Quality assurance of Tampa Bay ports : current measurements at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge
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Quality assurance of Tampa Bay ports : current measurements at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

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  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    "This study findsthat the physical oceanographic real-time system (PORTS) acousticDoppler current profiler (ADCP) at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is measuring water flow accurately and is located in the appropriate position to sample navigation channel currents. Velocity measurements during the intercomparison between towed and bottom-mounted ADCPs showed that both were within the instruments’ 5 cm/s accuracy as demonstrated by calibration tests in a tow tank. Current speeds measured by a towed 600 kHz ADCP along the main channel are higher in the vicinity of the 1200 kHz PORTS ADCP than at any other location. Current speeds measured during June at the center ofthe navigation channel are slightly higherthan thosemeasured by the PORTS asis evidenced in contour plots. There is also evidence of a velocity maximum from near-surface to a depth of 4 meters in the navigation channel under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. PORTS speeds on August 8,1991 were within 10 percent ofthose measured by Lagrangian drifters having trajectories which passed through the main channel. Ebb and flood speeds on the order of 1.0 m/s should be expected during periods of maximum astronomic forcing and may be even higher due to elevated sea levelsresulting from the combinedorindependent effects ofstorms and increased river discharge. The present location of the PORTS ADCP in the middle of the navigation channel serves to report velocities accurate to 5 cm/s."
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