An aspect correlated with climate change is certainly represented by the alternation of severe floods and relevant drought periods. Moreover, there is evidence that changes in climate and land cover are inducing changes in stream channel cross-sections, altering local channel capacity. A direct consequence of a significant change in the local channel capacity is that the relationship between the amount of water flowing at a given point in a river or stream (usually at gauging stations) and the corresponding stage in that section, known as a stage-discharge relationship or rating curve, is changed. The key messages deriving from the present work are: (a) the more frequent and extreme the floods become, the more rapid the changes in the stream channel cross-section become, (b) from an operational point of view, the collection and processing of field measurements of the stage and corresponding discharge at a given section in order to quickly and frequently update the rating curve becomes a priority. It is, therefore, necessary to define a control system for acquiring hydrological data capable of keeping river levels and discharges under control to support flood early warnings and water management. The proposed stage-discharge management system is used by the Civil Protection Service of the Marche Region (east-central Italy) for the monitoring of river runoff in the regional watersheds. The Civil Protection Service staff performs stage-discharge field measurements using water level sensors and recorders (e.g., staff gauges, submersible pressure transducers, ultrasound and radar sensors) and a current meter, acoustic doppler velocimeter, acoustic doppler current profilers, portable mobile radar profiler and salt dilution method equipment, respectively. Power functions are fitted to the stage-discharge field data. Furthermore, extrapolation is performed to cover the full range of flow measurements; in general, extrapolation is not an easy task because of sharp changes in the stream cross-section geometry for very high or very low stages. In the present work, we also focused attention on the application problems that occur in practice and the need for frequent updating.
Discharge Monitoring in Open-Channels: An Operational Rating Curve Management Tool / Paoletti, M.; Pellegrini, M.; Belli, A.; Pierleoni, P.; Sini, F.; Pezzotta, N.; Palma, L.. - In: SENSORS. - ISSN 1424-8220. - ELETTRONICO. - 23:4(2023), pp. 1-30. [10.3390/s23042035]