Sound Sediment Science

Science Center Objects

A training course to augment USGS Course H-17-037, Acoustic Index Method for Estimating Fluvial Suspended Sediment and USGS Techniques and Methods Report 3C-5

Version 1.00 – March 2018

Summary and Objective

Fluvial suspended-sediment characteristics can be computed using acoustic indices derived from backscatter data collected using fixed-mounted, horizontally-looking acoustic Doppler velocity meters (ADVMs). The sediment acoustic index method applied in these types of studies can be used to more accurately and cost-effectively provide time-series estimates of suspended-sediment concentration and load, which is essential for informed solutions to many sediment-related environmental, engineering, and agricultural concerns.

This web-based course will teach hydrographers the basic fundamentals of the sediment acoustic index method, using a single frequency ADVM, and how to establish a sediment acoustic index station. The material presented will summarize and augment information in the USGS Techniques and Methods 3C-5 report “Sediment Acoustic Index Method for Computing Continuous Suspended-Sediment Concentrations”. The course will teach the important aspects of establishing a sediment acoustic index station including the following topics:

  • An overview of the sediment acoustic index method and its utility
  • Reconnaissance and site selection techniques
  • Acoustic and sediment data collection requirements
  • Acoustic data corrections and computations
  • Step-by-step basics of the Surrogate Analysis and Index Developer (SAID) tool
  • Sediment acoustic measurement theory

This web-based course provides introductory material and is a prerequisite to the full, week-long USGS course H-17-037 Acoustic Index Method for Estimating Fluvial Suspended Sediment. The course also is a valuable refresher for students who are already familiar with the sediment acoustic index method.

 

Taking the Course

The course should take no longer than 4 hours to complete. Students can stop and resume where they left off within each lesson as needed.

Prerequisites

Narration and Slide Notes

  • This course is currently not narrated. Please read the comprehensive slide notes for each slide.

Assessment and Course Credit

  • All lessons except Lesson 1, Course Information and Resources, include quizzes that must be taken to finish the lesson but are not graded. After you have completed all of the lessons (lessons 1-6 required; lesson 7 optional), there is a final assessment (see the link below) that is graded. In order to register for the classroom portion of the USGS-H-17-037 course, you must take and pass (a score of 80% or better) the final assessment in DOI Learn. Course coordinators will be able to view completion certificates in DOI Learn. Course coordinators will provide separate instructions to non-DOI employees on how to take and submit results of the final assessment.

Questions and Problems

  • If you have questions on the material presented while taking the course or have issues with any part of the course or assessment, please send an email to GS-W_SedAcoustics_TEL_Help@usgs.gov.

 

Course Lessons

Click on the lesson title below to start each lesson.

Lesson 1: Course Information and Resources

Contains an overview of the course, including course goals and objectives, what will be covered, resources, and how to obtain help with the course.

Lesson 2: Utility and Overview of the Sediment Acoustic Index Method

By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the utility of the sediment acoustic index method;
  2. Define the basic procedures and computation techniques in the sediment acoustic index method.

Lesson 3: Site Selection Criteria and Field Reconnaissance Techniques

By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. List the characteristics of a "good" site for a sediment acoustic station;
  2. List resources that can be used to perform reconnaissance of potential sites.

Lesson 4: Data Collection Requirements and Recommendations

By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand acoustic instrument configuration options;
  2. Understand minimum data requirements to successfully implement the sediment acoustic index method.

Lesson 5: Data Corrections and Computations

By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Compute corrections for beam spreading, water absorption, and sediment attenuation;
  2. Assess the resulting parameters of sediment-corrected backscatter and sediment-attenuation coefficient in a relation with suspended-sediment concentration.

Lesson 6: Surrogate Analysis and Index Development (SAID) Tool

By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Complete basic steps required for developing sediment surrogate relations in the SAID tool;
  2. Evaluate sediment acoustic index ratings, plots, and statistics output by the SAID tool.

Lesson 7: Sediment Acoustic Measurement Theory

By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe how an acoustic Doppler velocity meter (ADVM) can be used to measure suspended sediment
  2. Describe limitations of ADVMs in measuring suspended sediment
  3. Understand some of the theory behind the development of the sediment acoustic index method.

NOTE: Lesson 7 is optional and is intended for students who want to dive a little deeper into the acoustic theory behind the sediment acoustic index method. You are not required to view this lesson before attempting the final assessment.

 

Final Assessment (DOI Talent)

The final assessment must be taken and passed with a score of 80% or better to attend the classroom portion of the USGS-H-17-037 course. Course coordinators will be able to view completion certificates in DOI Learn. Course coordinators will provide separate instructions to non-DOI employees on how to take and submit results of the final assessment.