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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Application of Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers to Measurement of Water Flow Patterns in Inland Waters

Authors
item Shields Jr, Fletcher
item Rigby, James

Submitted to: American Ecological Engineering Society Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 18, 2003
Publication Date: May 28, 2003
Citation: SHIELDS JR, F.D., RIGBY, J.R. APPLICATION OF ACOUSTIC DOPPLER CURRENT PROFILERS TO MEASUREMENT OF WATER FLOW PATTERNS IN INLAND WATERS. American Ecological Engineering Society Conference. 2003. Abstract. p. 10.

Technical Abstract: In natural waterbodies or constructed systems designed to emulate natural regimes, water depth and velocity vary continuously in space and time. Knowledge of temporal or spatial water flow patterns may be required for assessing pollutant transport, processing time, retention potential, or habitat quality. Some workers have suggested metrics based on velocity or depth gradients to quantify habitat quality, with increasing quality associated with increasing levels of physical heterogeneity. Existing tools for studying flow patterns consist of numerical models that are imperfect representations of reality and field measurements that are slow and difficult. Acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP), originally developed for measuring velocities in marine environments, have been refined to allow measurement of depth and velocity profiles in slow, shallow flows typical of wetlands and small rivers. ADCP systems may be deployed on moving boats or rafts because they obtain positional data from compasses, echoes from the solid boundary (bed), and global positioning systems. This technology is an important addition to existing methods for simulating or measuring flow patterns. Herein data are presented that were collected using a commercially-available 1200 kHz ADCP and reduced using specially developed software. The influence of woody debris and channel planform on velocity-based habitat metrics is examined.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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