Acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) can provide data needed for computation of suspended-sediment discharge in complex river systems, such as tidal rivers, in which conventional methods of collecting time-series data on suspended-sediment concentration (SSC) and water discharge are not feasible. Although ADCPs are not designed to measure SSC, ADCP data can be used as a surrogate under certain environmental conditions. However, the software for such computation is limited, and considerable post-processing is needed to correct and normalize ADCP data for this use. This report documents the sampling design and computational procedure used to calibrate ADCP measures of echo intensity to SSC and water velocity to discharge in the computation of suspended-sediment discharge at the study site on the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie, New York. The methods and procedures described may prove useful to others doing similar work in different locations; however, they are specific to this study site and may have limited applicability elsewhere.
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Use of an ADCP to compute suspended-sediment discharge in the tidal Hudson River, New York