On the use of the acoustic Doppler current profiler to measure zooplankton abundance

Charles N. Flagg, Sharon L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


A pilot intercalibration study was performed to evaluate the ability of RD Instrument's 307 kHz acoustic Doppler current profiler to measure zooplankton abundance. The intercalibration was between a bottom-mounted acoustic profiler deployed in 150 m of water at the edge of the New England shelf and zooplankton samples collected with a MOCNESS net system which was towed near the profiler. The results of the study showed significant correlations between backscattered signal intensity and total zooplankton volume, cross-sectional area, and dry weight. From the correlations it appears to be possible to predict zooplankton biomass to approximately ± 15 mg m-3 over the range of abundance spanned by our data with enormous resolution in time and space. However, experience with processing the acoustic data clearly indicates that significant results are only possible after careful attention to the calibration of the transducers/electronics and to the quality of the data produced by the individual profiler beams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-474
Number of pages20
JournalDeep Sea Research Part A, Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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