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USGS Hydroacoustics

Mid-Section Measurements - Guidance

The USGS has developed guidance to help ensure that data collected by USGS personnel are consistent and of high quality. The guidance consists of policy specified in technical memorandums (and referenced reports) and other best practices that are provided in published reports, papers, hydroacoustic updates, and information provided on this web site.


OSW Technical Memo 2010.02--Flow Meter Quality-Assurance Check - SonTek/YSI FlowTracker Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (html) or (pdf)

OSW Technical Memo 2007.01--SonTek/YSI FlowTracker firmware version 3.10 and software version 2.11 upgrades and additional policy on the use of FlowTrackers for discharge measurements (html) or (pdf)

OSW Technical Memo 2005.08--Policy and Guidance for Archiving Electronic Discharge Measurement Data (html) or (pdf)

OSW Technical Memo 2004.04--Policy on the use of the FlowTracker for discharge measurements (pdf)

Field Guides

USGS Field Guide to SxS Pro Software

HIF Flowtracker 2 Buying Guide

Other Best Practices

NEW! Guidelines for measuring discharge under ice using ADCPs: The Water Survey of Canada has prepared a helpful report, titled, "Standard Operating Procedures for under-ice discharge measurements using ADCPs". The report was prepared by Paul Campbell, Water Survey of Canada. Version 2, March 2015

Instrument Updates: It is always recommended that instruments used the latest approved Firmware and that data be collected and processed with the latest approved Software.

Methods: When using Hydroacoustics to perform mid-section method discharge measurements most "best practices" used for mechanical meter discharge measurements still apply. These practices, including site selection, are well documented in Water Supply Paper 2175 Measurement and Computation of Streamflow.

Forms: Use of forms and checklists are a good way to help prevent oversights in preparation, collection and processing of data. Several forms are available for download below.

FlowTracker Forms: