Validation of Streamflow Measurements Made with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers

  • Oberg K
  • Mueller D
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The U.S. Geological Survey and other international agencies have collaborated to conduct laboratory and field validations of acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) measurements of streamflow. Laboratory validations made in a large towing basin show that the mean differences between tow cart velocity and ADCP bottom-track and water-track velocities were -0.51 and -1.10%, respectively. Field validations of commercially available ADCPs were conducted by comparing streamflow measurements made with ADCPs to reference streamflow measurements obtained from concurrent mechanical current-meter measurements, stable rating curves, salt-dilution measurements, or acoustic velocity meters. Data from 1,032 transects, comprising 100 discharge measurements, were analyzed from 22 sites in the United States, Canada, Sweden, and The Netherlands. Results of these analyses show that broadband ADCP streamflow measurements are unbiased when compared to the reference discharges regardless of the water mode used for making the measurement. Measurement duration is more important than the number of transects for reducing the uncertainty of the ADCP streamflow measurement. © 2007 ASCE.




Oberg, K., & Mueller, D. S. (2007). Validation of Streamflow Measurements Made with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 133(12), 1421–1432.

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