The Continental Margin Sediment Dynamics program of the U.S. Geological Survey has been using a variety of optical instruments to monitor water turbidity as part of our studies of sediment transport. Although we suspect that optical devices will eventually be supplanted by more direct measures of suspended sediments, results of several field experiments indicate that for now transmissometers and nephelometers offer the best solution to the problem of long term environmental monitoring in the ocean. The Continental Margin Sediment Dynamics (CMSD) program of the U.S. Geological Survey is structured to investigate those oceanographic and geological processes which influence and control the active transport of sediments and other materials over continental margins. The focus of this program is on active sedimentary processes, the mechanisms which create them, and the effects they produce (see Figure 1 for a diagrammatic depiction). Basically, we design our experiments to investigate (1) transport mechanisms of oceanic sediments and other materials as suspended load and bed load, and (2) relationships of erosion and deposition to the dynamical characteristics of oceanic bottom boundary layers. The purpose of this report is to describe briefly those aspects of equipment and experiments that relate to our study of suspended particulate matter and water turbidity. Much of our understanding of the spatial distribution and temporal variability of suspended sediments depends upon measurements from optical instruments. In this report we describe those instruments and give examples of their use and some results of two field experiments.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Variability of currents and sediment transport on continental shelves: Optical and current meter studies of the bottom boundary layer|
|Series title||Proceedings of SPIE|
|Contributing office(s)||Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center|
|Google Analytics Metrics||Metrics page|