rapidecompressionphoto

Rapid Decompression


 

Image

 


 

As fish travel through a hydropower turbine they can experience rapid decompression, which can in turn lead to physical damage to body tissues caused by these rapid changes in pressure (known as barotrauma). Barotrauma injuries observed in fish include swim bladder rupture, hemorrhaging, and gas bubbles in the vasculature and tissue.

Rapid decompression studies are conducted in laboratory pressure chambers that simulate the pressure profiles fish experience during hydropower turbine passage.  Pressure profiles used in these experiments can be developed via field collection or model methods. Pressures near 0 psi (pound per square inch) are possible in the hydropower turbine environment and can be tested via the chambers. Currently, the biological responses (effects) of rapid decompression are known for 15 species of fish including juvenile Chinook salmon, adult American eel, and juvenile American shad (listed in the table below). This information is available for use with BioPA and HBET. 

 

Species

 Data

Citation

American eel

(Anguilla rostrata

○○

Pflugrath et al. 2019

American shad

(Alosa sapidissima)

●●

Pflugrath et al. 2020

Australian bass

(Macquaria novemaculeata)

●●

Pflugrath et al. 2018

Bluegill

(Lepomis macrochirus)

●●

 Article in progress (data available in BioPA/HBET)

Brook Lamprey

(Lampetra planeri)

○○○

Colotelo et al. 2012

Carp gudgeon

(Hypseleotris klunzingeri)

●●

Pflugrath et al. 2018

Chinook salmon

(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

●●●

Brown et al. 2012

Kokanee*

(Oncorhynchus nerka)

Article in progress (data available in BioPA/HBET)

Largemouth bass

(Micropterus salmoides)

●●

Article in progress (data available in BioPA/HBET)

Murray cod

(Maccullochella peelii)

●●

Pflugrath et al. 2018

Pacific Lamprey

(Entosphenus tridentatus)

○○○

Colotelo et al. 2012

Rainbow trout*

(Oncorhynchus mykiss

Article in progress (data available in BioPA/HBET)

Silver perch

(Bairdiella chrysoura)

●●

Pflugrath et al. 2018

Tiger muskie*

(Esox masquinongy) x (E. lucius)

Brown et al. 2016

Walleye*

(Sander vitreus)

Brown et al. 2016

*Based on mortal injury from Chinook

●●● = Complete understanding of major factors influencing Biological Response

●● = Good understanding of major factors influencing Biological Response

● = Partial understanding of major factors influencing Biological Response

Grey = Non HydroPASSAGE project

Blue = HydroPASSAGE project

● = Biological Response equation developed

○ = No Biological Response equation developed due to very low susceptibility to barotrauma