CER to Use NSF Grant to Purchase Cutting-Edge Measurement System
July 20, 2021
University of Idaho faculty have been awarded a grant front the National Science Foundation to purchase a cutting-edge measurement system that will help better understand natural phenomena at the surface of and within sediment beds in bodies of water.
U of I Center for Ecohydraulics faculty Ralph Budwig, Elowyn Yager and Daniele Tonina, along with Department of Geological Sciences faculty Eric Mittelstaedt and Erika Rader were awarded $241,902 for the purchase of a Volumetric Velocimetry System.
The system can take thousands of velocity measurements in a volume of moving fluid - including air, water, and other clear fluids- in an instant of time. Measurements are made optically, without the need of a probe that can disturb the flow being measured.
The device will be used to aid current research projects, including understanding the flow around sediment grains like those in salmon egg nests, called a redd. Salmon devote many hours to creating the redd - manipulating the gravel to form it – so conditions are right for eggs to mature and hatch.
“The hypothesis is that they are shaping the redd and sediment grain size distribution such that there will be adequate flow around the eggs to carry the needed dissolved oxygen,” said Budwig, principal investigator on the grant. “We have created a clear sediment simulant so this measurement tool will be able to see the flow into and around the grains. With this tool, we can model the flow through a salmon redd for a number of configurations and flow conditions to test the hypothesis.”
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu