Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

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Poke
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Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Poke »

In order to put together an English/Welsh version of Scotland's excellent Wheresthewater resource, we need as many observations of river level as possible.

Once you've finished paddling for the day, visit the EA's river level website, and look up the river you boated. Ignore the figure given in the text as this probably isn't the time you were on the river. Using the graph, make an estimate of the gauge reading, and how high you thought the river was

Key Information
River:
Section: (from/to, maybe a guide link?):
EA gauge level: at the time on the river. Please include the name of (or a hyperlink to) the gauge - sometimes there are multiple gauges on one river)
Your interpretation of the level: (e.g. Empty/Scrapeable/Low/Medium/High/Very High/Huge) - also include a correlation to any known physical river gauges (eg slab on Dart)

Optional (but very useful) information
Date:
Get on time:
Get off time:
Photos of get on/off or major features showing level (link via facebook/photobucket/picassa,etc)

Many thanks for taking the time to post! The more information you submit, the better the resource will be!!

[This post has been edited from the original, as it now seems to have become the "EA Gauge Calibration" topic. The original post is included below]
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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Poke »

Poke in the original post wrote:Evening all!

Who was lucky enough to get out at the weekend? We'd initially organised a biking weekend, but given the forecast stuck boats in and it paid off. Two new runs for me on Saturday - Mint and Rawthey, and an evening blast down the Clough to finish.

Also... If you did get out, can you check to see if the rivers you ran are on the EA river levels website (here), and post here what level they were at and what you think the level calibrations should be:

Mint at Mint Bridge - Medium is over 0.74
Mint at Mint Bridge - Low is over 0.58
Rawthey at Brigflats - Medium is over 1.53
Clough (Rawthey at Brigflats) - Low is over 1.38


Gathering this data now will be useful when we get a site up and running.
Post up quickly though - the info only stays on the site for 2 days.
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flashollie
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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by flashollie »

Been meaning to report for a while.
Not this weekend but the 22 of August did the Mellte with Kate Tony and Chris. Pictures here courtesy of Kate to indicate levels

http://worldkayakblogs.com/welshkate/

and the level on the Pont Nedd Fechan Gauage was 0.52. This was low, could scrape okish between drops. I am sure it gets paddled much lower but I wouldn't think its worth the effort, below what we had.

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by box2k2 »

Tim,

We did, but it was the same rivers as you. We did get on the Lune quite late, but it had dropped lots since the morning.

I've passed photos and times etc to Jim.

Martin

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Lebowski »

I paddled the Wharf from Coniston to Linton and it was at a nice level, with Linton falls at a good runnable level.
This was on Sunday we got to Linton falls around 2pm around 0.3m

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Poke »

Lebowski wrote:I paddled the Wharf from Coniston to Linton and it was at a nice level, with Linton falls at a good runnable level. This was on Sunday we got to Linton falls around 2pm around 0.3m
By "nice", do you mean it was low / medium-low / medium? Also, which gauge were you using? Grassington, or Kettlewell? Cheers for the info though!!
flashollie wrote:22 of August... Mellte... level on the Pont Nedd Fechan Gauage was 0.52. This was low
.
Good info cheers. I seem to rember the Mellte is quite a flashy river (though i've not run it myself) so do you know if 0.52 is the level as you were on it, or the latest update that the gauge was reading from earlier in the day?
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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by cp »

Did Whorlton to Winston on the Tees, 0.68 on the Barnard Castle gauge. This was a good summer level with the only scrape on the weir,

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Lebowski »

I'd say the wharf was a medium level. The 0.3 reading was from the grassington gauge.

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by _Scott_ »

Poke wrote:
Lebowski wrote:I paddled the Wharf from Coniston to Linton and it was at a nice level, with Linton falls at a good runnable level. This was on Sunday we got to Linton falls around 2pm around 0.3m
By "nice", do you mean it was low / medium-low / medium? Also, which gauge were you using? Grassington, or Kettlewell? Cheers for the info though!!
flashollie wrote:22 of August... Mellte... level on the Pont Nedd Fechan Gauage was 0.52. This was low
.
Good info cheers. I seem to rember the Mellte is quite a flashy river (though I've not run it myself) so do you know if 0.52 is the level as you were on it, or the latest update that the gauge was reading from earlier in the day?
We were also on the Wharfe on Sunday - Lebowski, i guess you were one of the group of two that we saw at the bottom of Linton Falls?

It was 0.3 at Grassington. The river was a good Low level, easily enough water to aviod any scraping. Looking downstream from the bridge at the get in the river bed was showing across the left hand side of the river however you could easily get down river right. River left boof line on Coniston Falls was just about going (the ledge was completley covered). The water was way below the bottom of the gauge river right half way between Conistone falls and Ghaistrills Strid. Linton falls was running at a similar level to that shown in the pictures by Leeds Uni here - http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/neengland/linton.htm

Keep up the good work Poke.


