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USGS Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility

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picture of the Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility located on the Stennis Space Center

Water Data for the Nation

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ABOUT THE HIF

USGS IN YOUR STATE

USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State. Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.

USGS Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility (HIF)

US Geological Survey (USGS) Water Sensor and Housing

Example picture of Solid Metal Storm Surge Sensor Housing

Example of Solid Metal Storm Surge Sensor Housing.

This water-level sensor consists of a measuring device inside a protective housing. The housing is typically constructed of a 2-inch diameter, metal (painted steel or perforated aluminum) pipe strapped to a pier, power pole, bridge support, or other fixed structure. The measuring device is a metal cylinder suspended or mounted inside the pipe. USGS water-level sensors typically record pressure and temperature readings during a storm and for several days afterwards. After the storm, the measuring device is removed from the housing and the data are retrieved.

This water-level sensor is likely one of two types: a Storm-Surge Sensor or a Storm-Wave Sensor, with the main difference between the two being how frequently the sensor records data. Storm-Surge Sensors typically collect a data record every 30 seconds. Storm-Wave Sensors typically collect a data record every 1/4 of a second.

USGS hydrographers deploy water-level sensors along the coast in advance of a major storms or hurricanes in order to monitor and record the magnitude, extent, and timing of storm surge and coastal flooding. In the case of Storm-Wave Sensors, the sensors also record the height and frequency of the storm-generated waves. This type of sensor also can be deployed deployed inland, away from coast, in order to document flooding, such as occurred in 2011 for the floods on the Mississippi River.

Information collected by USGS water-level sensors helps define the depth and duration of flooding, as well as the time of its arrival and retreat. The information also helps assess storm damage, discern between wind and flood damage, and improve computer models used to forecast future floods.

Sensor Housing ID Tags

Each sensor housing is identified with a small label containing a unique ID number.

Verify a sensor housing ID.

For more information, please call 877-246-1373.


Picture of Storm Surge Sensor during Hurricane Irene at site in North Carolina.Picture of Storm Surge Sensor during Hurricane Irene at site in North Carolina.Picture of Storm Surge Sensor during Hurricane Irene at site in North Carolina.

Storm Surge Sensor during Hurricane Irene at sites in North Carolina.



Picture of Storm Surge Sensor installed at site in Louisiana.Sensor Housing installed at site in South Carolina.

Photo 1: Storm Surge Sensor installed at site in Louisiana.
Photo 2: Sensor Housing installed at site in South Carolina.



Example of Perforated Water Level Sensor with Aluminum Housing. Picture of Sensor Housing. Picture of Sensor Housing.

Photo 1: Example of Perforated Water Level Sensor with Aluminum Housing.
Photos 2 & 3: Additional pictures of Storm Surge Sensors.

 

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 22-Nov-2016 16:58:01 EST