Student Class Project (Spring 2017): Case Study: Raritan River Hydrological Observatory

Class: Advanced Environmental Geomatics, 11:372:462
Class instructor: Prof. Richard Lathrop
Semester: Spring 2017


The class examined issues related to establishing a real-time hydrologic observation system for the Raritan River watershed. The class broke into teams to implement real-time in situ sensing systems coupled with spatially distributed watershed simulation and flood inundation modeling.

In Situ Systems

Bathymetric Mapping/Aquatic Vehicle
A Remote Environmental Monitoring Units (REMUS), an unmanned aquatic vehicle, was deployed on the Raritan River near Boyd Park and the Rutgers Boathouse. The REMUS collected side-scan sonar data along with other geospatial data sets which were used to develop a bathymetic map of the river bottom.

Flood Inundation Mapping
Another team used the US Army Corps of Engineers Hydraulic Engineering Center River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) software coupled with field measured river cross-sections to model and map areas along the New Brunswick waterfront that would be inundated by different flood events. This was communicated by creating a web-accessible application that allows the public to visualize at-risk araes and anticipate the extent of flood events.

Real-time Water Quality Monitoring Station
The third team assisted in the deployment of a real-time water quality monitoring station in the Raritan River in front of the Rutgers Boathouse. The team developed a web-accessible data viewer to allow researchers to access and visualize the real-time data stream as well as mined the archive of prior research cruise data sets along the lower Rairtan River out to Raritan Bay.

Map Stories

To communicate about the Raritan River watershed to a wider audience, the class produced a series of online Map Stories. Please see the Maps links above the Gallery on this page.


Richard G. Lathrop, Jr. PhD
Director, Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA)
Professor, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources

School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
14 College Farm Road, Cook Campus
New Brunswick, NJ USA 08901-8551
Tel: 732/932-1582
Fax: 732/932-2587

Web site by the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA), © 2017. Page contents last updated 09/06/2017.