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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Scuba Dave »

Ran the Roeburn this evening. The gauge on the Hindburn at Wray (I hope its below the confluence, but I dont actually know) was at 1m.

This gave a good medium level to the upper bit, but there was the occasional rocky bit lower down.

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Lancs_lad »

As i said on rainchasers Sprint on friday 0.28 at 07.45 but didnt get on until midday ish (from memory it had risen to about 0.35m) this gave a low medium level.

Also we paddled Artle beck this eve (well i paddled the first 400m - walked out other 2 carried on) the lune at caton was 2.15, not necessarily a good indicator. However, it was massive!!

Quick question - is the line on the graphs live ish data? If so how often is it updated? I say this because the only published measurement for the Sprint on friday was the 07.45 one (checked at 16.00) but the line had continued to rise.

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Poke »

Lancs_lad wrote:Quick question - is the line on the graphs live ish data? If so how often is it updated? I say this because the only published measurement for the Sprint on friday was the 07.45 one (checked at 16.00) but the line had continued to rise.
To the best of my understanding, the station measures the level at small intervals (i.e. 10 minutes) and stores this information at the station itself. The EA's 'mainframe' then sends a data request to the station every 12 or 24 hours, which downloads the exact trace of the river level. The only number they publish though is the level the gauge was reading at the time they polled that station.

I.e. For calibration purposes, it's much better to check the graph after you've paddled the river, and see where the level was whilst you were on it, rather than use the text figure that the EA display as this can be 12+ hours out of date!

P.S. Jealous of all those that got out last night. I've got my boat on the roof now, but it looks like the rain will be clearning this avo :-(
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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by flashollie »

flashollie wrote:22 of August... Mellte... level on the Pont Nedd Fechan Gauage was 0.52. This was low
.
Good info cheers. I seem to rember the Mellte is quite a flashy river (though I've not run it myself) so do you know if 0.52 is the level as you were on it, or the latest update that the gauge was reading from earlier in the day?[/quote]

The gauge at 0745 was 0.56 on the day we paddled, the gauge a was holding fairly steady and had dropped to 0.52 at 1945. We put on at 1200 and got of at 1330.

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Jim »

Poke wrote:Noone went paddling?
Are you sure?!! :-)
I did some paddling on the Wyre, downstread against the tide, then up with it until it turned and back to the start with the ebb.

No idea what level it was, but compared to when I arrived to register it seemed high, almost like a spring tide had come in.

I don't think that really helps does it?

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Woods »

Just a thought ... if more people tweeted river level observations using the #ukrgb hashtag, then you'd have a public database of level observations with time stamps. So many people have smart phones, this would be a genuinely useful application for them. Is it just me and Simon Alfree tweeting from North Wales?

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Jim »

Woods wrote:Just a thought ... if more people tweeted river level observations using the #ukrgb hashtag, then you'd have a public database of level observations with time stamps. So many people have smart phones, this would be a genuinely useful application for them. Is it just me and Simon Alfree tweeting from North Wales?

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Poke »

Woods wrote:Just a thought ... if more people tweeted river level observations using the #ukrgb hashtag, then you'd have a public database of level observations with time stamps. So many people have smart phones, this would be a genuinely useful application for them. Is it just me and Simon Alfree tweeting from North Wales?
This would be useful, but it's major downfall is that it relies upon individuals sending in updates. The advantage of using data from the EA system is that (once the numerical levels are calibrated to low/med/high etc) it won't need input from anyone, and will contain information on far more rivers than you'd get even if more people were tweeting the river updates.

In terms of gathering the calibration data, tweeting river level observations won't be any good unless the numerical EA level at that time is also recorded. I don't know how twitter works, but wouldn't posting on here (as people have been) be an equally valid alternative for data collection?
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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Woods »

Tweeting river observations would still be of great value even with calibrated gauges and I would suggest a feed of observations would be a great thing to have on an online map of river gauges ...
1) it provides a secondary source if the gauges are not available.
2) it's linguistic information which can carry more meaning (compare "Sogndal 10 cumecs and rising at gauge station" with "we're just getting off the Sogndal, primo levels, sun is out, lots of water in the tribs (from Known Paddler)" ... Combined the two sources of information give a better impression.

But this is away from my point. Twitter live observations can provide a source of data for calibrating your gauges. You can collect (or rather it falls into your lap) historic data from many people on many occasions. It is even feasible to aggregate your information for each river automatically from the the two feeds (Twitter and EA). So I would have thought the advantages over a static "one-time" calibration from an individual trolling through randomly formatted posts on UKRB would be obvious.

