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Die Pegelstation Vernagtbach (Ötztaler Alpen). Planung, Bau und Messergebnisse

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Bergmann, H. and Reinwarth, O. (1976): Die Pegelstation Vernagtbach (Ötztaler Alpen). Planung, Bau und Messergebnisse , Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie, 12 (2), pp. 157-180 .
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This paper describes the extraordinary difficulties met in gauging glacier streams and establishes criteria that have to be fulfilled for a correct determination of glacier run off. Discussion of the hydraulic principles of gauging in tranquil and rapid flow shows why the latter is to be favored for glacier streams. The concept of the station at Vernagtbach, the original stream bed, considerations of proper dimensioning and characteristics of the construction of the gauging channel are described in detail. A brief history is given of planning, organization and technology involved. The water level is recorded by two floats and one pneumatic gauge which together provide uninterrupted and trouble-free records. The rating curve was determined with current meters and shows an unambiguous relation between water level and discharge with little scattering of calibration values. Temporary changes of flow conditions up-stream of the station do not have any noticeable effect on the water level in the channel. The discharge records of the summers 1974-1976 are presented and discussed. The maximum mean summer discharge was 1.33 m**3/s in June-September 1975; extreme mean monthly discharge was found in July 1976 with 2.51 m**3/s, the highest daily mean was 4.76 m**3/s and the maximum hourly mean was found at 7.23 m**3/s. The discharge conditions of the summers of 1974 and 1975 are very simiIar, while in the summer of 1976 they differed completely as far as seasonal and mean daily hydrographs are concerned: in 1975, 42 % of summer discharge was recorded in June and July compared to 76 % in 1976. The analysis of the hydrographs gives valuable clues to the mass and heat balances of the glacier.

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