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Hydroacoustic Current Meters for the Measurement of Discharge in Shallow Rivers and Streams

January 1, 2002

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is evaluating the use of hydroacoustic current meters for making discharge measurements in shallow rivers and streams. The USGS historically has made discharge measurements in shallow rivers using mechanical, impellor-type current meters attached to a wading rod. The evaluation project has focused on three categories of hydroacoustic meters: an acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV) called a Flowtracker3, an acoustic Doppler velocity profiler (BoogieDopp), and bottom-tracking acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs). The USGS role in this project includes providing USGS discharge-computation methods and algorithms to instrument manufacturers and evaluating instruments in the laboratory and field. An ADV (Flowtracker) designed for making discharge measurements in shallow rivers, has been tested in a USGS tow tank and was found to meet USGS calibration standards for mechanical, impellor-type current meters. The Flowtracker was field tested by USGS offices in five states; the tests were conducted by comparing discharge measurements made with the ADV to discharge measurements made with mechanical, impellor-type current meters. In general, the comparisons of Flowtracker performance to mechanical-meter results were favorable. An acoustic Doppler velocity profiler (BoogieDopp) is being evaluated for making discharge measurements in shallow rivers. The Boogiedopp will measure vertical velocity profiles at stationary positions across a channel, and the velocity profiles will be used to compute discharge. Discharge-computation software based on USGS methods and algorithms is under development for the acoustic Doppler velocity profiler. The USGS will evaluate bottom-tracking ADCPs from two manufacturers for making discharge measurements in shallow water. The bottom-tracking feature allows ADCPs to compute discharge from a moving platform as the platform moves across the channel.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2002
Title Hydroacoustic Current Meters for the Measurement of Discharge in Shallow Rivers and Streams
DOI
Authors S. E. Morlock, G. T. Fisher
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70024125
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization