Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Biological interference of optical backscatterance sensors in Tampa Bay, Florida

January 1, 1993

Optical backscatterance (OBS, D&A Instruments, Inc.1 1 Use of brand, firm, or trade names in this paper is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey.) sensors for measuring suspended-solids concentrations have been deployed in Tampa Bay to monitor resuspension of bottom sediments. This paper describes biological factors that affected the OBS sensors deployed in Tampa Bay and discusses deployment strategies that minimize biological interference. Phytoplankton may interfere with the OBS sensors when the suspended-solids concentration is near or below the sensor response threshold. Fish swimming in front of the OBS sensors caused spikes in the OBS sensor output, so the median average was more appropriate than the mean average. An algal slime on the OBS sensors caused excessive backscatterance that dominated the backscatterance from suspended material. Because of the fouling problem, deployments were limited to less than a week, and OBS sensors were cleaned daily, if possible. Calibration of OBS sensors with water samples collected from Tampa Bay was satisfactory when biological interference was not significant. When properly deployed, the OBS sensors can successfully monitor sediment resuspension in Tampa Bay and similar subtropical estuaries. ?? 1993.

Publication Year 1993
Title Biological interference of optical backscatterance sensors in Tampa Bay, Florida
Authors D. H. Schoellhamer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Geology
Index ID 70018338
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse