American Society of Civil Engineers


Monitoring Suspended Sediment Dynamics Using MBES


by Stephen M. Simmons, (Research Fellow, School of Earth and Environment, Univ. of Leeds, Leeds LS29JT, U.K.), Daniel R. Parsons, (NERC Research Fellow, School of Earth and Environment, Univ. of Leeds, Leeds LS29JT, U.K.), James L. Best, (Professor, Dept. of Geology and Geography and Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.), Oscar Orfeo, (Professor, Centro de Ecologica Aplicada del Littoral (CECOAL), CONIECT, Corrientes City, Corrientes 3400, Argentina.), Stuart N. Lane, (Professor, Dept. of Geography, Durham Univ., Durham DH13LE, U.K.), Ray Kostaschuk, (Professor, Dept. of Geography, Univ. of Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.), Richard J. Hardy, (Lecturer, Dept. of Geography, Durham Univ., Durham DH13LE, U.K.), Geraint West, (National Marine Facility Manager, Ocean Engineering Div., National Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton SO143ZH, U.K.), Chris Malzone, (Application Development Manager, Myriax Software Pty Ltd., 2877 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92106.), Jon Marcus, (Vice President, Research and Development, RESON Inc., 100 Lopez Rd., Goleta, CA 93117.), and Pawel Pocwiardowski, (Test and Verification Manager, RESON Inc., 100 Lopez Rd., Goleta, CA 93117.)

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 136, No. 1, January 2010, pp. 45-49, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000110)

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: This technical note describes use of a multibeam echosounder (MBES) to quantify the dynamics of suspended sediment in a large open channel. A methodology is detailed that uses the backscatter magnitude from the MBES water-column data to adjust the magnitude of sonar returns for the various sonar settings, spatially and temporally average the data to account for the random nature of acoustic backscatter from the suspended sediment, and calibrate the processed data with direct samples. A case study of flow at the confluence of the Rio Paraná and Rio Paraguay, Argentina, where there is a distinct turbidity difference along the mixing interface of the two flows, is used to demonstrate the unique capabilities of MBES to quantify sediment concentrations and dynamics within the water column.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Suspended sediment
Sediment transport
Acoustic techniques
Monitoring
Open channels

Author Keywords:
Multibeam echo sonar
Suspended sediment
Sediment transport
Fluid mixing
Acoustic backscatter