Reaeration measurements using a methane tracer at six dams in the Ohio River basin

Suresh L. Hettiarachchi, Bell L. O'Connor, Kimberly F. Miller, George P. Kincaid, David Hibbs, John S. Gulliver, Steven Wilhelms

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The reaeration process across hydraulic structures on the Ohio River was evaluated using in situ methane as a tracer. Reaeration rates determined from dissolved oxygen (DO) measurements are often unreliable when upstream DO concentration is near saturation. In such cases, the increase in DO as the flow passes the structure is small, leading to relatively large measurement uncertainties. Naturally occurring methane can be used as a tracer for DO because the difference between upstream and downstream dissolved methane concentration is sufficiently large for current analytical techniques. The relationship between methane and oxygen transfer is well documented. The reaeration effectiveness of various gate and gate openings at these structures was investigated. The results obtained suggest that the highest gas transfer, among the structures studied, takes place across gated spillways. In addition, the gas transfer efficiency was higher than expected, in some cases, for hydropower facilities on the Ohio River.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1961-1970
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Hydropower - Waterpower
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 International Conference on Hydropower. Part 1 (of 3) - Atlanta, GA, USA
Duration: Aug 5 1997Aug 8 1997


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