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  • ERDC’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory awarded construction contract for new climatic chamber facility

    On July 9, 2020, the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center announced that the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) was awarded an Unspecified Minor Military Construction Authority (UMMCA) contract to build a climatic chamber facility on the Hanover, New Hampshire, campus.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Erosion Thresholds and Rates for Sand-Mud Mixtures

    Abstract: Differences in erosion behavior of non-cohesive and cohesive sediments are widely recognized. In many natural environments, sand and mud are not completely separated and occur as mixtures. Significantly less research has been conducted on the erosion behavior of sand-mud mixtures compared to the separate treatment of sand and mud erosion. Sedflume erosion experiments were conducted on sand-mud mixtures with varying mud content to define the relationships between mud content, critical stress for erosion (τc), and erosion rate. Sand-mud mixtures were prepared with three mud sources: (1) non-swelling clay (kaolinite), (2) swelling clay (kaolinite/bentonite), and (3) a swelling, natural mud from the Mississippi River. Test results showed that critical shear stresses of the mixed sediments departed from that of pure sand with mud fractions on the order of 2% to 10%. Peak τc was observed between 30% to 40% mud content, with swelling muds achieving a ten-fold increase in τc while a five-fold increase in τc was measured for kaolinite. Additionally, this study demonstrated that the introduction of small amounts (≤5%) of mud to sand reduced erosion rates by a factor of 10 to 100. This observed abatement of erosion rate has implications for the use of dredged materials in civil and environmental engineering projects.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Investigation of Shoaling in the Federal Navigation Channel, Waukegan Harbor, Illinois

    Abstract: Persistent and excessive shoaling occurs in the Outer Harbor and Approach Channel of the Waukegan Harbor, Illinois. This report describes a numerical modeling study performed for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District, to evaluate the existing harbor and 11 structural alternatives for three crest elevations. This report provides details of numerical modeling study, analysis of field data, and estimates of shoaling. The focus of the study is the investigation of a variety of structural solutions intercepting and/or diverting sediments to reduce shoaling in the navigation channel. These include breakwaters, groins, spurs, and structural extensions with varying length and crest elevation connecting to the north beach and existing north breakwater. Estimates of both shoaling volume and height are developed with and without project using an integrated wave-flow-sediment transport numerical modeling approach. Quantitative reduction estimates are provided for each structural alternative investigated.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: High-Performance Photocatalytic Degradation of Model Contaminants with Iron Oxide–Based Colloidal Solutions under Broad-Spectrum Illumination

    Abstract:  Small molecule contaminants, such as compounds from pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and pesticides, persist through traditional wastewater treatment processes. Heterogeneous photocatalysis with transition metal oxides (TMOs) is an emerging technology for removing these recalcitrant contaminants from wastewater. To leverage this technology, we selectively combined three different TMOs with bandgap energies in different regions of the solar spectrum as a means of harvesting multiple wavelengths of incident radiation to increase the degradation rate of model and real contaminants. Specifically, we combined zincite (ZnO, ultraviolet active), hematite (α-Fe2O3, visible active), and tenorite (CuO, near-infrared active). The combination of tenorite and hematite (2:1 mass ratio) was the most effective, degrading methyl orange with a rate constant of 40±1E-03 min−1. When applied to multicontaminant solutions using laboratory illumination, our multispectral photocatalyst degrades real-world contaminants, methyl orange, carbamazepine, and nitrobenzene, with rate constants of 30±1E-03, 24±1E-03, and 6±1E-03 min−1, respectively. In addition, the material degrades contaminants with a greater efficiency under outdoor solar illumination, with Collector Area per Order values of 4.0, 6.1 and 14.5 kWh/order/m³, for methyl orange, carbamazepine, and nitrobenzene, respectively. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach to purify water for strategic applications.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Environmental Analysis of Aqueous 3-Nitro-1,2,4-Triazol-5-One (NTO) by Ion Chromatography with Conductivity Detection

    Abstract:  The newly fielded insensitive high-explosive compound 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) is mobile in the environment due to its high water solubility and low affinity for soils. The weak acidity of NTO (pKa 3.67) presents a challenge to environmental analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography but enables direct separation by ion chromatography (IC). Here we developed an IC method for NTO in natural water, soil, and postdetonation residue. A gradient potassium hydroxide separation effectively resolved the inorganic anions (F−, Cl−, NO2−, Br−, SO42−, NO3−, and PO43−) and NTO in 18 minutes. Suppressed conductivity of aqueous NTO was linear from 10 µg/L to 10 mg/L with a detection limit of 3 µg/L and quantitation limit of 9 µg/L. Recoveries of NTO-spiked natural water samples were 93%–118% at concentrations of 30, 100, and 500 µg/L. Recoveries of NTO-spiked soil samples were 91%–114% using deionized water (DI) extraction. NTO was completely recovered with DI-extraction in two postdetonation residue samples of IMX-101 but only partially recovered (58% and 69%) in two higher-concentration residues, potentially due to incomplete dissolution of the energetic particle matrix. These results support IC for confirmation analysis of environmental samples and for screening natural water samples while simultaneously analyzing inorganic ions.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: A Comparison of Frost Depth Estimates from Ground Observations and Modelling Using Measured Values and Reanalysis Data for Vehicle Mobility 

