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An evaluation of the use of a multibeam echo-sounder for observations of suspended sediment

Simmons, Stephen M.; Parsons, Daniel R.; Best, James L.; Oberg, Kevin A.; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Keevil, Gareth M.


Daniel R. Parsons

James L. Best

Kevin A. Oberg

Jonathan A. Czuba

Gareth M. Keevil


The theory relating the acoustic backscatter from suspended sediments to the mass concentration of particles has been developed over several decades and is now routinely applied to provide measurements for commercial and scientific applications. Single-beam instruments, such as acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP), permit acquisition of backscatter along one-dimensional spatial profiles. However, commercially available multibeam echo-sounders (MBES), designed principally for bathymetric surveying, now offer water column backscatter data-logging across their two-dimensional interrogation swaths, enabling suspended sediment to be instantaneously imaged across much larger volumes. This paper addresses issues relating to the processing of suspended sediment backscatter recorded with an MBES system, drawing on the theory developed for single-beam instruments. A processing methodology is developed and the performance limits estimated from an analysis of the data acquired in the near-field of a Teledyne-RESON MBES in a controlled test facility. Results derived from the application of the methodology to field-data collected with an MBES and an ADCP in the Missouri River, USA, are presented that demonstrate the potential gains in spatial and temporal resolution and near-bed imaging than can be achieved by the use of an MBES system.


Simmons, S. M., Parsons, D. R., Best, J. L., Oberg, K. A., Czuba, J. A., & Keevil, G. M. (2017). An evaluation of the use of a multibeam echo-sounder for observations of suspended sediment. Applied acoustics. Acoustique appliqué. Angewandte Akustik, 126, 81-90.

Acceptance Date May 3, 2017
Online Publication Date May 20, 2017
Publication Date 2017-11
Deposit Date May 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 21, 2018
Journal Applied acoustics
Print ISSN 0003-682X
Electronic ISSN 1872-910X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 126
Pages 81-90
Keywords Multibeam; Suspended sediment
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Applied acoustics, 2017. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.
Contract Date May 21, 2018


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