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Hydroacoustic Webinars

The WMA hosts webinars on various hydroacoustics topics on a periodic basis. Hydroacoustics is a rapidly changing field and these webinars are designed to provide training and updates to USGS users. As it is possible that the topic may change in response to scheduling conflicts or other problems, it is important to check this web page for any updates. The OSW will send out an announcement for webinars with the dates and times, along with instructions for participating. Recordings of past webinars are place here to be viewed or reviewed at the user's convenience.

Recorded Webinars

Title / Recorded Webinar
AreaComp 3: Development and Validation of Stage-Area Ratings
November 4, 2021
AreaComp3 is a python application used to stitch multiple sub-surveys together, analyze bathymetry data, and compute a relationship between channel area and stage. The stage area relationship (stage area rating) can be used in the computation of discharge using index-velocity methods. AreaComp3 provides additional support for stage-area validation required by OSW Technical Memorandum 2015.05 and USGS Techniques and Methods report 3-A23 by adding functionality to compare the bathymetry and stage-area ratings of multiple cross-section surveys. The webinar covers: (1) Collection of cross-sectional bathymetry surveys; (2) Supported data types; (3) Loading data into AreaComp3; (4) Stitching of sub-surveys; (5) Data export; and (6) Comparison of multiple surveys and rating validation.
Using GPS with ADCPs
April 15, 2021
When using ADCPs in challenging environments, position, velocity, and heading data can be the difference between quality and questionable discharge. Increased collection of geospatial information in conjunction with ADCP data provides for additional QA parameters, geolocation information, potentially more accurate discharge, and the ability to improve overall data analysis. To aid in the integration of this technology in your field "toolkit," this presentation will cover topics including common GPS/GNSS equipment used with ADCPs, how to ensure quality data collection, and getting started with initial equipment setup.
Collecting and Processing Midsection ADCP Measurements with Sontek RiverSurveyor Stationary Live Software
October 29, 2020
The midsection method for discharge computations using Acoustic Doppler Current Meters (ADCPs) is a useful tool for collecting discharge measurements when moving boat measurements are not possible or are extremely poor due to issues with compass, bottom track, moving bed, or GPS. This presentation will detail the use of Sontek RiverSurveyor Stationary Live software for setting up, collecting, and processing ADCP measurements using the midsection method.
RIVRS Phase 1: Index Velocity Field Synchronization and Rating Verification
August 20, 2020
The Rapid Index Velocity Rating and Synchronization (RIVRS) field tool was developed to improve the workflow and efficiency of synchronizing index velocity data and peforming rating verification while in the field. The RIVRS field tool aids in the grouping of transects from discharge measurements, synchronizes field data, and provides immediate feedback on whether rating shifts are indicated, or check measurements should be completed based on OSW Technical Memorandum 2017.03.
Introducing QRev 4: A New and Improved Version of QRev
June 11, 2020
QRev is the required software for processing moving-boat streamflow measurements made using Acoustic Doppler Profiles (OSW2017.02). QRev 4 is a new version of QRev written in Python with a new user interface. This webinar provides an introduction to QRev 4, highlights the differences with QRev 3.43, and discusses the future end of life for QRev 3.43.
Collecting and Processing Midsection ADCP Measurements with TRDI Section by Section Software
May 21, 2020
The midsection method for discharge computations using Acoustic Doppler Current Meters (ADCPs) is a useful tool for collecting discharge measurements when moving boat measurements are not possible or are extremely poor due to issues with compass, bottom track, moving bed, or GPS. This presentation will detail the use of TRDI Section by Section software for setting up, collecting, and processing ADCP measurements using the midsection method.
Complex Index Velocity Ratings
January 30, 2020
Index velocity gaging stations are frequently found in highly complex hydraulic environments where simple linear relationships between index and mean velocities do not exist. This presentation is intended to serve as a refresher for identifying and developing more complex rating types.
