Sedimentation monitoring of San Francisco Bay

Stability Assessment Of Contamination With Fiber Optic

In order to design the most appropriate remediation technique for the bay, the stability of the surface sediment layer and the sedimentation rate needed to be assessed into great detail.

By installing a fiber optic cable in or under sediments, Fluves used the varying temperatures to calculate the thickness of the sediment layer along the cable. Measurements can be performed at numerous locations along the cable on a daily basis. The full monitoring system consisted of a fiber optic cable of 2 km, a land-based data unit that consisted of a DTS unit, field laptop, power source (battery, generator, or grid connection), and telemetry.

Fiber installation in San Francisco Bay

4 Millimeters Accuracy

Traditional methods (such as time-series bathymetric surveys or sedimentation pins) did not meet the accuracy required for this project.

With the Fluves fiber optic technology, sediment levels can be measured continuously, with an accuracy up to 4 mm. By measuring the sediment layer thickness continuously at multiple points, we could determine a highly detailed overview of sedimentation and erosion processes over the Bay area.

The project was successfully completed in May 2018.

San Francisco Bay fiber grid