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Category: Research
  • Readily Available Hydrologic Models: Pertinence to Regulatory Application

    Purpose: Water is the driving force of wetlands. Hydroperiod represents both the frequency and duration of inundation or soil saturation whether it is from flooding or ponding. The formation of hydric soils and an expression of hydrophytic vegetation are evidence of the hydroperiod, which can be described along a gradient of hydrologic conditions (Figure 1). Hydrologic modeling provides a means to establish wetland hydroperiod, including current wetland hydrologic conditions and forecasting future conditions in response to future with and without wetland impacts or restoration actions. Today, fast computer processing and hydrologic models allow the user to make a large number of computations very rapidly on potentially large volumes of data. Currently, there is a myriad of hydrologic models available that offer an array of applications. For regulatory application, accurate determination of wetland hydrology is paramount to the following: - Confirm wetland hydrologic criteria in accordance to the US Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (1987 Manual) and Regional Supplements. - Establish frequency and duration (hydroperiod) of wetland ponding and flooding. - Conduct wetland functional assessments including identification of predominant water source(s). - Estimate wetland impacts from regulated activities. - Determine ecological lift in response to restoration actions (compensatory mitigation). - Establish performance standards and success criteria for compensatory mitigation. - Facilitate development of a monitoring and adaptive management plan. The objective of this report is to provide a treatise of hydrologic models that offer specific application to establish wetland hydrology for existing and future conditions in response to regulated activities and restoration actions. The emphasis is on the suitability of existing hydrologic models to hydrogeomorphic (HGM) wetland classes. HGM subclasses are not addressed in this technical note. For more details on HGM classification, see Brinson (1993).
  • Investigation of Testing Materials for the Chickamauga Lock and Dam Reconstruction Project

    Abstract: In support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Nashville District, a preliminary investigation of concrete materials was conducted pursuant to re-construction at the Chickamauga Lock and Dam located near Chattanooga, TN. Local materials provided to the U.S. Army Engineer Research Development Center (ERDC) for testing included three different coarse aggregate gradations, two fine aggregate sources, two type I/II cements, a fly ash sources, a slag cement, a silica fume, and a limestone powder. Aggregate tests consisted of sieve analysis, specific gravity, absorption, materials finer than No. 200, organic impurities, soundness, LA abrasion, clay lumps and friable particles, flat and elongated particles, lightweight particles, petrography, and freezing and thawing. All cementitious and admixture materials were tested for chemical and physical properties based on appropriate specifications. This report presents the material characteristic results determined by laboratory testing in accordance with American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) procedures or regulating specification criteria.
  • Study of Sand Boil Development at Kaskaskia Island, IL, Middle Mississippi River Valley

    Abstract: Mississippi River flooding in 2013 and 2016 caused severe underseepage and development of several medium to large high-energy sand boils behind the landside levee toe at Kaskaskia Island, IL. This levee system is located between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, MO, and is part of the Kaskaskia Island Drainage and Levee District on the Middle Mississippi River. Flooding on the Mississippi River in 2013 and 2016 was below the design flowline for this levee. This report documents a case history study into the causes of seepage, piping, and sand boil development at a levee reach at Kaskaskia. Site-specific geotechnical data were collected and evaluated to determine the causes for poor performance at the studied levee reach locations. Data collected involved design documents, geologic and geotechnical borings, closely spaced cone-penetrometer tests (CPTs), electrical resistivity surveys, laboratory soil testing of sand boil ejecta, CPT samples from targeted stratigraphic horizons in the subsurface, and both piezometer and river-stage data. These data indicate sand boils present within this levee reach involved a chronic seepage condition that became progressively worse through time. This condition was directly related to the underlying site geology, namely the top stratum thickness and the depositional environment in this levee reach.
  • Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) and High Performance Computing (HPC) Architecture Design