The question remains whether Twitter and smart phones are widely adopted among paddlers (that was my original reason for posting ... why don't more paddlers tweet their river observations?). But this would be an excellent way of surveying river observations 'automatically'. Tweeting your river observation from your phone requires a great deal less effort than logging on to and posting on UKRGB, and (as I have mentioned) is much easier to sort and aggregate, and provides a constant mechanism for updates into the future.

Collecting many brief observations over days, weeks, months or years is possible with Twitter, but laborious by UKRGB posts.
Poke wrote:tweeting river level observations won't be any good unless the numerical EA level at that time is also recorded.
Isn't the EA data available historically, like the Norwegian, Icelandic and American level feeds?
Poke wrote:I don't know how twitter works, but wouldn't posting on here (as people have been) be an equally valid alternative for data collection?
River observation tweets are very nearly a live (time stamped) source of information (provided there is mobile signal near the river). You can collate a whole bunch of tweets over months which refer to "Llugwy" much more easily than trawling the forum (and no one has to remember which thread to post their observations in ... data entry is a lot simpler for the posters/tweeters, just use #ukrgb).
Poke wrote:it relies upon individuals sending in updates.
So my question is ... why don't more people tweet river observations? You tell me ...

Pete

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Jim Pullen »

Woods wrote: Isn't the EA data available historically, like the Norwegian, Icelandic and American level feeds?
Unfortunately only pre-2006 at the moment and then in a format which needs a bit of mathematical jiggery to get it to correspond to the gauges.
Woods wrote:So my question is ... why don't more people tweet river observations? You tell me ...
I used to after I'd set up the Twitter things for the North East/North West regions, but no one else seems to use them! Most of the time the tweets would only be sent after having run the river and driven off as there was no signal in whatever valley we were in at the time.

Myself and Poke are doing the legwork of collecting all the calibrations for this. We've narrowed down the number of gauges which are important to about 10 per region. It's simple enough for us to take this info from UKRGB posts. I've set up dedicated topics in the regions I edit for people to post up, or am happy to continue using this thread in the Inland forum, which more people will notice. To take the info from tweets, I'd also need to check what level the EA gauge was at when the tweet was sent, which I'm also happy to do.

The problem with getting these gauges calibrated isn't technical it's actually just receiving the info! I'm happy to trawl UKRGB posts, posts on deathbeforeportage, rainchasers updates or tweets, just please keep the info coming in!
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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by flashollie »

Is it helpful if you standardise the information you require and make the thread a sticky?

quick guess would be?

River
section
date
get on time
get off time
EA gauge level am and pm
was river in paddlers opinion low, medium, high or bonkers
correlation to any known physical river gauges eg slab on Dart?
photos to indicate level?

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Re: Anyone get out at the weekend - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Jim Pullen »

flashollie wrote:Is it helpful if you standardise the information you require and make the thread a sticky?

quick guess would be?

River
section
date
get on time
get off time
EA gauge level am and pm
was river in paddlers opinion low, medium, high or bonkers
correlation to any known physical river gauges eg slab on Dart?
photos to indicate level?
Excellent idea. Mark's given permission for this to be a sticky. I'd just tweek the above format slightly to:

River:
Section (from/to, maybe a guide link?):
Date:
Get on time:
Get off time:
EA gauge level at the time on the river (cross ref to the gauge after you've paddled the section once its been updated for the day):
Correlation to any known physical river gauges (eg slab on Dart):
Photos of get on/off or major features showing level (link via facebook/photobucket/picassa,etc):

So there's still plenty of water about, please contribute!
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Re: Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by sea2summit_net »

For North Wales levels see http://www.welsh-rivers.co.uk

Still need info for rivers not in North Wales, though I'll add on the Mellte levels.

Over the next couple of days I'll add on a mobile friendly page for quick viewing.

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Re: Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Clive H »

Mint levels

Low 0.4-0.6
medium 0.6-0.8
high 0.8-1.0
spate 1.0 to 1.4
1.4 relates to 37 cumecs
1.0 is 17 cumecs
0.8 is 11 cumecs
0.6 is about 4 cumecs
0.4 about 2 cumecs

Very hard to give subjective values of low/med/high/spate levels, especially the spate value. Having lived on the banks of the Mint for over 10 years I’ve done my share of watching levels. My best judgement is as above but I know a lot of people will call the bottom of my spate as high. At 1.0 the river is properly brown and debris starts to move, about bank full, but that’s so subjective too.

