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Assessment and guidance for using Laser In-situ Scattering and Transmissometry– Stream-Lined 2 (LISST-SL2)

April 15, 2023

The Laser In-situ Scattering and Transmissometry–Stream-Lined 2 (LISST-SL2) is a second-generation isokinetic river sediment monitoring device that uses laser diffraction to measure suspended-sediment concentration and particle size between 1 and 500 microns in 36 log-spaced bins at a point in a river every second. We compare this latest laser diffraction instrument for suspended-sediment sampling in rivers, with concurrent physical measurements of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and particle size distribution (PSD) and velocity measurements by an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP). We collected 136 LISST-SL2 samples along with 61 physical samples for SSC measurement, of which 24 physical samples included PSD measurement, during 2018-2020 from 11 sites in Washington and Virginia, USA. The required computed effective density (mass SSC/volumetric SSC) to convert volumetric SSC by the LISST-SL2 into mass SSC ranged from 0.5 to 5.4 g/mL, with a best-fit value of 2.05 g/mL, while the default value (typically assumed as 2.65 g/mL) is much higher. As the comparison also showed that the LISST-SL2 was not able to measure the finest sediment sizes in suspension, we propose some adjustments of the LISST-SL2 data with a supporting physical sample to account for these effective density and PSD issues. When doing so, we were able to reduce the RMSRE (Root Mean Square Relative Error) to 18% from 117% for SSC, and to 26% from 78% for PSD. LISST-SL2 velocities were generally higher than ADCP velocities with a 21% RMSRE. Our results and guidance will allow for more accurate sampling by the LISST-SL2, which has great potential for studying spatial and temporal variation of suspended sediment characteristics in rivers.

Publication Year 2023
Title Assessment and guidance for using Laser In-situ Scattering and Transmissometry– Stream-Lined 2 (LISST-SL2)
Authors Muneer Ahammad, Jonathan A. Czuba, Christopher A. Curran
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70240711
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Islands Water Science Center