Environmental Hydrology

The Environmental Hydrology class is an upper level geology course taught by Bennington faculty member Tim Schroeder.

The class measured the flow rate of the Wolloomsac River and Paran Creek in order to determine what the water flow rate is over the Paper Mill Dam on the Walloomsac. The Paper Mill dam is currently being converted to generate hydroelectric power, and the amount of electricity that the dam will produce is directly correlated to the water flow rate. Good long-term flow records exist from a USGS gauging station downstream, but there are three river channels that combine to make the total flow at this station. By taking direct field measurements of the three channels, we should be able to estimate the long term flow through the dam’s channel and better estimate potential power production.

Volume flow rate is measured by determining the stream channel’s cross section area, and then measuring the average linear flow velocity.

Photos and description by Tim.

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