ChannelMaster Utilities: An introduction to TRDI's new ADVM software
August 1, 2019
o This presentation provides a first look at TRDI's recently released ChannelMaster Utilities(CMU) software package. CMU was designed to follow standard USGS index velocity gaging service procedures and represents a large shift from the workflow associated with the use of WinH-ADCP. The intent of this presentation will be to provide a practical look at the standard workflow associated with this new tool.
SL v3.x: An Introduction to Communicating with SonTek-SL 3G ADVMs
December 2018
The latest generation of SonTek Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meters (ADVMs) does not support communiction with legacy SonTek ADVM software. This presentation covers the basic functionality of the new SL version 3.x software for site setup, routine maintenance, and data review for standard index velocity gaging stations.
Introduction to the Velocity Mapping Toolbox
July 2018
At the heart of modern measurement techniques in rivers is the use of hydroacoustics. Mechanical cup velocity meters and sounding weights have given way to acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) and multibeam echo sounders (MBES). This evolution in technology has allowed researchers to resolve rivers in high definition to document and explore field-scale processes at a resolution that was not possible in the past. As instrumentation evolved, expectations from the dense datasets they provide also grew while development of post- processing software tried to keep pace. Although a majority of the data we collect with modern instrumentation is never fully utilized, researchers around the world are finding innovative ways to collect, analyze, and exploit data-rich outputs from hydroacoustic instruments to resolve hydrodynamic characteristics and underlying processes with high fidelity. This lecture will introduce participants to modern, novel techniques for mapping velocity distributions in water bodies using ADCPs and utilizing the hydroacoustic data to its fullest potential by taking advantage of the Velocity Mapping Toolbox (VMT) post-processing software package. Participants will be exposed to basic steps for planning data collection campaigns, processing and visualizing datasets with VMT, and exploring possibilities for application of hydroacoustics to their own projects during group discussions.
What's New in Index Velocity Documentation and Automation
April 2018
This presentation gives an overview of the IV_Rating.xlsm spreadsheet. This tool is currently taught in all index velocity rating classes and is available for download at Benefits include:
- Meets minimum required documentation (2015.05)
- Automates data entry from IV_SYNC and shifting tools (2017.03)
- Use of this version of the IV_Rating Excel spreadsheet will ensure compatibility with new Python-based index velocity tools currently under development
Following the presentation there will be time for Q and A on the spreadsheet or any topics related to index velocity.
Review of OSW Memo 2017.03: Policy and Guidance for Shifting and Check Measurement Practices using the Index Velocity Method
April 2017 pdf
OSW Technical Memorandum 2017.03 outlines new policies and guidance for making decisions on shifting and check measurements at index-velocity streamgages. This webinar outlines the justifications for and details of these new requirements. Also included are demonstrations of the new spreadsheet tools EXPORT_RATING and IV_SYNC, which help users easily synchronize measurement data in the field, compare measured and rated discharge, and comply with requirements in the Memo.
Introduction to QRev 3.2x
February 2017 pdf
OSW Technical Memorandum 2017.02 made the use of QRev software (Mueller 2016) mandatory beginning March 31, 2017, for processing streamflow measurements made using an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) from a moving-boat and stored in the National Water Information System. This webinar provides an introduction to processing measurements using QRev.
Overview of New FlowTracker2 ADV
June 2016 pdf
SonTek has introduced the FlowTracker2 as the replacement for the original FlowTracker. The FlowTracker2 has additional features and capabilities along with a redesigned user interface.
QRev Software for Processing Streamflow Measurements
March 2016 pdf
OSW Technical Memorandum 2016.03 announced the release of QRev software. OSW developed QRev to improve the consistency and efficiency of processing ADCP streamflow measurements. Users are encouraged to use QRev to process moving-boat ADCP streamflow measurements because QRev provides: 1) automated data quality checks with feedback to the user; 2) automated data filtering; 3) automated application of extrap, LC, and SMBA algorithms; 4) consistent processing algorithms independent of the ADCP used to collect the data; 5) improved handing of invalid data; and 6)an estimated uncertainty to help guide the user in rating the measurement.
