Springs Monitoring Protocol Implementation Plan for Park

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Springs Monitoring Protocol – SOP#6 - Version 20180930 Page 1 of 80
Springs Monitoring Protocol Implementation Plan for Park Units in the Southern Colorado Plateau Network

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) #8


Version SCPN_Springs_SOP8_20180930

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This SOP is adopted from the Northern Colorado Plateau Network’s SOP #6 Measuring Vegetation, Version 1.14 (March 2018) in Weissinger, R., D. Witwicki, H. Thomas, A. Wight, K. Lund, and M. Van Grinsven. 2018. Riparian monitoring of wadeable streams protocol for park units in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network: Version 1.05. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCPN/NRR—2018/1636. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado, and the Northern Colorado Plateau Network’s SOP #16 Trimble RTK Basic Operating Instructions in the Field, Version 1.00 (April 2017) in Perkins, D. W., M. Scott, G. Auble, M. Wondzell, C. HolmquistJohnson, E. Wahlig, H. Thomas, and A. Wight. 2018. Big rivers monitoring protocol for park units in the Northern Colorado Plateau Network: Version 1.01. Natural Resource Report NPS/NCPN/NRR—2018/1707. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
This SOP gives detailed instructions for surveying the stream channel using a total station or RTK and post-processing survey data after returning from the field. A list of necessary equipment for these procedures can be found in SOP #1.
A three-person team comprised of a survey lead and two rod persons can efficiently complete the tasks described below. The survey lead should be skilled in total station and RTK operation at remote field sites and have experience with rod duties (i.e., running rod) and post-processing survey data. The rod persons should have excellent attention to detail, basic knowledge of surveying, and be skilled in running rod. If surveying with RTK, there must be one person with in-depth knowledge of base station set-up and operation of rovers.
This SOP starts with total station information on page 1, followed by RTK operation (Section 3) on page 17. Once the total station and RTK is set up then the actual surveying procedures are outlined in Section 12 on page 71.
1. Total Station Surveying Basics & Equipment Operation

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1.1 Survey Equipment
The survey lead is responsible for instructing the rod persons on how to handle and take care of sensitive and expensive survey equipment (see SOP #1 for complete list of survey equipment). The SCPN currently uses a Topcon GTS239total station instrument, Trimble Recon data collector with SurveyProsoftware, and Microsoft Excel software for data post-processing in the office. Terramodel software is sometimes used for initial data checking and rectification. Refer to the Topcon Total Station and SurveyPromanuals for more details on surveying and using this equipment.
Two different types of rods are used for surveying: prism poles and leveling rods (Fig. 1). Both types of rods hold prisms and have attached levels to ensure the rod is plumb. The level on a leveling rod is removable, and may need to be attached before you begin using it. The general term “rod” is used to refer to both types of rods.
 The prism pole is an adjustable pole with two different rod ends that can be used (Fig. 2). The pointed end will only be used on backsights, control points, and occasionally on headpin shots. Do not use the pointed end for generic topographic shots because it will sink into the ground causing the incorrect elevation of the shot to be recorded. The flat foot end is best for topographic shots and all other shots. The prism rod can be swapped out as a rover rod when using RTK.
 The leveling rod has extensions that snap into place and is not adjustable beyond these settings. It has flat foot end that should only be used for topographic shots (i.e., not control points and backsight shots).

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Figure 1. Prism pole (left) and leveling rod (right).

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Figure 2. Options for the bottom of prism poles. The point on the left is used for control points, top of headpins, and well shots while the flat foot is on the right is used for all other shots. Leveling rods only have a flat foot.
1.2 Safety concerns while surveying
The following is a list of safety concerns that you need to be aware of while surveying. Refer to the Nikon Total Station, Trimble Access software, or other specific survey manuals for more complete lists of safety precautions.
 Do not look directly into the laser beam produced by the total station. When the survey lead is taking shots, the rod person focuses their eyes on keeping the rod level. The survey lead will let the rod person know when the shot has been completed by communicating “got it”, “okay”, etc.
 Be mindful of potential hazards during thunderstorms. Know what materials each rod is constructed of and whether they are conductive. Serious or fatal injuries may result from conductive materials being struck by lightning.
 Never look at the sun through the total station telescope. If you do, you may damage or lose your eyesight.
 Avoid recharging batteries in direct sunlight. Do not recharge the battery pack when it is wet. If you do, you may receive electric shocks or burns, or the battery pack may overheat or catch fire.
 Do not cover the battery charger when battery pack is being recharged. The charger must be able to dissipate heat adequately. Coverings such as blankets or clothing can cause the charger to overheat.
 Avoid getting the total station batteries wet. The batteries are not waterproof. Do not get the battery wet when it is removed from the instrument. If water seeps into the battery, it may cause a fire or burns.
 Do not sit, stand, or stack objects on the total station cases. It is unstable and its surface is slippery. Stacking or sitting on the plastic carrying case may cause personal injury or instrument damage.

