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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 183:305-310 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/meps183305

A high-precision current measurement system for laboratory flume systems: a case study around a circular cylinder

Barbara Springer1,*, Michael Friedrichs1, Gerhard Graf1, Jörg Nittikowski2, Wolfgang Queisser3

1University of Rostock, Freiligrathstr. 7/8, D-18055 Rostock, Germany
2Am See 15, D-24259 Westensee, Germany
3Geomar Research Institute, Wischhofstr. 1-3, D-24148 Kiel, Germany

ABSTRACT: For detailed flow studies around benthic organisms in flumes there is need for a precise velocity sensor that can be positioned accurately. In this paper an automated positioning unit, combined with a velocity sensor, is described for a recirculating salt water flume in which natural sediment cores can be introduced. The spatial resolution of the positioning system is 0.21 mm in all 3 dimensions. It is equipped with a Sontek acoustic-Doppler velocimeter which has a small sampling volume (0.25 mm3) located 5 cm below the sensor head. A computer controls both the coupled positioning and sampling procedures. Hence it can follow even complex flow patterns or record the flow regime in a complete 3-D grid. Results from flow measurements around a single polychaete tube mimic in the flume show a characteristic vortex pattern with high spatial resolution and reveal the effects on particle fluxes in the benthic boundary-layer. Thus it confirms the findings of previous publications on polychaete tube induced flow patterns and adds new resolution through direct flow measurements around the object.

KEY WORDS: Flume · Positioning system · Benthic boundary-layer · Flow-pattern · Acoustic-Doppler velocimeter · Polychaete tube

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