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Long-term continuous acoustical suspended-sediment measurements in rivers – Theory, evaluation, and results from 14 stations on five rivers

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Abstract

We have developed a physically based method for using two acoustic frequencies to measure suspended-silt-and-clay concentration, suspended-sand concentration, and suspended-sand median grain size in river cross sections at 15-minute intervals over decadal timescales. The method is strongly grounded in the extensive scientific literature on the scattering of sound by suspensions of small particles. In particular, the method takes advantage of the specific theoretical relations among acoustic frequency, acoustic attenuation, acoustic backscatter, suspended-sediment concentration, and suspended-sediment grain-size distribution. We briefly describe the theory and methods, demonstrate the application of the method, and compute biases and errors in the method at 14 stations in the Colorado River and Rio Grande basins, where large numbers of suspended-sediment samples have been collected concurrently with acoustical measurements over many years. Quantification of errors in sediment-transport measurements made using this method is essential if the measurements are to be used effectively, e.g., to evaluate uncertainty in long-term sediment loads and budgets

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Title:
Long-term continuous acoustical suspended-sediment measurements in rivers – Theory, evaluation, and results from 14 stations on five rivers
ISBN:
978-1-315-64447-9
Year Published:
2016
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Southwest Biological Science Center
Description:
9 p.
Larger Work Type:
Book
Larger Work Subtype:
Conference publication
Larger Work Title:
River Flow 2016, Proceedings of the International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics
First page:
1510
Last page:
1518
Conference Title:
River Flow 2016
Conference Location:
St. Louis, MO
Conference Date:
July 11-14, 2016