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In situ determination of flocculated suspended material settling velocities and characteristics using a floc camera

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Abstract

Estimates of suspended sediment settling are necessary for numerical sediment models, water quality studies, and rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems. Settling of cohesive sediment, which is common in estuaries, is more difficult to quantify than noncohesive sediment because of flocculation. Flocs are composed of an aggregation of finer silts, clays, and organic material. Floc characteristics, such as the diameter, density, porosity, and water content determine floc settling velocities. A floc camera provides the ability to capture the settling velocities and other desired characteristics of individual flocs in situ. Water samples taken using a Van Dorn sampler are immediately subsampled using a pipette and transferred to the floc camera. The Perspex settling column is outfitted with a LED backlighting to distinguish flocs. The floc camera’s high pixel and temporal resolution allows image analysis software to detect individual flocs and process floc statistics per image. Observed changes in floc location with respect to time presents a way of calculating settling velocities. This work presents results of validation tests with known sediment size distributions and of deployment of the camera during a field study.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Abstract or summary
Title In situ determination of flocculated suspended material settling velocities and characteristics using a floc camera
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher American Society of Civil Engineers
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 1 p.
Conference Title Hydraulic Measurement and Experimental Methods Conference
Conference Location Utah, USA
Conference Date 12-15 August 2012
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N