A Velocity Meter for Quantifying Advection Velocity Vectors in Large Water Bodies




Allafchi, Farzam
Valeo, Caterina
Chu, Angus
He, Jianxun
Lee, Waltfred
Oshkai, Peter
Neumann, Norman

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A velocity meter was designed and built in order to meet market needs for an affordable instrument that measures the range of velocity magnitudes and direction experienced in medium- to large-sized water bodies. The velocity meter consists of a graduated plate with an injector protruding from the center and a camera held downward above the plate. Once the Dye Injection Velocity (DIV) meter is in the flow, dye is injected and the camera records the dye fluid transport. The recorded video is analyzed to determine the local flow velocity and direction. The DIV was calibrated for a range of velocities between 0.0094 m/s and 0.1566 m/s using particle image velocimetry (PIV) in a flow visualization flume. The accuracy of the instrument was found to be +6.3% and −9.8% of full scale. The coefficient of determination of the calibration curve was equal to 98%. Once calibrated, the DIV was deployed to the Inverness Stormwater pond in Calgary, Canada, for validation tests against an Acoustic Doppler Velocity (ADV) meter. During the validation tests, both flow velocity magnitude and direction were measured at several spatial points. The velocity magnitude results showed good agreement and the Mann-Whitney test showed no statistically significant difference (p-value > 0.05). At two spatial points, the differences between direction data were significant, which could be caused by the random errors involved in the validation test. However, the averaged data showed good agreement.



velocity meter, stormwater pond, PIV, ADV, flow velocity, dye injection


Allafchi, F., Valeo, C., Chu, A., He, J., Lee, W., Oshkai, P., & Neumann, N. (2020). A Velocity Meter for Quantifying Advection Velocity Vectors in Large Water Bodies. Sensors, 20(24), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20247204.