GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 112-10
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


MCCORMICK, Matthew and MARTIN-HAYDEN, James M., Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606

Measuring and recording the water level (head) within piezometers or monitoring wells is essential for any groundwater study. Datalogging fluid pressure transducers allow hydrogeologists to continuously monitor well head and offers superb data resolution, yet these devices are often expensive to initially purchase and maintain. A cost-effective alternative for standard commercial datalogging pressure transducers was developed by researchers at the University of Toledo to facilitate continuous well head monitoring with minimal funding. Using an Arduino Uno microcontroller, a SD card read/write and real-time clock shield, and a MS5803-14BA diaphragm pressure sensor a working datalogging pressure transducer was developed for $60 USD. A prototype datalogging pressure transducer was deployed alongside a commercial datalogging transducer in a field piezometer to determine the precision of the prototype. Data comparison yielded a 0.53% difference in barometrically compensated pressure readings of the commercial datalogging transducer and the prototype transducer. Utilizing inexpensive microcontrollers and diaphragm pressure sensors a highly cost-effective datalogging pressure transducer can be developed, increasing budget effectiveness and research potential for underfunded researchers. Arduino boards and code are also open source with the support of a vibrant community of hobbyists and researchers. Detailed instructions on the assembly, coding, and design of the datalogging pressure transducer will be available on the University of Toledo Hydrogeology Lab website.