Best Practices for Caring for Acoustic Instruments
July 2015 pdf
There are many practices a hydrographer can employ to maintain hydroacoustic instrumentation. Keeping an eye out for common maintenance issues and protecting instruments from damage during transit can help avoid costly repairs. These practices can also help speed the turnaround time for an instrument which has been recalled for Quality Assurance testing. Learn what to watch for and how to avoid making common mistakes that will cost your Water Science Center.
Minimum Requirements for Documenting Stage-Area & Index-Velocity Ratings
March 2015 pdf
The index velocity method was documented and described in the Techniques and Methods (T&M) report "Computing Discharge Using the Index Velocity Method" by Levesque and Oberg (2012). However, the T&M does not specify minimum requirements for the documentation of stage-area and index-velocity ratings. Because much of the development for stage-area and index-velocity ratings presently (2015) takes place outside of the National Water Information System (NWIS), it is necessary to provide guidance for documenting the development and implementation of these ratings. In this webinar we will review these minimum requirements and go over examples of the requirements.
RiverSurveyor M9/S5 Compass Upgrade and New Features
February 2015 pdf
OSW Informational and Technical Note 2015.05 announced the compass upgrade for RiverSurveyor M9 and S5 ADCPs. This webinar provides an update on the upgrade process described in OSW Note 2015.05; clarifies questions regarding the compass upgrade; explains the new compass calibration dialog and procedures; explains the new real-time compass alerts; and discusses other new features in RiverSurveyor Live.
What's New in Hydroacoustics
November 2014 pdf
This webinar provides an overview of the latest tools, techniques, applications, and resources in hydroacoustics in the USGS. The purpose of the webinar is to update USGS staff on instruments/technologies, review important policies (especially new ones), and common problems. New acoustic instruments have come onto the market, existing acoustic instruments have been modified, and substantial advances in software for acoustic instruments has occurred. These and other, related Hydroacoustics topics are discussed.
Sound Science -- Continuous Suspended-Sediment Monitoring Using Acoustic Surrogates (No recording)
September 2014 pdf
There is great potential to obtain sediment and water-quality information from hydroacoustic metrics, leveraging the data that already is being collected in hydroacoustic velocity measurements. This presentation by Mark Landers and others gives an overview of how hydroacoustic metrics are being successfully used to estimate sediment characteristics. The presentation describes progress in technical guidance, support software, and real-time applications of continuous time-series suspended sediment from acoustic Doppler velocity meters. Ongoing research and future applications in using discrete measurements to obtain suspended sediment also is described.
Hydroacoustics and Field Computing
June 2014
Discusses the current (June 2014) status of tablet use in the USGS, focusing on hydroacoustic data collection. Tablet users from three Water Science Centers discuss their experiences. An overview of available options with some recommended specifications is provided.
The Velocity Mapping Toolbox (VMT): Updates and Applications
May 2014
VMT has been officially released for 1 year. This webinar (1) reviews current capabilities in VMT, (2) provides an update on VMT enhancements, (3) summarizes past and present applications of VMT, and (4) suggests possibilities for future work. The Office of Surface Water has been working on enhancements to VMT, including support for other ADCP and on improving performance and the user-interface. VMT continues to be used on a variety of projects, including: morphodynamics of large river meanders, evaluation of tributaries to Lake Michigan for Asian Carp spawning, and lake circulation studies to name a few. The webinar will also briefly cover ideas for how VMT can be used as a project development tool.
Updates to Techniques and Methods Report 3-A22 - Measuring Discharge with Acoustics Doppler Current Profilers from a Moving Boat
April 2014
This webinar discusses the 2013 updates and changes made to Techniques and Methods report 3A22, ?Measuring Discharge with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers from a Moving Boat?. This update contains the most current (as of 2013) information and guidance regarding acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) used by the USGS at the time of publication. Policies contained in memorandum prior to 2013 are considered superseded or duplicated by the policy and procedures in this report. Important additions and changes that will be discussed include: (a) discussion of new ADCPs, (b) blanking distance to account for flow disturbance, (c) Instrument testing and quality assurance requirements, (d) GPS specifications and limitations, (e) salinity measurement requirements, (f) measuring in changing and tidal flow conditions, (g) measuring in difficult conditions, (h) edge discharge requirements, and (i) measurement processing procedure.
