Research Areas

CHL partners with government agencies, academia and industry to solve complex problems in the following areas:


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 Coastal Engineering
Plan and execute general coastal engineering studies and investigations for project planning and design, performance monitoring and evaluation, geologic and geomorphic analyses, sedimentation engineering, and dredging and dredged problems, as well as shore protection measures.
Conduct general research regarding the planning, design, operation, management, and maintenance of navigation channels, locks, ports, and waterway systems to provide safe and efficient marine transport, cost effective systems, and environmentally acceptable conditions including research on fish passage and avoidance relative to hydraulic structures.
 Harbors, Entrances, and Structures
Investigate a wide range of inland and coastal facilities, navigation channels, and/or structures to assess performance, verify and/or optimize designs, and develop more effective and economical new designs. Conduct investigations and general research studies of a wide variety of hydraulic structures such as spillways, channels, and pump stations.
 Field Data Collection and Analysis
Develop tests, deploy, maintain and operate water resource, environmental and sediment instrumentation systems. Conduct field studies and measurements. Develop innovative laboratory and field measurement techniques. Analyze data to ascertain trends, relationships, and fundamental knowledge of potential use in engineering practice, provide technical advice and support to others in the design and execution of field experiments and investigations. Operate the Sediment Transport Lab and the Field Operations Lab.
 Hydrologic Systems
Conduct research and development in the area of computational hydrology, including development and application of hydro-informatic systems for military and civil works applications in surface water, groundwater, and watersheds. Conduct investigations and general research studies on a wide variety of hydraulic structures to analyze the physical aspects of water quality in lakes and tail-waters. Participate in the ERDC-TeleEngineering Operations Center worldwide for analysis of river operations in support of warfighter exercises.
 Coastal Observation and Analysis
Advance coastal science and engineering through observational research utilizing 1) collection and analysis of oceanographic, estuarine, and morphologic data at the Field Research Facility, 2) assess model results and observational techniques, and 3) develop observational equipment and collection methodologies. Provide engineering support for harbor monitoring, dredging, beach nourishment, inlet channel maintenance, land and hydrographic surveying and wave measurements.
 Coastal Processes
Investigate fundamental near shore processes such as waves, wind, currents, sediment transport, and morphology change on site-specific and regional scales, research dredged material fate and stability, inlet navigation channel evolution/maintenance, beach fill performance/maintenance, impacts of inlets on adjacent beaches, and regional sediment management, and conduct regional wave information studies hindcasting, forecasting, and "nowcasting" of coastal waters.
 Estuarine Engineering
Conduct R&D in tidal hydraulics, operation, monitoring, maintenance, and management of water resource projects, and hydro-environmental studies, including circulation and sedimentation in estuaries. Conduct project specific and regional scale studies and analyses needed to solve specific coastal problems.
 River Engineering
Conduct research related to geomorphic, hydraulic, and sedimentation engineering in rivers, streams, and reservoirs including alluvial channel and floodplain development, wetland and river system hydraulics, integrated river basin management for stabilization and restoration.

ERDC's Research Areas

CHL Research Areas

CHL's Flume Facility provides the opportunity to explore the physics of water wave propagation, wave transformation and wave-structure interaction and for experimental investigation of sediment transport in wave and steady current environments.
CHL developed and patented CORE-LOC® Concrete Armoring to provide reliable navigation and shore protection structures in high wave-energy environments. As a cost-effective system for breakwater protection, CORE-LOC® dissipates the maximum amount of wave energy with the least amount of concrete.