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Water 2015, 7(1), 217-247; doi:10.3390/w7010217

Empirical Modeling of Spatial 3D Flow Characteristics Using a Remote-Controlled ADCP System: Monitoring a Spring Flood

1
Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku, Turku FI-20014, Finland
2
GWM-Engineering, Savilahdentie 6 L 20, Kuopio FI-70210, Finland
3
Department of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Finnish Geodetic Institute, Geodeettinrinne 2, Masala FI-02431, Finland
4
Department of Real Estate, Planning and Geoinformatics, School of Science and Technology, Aalto University, Espoo FI-00076, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 8 October 2014 / Accepted: 22 December 2014 / Published: 7 January 2015
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Abstract

The use of acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) for measuring streamflow and discharge is becoming increasingly widespread. The spatial distribution of flow patterns is useful data in studying riverine habitats and geomorphology. Until now, most flow mapping has focused on measurements along a series of transects in a channel. Here, we set out to measure, model and analyze the 3D flow characteristics of a natural river over a continuous areal extent, quantifying flow velocity, 3D flow directions, volumes, water depth and their changes over time. We achieved multidimensional spatial flow measurements by deploying an ADCP on a remotely-controlled boat, combined with kinematic GNSS positioning and locally-monitored water level data. We processed this data into a 3D point cloud of accurately positioned individual 3D flow measurements that allows the visual analysis of flow velocities, directions and channel morphology in 3D space. We demonstrate how this allows monitoring changes of flow patterns with a time series of flow point clouds measured over the period of a spring flood in Finnish Lapland. Furthermore, interpolating the raw point cloud onto a 3D matrix allows us to quantify volumetric flow while reducing noise in the data. We can now quantify the volumes of water moving at certain velocities in a given reach and their location in 3D space, allowing, for instance, the monitoring of the high-velocity core and its changes over time. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP); Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS); 3D flow measurement; spatial flow; 3D flow field; streamflow; empirical model; high resolution; point cloud; high velocity core; spring flood; river; Finland acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP); Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS); 3D flow measurement; spatial flow; 3D flow field; streamflow; empirical model; high resolution; point cloud; high velocity core; spring flood; river; Finland
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Flener, C.; Wang, Y.; Laamanen, L.; Kasvi, E.; Vesakoski, J.-M.; Alho, P. Empirical Modeling of Spatial 3D Flow Characteristics Using a Remote-Controlled ADCP System: Monitoring a Spring Flood. Water 2015, 7, 217-247.

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