Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Mapping of suspended sediment transport using acoustic methods in a Pantanal tributary

July 15, 2021

Generally, fluvial systems are used for different objectives including energy production, water supply, recreation, and navigation. Thus, many impacts must be considered with their use. An understanding of sediment dynamics in fluvial systems is often of value for a variety of objectives, given that erosion and depositional processes can change the fluvial system morphology and can substantially alter the fluvial environment. In this sense, sediment monitoring is important because it helps to explain and quantify sediment dynamics in the environment. Hence, this study presents an innovative sediment monitoring technique: the use of the acoustic Doppler current profiler, commonly used to obtain discharge measurements, to obtain suspended sediment concentration (SSC). This paper aims to describe the application of additional corrections to the ADP-M9 signal to obtain SSC from measurement campaigns that used the ADP only for discharge measurements. The analyses were based on traditional sediment sampling methods and discharge measurements, with the ADP-M9, from 7 field campaigns at the Taquari River, a major tributary from the Alto Paraguay Basin, in the Pantanal Biome, known as the largest freshwater wetland system in the world. The correlation was assessed considering the following: (a) the equipment frequency operation mode (Smart Pulse or Fixed Frequency) and (b) by checking the influence of the sediment attenuation coefficient. Furthermore, extrapolation was conducted in filtered and unmeasured areas of the ADP to map the suspended sediment concentration over the entire cross section. Results indicate that ADP correlations can be an effective tool for estimating SSC in the Taquari River when samples cannot be collected. Correlations could be applied to past and future ADP measurements made at the location where the correlation was created, as long as similar environmental conditions are present as when the correlation was developed. The described technique can expand the amount of sediment data available at a monitoring site even with reduced traditional sampling and by leveraging instruments used for other monitoring purposes.

Publication Year 2021
Title Mapping of suspended sediment transport using acoustic methods in a Pantanal tributary
DOI 10.1007/s10661-021-09266-w
Authors Liege F.K. Wosiacki, Hugo Koji Suekame, Molly S. Wood, Fabio Verissimo Goncalves, Tobias Bleninger
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Index ID 70222088
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization WMA - Observing Systems Division