Micro-electromechanical systems-based technologies for leak detection and localization in water supply networks: A bibliometric and systematic review

Salman Tariq, Zhongyu Hu, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Leakages from water pipelines cause economic losses and environmental hazards. Despite the damages, it is challenging to avoid leaks throughout the lifetime. However, leak detection and localization, especially in real-time, minimize the damage. Owing to the recent advances, the micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) based technologies have started to gaining recognition for water network monitoring in real-time, however, a systematic literature review to analyze the existing research trends, technological advances, and future research opportunities are largely missing. This study has based its investigation on three main MEMS-based technologies for real-time monitoring: MEMS sensors wireless networks, MEMS accelerometers, and MEMS hydrophones. Firstly, a scientometric analysis is conducted to 1) retrieve relevant research articles through Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar, 2) visualize the publication trends, and 3) analyze the science mapping of influential authors, countries, organization, and top keywords occurrences. Secondly, qualitative discussions are made on research themes and sub-themes within three technologies: 1) MEMS WSNs are classified into static and mobile sensor-based wireless sensor networks. Seven sub-themes are categorized under static sensor-based wireless sensor networks such as PIPETECT, whereas three sub-themes are categorized under mobile sensor-based WSNs such as TriopusNet; 2) MEMS accelerometers are categorized into accelerometers based machine learning models and wireless systems; and 3) MEMS hydrophones are represented under one category. Thirdly, nine research opportunities including automated models, on-field real network-based experimental studies, optimal placement of sensor nodes for energy savings in wireless sensor networks, and a comparative analysis of real-time technologies are revealed. This study enhances the familiarity of early researchers with the application of MEMS-based technologies for leak detection and localization and provides seasoned researchers with a platform for future research development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125751
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2021


  • Accelerometers
  • Hydrophones
  • Leak detection
  • Leak location
  • MEMS
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Research opportunities
  • Science mapping
  • Systematic review
  • WSNs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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