Environmental surveys

MNV offers a comprehensive range of monitoring and surveys include river gauging, flow monitoring, rainfall measurement, climate monitoring, environmental surveys, water quality monitoring, topographic and bathymetric surveys.

The monitoring equipment we use is robust, reliable and accurate enabling us to monitor conditions in remote and hostile environments. Our field maintenance team is very experience at working in mountain river systems, cold upland environments and hot lowlands. We have installed over 300 river gauging stations in Scotland, climate stations in Nepal, river flow and water quality stations in Kosovo and weather stations in Greenland.

Surveys have been carried out in relation to hydro power design, environmental impact assessments, housing developments, road construction and forest management.

River gauging
The river gauging work undertaken by MNV Consulting follows British and European Standards for monitoring and calculating flow rates in open channels. We use integrated water level sensors with data loggers converting the stage values to flow after a rating equation has been developed for the site. Data can be stored on site or transmitted to a central data store where quality control and archiving is carried out.

MNV carries out climate monitoring using automatic weather stations including temperature, humidity, rain, wind, pressure and radiation. We also use more traditional instruments installed in screens for manual reading.

Environmental surveys
Environmental surveys are undertaken usually as part of a wider development project, such as hydro power or wind power. We undertake river morphological, regional geomorphological and peat surveys to establish baseline conditions are defined so that developments be carried out with minimal impact.

The morphological surveys include the identification of the main sediment sources in a catchment and the main modes of transport down the river systems. Audits are carried out of the morphological features and reaches of similar morphology identified.

Geomorphological surveys are carried out at a regional level to identify and map features within catchments, their association with historic landform developments, the sequence of formations and how more recent river action has modified the features. Where developments are taking place in the catchment the infrastructure will be mapped and planned to avoid the key geomorphological features.

Peat surveys are carried out to map peat deposits, including depth and characteristics and identify areas of deep peat. Where infrastructure will affect deep peat the volumes of affected peat are quantified, methods of temporary removal and storage are determined with plans for restoration after the work has been completed.

Most of the automatic equipment we use can be linked to a GSM or PSTN telemetry system. This enables data to be downloaded remotely, the stations interrogated at any time and alarm systems connected to certain sensors.

Topographic surveys
MNV undertakes topographic surveys using traditional levels as well as total stations, for sites with tree cover, and satellite (DGPS) controlled systems for open sites. Data are processed to generate accurate maps of the area or individual site and to input into 3D graphics of the site. The data are then analysed to generate storage curves for reservoirs, flow lines down hillslopes, slope gradient maps and drainage density maps. 

Bathymetric surveys
Surveys are carried out of rivers, lakes, harbours and reservoirs using ultrasonic depth sensors (ADCP) linked to DGPS to give position over the water body. The equipment can be operated from a river banks or attached to a boat for larger lakes or reservoirs. The surveys are used for river restoration designs, flood modelling, sediment transport and ecological habitat identification.


  • River gauging: water resources assessments, hydropower development, catchment management, yield assessments.
  • Flow monitoring: flood monitoring, low flows, pipe flow, drainage assessments, abstraction compliance, compensation flow monitoring.
  • Rainfall: water resources, flood forecasting, catchment management, hydro potential, climate change.
  • Climate: climate change, catchment management, agriculture.
  • Environmental surveys: environmental impact assessments, catchment management, forest management, infrastructure developments.
  • Water quality: erosion, pollution control, drinking water, habitat assessment.
  • Telemetry: flood warnings, remote data gathering, alarm systems, hydro scheme operation.
  • Topographic surveys: river surveys, hydro scheme design, flood management.
  • Bathymetric surveys: river management, reservoir siltation, harbour dredging.