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Estimation of suspended sediment concentration in rivers using acoustic methods
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Acoustic Doppler current meters (ADV, ADCP, and ADP) are widely used in water systems to measure flow velocities and velocity profiles. Although these meters are designed for flow velocity measurements, they can also provide information defining the quantity of particulate matter in the water, after appropriate calibration. When an acoustic instrument is calibrated for a water system, no additional sensor is needed to measure suspended sediment concentration (SSC). This provides the simultaneous measurements of velocity and concentration required for most sediment transport studies. The performance of acoustic Doppler current meters for measuring SSC was investigated in different studies where signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and suspended sediment concentration were related using different formulations. However, these studies were each limited to a single study site where neither the effect of particle size nor the effect of temperature was investigated. In this study, different parameters that affect the performance of an ADV for the prediction of SSC are investigated. In order to investigate the reliability of an ADV for SSC measurements in different environments, flow and SSC measurements were made in different streams located in the Aegean region of Turkey having different soil types. Soil samples were collected from all measuring stations and particle size analysis was conducted by mechanical means. Multivariate analysis was utilized to investigate the effect of soil type and water temperature on the measurements. Statistical analysis indicates that SNR readings ob tained from the ADV are affected by water temperature and particle size distribution of the soil, as expected, and a prediction model is presented relating SNR readings to SSC mea surements where both water temperature and sediment characteristics type are incorporated into the model. The coefficients of the suggested model were obtained using the multivariate anal ysis. Effect of high turbidity conditions on ADV performance was also investigated during and after rain events.