Acoustics Hydrology


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Services | Hydroacoustics | ACOUSTICS HYDROLOGY

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Acoustic Doppler current profiling (ADCP) technology is the industry-standard platform for measuring water body velocity and flow properties over the entire water column. Normandeau hydroacoustic scientists have extensive experience with design and implementation of mobile surveys and continuous stationary monitoring programs to fulfill project-specific goals with remote biological and physical sampling of water bodies. ADCP technology is extremely versatile, and has been used by Normandeau scientists to satisfy a wide range of our clients' project goals.

Stationary-mounted ADCP systems can be deployed to monitor water currents at temporal scales from long-term seasonal variation to micro-scale turbulent eddies, with broad-reaching applicability depending on the client's needs. These types of measurements can provide valuable data for engineering and design parameters, hydrokinetic energy site assessments, hydrodynamic model input, and more. Mobile surveys using vessel-mounted ADCPs (in conjunction with GPS surveying equipment) can provide details on the spatial distribution of water velocity and bathymetry needed in discharge and thermal plume monitoring studies.

Along with water velocity measurements, the ADCP can be used in conjunction with water sampling and laboratory analyses to measure acoustically derived suspended sediment concentration (SSC) after appropriate environment-specific calibration. These techniques, when applied with our conventional water quality monitoring methods, can be used to provide continuous SSC monitoring at point locations or SSC distribution mapping during mobile surveys.

Types of Measurements

  • Three-dimensional current velocity*
  • River flow, stage, and discharge
  • Water depth/tidal height
  • Acoustic echo intensity*
  • Acoustically derived suspended sediment concentration (SSC)*
  • Turbulence intensity*
  • Mean and turbulent kinetic energy*
  • Surface wave height, period, and direction
*Data available as depth profiles


  • Flow/Current field mapping studies
  • Hydrokinetic energy site assessments
  • Dredge plume monitoring
  • NOAA/NMFS permit compliance monitoring
  • Environmental data for submerged structure design
  • Hydrodynamic modeling
  • Open channel flow and velocity-indexing
  • Fish screening monitoring
  • Coastal/Estuarine oceanographic studies
  • Mixing studies/thermal plume monitoring

Data Processing

Normandeau provides a range of data processing services that include signal data processing, database management, statistics, and data visualization for our clients. Our scientists are experienced in providing services using the following software packages:

  • SAS
  • Matlab
  • Echoview
  • Primer-E
  • R
  • and others