How Do I Measure the Flow of a Stream? SonTek ADCP and ADV Options.
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How Do I Measure the Flow of a Stream? SonTek ADCP and ADV Options.

September 11, 2019


Hi, everybody. I’m Janice Landsfeld,
product manager at SonTek. And today I’m at Clear
Creek in Colorado. So the question is, you want
to collect flow or discharge data in a small or
medium-sized river, and you’re wondering
what your options are. So we’re going to
talk about that today. There’s instantaneous
monitoring instruments, and then there’s long-term,
continuous monitoring instruments. Let’s take a look. If you want a really accurate,
high-resolution snapshot in time, probably the first
instrument you’d consider is the SonTek M9. It has nine acoustic
beams, as the name implies, and three different
frequencies, with an algorithm called SmartPulse that allows us
to switch between frequencies, that allow us to go from
shallow to deep water with ease, and really slow moving to
fast moving water with ease. What’s nice about
the RiverSurveyor M9 is that it can be
mounted on a boat, or on a floating
HydroBoard II platform to float the instrument back
and forth across your river. While you’re doing that, you
might be needing a SonTek GPS. Anybody’s GPS would
work, but what’s nice is that ours does a
push-button integration that allows you to just collect all
of those data simultaneously. And then there’s
also a nice feature that records your data
inside the instrument. So if for some reason
communications are lost, you always have
your data stored. So that’s the RiverSurveyor M9. On the other hand, what if
your river is relatively small, shallow? It’s wadeable, you
can get into it. Well, then the FlowTracker
2 might be a good option. The FlowTracker’s ADV technology
has been around a long time, and has been trusted for
high-precision measurements. It uses the same
weighting method that you might be familiar
with mechanical meters, for instance. But unlike mechanical
meters, the flow tracker has this nice color
screen, and we can do a lot with that color screen. We can show verticals
on the screen, literally while
you’re taking them. We calculate the
discharge as you go, and we allow you to
make edits as you go so you get your QC data in
the minimal amount of time. And it also walks you
through ISO methods, so you know you’re following
procedures at all times. So what if your goal is
to do more long-term, continuous monitoring? Or say you have a complex flow
condition at the site that requires more data. Well for a shallow river, you
might consider the SonTek IQ. Like the M9, it has those
SmartPulse algorithms that detect when the water
is going shallow to deep, or fast to slow. And it will optimize your
acoustic pulsing scheme to get the highest
resolution data possible. You’ll also notice
that the SonTek IQ has five acoustic beams. It has a set of
beams to gather data right in the center
of the river, but it also has these skew
beams that look out to the side, so you’re gathering data all
the away from the center out to the banks. So we get all that data for the
best flow calculation possible. There’s also an acoustic
sensor for water level, but not just the acoustic level
sensor, but a pressure sensor. So both of these are redundant
sources of water level data, and they also work together
to calibrate one another for the most consistent, robust
water level data possible. So that’s the SonTek IQ. However, what if a
bottom-mounted system is not easy to install? Or what have sedimentation
is a concern? Well in that case,
maybe a side-looker is your best option for
long-term, continuous monitoring. So just like the
bottom-mounted instruments, we have acoustic sensors,
but instead, they’re mounted on the side
of a river looking out to the opposite side,
gathering that acoustic data. But we still also have
the acoustic vertical beam for water level. We also have the
pressure sensor. But you can see if it’s
mounted on the side, it’s easy to access. It’s easy to clean,
and sedimentation is much less of a concern. All of these reasons
are good reasons to choose a side-looker where
time, and money, and labor is an issue. Now, that’s just a very
brief overview of the options you have. Here at SonTek, we understand
that every river is different, every application is different. So you can always feel free
to give us a call at any time. So in the meantime,
thanks for watching. I’m Janice Landsfeld.

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