Bedload Transport Measurement Method
Provides real-time monitoring of bedload materials for river management
Bedload (sand and other sediment in flowing water) is an important natural resource that, without careful management, can cause costly delays in commercial navigation and potential damage to infrastructure. Consequently, periodic removal of sediment through dredging is often necessary to prevent channel closures. Dredged bedload is frequently repurposed in construction and beach renourishment.
Until now, the process of measuring bedload levels in a river has been problematic. Traditional physical samplers—which can be intrusive and damaging to a river’s ecosystem—require substantial time to deliver readings and do not sufficiently account for spatial and temporal variability. In contrast, ERDC’s innovative bedload transport measurement method relies on bathymetric data to accurately measure moving sediment in real-time while simultaneously capturing flow-rate. As a result, an accurate bedload rating curve (useful in both forecasting and hindcasting) is quickly developed for a given location. ERDC’s method offers an invaluable resource for the increasingly varied needs of public and private river management sectors.
- Fast: Real-time bathymetric data analysis enables a quicker method of measuring bedload flow rates
- Accurate: Provides more precise transport rate of bedload using quantitative data
- Reliable: Eliminates technical problems associated with physical samplers
- Environmentally friendly: Less intrusive and potentially damaging than samplers
- Low-cost: Quantitative management tool can prevent costly navigation delays
- River/waterway management (e.g., sand mining)
- NOAA (e.g., Office of Coast Survey, hydrography)
- Unmanned systems (e.g., unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs))
- Oil & Gas (e.g., offshore surveys)
- Ports (e.g., marinas, harbors)
- Shipping (e.g., navigation, locks, dams)
- Wildlife ecology