    Abstract: Frozen soils can withstand heavy vehicle loads and provide major maneuver corridors in locations where the soils are otherwise too weak to support the loading conditions. Vehicle mobility models require input of the ground conditions to assess seasonal traffickability. Increasingly, measured air temperatures from weather station locations are becoming more widespread, however they lack a global gridded coverage. Similarly, ground profile measurements, such as soil temperature and moisture, are significant inputs to estimate depths of frost. New data products, such as gridded reanalysis data provides weather and soil data on a gridded global scale. This study compared frost depths determined from measured soil temperatures at stations in North Dakota and Minnesota with frost depths determined from soil temperatures from NASA’s Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research Application Version 2 (MERRA-2). The objectives of the study were to evaluate the usefulness of the MERRA-2 data to provide estimates of frost depth, and to determine the accuracy of estimated frost depths from modelling using either measured air temperatures or reanalysis air temperature data. To estimate the maximum frost depth a one-dimensional decoupled heat and moisture flow model was used. Differences in estimated frost depth resulted from modelling when compared to the measured soil temperatures. These differences are likely due to the influence of a snow layer. The properties of the snow layer play an important role in estimating the depth of frost. Improved material properties of the snow layer are needed to more accurately estimate the depth of ground freezing.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Spatiotemporally coherent tensor decompositions for the analysis of trajectory data By Trevor Ruiz and Charlotte Ellison

    Abstract: Location acquisition technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS) sensors or telemetry devices generate abundant spatiotemporal measurements of movement of people, animals, and vehicles. The resultant data represent trajectories-paths in space and time traversed by moving objects- and can often be merged with additional information about the entities in motion from connected or external data sources (Zheng 2015). New data analysis frameworks may be able to uncover patterns of human behavior from the fused trajectory and contextual i information. This data and new insights gained from novel analysis tools are p potentially of great interest to the Army and the geospatial community.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Influences of U Sources and Forms on Its Bioaccumulation in Indian Mustard and Sunflower

    Abstract: Anthropogenic activities, such as ore mining and processing, nuclear power generation, and weapon tests, have generated uranium (U) contamination to soils and waters. The mobility and bioavailability of U are influenced by its sources, speciation, and plant species. Phytoremediation has emerged as an environmentally friendly, cost-effective green technology to remediate radioisotope-and metalcontaminated soils. The main objective of this study was to explore the feasibility using sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) in cleaning up soils with UO2, UO3, and UO2(NO3)2. Uranium was found to be bioaccumulated in plant roots more than plant shoots. Uranium uptake by both plant species was significantly higher from the UO3- and uranyl-contaminated soils than from UO2- contaminated soils. UO3- and UO2(NO3)2-contaminated soils showed higher exchangeable, weak acid extractable, and labile U than the UO2-contaminated soils. After a growing season, three U forms decreased as redistribution/transformation of U resulted in U species with lower extractability. This study indicates the importance of U speciation in soil with regard to the potential use of sunflower and Indian mustard for phytoremediation of U-contaminated soils.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Foundations of Mission Analysis Storytelling (FOMAS)

    Abstract: Mission analysis is a critical step in military planning and decision-making. It is currently time-consuming for analysts, who have few automated tools. The Foundations of Mission Analysis Storytelling (FOMAS) project developed algorithms, tools, and methods to automate sensemaking for mission analysis, which reduces the time and increases the effectiveness of the process. This report describes the FOMAS research, specifically as it relates to storytelling and link analysis. It includes descriptions of storytelling and a related prototype implementation, “Spatio-temporal Retrieval and Introspection of Data and Embedded Relationships, (STRIDER).” It also describes user engagements involving STRIDER and a prototype information collection and processing tool, the Big Open Source Social Science (BOSSS).
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Hydrodynamics of a Recently Restored Coastal Wetland: Hamilton Wetlands, California

    Abstract: Hamilton Wetlands is a recently restored tidally influenced basin located along the northwest coast of San Pablo Bay, California. Instruments to measure waves, currents, and wind were deployed for a period of up to 2 years shortly after tidal flow was re-introduced to the wetland to examine the sediment and hydrodynamic response. The results indicate that local re-suspension is relatively rare owing to the weak interior tidal currents and the limited fetch within the 3 km long basin. Asymmetries in the acoustic backscatter intensity combined with the much higher flow speeds measured at the entrance suggest a net import of fine sediment. The basin also experiences a distinct seasonal variation that likely contributes to sediment re-distribution. During the summer months, higher wind speeds correlate with turbidity suggesting local re-suspension of fines that are distributed by winds. Overall, the measurements suggest that the sediment dynamics in this shallow water system are controlled by two main factors: (1) net sediment import through the inlet entrance and (2) mixing of interior sediment through a combination of intermittent wind and wave stirring.

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