Detecting Canal Leakage with a Tiered Remote Sensing Approach

Project ID: 5326
Principal Investigator: Audrey Rager
Research Topic: System Water Losses
Funded Fiscal Years: 2015
Keywords: canals, water leaks, water conservation, remote sensing, geophysical survey, soil resistivity

Research Question

Can we use a tiered remote sensing approach to narrow down areas of potential canal leakage on which soil resistivity surveys will be performed.

Need and Benefit

Canal leaks can be confirmed with soil resistivity surveys. Remote sensing may provide an relatively easy, economical way to narrow down what areas along a canal embankment may be leaking. This could save time and money by preventing geophysicists from conducting soil resistivity surveys on areas that are not leaking.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Detecting Canal Leakage with a Tiered Remote Sensing Approach (final, PDF, 588KB)
By Audrey Rager
Publication completed on September 30, 2015

This document outlines suggested remote sensing and image processing techniques to detect canal embankment and levee seepage. The technique involves using an aircraft to acquire red, near-infrared, and thermal-infrared bands at a 1-2 m spatial resolution to detect areas that are anomalously highly vegetated and wet.

The following documents were not reviewed. Statements made in these documents are those of the authors. The findings have not been verified.

Using Airborne Red, Near-IR, and Thermal-IR Imagery to Detect Leaks (final, PDF, 1.1MB)
By Audrey Rager
Publication completed on September 30, 2016

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20