Skip to Main Content
Two RiverSondes were operated simultaneously in close proximity in order to provide a two-dimensional map of river surface velocity. The initial test was carried out at Threemile Slough in central California. The two radars were installed about 135 m apart on the same bank of the channel. Each radar used a 3-yagi antenna array and determined signal directions using direction finding. The slough is approximately 200 m wide, and each radar processed data out to about 300 m, with a range resolution of 15 m and an angular resolution of 1 degree. Overlapping radial vector data from the two radars were combined to produce total current vectors at a grid spacing of 10 m, with updates every 5 minutes. The river flow in the region, which has a maximum velocity of about 0.8 m/s, is tidally driven with flow reversals every 6 hours, and complex flow patterns were seen during flow reversal. The system performed well with minimal mutual interference. The ability to provide continuous, non-contact two-dimensional river surface flow measurements will be useful in several unique settings, such as studies of flow at river junctions where impacts to juvenile fish migration are significant. Additional field experiments are planned this year on the Sacramento River.