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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-361
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-361
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Jul 2018

Research article | 12 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Combining continuous spatial and temporal scales for SGD investigations using UAV-based thermal infrared measurements

Ulf Mallast and Christian Siebert Ulf Mallast and Christian Siebert
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, T. Lieser Str. 4, Halle 06120, Germany

Abstract. Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is highly variable in spatial and temporal terms due to interplay of several terrestrial and marine processes. While discrete in-situ measurements provide a continuous temporal scale to investigate underlying processes and thus accounts for temporal heterogeneity, remotely sensed thermal infrared radiation sheds light on the spatial heterogeneity as it provides a continuous spatial scale.

Here we report results of the combination of both, the continuous spatial and temporal scales, using the ability of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to hover above a predefined location and the continuous recording of thermal radiation of a coastal area at the Dead Sea (Israel). With a flight altitude of 65m above the water surface resulting in a spatial resolution of 13cm and a thermal camera (FLIRTau2) which measures the upwelling long-wave infrared radiation at 4Hz resolution we are able to generate a time sequence of thermal radiation images which allows us to analyse spatiotemporal SGD dynamics. In turn, we are able to enhance focused SGD spots otherwise being camouflaged by strong lateral flow dynamics that may not be observed on single thermal radiation images. Plus, we show the spatiotemporal behavior of a SGD induced thermal radiation pattern to vary in size and over time by up to 55% for focused SGDs and by up to 600% for diffuse SGDs due to different underlying flow dynamics. These flow dynamics even display a short-term periodicity in the order of 20 to 78s for diffuse SGD which we attribute to an interplay of conduit maturity/geometry and wave setup.

Ulf Mallast and Christian Siebert
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Ulf Mallast and Christian Siebert
Ulf Mallast and Christian Siebert
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Submarine groundwater discharge is highly variable in spatial and temporal terms. With a novel approach using a hovering drone over a predefined location which recorded 670 surface temperatures images over a period of 167 s we are able to (i) enhance focused SGD patterns otherwise being camouflaged by strong lateral flow dynamics, (ii) show size variation of up to 55 % (focused SGD) and 600 % (diffuse SGD), and (iii) reveal short-term periodicity in the order of 20 to 78 s for diffuse SGD.
Submarine groundwater discharge is highly variable in spatial and temporal terms. With a novel...
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