The river rarely gets above 1.4, may be once or twice a year. The maximum recorded is 2.2 in 2005 with 110 cumecs (with nearly 400 cumecs in the lower kent!), a hugely committing run at these levels and probably best left alone as there will be better rivers to paddle when things get above 1.4. Major flood events like that are about 1 in 10 years . The more usual high flood event (roads and houses flooding) is around 1.6

Most experienced paddlers won’t get much fun until about 0.8, but it can be paddled at surprisingly low levels from the industrial estate. The play weir at the gauge by Morrisons supermarket is good at all levels but again fun only really starts at 0.8 whilst at 1.0 upwards it’s sticky but always seems to flush out upside down boats, and at 1.4 it starts to form a wave. At some spate levels, probably about 1.2 or 1.3 large river wide stoppers appear downstream of Mealbank rapid which can catch the unwary as they disappear again at lower and higher levels.

Sprint Levels

Not so familiar with the Sprint, it has slightly less volume and drops quicker. Below 0.5 it really isn’t worth paddling but people do, most experienced boaters won’t bother below 0.6, 0.7 is a nice level, 0.9 feels really high. Most years the peak is 1.0 ish, it rarey gets above 1.2 except extreme 1 in 10 year events when it has been a massive 1.7 (90 cumecs).

My best judgement below, again the lower end of my spate will be others high but I don’t see the point of reserving spate for very rare events. I’m calling spate when it starts to get properly chocolate brown after a full day of heavy rain (50mm or more) and everything starts to push along, especially lost boats that usually go a long way. This will start to happen quite a few days during the year. If grading levels misses this out then high will cover a massive range and catch some folk out as spate paddling needs a distinctly different paddle ability and confidence to cope with a step change in seriousness. This is usually above bank full level but that’s hard to judge.

Low 0.5 - 0.55
Med 0.55 - 0.7
High 0.7 – 0.8
Spate 0.8 to 1.0
0.9 is 23 cumecs and relates to about 1.3 on the mint
0.8 approx 17 cumecs
0.7 approx 11 cumecs
0.6 approx 8 cumecs
0.5 approx 5 cumecs

Hope this helps , the pictures are of the Mint at 1.54 levels are on the rainchaser web site sticky on the same subject.

Clive H.

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Re: Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Jim Pullen »

Excellent post, thanks Clive! Keep them coming!
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Re: Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by jmmoxon »

It's also useful to note where the gauge is relative to the section paddled - the gauges on the West Dart tell you what is going to happen on the Upper Dart in the next couple of hours, whilst the gauge on the main river is all the way down at Buckfastleigh, which means it is 4 or 5 hours behind what is happening on the Upper Dart. Unfortunately most of the gauges are downstream of the sections we are interested in.

For the rivers I know on Dartmoor & South Wales the "typical range" is also useful to give you an idea, as above this range the EA are starting to get worried about flooding, so rivers are supposedly bank-full then. On small mountain streams they need to be near the top of the range to be paddleable, whilst larger rivers will be paddleable well below the top of the range.

Also worth noting is that the EA do publish updates more frequently when there is the chance of flooding - so they are worth checking during heavy rain.
I seem to rember the Mellte is quite a flashy river
Mellte is a bit of an oddball river as it is mainly fed through cave systems which means the levels tend to rise more slowly & hold for longer than many of the other rivers in that area - although it will rise extremely quickly once the caves are saturated.

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Re: Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Lancs_lad »

River : Upper Rawthey
date: 19/09/10
get on time : 10:15
get off time: 12:00
Gauge: 1.75 at brigflats sedbergh
Level: Low medium

River : Upper Clough
date : 19/09/10
get on time : 12:45
get off time : 15:15
Gauge: 1.85 at brigflats sedbergh
Level: Medium

River : Lower Clough
date : 19/09/10
get on time : 16:00
get off time: 17:00
Gauge: 1.9 at brigflats sedbergh
Level: medium

The gauges are quite hard to estimate as the scales arent easy to read. So to help I have put some pics and vid with the gauge graph up on my blog.

http://lakesboaters.wordpress.com/2010/ ... er-clough/

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Re: Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Jim Pullen »

Thanks Ant, all very useful.

I hadn't noticed that the Rawthey gauge was also below the confluence with the Dee, which is a bit irritating for knowing what the relative contribution of the three rivers are. Has anyone paddled the Dee by-the-way? There's no guide on the site yet, if anyone is feeling vaguely literate...
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Re: Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by RichA »

Mawddach from Three Nasies down to below PTF
19/09/10
On 2pm, off 4pm
Approx. 0.9m at Tyddyn Gwladys gauge and rising
Lowish but no rocks showing

Wnion
19/09/10
On at 5, off at 6pm
Approx. 2.2m on the EA gauge in Dolgellau and rising
Highish, continous grade 4

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Re: Paddled something recently? - EA Gauge Calibrations

Post by Lancs_lad »

Has anyone paddled the Dee by-the-way? There's no guide on the site yet, if anyone is feeling vaguely literate...
The rainchasers lot have paddled it.

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