Browsing Tag: environmental water monitoring

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

    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.