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Results:
Tag: Levees--Erosion
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  • Automated Characterization of Ridge-Swale Patterns Along the Mississippi River

    Abstract: The orientation of constructed levee embankments relative to alluvial swales is a useful measure for identifying regions susceptible to backward erosion piping (BEP). This research was conducted to create an automated, efficient process to classify patterns and orientations of swales within the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) to support levee risk assessments. Two machine learning algorithms are used to train the classification models: a convolutional neural network and a U-net. The resulting workflow can identify linear topographic features but is unable to reliably differentiate swales from other features, such as the levee structure and riverbanks. Further tuning of training data or manual identification of regions of interest could yield significantly better results. The workflow also provides an orientation to each linear feature to support subsequent analyses of position relative to levee alignments. While the individual models fall short of immediate applicability, the procedure provides a feasible, automated scheme to assist in swale classification and characterization within mature alluvial valley systems similar to LMV.
  • Laboratory Evaluation of Aquablok™ Erosion Resistance: Implications for Geotechnical Applications

    Abstract: AquaBlok™ (AB) is a commercial product traditionally used as an alternative material for contaminated sediment capping applications. Previous studies of AB capping performance have reported enhanced stabilization through increased erosion resistance. Subsequently, AB has been considered for use as an alternative levee repair material due to its cohesive properties. Through a series of laboratory experiments, this study investigated the erosion behavior of new AquaBlok formulations (10%, 20%, and 30% clay by weight) under increased shear stresses previously unachievable in the previous tests. The new AquaBlok formulations were tested in non-compacted and compacted states to simulate the physical properties in capping and levee repair applications. In the non-compacted state, excess hydration of the clay matrix extended approximately 5 cm below the bed surface, which greatly reduced erosion resistance and was independent of clay percentage. Below this horizon, critical shear stress increased, and erosion rates decreased, with clay percentage, respectively. However, this does not consider a continuous change in hydration state when exposed to free water. In the compacted state, erosion rates were greatly arrested, with measureable erosion only possible under the maximum applied shear stress (24 Pa). The results are discussed in the context of capping and levee applications.

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