Software for Computing Streamflow from Acoustic Profiler Data 

In Reply Refer To: 
Mail Stop 
                                             September 12, 2000 


SUBJECT:  Software for Computing Streamflow from Acoustic Profiler Data 

The purpose of this memorandum is to announce the availability of the 
WinRiver software for collecting and processing data collected with RD 
Instruments (RDI) acoustic profilers (Broadband, RioGrande, Workhorse, and 
others).  The WinRiver software was developed by RDI, in cooperation with 
the USGS, as a part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement 
(CRADA).  The WinRiver software supersedes the Transect software, which 
should not be used for any additional discharge measurements. 

The CRADA was used by USGS as a means to incorporate USGS needs and 
techniques into software for collecting and processing RDI acoustic 
Doppler current profiler (ADCP) data.  The WinRiver software that resulted 
from the CRADA provides improved capabilities for processing ADCP files, 
computing velocity and discharge data, and summarizing streamflow 
Both experienced and inexperienced users have extensively tested 
WinRiver.  It was used in three recent USGS training classes.  The 
discharges computed using WinRiver have been compared with discharges 
computed using Transect versions 2.72 and 4.05 (Table 1).  In general, 
discharges computed using Transect 4.05 are very close to those computed 
with WinRiver.  Rounding and some minor changes in the edge discharge 
calculations can explain the minor differences in discharges computed by 
Transect 4.05 and WinRiver 10.01.  Under some circumstances, discharges 
computed with Transect 2.72 may be significantly different than discharges 
computed using WinRiver.  The WinRiver software provides a more accurate 
computation of discharge because of the number of enhancements to the 
software since Transect 2.72 was released.  These enhancements are listed 
in (Attachment 1). 

Because of the differences between discharges computed using Transect 2.72 
and WinRiver 10.01, it is strongly recommended that water year 2000 
records be computed using WinRiver software.  This means that it will be 
necessary to playback data with WinRiver that were previously played back 
in Transect 2.72.  Although this is an inconvenience, it should not 
require an inordinate amount of work, especially given some of the 
features available in WinRiver for summarizing discharges. 

The attached release notes (Attachment 2) describe and list important 
features about the WinRiver software.  Most of this information is 
available as a part of the help file available with WinRiver.  The 
WinRiver software is available for USGS personnel who own and use ADCP's 
manufactured by RDI at the following URL:> 

WinRiver is a proprietary software package written and maintained by RDI.  
The software should only be used by offices and personnel owning one of 
RDI's acoustic profilers.  The software should not be copied or provided 
to other agencies or entities without prior written authorization from 

Effective immediately, the WinRiver software is the only approved software 
for the collection and processing of data using a RDI acoustic profiler 
for the calculation of discharge.  All use of the RDI Transect software 
should be discontinued, regardless of the version being used.   

If you need help or assistance with this software, please contact Kevin 
Oberg ( or send email to the USGS HydroAcoustic Workgroup 
(>).  Please report any software bugs to Kevin 
and Dave Mueller by sending email to  They will 
evaluate these bugs and pass the information on to RDI for resolution. 

                               Thomas H. Yorke 
                               Chief, Office of Surface Water 

2 Attachments 

Distribution:  A, B, FO, PO