Hydroacoustic current-meter measurements were evaluated in small urban streams under a range of stages, velocities, and channel-bottom materials. Because flow in urban streams is often shallow, conventional mechanical current-meter measurements are difficult or impossible to make. The rotating-cup Price pygmy meter that is widely used by the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies should not be used in depths below 0.20 ft and velocities less than 0.30 ft/s. The hydroacoustic device provides measurements at depths as shallow as 0.10 ft and velocities as low as 0.10 ft/s or less. Measurements using the hydroacoustic current meter were compared to conventional discharge measurements. Comparisons with Price-meter measurements were favorable within the range of flows for which the meters are rated. Based on laboratory and field tests, velocity measurements with the hydroacoustic cannot be validated below about 0.07 ft/s. However, the hydroacoustic meter provides valuable information on direction and magnitude of flow even at lower velocities, which otherwise could not be measured with conventional measurements.
Additional publication details
Discharge Measurements in Shallow Urban Streams Using a Hydroacoustic Current Meter
Larger Work Title:
Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods
Hydraulic Measurements and Experimental Methods 2002