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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2021 Abstracts

Thermal Imaging of Groundwater Sources into Utah Lake, UT, USA

Presenter: Allison Smith, College of Science, Earth Science
Authors: Allison M Smith, Derek Ashilman
Faculty Advisors: Daren Nelson, College of Science, Earth Science
Institution: Utah Valley University

The quantity of groundwater that enters Utah Lake is currently estimated by utilizing a water budget analysis. Little is known about locations of groundwater inflows to the lake; therefore, we are trying to implement new technologies to identify these inflows. One method of identifying groundwater inputs is to use thermal imaging cameras to identify temperature variations between ground and surface waters. Using a Matrice 210 V2 sUAS (small unmanned aerial system) with a Zenmuse X5s 15 mm (30 mm equivalent) visible camera and a Zenmuse XT2 R thermal imager, we collected images from two areas in Saratoga Springs, UT, USA where groundwater discharges from the Saratoga Hot Springs and travels to Utah Lake. The thermal imagery displays the variation in water temperature and has helped us identify these thermal waters as they enter the lake body from known streams and from previously unidentified spring locations. We then used the geoprocessing and cartography functions of ERDAS Imagine to produce histograms for pixel value analysis to determine water temperature differences. These results can lead to finding additional sources of groundwater discharge into Utah Lake and supply data for various biogeochemical and hydrological projects in the area.