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On the use of acoustics for measuring shallow water suspended sediment processes

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4 Author(s)
P. D. Thorne ; Proudman Oceanogr. Lab., Bidston Obs., Birkenhead, UK ; P. J. Hardcastle ; D. Flatt ; J. D. Humphery

Acoustics have the promise of being able to have a significant impact on our understanding of coastal sedimentary processes, which play such an important role in the dynamics of the coastal and shallow water environment. Due to this, the application of acoustics for remotely measuring suspended sediments, over ranges from metres to tens of metres, is gaining acceptance within the sediment community. This recognition of the use of acoustics to the area of sediment processes is based on advances which have been made decade in the understanding of the interaction of sound with marine suspended sediments, and also due to ongoing field observations which have shown the unique ability of the acoustic technique to measure suspended sediment profiles. In the present work acoustic measurements of suspended sediments have been conducted at 1, 2.5, 3, and 5 MHz in a number of different shallow water environments. The interpretation of the acoustic data to obtain suspended sediment concentration is presented, and some of the difficulties when inverting the acoustic information to obtain the suspended load are considered. Some discussion is also given to future uses of acoustics for studying sediment processes, and how one may utilize the application of underwater sound to manage our coastal environment more effectively

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 1 )