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Water-Quality Monitoring and Modeling of the Keno Reach of the Klamath River

Bed Sediment Video

This project is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Reclamation, and Watercourse Engineering, Inc. Each group contributed to the data and results of the project. As part of a special investigation into the settling rates and characteristics of bed sediment in the Klamath River, Watercourse Engineering collected some underwater video of the river near the bed sediments.

The following is a video of the upper Klamath River bed in summer showing flocculent settled material. The video was filmed by Mike Deas of Watercourse Engineering Inc. <> in early August of 2008. The video was collected near the Railroad Bridge in the Link-Keno Reach of the upper Klamath River, approximately at river mile 251.6 near lattude 42° 12' 09", longitude -121° 46' 30". The camera was an Underwater Viewing System, Model #CVS0607 placed in a waterproof housing with 12 infrared LEDs encircling the camera. To view the video, play the embedded object below or download the video from here [2.99 Mb, WMV].

More Information About the Video

Infrared light provides illumination that is invisible to the naked eye, but that can be captured through night vision technology. Infrared light can be used in biological applications when observation with visible light or other spectrums may disrupt behavior of the observed species. Further, infrared illumination coupled with black-and-white footage can reduce backscatter compared to white or visible light in waters where particulate matter is present.

The use of infrared photography was necessary in this case because no ambient light is present near the bed of the Link-Keno reach of the Klamath River, and because the level of particulate matter in the water column was considerable. Particulate matter in the photic zone was dominated by the algae Aphanizomenon flos aquae, at such levels that the camera could not focus and visibility for the diver did not extend beyond the mask. Below the photic zone, phytoplankton numbers diminished. At greater depths, particulate matter gradually transitioned to a "snow" of floc. At approximately 1.5 to 2 meters of depth, visible light was absent and the water column fell into total darkness. At just over 3 meters, the bed and the mat (sub-layer) layer were encountered.

The sublayer consisted of a very low shear strength layer that when disturbed in the slightest manner disintegrated and readily entrained in the water column (thus the "snow"). The sublayer was approximately 10 cm thick, but varied spatially. The overall mat appears in the video as a highly friable, uneven surface consisting of a continuous spread of short, bulbous protrusions from the bed.


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