ADCP suspended sediment transport monitoring using acoustic particle radius


  • R.A.J. JAARSMA Nortek Netherlands B.V., The Netherlands
  • M. DAUGHARTY Nortek Netherlands B.V., The Netherlands
  • S.D. KAMMINGA Nortek Netherlands B.V., The Netherlands
  • M.A. VAN DER LUGT Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • M.A. DE SCHIPPER Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • S. NYLUND Nortek AS, Rud, Norway



Sediment, SSC, Monitoring, ADCP, Backscatter


Monitoring suspended sediment concentration (SSC) can be challenging as direct sampling methods are labour intensive and indirect measurements based on optical or acoustic backscatter are sensitive to changes in particle properties. Regardless, using ADCP backscatter to predict SSC is promising because of the possibility to capture suspended sediment transport by combining with flow measurements. To reduce sensitivity of established backscatter-SSC relations to changing particle size, a methodology is proposed where acoustic particle radius is derived using multi-frequency backscatter measurements obtained with a Nortek Signature1000 ADCP equipped with a vertical beam echosounder. Considering acoustic particle radii in an adapted backscatter-SSC model shows promising improvement in correlations with water sample reference measurements compared to the traditional single frequency approach based on a field test. Follow-up assessment is required to overcome limitations in dataset sample size and to investigate further improvements of the method. Still, application of the method can significantly enhance capability of ADCPs predicting SSC and – since backscatter is recorded over depth in conjunction with flow measurements – the ability to monitor suspended sediment transport using a single instrument.




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