Freshwater Competence Centre supersite VANTAANJOKI

Robots, drones and thermal cameras are measuring Vantaanjoki

Spring is here and so is the field work season. Finnish Environment Institute and Aalto university started the measuring campaign last week at Vantaanjoki and now that the snow is disappearing, it is soon time for the laser scanning sensors of FGI and the robot boat of University of Turku to do their measurements in the same area.

Field work is almost never boring – there was some excitement this time as well, with one of the measuring boats taking off on its own. The current in Vantaanjoki is strong at this time of the year. Happy news is that the escaped research equipment was recovered and the measuring devices were unharmed.

Image by Harri Kaartinen, Finnish Geospatial Research institute FGI – Vantaan Sanomat 12.4.2024

We had a journalist from the local newspaper Vantaan Sanomat following us in the field and interviewing our scientists on the location, explaining what this campaign was all about. Here a short summary:

Researcher Joonas Kahiluoto from Finnish Environment Institute tells, that the measurements at Pitkäkoski of Vantaanjoki river have been carried out for a long time, but this time several measuring methods are focused on one location. Underwater measurements are also a new thing at Vantaanjoki – there is a camera under the ice.

– New measurement technologies teach us more about the river. With these measurements we can understand the connectivity in the catchment area better. Decision makers can see what type of actions are needed and where, Development manager Anna-Kaisa Ronkanenfrom Finnish Environment Institute explains.

For example floods in the inhabited areas can be better predicted, when accurate models with real-time updates exist, tells Research professor Harri Kaartinen from Finnish Geospatial Research Institute FGI.

Another measurement focus is the discharge volume and velocity, that have an impact on for example how much nutrients the rivers are able to carry into the Baltic Sea. There has been changes in the discharge of Vantaanjoki due to the changes in the Finnish winters.

The scientists at vantaanjoki are using Hydro-RI-Platform research infrastructure, for building a Digital Twin of the Vantaanjoki river in the Green-Digi-Basin project. Both projects are funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU.

Read the full news article from Vantaan Sanomat in Finnish