Long-term ferry-based observations of the suspended sediment fluxes through the Marsdiep inlet using acoustic Doppler current profilers


Long-term measurements with a hull mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) under the ferry, crossing the Marsdiep inlet between the mainland and the island of Texel (the Netherlands), were used to determine the volume flux and the flux of suspended particulate matter (SPM) through this inlet for the period 2003–2005. Profiles of the SPM concentration were estimated from profiles of the acoustic backscatter intensity in which the shift between the low and the high turbulent regime is taken into account. Calibration constants and tuning parameters were estimated by using data collected during 7 different 13 hour anchor stations. The residual (water) volume flux through the inlet appears to vary strongly on a variety of time scales from daily to inter-annual. A regression analysis indicates that the daily residual volume transport correlates well with the daily mean wind component from the south; the latter likely drives the residual flow along the coast of Holland. The observed residual SPM transport of 7 to 11 Mton/yr is dominated by the correlation between tidal velocity and SPM concentration variations. This leads to an import as currents and SPM concentrations during flood were higher than those during ebb, a process generally known as tidal asymmetry. Our analysis has shown that regular observations with a ferry mounted ADCP is an effective method to monitor the volume and SPM transport processes in an estuary.
QR Code: Link to publication