The estimation of mass concentration of suspended solids is one of the properties needed to understand the characteristics of sediment transport in bays and estuaries. However, useful measurements or estimates of this property are often problematic when employing the usual methods of determination from collected water samples or optical sensors. Analysis of water samples tends to undersample the highly variable character of suspended solids, and optical sensors often become useless from biological fouling in highly productive regions. Acoustic sensors, such as acoustic Doppler current profilers that are now routinely used to measure water velocity, have been shown to hold promise as a means of quantitatively estimating suspended solids from acoustic backscatter intensity, a parameter used in velocity measurement. To further evaluate application of this technique using commercially available instruments, profiles of suspended solids concentrations are estimated from acoustic backscatter intensity recorded by 1200- and 2400-kHz broadband acoustic Doppler current profilers located at two sites in San Francisco Bay, California. ADCP backscatter intensity is calibrated using optical backscatterance data from an instrument located at a depth close to the ADCP transducers. In addition to losses from spherical spreading and water absorption, calculations of acoustic transmission losses account for attenuation from suspended sediment and correction for nonspherical spreading in the near field of the acoustic transducer. Acoustic estimates of suspended solids consisting of cohesive and noncohesive sediments are found to agree within about 8-10% (of the total range of concentration) to those values estimated by a second optical backscatterance sensor located at a depth further from the ADCP transducers. The success of this approach using commercially available Doppler profilers provides promise that this technique might be appropriate and useful under certain conditions in spite of some theoretical limitations of the method. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Estimating suspended solids concentrations from backscatter intensity measured by acoustic Doppler current profiler in San Francisco Bay, California