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Category: Research
  • Development and Testing of the Sediment Distribution Pipe (SDP): A Pragmatic Tool for Wetland Nourishment

    Abstract: Standard dredging operations during thin layer placement (TLP) projects are labor intensive as crews are necessary to periodically move the outfall location, which can have lasting adverse effects on the marsh surface. In an effort to increase efficiency during TLP, a novel Sediment Distribution Pipe (SDP) system was investigated. This system offers multiple discharge points along the pipeline to increase the sediment distribution while reducing pipeline movements. An SDP Modeling Application (SDPMA) was developed to assist in the design of SDP field applications by quickly assessing the pressure and velocity inside the discharge pipe and approximating the slurry throw distances. An SDP field proof of concept was performed during a two-phase TLP on Sturgeon Island, New Jersey, in 2020. The SDPMA was shown to be an accurate method of predicting performance of the SDP. The SDP was successful at distributing dredge material across the placement site; however, further research is warranted to better quantify performance metrics.
  • Uncrewed Survey-Vessel Conversion

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the uses of an uncrewed survey vessel to maintain mission readiness of all federal navigation channels and ports. Developing an uncrewed survey vessel capable of collecting data in a riverine environment may increase the efficiency and resiliency of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) missions and USACE districts to conduct surveys during post natural disasters and pandemics. This document describes the installation, enhancement, and modification of the commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) system, the Sea Machines SM300, on a US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) survey vessel to create a semiautonomous survey capability.
  • Embracing Biodiversity on Engineered Coastal Infrastructure through Structured Decision-Making and Engineering With Nature

    Abstract: Extreme weather variation, natural disasters, and anthropogenic actions negatively impact coastal communities through flooding and erosion. To safeguard coastal settlements, shorelines are frequently reinforced with seawalls and bulkheads. Hardened shorelines, however, result in biodiversity loss and environmental deterioration. The creation of sustainable solutions that engineer with nature is required to lessen natural and anthropogenic pressures. Nature-based solutions (NbS) are a means to enhance biodiversity and improve the environment while meeting engineering goals. To address this urgent need, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering With Nature® (EWN) program balances economic, environmental, and social benefits through collaboration. This report presents how design and engineering practice can be enhanced through organized decision-making and landscape architectural renderings that integrate engineering, science, and NbS to increase biodiversity in coastal marine habitats. When developing new infrastructure or updating or repairing existing infrastructure, such integration can be greatly beneficial. Further, drawings and renderings exhibiting EWN concepts can assist in decision-making by aiding in the communication of NbS designs. Our practical experiences with the application of EWN have shown that involving landscape architects can play a critical role in effective collaboration and result in solutions that safeguard coastal communities while maintaining or enhancing biodiversity.
  • Coastal Modeling System User’s Manual

    Abstract: The Coastal Modeling System (CMS) is a suite of coupled 2D numerical models for simulating nearshore waves, currents, water levels, sediment transport, morphology change, and salinity and temperature. Developed by the Coastal Inlets Research Program of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the CMS provides coastal engineers and scientists a PC-based, easy-to-use, accurate, and efficient tool for understanding of coastal processes and for designing and managing of coastal inlets research, navigation projects, and sediment exchange between inlets and adjacent beaches. The present technical report acts as a user guide for the CMS, which contains comprehensive information on model theory, model setup, and model features. The detailed descriptions include creation of a new project, configuration of model grid, various types of boundary conditions, representation of coastal structures, numerical methods, and coupled simulations of waves, hydrodynamics, and sediment transport. Pre- and postmodel data processing and CMS modeling procedures are also described through operation within a graphic user interface—the Surface Water Modeling System.
  • Use of Sediment Tracers to Evaluate Sediment Plume at Beaufort Inlet and Adjacent Beaches, North Carolina

    Abstract: This report documents a numerical modeling investigation on the transport of sediment material placed on designated disposal sites adjacent to Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina. Historical and newly collected wave and hydrodynamic data around the inlet are assembled and analyzed. The data sets are used to calibrate and validate a coastal wave, hydrodynamic and sediment transport model, the Coastal Modeling System. Model alternatives are developed corresponding to different material placement sites. Sediment transport and sediment plume distribution are evaluated within and around the immediate vicinity of the Beaufort Inlet estuarine system for a representative summer and winter month. Results of model simulations show that high flows occur along navigation channels and low flows occur outside the inlet in open ocean area. Sand materials placed in nearshore sites tend to be trapped in and move along navigation channels entering the inlet. In offshore placement sites the sediment plume shows slow spreading and no significant sand migration from its release locations. Simulations for the summer and winter month present similar distribution patterns of sediments originating from placement sites.
  • Cut and Capture System Technology for Demilitarization of Underwater Munitions