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1.3 Rod technique
This section explains techniques and tips for using surveying rods (i.e., running rod). It is important that the rod persons know how to be accurate and efficient during a survey. See section 3 for additional rod techniques specific to certain parts of the survey.
Communication - Clear communication between team members is a key component of a successful survey. If people are beyond a comfortable talking range, use radios to communicate. The survey lead may use an ear piece and microphone attached to the radio to free their hands for operating the total station and data collector.
Raising the rod – Shots are generally taken at the lowest rod height unless there is an obstruction. Always raise the rod from the bottom section (the largest rod), followed by the next-to-top section and so forth, unless otherwise directed at the beginning of the survey. If the total station does not have a clear line of sight to the prism, try raising the rod until the total station operator can see it. When using the leveling rod, be sure that each rod extension has snapped fully into place before the shot is taken.
Leveling the rod - Center the leveling bubble attached to the rod to make sure the rod is precisely vertical. Hold the rod steady in this position while the shot is taken. If the rod was not level, notify the survey lead immediately so that the shot is re-taken. A bipod (a piece of equipment that turns a rod into a tripod) can be very useful to minimize survey error and should be used for control shots and other important shots. All other shots typically do not need a bipod.
Squaring the prism - The rod person needs to make sure that the prism on their rod is square to (i.e., facing) the total station during each shot. When the rod person does not have a clear view of the total station, the survey lead can communicate to the rod person to rotate their prism until is it square by instructing them to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise.
Rod location and height - Know the height of your rod at all times. Rod persons should always have a measuring tape on them while surveying. The rod person always needs to let the total station operator know the location of the rod and how many rods are up before each shot is taken (e.g., “T3R, top of headpin, one rod”). The total station operator will let the rod person know when the shot has been successfully completed. Any shot errors (e.g., rod not raised to full height, incorrect rod height relayed to survey lead) need to be communicated to the survey lead immediately, documented, and corrected by re-taking the shot, if necessary.
Rod positioning – When a tagline is being used, each shot should be taken with the rod flush against the downstream side of the tagline. When two crew members are running rod, they should "leapfrog" across the tagline or down the profile for the greatest efficiency. During a stake-to-line transect line survey, use flagged points on the line and the position of the person at the previous shot to roughly position yourself on the transect line. Square the prism to the total station and allow the total station operator to take a shot; the operator will communicate to you the direction (upstream or downstream) and distance to the line. Reposition for the next shot attempt. It is better to move efficiently to the next approximate shot position and let the total station “do the work” than to spend a lot of time gauging the precise transect line location.

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Timing of prism direction – It is crucial that only the prism of the current shot should be facing the total station operator. Crew members running rod need to make sure their prisms are facing away from the total station while setting up for their next shot.
Know what rod foot to use - For control shots, the rod persons will use the point (not the foot) of the prism pole (see Figure 2) on the exact location of the control point (i.e., the center of the X on rock or in the pre-stamped dot on a rebar cap), the top of headpins, and wells. For all other shots on topographic features, use the flat foot on the bottom of the prism pole or a leveling rod.
1.4 Establishing survey control
The following instructions are used when establishing the first survey at a reach. Revisit instructions begin in Section 2.2.
A. Before leaving the office, calibrate the Weatherport hand-held weather unit along with other pre-trip duties. See the Weatherport manual in the Total Station manual binder for details. Alternatively, take a copy of the Topcon atmospheric correction chart (p. 12-4 of Topcon manual) into the field.
B. In the field, locate headpins for all transects at the reach, and mark with pin flags and flagging. Positioning and driving headpins may be completed during the initial site survey.
C. Identify potential survey control points, which will be used for instrument setups (i.e., occupied points), backsight locations, and maintaining control throughout the survey. The survey lead should determine these locations with the help of other crew members to check lines-of-sight. Ideally, each reach should have at least 4 control points that are all intervisible to each other and have good geometry. Among all control points, there should be good visibility of the entire reach.
D. Monument the control points. All permanent survey control must be cleared ahead of time with the park unit. Check to see what is permitted before you leave for the field. Permanent survey control are established using the following methods:
 Permanent metal cemented in bedrock (if permit allows). Use ½”-diameter threaded rod; a 5” piece works best on horizontal bedrock, while a 7” piece works best on vertical walls. On the 7” pieces, have maintenance grind down the threads on one side, but just on the part that will be sticking out of the rock. Use a hammer drill with a ½” concrete bit to drill a hole with a wider entrance. For vertical walls, make sure to align the rod so that the flat spot is facing up and enough is protruding from the rock to place the pointed foot of a leveled prism pole on it. Add water to 2-3 spoonfuls of concrete mix to make a mixture the consistency of pancake batter. Place the threaded rod in the drilled hole, making sure that the appropriate length is sticking out (½ - 1 in.), then add cement down and around the rod. After filling the hole, make a cement collar around the rod to ensure that water does not get in the hole.
 X’s etched in rocks (if permit allows)

