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Measuring Discharge In Shallow Streams Using Doppler Flowmeters

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032019,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13993) @2003
Authors:   Lisa M. Stahr, Sarah M. Anderson, Dean E. Eisenhauer
Keywords:   Doppler meters, acoustic Doppler velocity meters, current meters, shallow streams

Acoustic Doppler velocity meters for discharge measurements in shallow streams are available commercially. This project was conducted to determine the performance of Doppler meters under a wide range of velocity, suspended sediment, and bed load conditions. Further, operating criteria, space and sampling time intervals, were evaluated. The project was conducted on three streams in Nebraska where mean velocities ranged from 0.1 to 0.6 m/s. Two styles of Doppler meters were evaluated, an acoustic Doppler velocity meter (ADV) and an area velocity meter (AVM). The Doppler meter discharges were compared to current meter discharge (CM). The ADV had a mean difference from the CM of 7.2 percent with the highest difference being 13.4 percent. The AVM did not perform as well with the largest difference from the CM being 46.4 percent and the mean difference being 18.9 percent. The performances of the AVM and ADV were not significantly correlated with either suspended sediment concentration or bed load but were correlated to water velocity. Both meters performed better at higher velocities. Spacing interval studies suggested that the standard spacing recommendations of the USGS are appropriate. Laboratory studies revealed that the appropriate sampling time intervals were 30 seconds for the AVM and 60 seconds for the ADV.

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