    Abstract: Munitions are encountered in a variety of underwater environments as unexploded ordnance (UXO) or munitions and explosives of concern (MEC). These items can cause unacceptable explosive risks to critical infrastructure, recreational divers, and fishermen. The primary goal of the demonstrations was to validate an underwater suite of tools that can be used to render underwater UXO and MEC safe in shallow water (i.e., up to 100 ft). US Navy underwater ranges in the Gulf of Mexico, south of the Naval Support Activity–Panama City, were selected for the first two demonstrations to fully display the integrated system by processing inert munitions, such as the Navy 5 in./38 cal and the Army 105 mm High Explosive (HE) M1 projectile. The third demonstration, however, occurred at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane, Lake Glendora Test Facility, in Sullivan, Indiana. Twenty US Army 105 mm HE M1 projectiles filled with TNT were successfully processed. Overall, this project showed that Gradient Technology’s high-pressure waterjet demilitarization technology can be reliably operated underwater at depths less than 100 ft of seawater when the supporting equipment is located on the deck of a vessel or floating pier system.
  • Deployable Resilient Installation Water Purification and Treatment System (DRIPS): Geoenabled Water Production and Disinfection Systems for Installations

    Abstract: The Deployable Resilient Installation water Purification and treatment System (DRIPS) was delivered to aid an Organic Industrial Base in increasing their Installation Status Report–Mission Capacity (ISR-MC) score from black to green as part of a Course of Action (COA) within their Installation Energy and Water Plan (IEWP). DRIPS was also intended to help them be better prepared for the future in meeting their water and energy requirement goals for sustainment of critical missions. The IEWP ISR-MC requirements were met upon implementation of this project. Overall, the purpose of the DRIPS is to be a critical asset in disaster response and military operations, providing a reliable and effective means of producing potable water and disinfection in challenging and unpredictable environments. Its adaptability, mobility, and comprehensive water treatment capabilities make it an invaluable resource for addressing water-related emergencies and water disruptions and for sustaining critical missions. It also addresses a point of need by improving the ability to meet demands, reducing convoy requirements and the logistical footprint, facilitating the endurance of expeditionary forces, and ensuring the well-being of affected installations during times of disaster response, training operations, normal water disruptions, and emergency preparation.
  • Evaluation of an Operational Demonstration of a Potential Aquatic Plant Control and Nutrient Mitigation Technology in Lake Okeechobee, Florida

    Purpose: This technical note describes the findings from a field-demonstration project conducted in 2022 that aimed to mechanically harvest water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms) in Lake Okeechobee, Florida; macerate the harvested plant material; and pump it as a slurry to a terrestrial disposal site as a potential novel technology to reduce total phosphorus (TP) in the system.
  • Employing Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis (UF/RO) for Treatment of Source-Separated Graywater: ER-201636

    Abstract: In field operating environments, military units must ensure access to a critical water supply to maintain mission readiness. Increasing complexity of logistics and costs to transport water and climate change are driving the development and demonstration of water treatment units. The treatment unit described uses ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane technologies with a disinfection step to treat low-strength graywater from shower facilities at Camp Shelby Joint Force Training Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Samples were collected from human shower sampling events. During the demonstration, greater than 100,000 gal. of graywater were treated, supplied by two battalion training rotations over a 6-month period. Characterization of the source graywater continued throughout the system demonstration. Based on the literature, these are among the largest source-separated graywater sampling events to date. The combined treatment train of UF/RO met all compliance metrics for all analytes of interest for potability and met nonpotable metrics except for special use cases in three states. Both the quality of the treated water and the effective volume gains from an 85% multiplier effect directly support DoD water sustainment goals for both installations and operational environments.
  • Approach for On-Site, On-Demand Contaminant-Removal Devices Enabled by Low-Cost 3D Printing

    Purpose: The purpose of this technical note is to disseminate methods to design and create a 3D device that could be used to determine relative toxicity potential of existing and emerging contaminants of concern in situ for sediment shoaled in federal navigation channels prior to being dredged. This device has the potential to reduce the cost of conventional sediment evaluations conducted prior to dredging operations.