Baru SMART watershed

The Baru watershed is located in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve, Sabah, Borneo. This small site has been subject to ongoing hydrological experimentation since 1990 and is part of the Danum Valley Field Centre Hydrology Project. This link gives details of the many projects that have been undertaken at the site. The site is part of the Critical Zone Exploration Network

In June 2015 the site was equipped with an RX3000 remote monitoring station to deliver rainfall and streamflow data via telemetry. In addition, a trial was performed with SMART sensors for high frequency measurement of water quality variables in the Baru stream.

Location of the site can be found on our interactive map.

Hobo RX3000 telemetry station alongside Campbell CR1000 in the Baru watershed

The 120 degree thin-plate V-notch weir used for gauging the Baru watershed

Baru site details

Coordinates: N 4° 58.5′, E 117° 49.0′   

Area: 44 ha

Land Cover: Lowland dipterocarp rainforest – selectively logged 1988-1989

Geology: Kuamat geological formation – melange comprising largely mudstones and sandstones

Soils: FAO Haplic Alisol (Alh) unit dominates

Mean Annual Precip: 2,876 mm (1986-2015 inclusive mean)

SMART sensors: Campbell Scientific CR1000 with temperature, water level, turbidity, electrical conductivity and pH sensors (15-min monitoring).

Hobo RX3000 (telemetry) with water level and rainfall (5-min monitoring).

i::scan, ph::lyser and con::cube system for turbidity, UV254, colour, DOC, TOC and pH (5-min monitoring).

SMART models: RIVC rainfall-runoff; SRIV rainfall – suspended sediment flux

Landowner: Yayasan Sabah

Danum Valley Field Centre weather station

Example publications using SMART sensors/models from the Baru watershed:

Kretzschmar, A., Tych, W., and Chappell, N.A. 2014. Reversing Hydrology: estimation of sub-hourly rainfall time-series from streamflow. Environmental Modelling and Software, in press. doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.06.017. view online.

Chappell, N.A., Bonell, M., Barnes, C.J., and Tych, W. 2012. Tropical cyclone effects on rapid runoff responses: quantifying with new continuous-time transfer function models. In: Revisiting Experimental Catchment Studies in Forest Hydrology, Webb, A.A., Bonell, M. Bren, L. Lane, P.N.J., McGuire, D., Neary, D.G., Nettles, J., Scott, D.F., Stednik J. & Wang, Y. (eds) IAHS Publication 353, Wallingford, IAHS Press. 82-93. view online.

Chappell, N.A., Tych, W., Chotai, A., Bidin, K. Sinun, W. and Thang H.C. 2006. BARUMODEL: Combined Data Based Mechanistic models of runoff response in a managed rainforest catchment. Forest Ecology and Management, 224, 58-80. view online.

Chappell, N.A., McKenna, P., Bidin, K., Douglas, I., and Walsh, R.P.D. 2000. Parsimonious modelling of water and suspended-sediment flux from nested-catchments affected by selective tropical forestry. In Changes and disturbance in tropical rainforest in South-East Asia, (Eds) D.M. Newbery, T.H. Clutton-Brock and G.T. Prance. Imperial College Press, London (ISBN: 1-86094-243-1), 107-122.

Chappell, N.A., McKenna, P., Bidin, K., Douglas, I., and Walsh, R.P.D. 1999. Parsimonious modelling of water and suspended-sediment flux from nested-catchments affected by selective tropical forestry. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. B,, 354, 1831-1846. view online.

Our Infrastructure and Sensor Deployment

The following images give an insight into the SMART sensor system set up at the Baru watershed:

Hobo RX3000 telemetry system measuring rainfall and streamflow, mounted alongside a Campbell Scientific CR1000 datalogger collecting measurements from numerous water quality sensors, including an OBS3+ turbidity probe with autowiper.

i::scan probes (35mm and 5mm pathlengths) with autowiper mounted with ph::lyser for installation in Baru stream behind v-notch weir. Measurement interval was every 5 minutes.

con::cube controller for data acquisition (from i::scan and ph::lyser) and sensor interrogation secured in waterproof box with power source nearby to stream. High power consumption required change of batteries every 3 days. 


The datasets for the Baru watershed include:

Long-term rainfall records available since 1986. Visit DVFC rainfall website.

June 2015 trial period: turbidity, TOC, DOC, colour, UV254 (5-min sampling interval)

June 2015 – present: Hobo RX3000 rainfall and streamflow (5-min sampling interval)

Please contact us if you are interested in using our datasets.

Example high-frequency (5-minute) rainfall and hydrogen ion data from the Baru watershed, June 2015. Hydrogen ion derived from pH measured using pH::lyser and con::cube system

Real time rainfall data from Baru watershed reported to Hobolink website