Water Quality

Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Monitoring in the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers

Dissolved Oxygen levels and Temperature levels are continuously being monitored and recorded with HOBO U26-001 Data Loggers in both the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. There are currently three loggers in the Pamunkey River (upper, middle, and lower) and two in the Mattaponi River (upper and middle) with plans for a third logger to be replaced in the lower Mattaponi River. The data received from the loggers are downloaded and posted every month to every other month depending on weather and river conditions.

Why Monitor Dissolved Oxygen & Water Temperature?

Dissolved oxygen and water temperature are primary stressors for Atlantic sturgeon.

Dissolved oxygen is the amount of gaseous oxygen dissolved in water and other liquids. It is a critical factor in accessing water quality since it impacts fish and other aquatic organisms. If the level of dissolved oxygen is too high or too low it can stress aquatic life.

Water temperature is a property of water indicating how hot or cold the water is. Water temperature affects dissolved oxygen and other biological aspects (ie: metabolic rates of aquatic organisms) and chemical aspects (ie: photosynthesis of aquatic plants.)

Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Readings in the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers

Below is the data obtained from the loggers the have been placed in the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers to monitor the dissolved oxygen and temperature.

  • Some data has been removed as some recording times coincided with deploying, checking, and maintaining the logger.
  • The upper Pamunkey River logger was not deployed until October due to flooding.
  • Celcius to Farenheit conversion: (°C x 1.8) + 32 = °F