Developing a more robust, reliable water quality sensor to better preserve ecosystem health

Ocean Insight and university researchers in Germany and Australia have collaborated on a fiber optic fluorescence sensor for analysis of subsurface waters that overcomes limitations of existing optical sensing tools

Monitoring the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of surface waters is important to understanding overall ecosystem health. Of particular interest is the hyporheic zone, the area between stream waters and the aquifer, where subsurface flow patterns can be studied using fluorescent tracers.

Optical fluorescence sensors are ideal for monitoring sediment pore water (water that occurs in the spaces between sediment particles) in the hyporheic region and discerning flow patterns from these tracers, but existing sensor options have mechanical and sampling challenges that affect measurement reproducibility.

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