LAGRANGIAN DROGUE-BASED DRIFTER FOR MONITORING SUSPENDED SEDIMENT TRANSPORT IN INTERTIDAL ENVIRONMENTS

Takahiro Nishi, Charles Lemckert, Kentaro Hayashi, Fumihiko Yamada

Abstract


The in-situ Lagrangian-Acoustic Drogue (LAD) presented by Schacht and Lemckert (2007) for monitoring the temporal and spatial distributions of both the current and the suspended sediment concentration within the estuary environments has been modified to operate in the shallow water intertidal regions. The new drogue, called the LAD for Inter-Tidal environments (LAD-IT), is equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS), a small Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and nephelometer. The small ADCP, which did not have a bottom tracking facility, was used to maximize the range of depths the LAD-IT could operate over. The accuracy of a vertical current profile measured using the LAD-IT was examined through the laboratory experiments conducted at an outdoor stream pool in Kumamoto, Japan, with uni-directional flow conditions, and through the field experiments conducted within an intertidal zone of Ariake Sound in Kumamot, Japan, with multi-directional flow conditions. Under uni- directional flow conditions the current profile was measured within 7% accuracy by summing the surface current velocity calculated using GPS tracking and the relative current profile measured using ADCP. Under multi-directional flow conditions, such as those of tide and wind-induced wave fields, the current profile agreed within 5% accuracy. This was partly because both Eulerian and Lagrangian mass transport velocities under these conditions were on the order of 1cm/s, and thus the error value was very small. The temporal and spatial distributions of both the current velocity and the suspended sediment concentration were also measured using the LAD-IT on the Brisbane River, Australia under uni-directional flow conditions. The field observation results support the conventional concept of the suspended sediment as a vertical balance between downward suspended sediment settling and upward turbulent diffusion fluxes. The results indicate the LAD-IT is adequate for estimating the sediment settling velocity in the field.

Keywords


Lagrangian measurements; water tracking ability; settling velocity

References


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