High Definition Stream Surveys (HDSS) provide many advantages over traditional trasect-based stream surveys. Some of the advantages include:
Better Data: HDSS provides continuous, geo-reference data on the river corridor conditions. This eliminates the need to extrapolate conditions from transects and spot data collections.
Faster Data Collection: We see an improvement in data collection between 40 and 80 times faster using HDSS than traditional transect surveys. This allows larger areas to be sampled to better manage the river while decreasing labor costs.
Lower Costs: The HDSS method decreases labor costs while providing a greater suite of data than traditional transect surveys. We can survey 12 to 15 miles of stream with continuous data collected on stream banks, stream bottom, water quality and water quantity, habitat, and geomorphology in a single day while it would take a large crew of surveyors to complete this on several hundred meter of river using traditional transect methods.
Reviewable Results: The HDSS system collects high definition video along with sonar and water quality information allowing the survey results to be reviewed at any time in the future. If you forget to record a specific type of information in a traditional survey, that information is lost and you must return to the field to collect the information. With HDSS you can just review the survey and document the conditions without repeating costly field surveys.
Wider Application: HDSS is not a single answer survey. The results can be used to support a wide range of river management applications. In this past, a survey may be conducted to answer a specific question. For example, maybe water quality was sampled at multiple locations in a river system. While the results maybe helpful for answering a question about water quality, if you wanted to know about instream habitat or the condition of infrastructure along the river, a different survey team would be sent out to answer the additional questions. This was costly and results in poorly integrated management. The HDSS approach collects all the data in a single pass. The results can be used for streambank erosion susceptibility assessment, habitat, corridor assessments, infrastructure assessment, water quality, water quantity assessments, and impact assessment, all from a single survey. HDSS promotes collaboration and better water management at a lower cost.
Powerful Visualizations: The HDSS approach provides a powerful, integrated dashboard visualization of the your survey. No longer are surveys condensed to confusing charts and statistics representing a single metric dissociated with the rest of the survey results. With HDSS you see instream conditions in high-definition video with other survey data or results superimposed. With HDSS you can put decision-makers in the field to see problem areas and understand their impact.
Increased Collaboration: HDSS promotes collaboration and partnerships by collecting data useful to many organization with a single survey. Now, each organization can pay a small amount for their needed data while having it integrated with all other organizations data. No more single focus surveys that are costly and don’t support integrated management.
Integrated Watershed Management: Stream and river systems are part of the landscape. They are influenced by the land and upstream conditions. As a result, managing for a single aspect of the stream is costly and inefficient. HDSS collects data supportive of multiple management objective providing core data for different concerns but gathering data for all the concerns within a common survey.
Easy to Integrate with GIS: All HDSS data is continuously geo-referenced. This means that you know exactly where you are at all times. It also mean that it easily integrates into modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to allow other spatial data to overlay the HDSS survey results.
Excellent Time-Series Comparisons: One difficultly with traditional transect surveys is where to located the transects to observe changes in conditions over time. With HDSS, we collect continuous data and therefore where ever the changes occur you can easily observe the changes.