Effective Review of FlowTracker Measurements
August 2013 pptx
Highlights best practices for FlowTracker ADV mid-section streamflow measurements and their effective review.
Using SWAMI with Acoustic Instruments
May 2013 pptx
This webinar covers current (May 2013) usage of SWAMI in the USGS, configuration files in SWAMI, Staging/Importing acoustic measurements, loading SWAMI files into SiteVisit using the loader and drag and drop, viewing SWAMI files in SiteVisit and on local directories, archiving "paperless" measurement files, and help/resources.
Get Acquainted with the Latest Versions of LC, SMBA
April 2013 pptx
Recently the USGS released updates to the utility programs LC and SMBA for processing moving bed tests. Based on the algorithms developed by the USGS and used in these utilities, SonTek and TRDI have updated their data collection software to process loop and stationary moving bed tests. In this webinar  the changes in the algorithms in LC and SMBA, how this will affect moving best test results, and the differences in the way in which the manufacturers have implemented these features in their software are discussed.
GPS Best Practices For Moving-Boat ADCP Q Measurements
March 2013
This webinar discusses best practices for using GPS with ADCPs for measuring streamflow. Topics covered include: a) GPS requirements and preferred settings, b) importance of valid compass headings, c) detecting compass calibration issues, d) determining magnetic declination, e) reviewing GPS quality, and f) selecting the best reference.
Status of Testing of Hydroacoustic Instruments
February 2013 pdf
In this webinar, an overview of the USGS testing program is provided along with examples of the different kinds of testing. The status of USGS analysis of comparison measurements for TRDIs RiverRay and SonTek M9s/S5s and Ott ADCs as of February 2013 is presented. OSW's plans for future testing activities in 2013 are discussed, including the initial implementation of an ADCP lab testing program similar to that for the Flowtracker ADV. An update on requirements for routine QA of ADCPs is also provided.
Review and Rating of Moving-Boat ADCP Q Measurements
October 2012
This webinar presents approaches to reviewing and rating discharge measurements made using ADCPs. The steps presented for rating a measurement while using some quantitative values are qualitative in nature and are focused at determining an Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor rating rather than a quantitative uncertainty. In addition to presenting steps for review of measurements, three measurement examples are used to demonstrate the proposed approach.
October 2011
This webinar reviews OSW policies as well as best practices for compass calibration when making ADCP discharge measurements.
September 2011
This webinar: (a) discusses when mid-section methods should be used, (b) provides an overview of the software available for making mid-section measurements, and (c) discusses best practices for mid-section ADCP discharge measurements.
August 2011
July 2011
In this webinar, the key features of the SonTek/YSI RiverSurveyor Live software are discussed. Topics covered include: a) data collection and processing with RiverSurveyor Live PC, b) data collection with RiverSurveyor Live mobile, and c) use of USGS specific programs (SMBA, LC, extrap) with RiverSurveyor data files.
June 2011
Webinar on QA practices for hydroacoustic instruments in the USGS. Topics include: acceptance testing, post factory repair testing, and user testing, when comparison measurements ought to be made, current policies regarding comparison measurements with new equipment, annual check measurements, beam alignment tests, and other QA practices.
May 2011
An overview of the latest tools, techniques, applications, and resources for hydroacoustic discharge measurements. The intent of the webinar is to update USGS staff on instruments/technologies, review important policies (especially new ones), and common issues.
May 2010
Dan Wagner describes the OTT ADC meter and summarizes the latest results of USGS testing
April 2010
Review of how to get ADCP data from the field into the USGS NWIS database. An overview of the use of SWAMI, Site Visit and other tools are presented and practical considerations discussed. Presented by Joe Nielsen, OSW and Liz Hittle, PA WSC.
Understanding and documenting index velocity rating analysis (No Recording)
April 2010
Victor Levesque presents a webinar on understanding and documenting regression analysis to develop an index velocity rating. The webinar summarizes recommended approaches for documenting rating analyses for index-velocity ratings and provides specific examples. An example rating spreadsheet is available here.
