Velocity bias induced by flow patterns around ADCPs and associated deployment platforms




Velocity measurements near the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) are important for mapping surface currents, measuring velocity and discharge in shallow streams, and providing accurate estimates of discharge in the top unmeasured portion of the water column. Improvements to ADCP performance permit measurement of velocities much closer (5 cm) to the transducer than has been possible in the past (25 cm). Velocity profiles collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) with a 1200 kHz Rio Grande Zedhead ADCP in 2002 showed a negative bias in measured velocities near the transducers. On the basis of these results, the USGS initiated a study combining field, laboratory, and numerical modeling data to assess the effect of flow patterns caused by flow around the ADCP and deployment platforms on velocities measured near the transducers. This ongoing study has shown that the negative bias observed in the field is due to the flow pattern around the ADCP. The flow pattern around an ADCP violates the basic assumption of flow homogeneity required for an accurate three-dimensional velocity solution. Results, to date (2014), have indicated velocity biases within the measurable profile, due to flow disturbance, for the TRDI 1200 kHz Rio Grande Zedhead and the SonTek RiverSurveyor M9 ADCPs. The flow speed past the ADCP, the mount and the deployment platform have also been shown to play an important role in the magnitude and extent of the velocity bias.

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Velocity bias induced by flow patterns around ADCPs and associated deployment platforms
DOI 10.1109/CWTM.2015.7098103
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher IEEE
Contributing office(s) Office of Surface Water
Description 7 p.
Conference Title 2015 IEEE/OES Eleveth Current, Waves and Turbulence Measurement (CWTM)
Conference Location St. Petersburg, FL
Conference Date March 2-6, 2015
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