The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, conducted a study in 2004-2005 at three sites in Colorado: Bear Creek at Morrison, Clear Creek near Empire, and Redlands Canal near Grand Junction. The study was done to evaluate acoustic Doppler velocity meter (ADVM) technology in different hydrologic settings that are characteristic of many Colorado streamflow-gaging sites. ADVMs have been tested and used extensively in many parts of the United States by USGS but not in Colorado where relatively small, shallow, clear, coarse-bed streams that ice up in the winter may affect the ADVM suitability.
In this study, ADVM instrumentation was successfully used and discharge computations compared favorably, generally within 5 to 10 percent, with conventional USGS stage/discharge methods at the three Colorado sites. However, two factors, encountered in this study, may adversely affect the use of ADVM technology in Colorado. First, for some streams, the depth required (about 1.5 feet for a side-looking instrument) cannot be met during low-flow periods of the year. Second, cold temperatures and freezing-thawing cycles can produce ice effects that could prevent collection of usable ADVM (and stage) data.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Evaluation of the Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meter for Computation of Discharge Records at Three Sites in Colorado, 2004-2005