Reviewing and rating ADCP discharge measurements (No Recording)
April 2010
David Mueller discusses approaches to reviewing and rating discharge measurements made using ADCPs. In addition to presenting steps for review of measurements, David provides three measurement examples, shows how he reviewed them, and how he assigned an overall rating to the measurements.
March 2010
This webinar summarizes common issues related to hydroacoustics as identifed during Office of Surface Water Technical Reviews of USGS Water Science Centers, 2007-2009.
Oct 2009
Techniques have been developed to use acoustic backscatter from acoustic Doppler velocity meters (ADVMs) to estimate suspended sediment concentrations in rivers. ADVMs are often used for velocity measurements in streams using the index velocity method. The Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project (FISP) has provided funding for developing a manual and standardized method for using acoustics backscatter for sediment measurements. This webinar summarizes current progress on this work.
June 2009
Chad Wagner and David Mueller provided an overview of an ongoing analysis to quantify the bias and random noise associated with GPS-based (VTG and GGA) ADCP discharge measurements relative to bottom-track bottom-track based discharge measurements. The GPS equipment utilized in the analysis is limited to GPS receivers with the capability of providing sub-meter positional accuracy, and does not include Real-time Kinematic (RTK) GPS units. The analysis is based on 63 bottom-track and GPS-referenced discharge measurements comprised of 579 individual discharge measurement transects collected at 42 different sites across the United States, Canada and New Zealand between 2002 and 2007 by various field personnel from the USGS, Environment Canada and New Zealand?s National Institute of Water and Atmosphere using various deployment techniques and ADCPs. The analysis also evaluated measured discharges using differentially corrected GGA as the navigation reference for three wide-area satellite-based differential correction sources commonly used in North America (WAAS, OminStar and CDGPS).
May 2009
Paul Diaz provides an overview on the use of Bluetooth radios with ADCPs. Bluetooth and other types of wireless systems are used in conjunction with laptops or PDAs to communicate with ADCPs. This allows hydrographers to configure and collect ADCP data from remote controlled or tethered boats without the need to be directly connected. The presentation covers the types of wireless systems currently available, their typical uses, example hardware and software settings, and troubleshooting.
Congo Field Trip (No Recording)
March 2009
John Shelton discusses his experiences while making measurements of velocity and discharge on the Congo River. Water depths in excess of 600 feet and water velocities in excess of 15 ft/s were measured during this work. Measured discharges were greater than 1.26 million ft3/s
ADCP "Best Practices" (No Recording)
February 2009
Overview of contents of "Measuring Discharge with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers from a Moving Boat, Techniques and Methods Report, Chapter 22 of Book 3, Section A, by David S. Mueller and Chad R. Wagner
January 23, 2009
Review of best practices for operation of acoustic Doppler velocity meters (ADVMs) at Index Velocity gages
January 6, 2009
Discusses 1) recent updates to LC to provide automated QA/QC of loop tests and corrections, 2) use of SMBA to correct discharges using multiple stationary moving-bed tests, and 3) release of WinRiver II 2.04 with changes to the depth screening alogrithms.
December 2, 2008
Overview on the use of WinRiver II software version 2.03. Topics include: improvements to stability, modifications to the side-lobe cut-off algorithm and how it can affect discharge totals, etc.
October 14, 2008
Discussion of new tools, techniques, and applications in hydroacoustics
August 6, 2008
Webinar presented by Gary Wilson, Missouri WSC, discussing bathymetric mapping of reservoirs in Missouri. The presentation includes discussions of basic equipment, preparation, field techniques, quantifying and specifying data accuracy, and generating contour maps in Arc.
May 28, 2008
Presentation on the use of the Hydroacoustics Community forum as an additional support mechanism for hydroacoustics users
Mid-Section Measurements with ADCPs
March 26,2008
Discussion of use of ADCPs for discharge measurements the mid-section method
February 25,2008

Problems and solutions associated with making moving-bed test with a Streampro and adjusting the discharge to correct for a moving-bed
December 12,2007

Webinar introducing TRDI's new WinRiver II software and reviewing the OSW policy memo on this subject