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Estimating suspended sediment in rivers using acoustic Doppler meters

April 22, 2014

Key Points
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2009) estimates that excessive sediment is the leading cause of water-quality impairment in water bodies in the United States. The cost of damages attributable to sediment is high, estimated at more than $20 billion annually (Osterkamp and others, 2004).
- Sediment monitoring is essential to informed solutions to sediment-related issues. However, sediment monitoring by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has decreased considerably over the past quarter century.
- New techniques that make use of acoustic backscatter have shown great potential for accurately and cost-effectively estimating suspended-sediment concentrations.

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