    Abstract: The Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) proof-of-concept will be deployed within the existing U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) to test additional capabilities and features for high performance computing (HPC) users. iRODS is a data-grid middleware that virtualizes access to data, regardless of which physical storage device the data resides within. Users, and HPC jobs on behalf of users, can leverage the various application programming interfaces (APIs) within iRODS to search and retrieve data using metadata and a unified data namespace. In addition to facilitating data discovery and retrieval, iRODS has a robust security system to implement fine-grained access control and auditing rules.
  • Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) and High Performance Computing (HPC) Project Management Plan

    Abstract: This project management plan (PMP) is established to provide guidance on the management of the Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) Project. The PMP and its associated plans are the primary source of information for how the project will be planned, executed, monitored, controlled, and closed. The intended audience of the plan is all project stakeholders including the project manager (PM), Engineered Resilient Systems (ERS), High-Performance Computing (HPC), and the Geocent project team members.
  • Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) and High Performance Computing (HPC) Requirements Document

    Abstract: The purpose of this report is to capture all relevant use cases, functional requirements, and technical requirements of the Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) prototype. The use cases (UCs) define the system interactions an iRODS user, iRODS administrator, and an auditor would expect within the system. The functional requirements define the expected behavior of the system to support the individual use cases; functional requirements are grouped in reference to the use cases supported by the set of functional requirements. The technical requirements are defined last and include references to specific functional requirements and use cases supported by the requirement.
  • Web-Enabled Interface for iRODS: Comparing Hydroshare and Metalnx

    Abstract: The Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) software provides ample resources for managing data and collections thereof, but there are occasions where utilizing its command line interface (CLI) is impractical or not desirable. One such example is when it is required that the user authenticate using a common access card (CAC), which is more easily accomplished through a graphical user interface (GUI) than through a CLI. Furthermore, restricting the system to only offering a CLI can alienate users who would normally be averse to using a system in such a way, and there are users who are not averse to utilizing a CLI, but who would still benefit from a GUI until they are able to familiarize themselves with the iCommands provided by iRODS. Thus, it becomes imperative to either implement or utilize an existing GUI for the system.
  • Analysis of ERS use cases for iRODs

    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the challenges inherent with High Performance Computing (HPC) data storage access and management, the capabilities of iRODS, and the analysis of several Engineered Resilient Systems (ERS) use cases relating iRODS capabilities to the teams’ stated needs. Specifically, these teams are the ERS Data Analytics group (specifically their research on rotorcraft maintenance in conjunction with the U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center [AMRDEC]), the ERS Environmental Simulation research team, the ERS Sensor Systems research team, and the HPC/Scientific computing group representing the “General HPC User.”
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Evaluating Parametric Probability Density Functions for Urban Acoustic Noise

    Abstract: This paper evaluates the suitability of three parametric probability density functions for characterizing urban acoustic noise. For that purpose, the sound levels in one-third-octave bands (6.3 Hz-20 kHz) were measured every 0.5 seconds for 5 minutes (for a total of 600 measurements) at 38 locations in Boston, USA. The probability density functions for this dataset were approximated using histograms and the log-normal, generalized gamma, and compound gamma distributions. Maximizing the log-likelihood for each distribution yielded their parameters. The suitability of each distribution was evaluated using the Kullback-Leibler divergence with the histogram approximation as the reference. Overall, the compound gamma distribution was the most accurate followed by the log-normal and then the generalized gamma distributions. Nonetheless, the simplicity of the two-parameter log-normal distribution might be preferred over the three-parameter compound the distributions of its parameters across all locations and frequencies were also approximated parametrically, which provided satisfactory agreement.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Sensor and Environment Physics in the Virtual Autonomous Navigation Environment (VANE)

    Abstract: This report documents the physics models that are implemented in the Virtual Autonomous Navigation Environment (VANE), a sensor simulator that uses physics-based ray tracing to simulate common robotic sensors such as cameras, LiDAR, GPS, and automotive RADAR. The report will provide information about the underlying assumptions and implementation details regarding the physics models used in VANE simulations. These include surface reflectance and texture models, atmospheric models, weather effects, and sensor properties. The purpose of this report is to provide information for VANE users, developers, and analysts who would like to use the VANE for sensor simulations.