Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 4, 65-73, 2015
http://www.geosci-instrum-method-data-syst.net/4/65/2015/
doi:10.5194/gi-4-65-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
03 Mar 2015
Does temperature affect the accuracy of vented pressure transducer in fine-scale water level measurement?
Z. Liu and C. W. Higgins Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331, USA
Abstract. Submersible pressure transducers have been utilized for collecting water level data since the early 1960s. Together with a digital data logger, it is a convenient way to record water level fluctuations for long-term monitoring. Despite the wide use of pressure transducers for water level monitoring, little has been reported regarding their accuracy and performance under field conditions. The effects of temperature fluctuations on the output of vented pressure transducers were considered in this study. The pressure transducers were tested under both laboratory and field conditions. The results of this study indicate that temperature fluctuation has a strong effect on the transducer output. Rapid changes in temperature introduce noise and fluctuations in the water level readings under a constant hydraulic head while the absolute temperature is also related to sensor errors. The former is attributed to venting and the latter is attributed to temperature compensation effects in the strain gauges. Individual pressure transducers responded differently to the thermal fluctuations in the same testing environment. In the field of surface hydrology, especially when monitoring fine-scale water level fluctuations, ignoring or failing to compensate for the temperature effect can introduce considerable error into pressure transducer readings. It is recommended that a performance test for the pressure transducer is conducted before field deployment.

Citation: Liu, Z. and Higgins, C. W.: Does temperature affect the accuracy of vented pressure transducer in fine-scale water level measurement?, Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 4, 65-73, doi:10.5194/gi-4-65-2015, 2015.
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Short summary
This paper discussed the effect of temperature on the accuracy of submersible strain gauge pressure transducers. The results show that rapid change of temperature introduces errors in the water level reading while the absolute temperature is also related to the sensor errors. The former is attributed to venting and the latter is attributed to temperature compensation effects in the strain gauges. Performance tests are necessary before field deployment to ensure the data quality.
This paper discussed the effect of temperature on the accuracy of submersible strain gauge...
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