Applications of the concept of river tracer data similarity

Stephen G. Wallis*, Ian Guymer

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The response of a river to a pollution incident is heavily influenced by the river's flow rate. To capture the full range of this response, tracer experiments are often used. The paper discusses how the concept of similarity of temporal concentration profiles can be used to better exploit the information content of such experiments. Examples are given showing that poor quality tracer data that might be thought to be of little use may yet contain valuable information. Extracting this information has the potential of improving predictions of pollutant travel times, in particular, as well as offering the prospect of improving estimates of flow rates (via dilution gauging) and dispersion coefficients (via several methods).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)190-201
    Number of pages12
    JournalWater and Environment Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


    • Rivers
    • Similarity
    • Solute transport
    • Tracer data
    • Travel times

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Water Science and Technology
    • Pollution
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Environmental Engineering


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