An inexpensive instrument for measuring wave exposure and water velocity

Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
By: , and 

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Abstract

Ocean waves drive a wide variety of nearshore physical processes, structuring entire ecosystems through their direct and indirect effects on the settlement, behavior, and survivorship of marine organisms. However, wave exposure remains difficult and expensive to measure. Here, we report on an inexpensive and easily constructed instrument for measuring wave-induced water velocities. The underwater relative swell kinetics instrument (URSKI) is a subsurface float tethered by a short (<1 m) line to the seafloor. Contained within the float is an accelerometer that records the tilt of the float in response to passing waves. During two field trials totaling 358 h, we confirmed the accuracy and precision of URSKI measurements through comparison to velocities measured by an in situ acoustic Doppler velocimeter and those predicted by a standard swell model, and we evaluated how the dimensions of the devices, its buoyancy, and sampling frequency can be modified for use in a variety of environments.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title An inexpensive instrument for measuring wave exposure and water velocity
Series title Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
DOI 10.4319/lom.2011.9.204
Volume 9
Issue MAY
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
First page 204
Last page 214