. This can include regular or irregular measurements.

Synonym: discrete monitoring

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may

Indicates an allowable option.

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measurement uncertainty

A parameter, associated with the result of a measurement, that characterises the dispersion of values that could reasonably be attributed to the measurand.

Source: ISO/IEC Guide 98-3:2008. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

It describes a range of possible values of the quantity being measured (the measurand) that fall around the true value, and indicates a level of confidence that the true value lies within a defined uncertainty range. The ‘true value’ is the result that would be obtained if a 'perfect' measurement were made. However, all measurements have a degree of uncertainty regardless of precision and accuracy. Factors that may contribute to uncertainty include limitations of measuring systems, measurement techniques and behaviours of the natural system being measured that cannot be controlled during the measurement.

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measuring point

A place where a particular parameter is measured within a site. Typically, this is where a sensor is located or where the observation is made.

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metadata

Information about a resource

Source: AS/NZS ISO 19115.1:2015. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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metrological confirmation

A set of operations required to ensure that measuring equipment conforms to the requirements for its intended use.

Source: ISO 9000:2015. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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metrology

The science of measurement, embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology.

Source: Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, viewed 05 December 2018.

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MGA2020

Map Grid of Australia 2020

The standard map projection associated with GDA2020. It is a transverse Mercator projection that conforms to the internationally accepted Universal Transverse Mercator Grid system.

Source: Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping, viewed 05 December 2018.

This definition applies to:

MGA94

Map Grid of Australia 1994

The standard map projection associated with GDA94. It is a transverse Mercator projection that conforms to the internationally accepted Universal Transverse Mercator Grid system.

Source: Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping, viewed 05 December 2018.

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ML/d

The abbreviation for megalitres per day. A unit of measure for instantaneous discharge (rate unit).

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monitoring site

A place where observations of the environment are made; typically a physical location where sensors are used to measure the properties of one or more features of the environment (e.g. depth of a river and temperature of the atmosphere).

Related: feature

Synonym: site

This definition applies to:

nested bore

A bore with more than one casing or pipe or a group of nearby bores, open at different levels in aquifers/aquitards, used to evaluate the vertical variation in groundwater pressure head or chemistry.

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observation well

A well drilled in a selected location for the purposes of observing parameters such as water levels or pressure changes. Also called a bore, monitoring bore, monitoring well or piezometer.

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PDOP

positional dilution of precision

A measure of the geometric quality of a GPS satellite configuration in the sky. A PDOP value measures the possible error in both the horizontal and vertical plane (altitude).

Related: HDOP

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piezometer

A small pipe open at the bottom inserted into an aquifer to observe water table changes.

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ping

A series of acoustic pulses, of a given frequency, transmitted by an acoustic doppler current profiler.

Source: AS 3778.1—2009 Clause 5.84. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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point velocity meter

A family of hand held acoustic based instrumentation used to measure water velocities and water depths during a discrete discharge measurement (gauging).

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positional dilution of precision

A measure of the geometric quality of a GPS satellite configuration in the sky. A PDOP value measures the possible error in both the horizontal and vertical plane (altitude).

Related: HDOP

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primary gauge

The gauge plate which shows gauge zero elevation as described in AS 3778.2.2:2001 section 5.2.2.3.

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primary measured data

Data recorded on-site, or observed or collected first hand. Also known as raw, unedited or original data.

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profile

The velocity distribution of a stream cross-section.

Notes:
(1) Ensembles are measured representations of the profile.

(2) When used as a verb, profile refers to an instrument measuring stream velocity at defined positions in the cross-section.

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PVM

Point Velocity Meter

A family of hand held acoustic based instrumentation used to measure water velocities and water depths during a discrete discharge measurement (gauging).

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rating

A relationship between variables.

Related: stage-discharge relationship

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reduced level

The surveyed level of a location relative to a datum (after survey calculations have been completed).

Synonym: RL

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reference point

A point from which a water level measurement is recorded.

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RL

reduced level

The surveyed level of a location relative to a datum (after survey calculations have been completed).

Synonym: reduced level

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section

A portion of a cross-section for which velocity is measured or unmeasured.

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seiche

Oscillation of the surface of a liquid caused mainly by winds and variations in atmospheric pressure.

Source: AS 3778.1—2009 Clause 2.53 . © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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shall

Indicates a mandatory requirement.

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ship track

The displayed route undertaken by an ADCP during a measured transect.

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should

Indicates a recommendation.

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signal to noise ratio

A measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise.

Synonym: SNR

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site

A place where observations of the environment are made; typically a physical location where sensors are used to measure the properties of one or more features of the environment (e.g. depth of a river and temperature of the atmosphere).

Synonym: monitoring site

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SNR

signal to noise ratio

A measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise.

Synonym: signal to noise ratio

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space time image velocimetry

A method to calculate surface velocities from an orthorectified video image. The velocities are used to calculate discharge using the midsection method.