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 0.5-m lengths of 3/8” rebar. Place an aluminum cap on top of the rebar stamped with SCPN, the ReachID, the appropriate code for the control point, and an exact mark on the cap to place the point of the prism pole (i.e., a dot pre-stamped in the center of the cap either by the manufacturer or by the SCPN; Fig. 3). It is easiest to stamp the cap first, place the cap on the rebar, and then use a piece of wood or something else to protect the cap while hammering the rebar into the ground.
Figure 3. Example of a rebar cap with a pre-stamped dot in the center. It is important not to move any monuments once they have been surveyed in. Flag the areas around control points for easy visibility while surveying. E. Document control points using photos, descriptions, and a sketch of the reach. a. Reference photos should include 1) a few shots with enough background topography
for anyone returning to the reach to find the approximate location, and 2) at least one close-up of the precise position of the point. Try to include either the total station or a rod person in each photo. b. Write detailed notes describing the location of each control point in the field notebook (Fig. 4). Use permanent features rather than vegetation that will change over time. The lead surveyor is responsible for recording these in the field notes. c. Sketch a well-drawn location map of the reach including transects, headpins, control points, and any distinguishing features of the reach (Fig. 4). F. Record the location of each control point using the highest grade GPS unit available. Use the highest precision possible. If satellites are hard to acquire, precision can be dropped down to the middle range, but try to avoid low precision. These coordinates will be used to translate and rotate the survey data into real-world coordinates.

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G. Determine a surveying strategy including occupied points, backsights, and order of transects and longitudinal profile shots. Have as few instrument locations as possible to reduce error.
1.5 Setting up the survey equipment
This section describes steps to set up the total station (also referred to as the instrument or gun), data collector, and backsight. Most of these steps are performed by the survey lead while the rod persons attach prisms to the prism poles/leveling rods and measure the length of each. Rod persons will also typically set up the backsight.
A. Set up the total station. The survey lead will set up the total station at the initial occupied point, using standard leveling procedures: a. Use the red laser plummet to center the total station over the occupied point location (e.g., pre-stamped dot in rebar cap of control point, middle of top of uncapped rebar, center of X on rock, etc.). Start with coarse leveling using the tripod legs followed by using the three adjustment screws on the total station for electronic leveling using the bubble screen (refer to Topcon Total Station manual for more details). Ideally, be within +/- 10”. If you are establishing the point, it is easiest to level the instrument first, then place the capped rebar or chisel an X in the rock at the precise location.  To turn the laser on and off, hit the ANG button in the bubble screen.  To access the bubble screen, hit the 0 button on the total station. b. Measure the height of the instrument (HI), to the nearest millimeter, from the top of the permanent rebar or center of etched X in rock to the horizontal axis indicator mark on the side of the instrument. Document occupied point location and height of instrument (see Fig. 5).
B. Set up the rods. Attach a prism to each rod. Measure the height of each prism pole and leveling rod, to the nearest millimeter, from bottom of rod to center of prism. Make sure that prisms are set so that the heights for each type of rod are identical. Note that the heights of the prism poles will be different from the heights of the leveling rods, and there will need to be clear communication during the survey as to which type of rod is being used. Always raise the rod from the top section (the smallest rod), followed by the next-totop section, etc. Document rod heights in the field notes (Fig. 5; e.g., 1HR = 1.768 m, 2HR = 2.987 m, 3HR = 4.151 m…6HR = 7.680 m). If rod heights are changed during survey, the rod person must immediately notify the survey lead. Rod height errors are the most common source of error during a survey.
C. Set up the backsight in the initial position. The backsight may be established using a tripod/tribrach/prism, rod/bipod/prism, or a roving rod/prism held by a rod person. If the backsight will be established using a rod and prism, make sure it can be shot at a single rod since higher rods are less precise. Set up the backsight using standard leveling methods. Measure the height, to the nearest millimeter, from top of the permanent rebar or etched X in rock to the center of the prism. Use a bipod on the rod to improve steadiness. Document the backsight location and height in field notes (Fig. 5).

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Figure 4. Example of survey field notes that describe the location of each control point and include a sketched map of transects, headpins, control points, and other distinguishing features of the reach. Codes are defined in Table 1.

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Springs Monitoring Protocol Implementation Plan for Park