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Considerations When Applying Large-Scale PIV and PTV for Determining River Flow Velocity

Lookup NU author(s): Martin Jolley, Professor Andrew RussellORCiD, Dr Paul Quinn, Dr Matthew Perks



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Copyright © 2021 Jolley, Russell, Quinn and Perks.Large-scale image velocimetry is a novel approach for non-contact remote sensing of flow in rivers. Research within this topic has largely focussed on developing specific aspects of the image velocimetry work-flow, or alternatively, testing specific tools or software using case studies. This has resulted in the development of a multitude of techniques, with varying practice being employed between groups, and authorities. As such, for those new to image velocimetry, it may be hard to decipher which methods are suited for particular challenges. This research collates, synthesises, and presents current understanding related to the application of particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) approaches in a fluvial setting. The image velocimetry work-flow is compartmentalised into sub-systems of: capture optimisation, pre-processing, processing, and post-processing. The focus of each section is to provide examples from the wider literature for best practice, or where this is not possible, to provide an overview of the theoretical basis and provide examples to use as precedence and inform decision making. We present literature from a range of sources from across the hydrology and remote sensing literature to suggest circumstances in which specific approaches are best applied. For most sub-systems, there is clear research or precedence indicating how to best perform analysis. However, there are some stages in the process that are not conclusive with one set method and require user intuition or further research. For example, the role of external environmental conditions on the performance of image velocimetry being a key aspect that is currently lacking research. Further understanding in areas that are lacking, such as environmental challenges, is vital if image velocimetry is to be used as a method for the extraction of river flow information across the range of hydro-geomorphic conditions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jolley MJ, Russell AJ, Quinn PF, Perks MT

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Water

Year: 2021

Volume: 3

Print publication date: 01/12/2021

Online publication date: 02/12/2021

Acceptance date: 20/10/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2624-9375

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.


DOI: 10.3389/frwa.2021.709269