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spot check

A single value check of a measuring instrument or system to confirm that it is within expected tolerance.

A series of spot checks may provide sufficient evidence for verification of a measuring instrument or system.

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stage

The water level, typically measured at a water monitoring site.

Synonym: gauge height

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stage-area relationship

The relationship between the gauge height and the cross-sectional area of the stream.

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stage-discharge relationship

Curve, equation or table that expresses the relation between the stage and the discharge in an open channel at a given cross-section, for a given condition of steady, rising or falling stage.

Source: AS 3778.1—2009, Clause 1.83. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

Related: rating

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standard test instrument

An instrument used to perform calibration tests of monitoring equipment.

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stream characteristics

Those physical characteristics of a specific stream location that determine the stage-discharge relationship.

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streamflow

The flow of water in streams, rivers and other channels.

Synonym: flow

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tolerance

Root sum squared combination of instrument error and reference error. Tolerance is calculated as

Tolerance = ±√(A²+ B²)

where:

A = instrument error from manufacturer’s specifications confirmed by calibration (e.g. ±3 mm for this range); and

B = ability to read reference reading (e.g. gauge plate can be read to ±4 mm).

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transect

Single pass across a river, lake or estuary.

Notes:
(1) a transect may be described as a collection of ensembles.

(2) one transect may constitute a single measurement of discharge.

Source: AS 3778.1—2009, Clause 5.86. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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United States Geological Survey

The sole American science agency for the Department of the Interior that provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods, the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources the U.S. relies on, the health of U.S. ecosystems and environment, and the impacts of climate and land-use change.

Source: Modified from USGS, viewed 02 October 2018.

This definition applies to:

USGS

United States Geological Survey

The sole American science agency for the Department of the Interior that provides science about the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods, the water, energy, minerals, and other natural resources the U.S. relies on, the health of U.S. ecosystems and environment, and the impacts of climate and land-use change.

Source: Modified from USGS, viewed 02 October 2018.

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validation

The process of confirming, through provision of objective evidence (including verification and/or [spot checks][1912), that data fulfil the requirements for a specific use or application as agreed with the customer.

Note: Validation will include elements of verification and focuses on the suitability of the end result for the customer. For example, a hydrographer may verify a gauging as part of the validation of a rating for a streamflow site.

This definition applies to:

velocity extrapolation method

A method of correcting a measured ADVM velocity to a theoretical mean velocity for each ADVM velocity bin (depth cell).

The method involves taking the depth position of the velocity bin and using a velocity profile (e.g. 1/6th power law), the water level, and the bed level to calculate a velocity correction which is applied to each raw ADVM bin velocity. The corrected ADVM velocity bins are then used to calculate a discharge using the mid-section method.

This definition applies to:

VEM

velocity extrapolation method

A method of correcting a measured ADVM velocity to a theoretical mean velocity for each ADVM velocity bin (depth cell).

The method involves taking the depth position of the velocity bin and using a velocity profile (e.g. 1/6th power law), the water level, and the bed level to calculate a velocity correction which is applied to each raw ADVM bin velocity. The corrected ADVM velocity bins are then used to calculate a discharge using the mid-section method.

This definition applies to:

verification

The process of confirming, through provision of objective evidence (e.g. a series of spot checks), that a given measuring instrument or system fulfils specific requirements.

For example, a hydrographer may verify that a measuring instrument is within expected tolerance over the measurement range.

This definition applies to:

vertical

Line on which velocity measurements or depth measurements are made.

Source: AS 3778.1—2009 Clause 2.4. © Standards Australia Limited. Copied by the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology with the permission of Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand under Licence 1901-c052.

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VTG

GPS data string that provides the velocity relative to the ground, including direction and speed.

This definition applies to:

Water Data Transfer Format

WDTF is an XML data transfer format designed to support the water industry to share and deliver water data to the Bureau as required under the Water Regulations 2008.

This definition applies to:

water elevation

The elevation of the water surface at a particular time and date, relative to a specified vertical datum.

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water level

The measured distance to the water surface at a particular time and date, relative to a reference point.

Note: In groundwater monitoring practice, this is also known as 'depth to groundwater'.

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watercourse

A river, creek or other natural watercourse (whether modified or not) in which water is contained or flows (whether permanently or from time to time); and includes:

(i) a dam or reservoir that collects water flowing in a watercourse;

(ii) a lake or wetland through which water flows;

(iii) a channel into which the water of a watercourse has been diverted;

(iv) part of a watercourse; and

(v) an estuary through which water flows.

Source: Based on content from the Federal Register of Legislation (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00505), at 8 Febraury 2019. For the latest information on Australian Government law please go to Federal Register of Legislation

This definition applies to:

WDTF

Water Data Transfer Format

WDTF is an XML data transfer format designed to support the water industry to share and deliver water data to the Bureau as required under the Water Regulations 2008.

This definition applies to: