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Category: Research
  • Technical Guide for the Development, Evaluation, and Modification of Wetland Rapid Assessment Methods for the Corps Regulatory Program

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Regulatory Program considers the loss (decrease) and gain (improvement) of wetland functions as part of Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting and compensatory mitigation decisions. To better inform this regulatory decision-making, the Regulatory program needs accurate, transparent, objective, and defensible approaches to assess the function and condition of wetlands. Additionally, wetland assessments must balance the need for objective decision-making with the concurrent need to make Regulatory program decisions in a timely manner. Consequently, it is often necessary to assess wetlands using rapidly attainable proxy measures of ecological function or condition by evaluating a suite of metrics that represent structural and compositional attributes of a wetland. In response, this document describes a set of guidelines to effectively develop, evaluate, and modify wetland assessment methods, specifically for the Corps Regulatory Program.
  • Early Life-Cycle Prediction of Reliability

    Abstract: The intent of this project is to investigate a variety of approaches for the development of a basic model for the early life-cycle prediction of reliability (pre-Milestone A). The United States Department of Defense (DoD) currently utilizes an acquisition framework in which system development advances through a series of checkpoints known as milestones. Each milestone represents a decision point, with Milestone A being the earliest in the life cycle. At Milestone A, also known as the risk-reduction decision, the DoD evaluates design concepts while also committing funds to the maturation of technologies in an effort to mitigate future risks. Typically, little is known about the particular system to be developed at this point in the acquisition life cycle, but DoD regulations require program man-agers to submit system reliability information (OUSD[A&S] 2015). Traditional reliability predictions, however, require extensive knowledge of the system of interest to produce accurate results. This level of knowledge is unavailable at or before Milestone A, there-fore, there is a need to create models and methodologies for the prediction of system reliability. This report provides an overview of a variety of methods investigated to improve the prediction of early life cycle reliability.
  • Representative Beach Profile Generator

    Abstract: The purpose of this Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering Technical Note (CHETN) is to introduce an Esri ArcGIS Pro ArcPy Toolbox entitled “Representative Beach Profile Generator (RBPG)” that generates a single representative profile for a given study area based on elevation profiles. The toolbox aligns and averages input elevation profiles into a single profile based upon a chosen alignment feature. Furthermore, the toolbox allows the user to create maximum and minimum trapezoidal profile approximations for use within numerical models such as Storm-Induced BEAch CHange (SBEACH) and Beach-fx. This CHETN presents a brief description of the toolbox methods and includes a short demonstration of the toolbox’s application to help familiarize the user with inputs, outputs, and possible uses. The RBPG toolbox is available for public download at the link where this paper is hosted with the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center library services (
  • Comparing Methods for Estimating Water Surface Elevation between Gages in the Lower Mississippi River

    Abstract: Predicting a water surface elevation (WSElev) at a particular location has a wide range of applications like determining if a levee will overtop or how much a dike notch will increase water flow into a secondary channel. Five existing methods for predicting the water’s surface, (1) daily slope, (2) average slope, (3) River Analysis System (RAS) 1D, (4) RAS 2D, and (5) Adaptive Hydraulics modeling system (AdH), were used to predict the Mississippi River’s daily water surface from 10 October 2014 to 31 May 2016 at Friar’s Point, Greenville, and Natchez gages. The error, calculated as the model-predicted water surface minus the gage-observed water surface, was compared among the methods. The average slope method, using Helena and Fair Landing gages, and the daily slope method, using either Memphis and Helena or Helena and Arkansas City gages, most closely estimated the observed WSElev. The RAS 1D predictions for Friar Point and Greenville produced more accurate estimates than the RAS 2D model and were the only estimates that did not show a pattern of over- or underestimation. When the daily slope method was applied to gages that were farther apart (Memphis and Arkansas City, Arkansas City and Vicksburg, or Vicksburg and Knoxville), the error became greater than most RAS 1D and 2D predictions. The low error and simple calculations of the daily slope and average slope methods using gages <110 river miles apart make these methods useful for calculating current and historic conditions. The lack of over- or underestimation in the RAS 1D predictions (for locations away from the edges of the model area) make this method a better choice for predicting average WSElevs and a good choice for forecasting future WSElevs.
  • Low-Logistic Erosion Control Methodologies

    Purpose: This paper provides an in-depth review of certain slope stability practices discussed in ERDC/GSL TR-19-44, a technical report titled Erosion Control of Earth Covered Magazines to Maintain Minimum Cover Requirements. At the request of the sponsor, US Army Engineering and Support Center, this document specifically focuses on cost-efficient, low-logistic methods of erosion control such as shotcrete and spray-applied stabilizers.
  • Live-Fire Validation of Command-Detonation Residues Testing Using an 81 mm IMX-104 Munition

    Abstract: Postdetonation energetic residues can have environmental impacts that present a risk to military training-range sustainment. As munitions with new explosive formulations are developed and fielded, quantitative methods for assessing their residues are needed. Command detonation (i.e., static firing) allows residue testing to occur early in the acquisition process; however, its representation of live-fire residue production is uncertain due to differences in the initiation mechanism and cartridge orientation. This study aims to validate residue testing by command detonation through statistical comparison of residue deposition rates between live fire and command detonation. Live-fire residues were collected from fourteen 81 mm IMX-104 mortar cartridges fired onto snow, and deposition rates were compared with previous command-detonation tests of the same munition. Average live-fire deposition rates were 8000 mg NTO (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one), 60 mg DNAN (2,4-dinitroanisole), 20 mg RDX (1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine), and 2 mg HMX (1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocane) per cartridge. Compared to command detonation, live fire of the study munition produced significantly greater residues of NTO (p < 0.0001) and RDX (p = 0.01) but not DNAN (p = 0.067). Although absolute deposition rates of some IMX-104 compounds differed, command detonation was successful at predicting the order of magnitude of each IMX-104 compound for the studied 81 mm munition.
  • A 10-Year Monthly Climatology of Wind Direction: Case-Study Assessment

    Abstract: A 10-year monthly climatology of wind direction in compass degrees is developed utilizing datasets from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Climate Forecast System. Data retrieval methodologies, numerical techniques, and scientific analysis packages to develop the climatology are explored. The report describes the transformation of input data in Gridded Binary format to the Geographic Tagged Image File Format to support geospatial analyses. The specific data sources, software tools, and data-verification techniques are outlined.
  • Advanced Cementitious Materials for Blast Protection

    Abstract: Advanced cementitious materials, commonly referred to as ultra-high performance concretes (UHPCs), are developing rapidly and show promise for civil infrastructure and protective construction applications. Structures exposed to blasts experience strain rates on the order of 102 s-1 or more. While a great deal of research has been published on the durability and the static properties of UHPC, there is less information on its dynamic properties. The purpose of this report is to (1) compile existing dynamic property data—including compressive strength, tensile strength, elastic modulus, and energy absorption—for six proprietary and research UHPCs and (2) implement a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) model for axisymmetric UHPC panels under blast loading as a means of comparing the UHPCs. Although simplified, the model allows identification of key material properties and promising materials for physical testing. Model results indicate that tensile strength has the greatest effect on panel deflection, with unit weight and elastic modulus having a moderate effect. CEMTECmultiscale® deflected least in the simulation. Lafarge Ductal®, a commonly available UHPC in North America, performed in the middle of the five UHPCs considered.
  • Historic Architecture and Landscape Inventory for Gordon Lakes Golf Club, Fort Gordon, Georgia

    The US Congress codified the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), through establishing the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The NHPA requires federal agencies to address their cultural resources, which are defined as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object. Section 110 of the NHPA requires federal agencies to inventory and evaluate their cultural resources, and Section 106 requires them to determine the effect of federal undertakings on those potentially eligible for the NRHP. Fort Gordon is located in northeast Georgia, directly west of Augusta-Richmond. It was first established as Camp Gordon during WWII for infantry and armor training. It has been known as Fort Gordon since 1956. This report provides historic context and recommends eligibility determinations for 24 buildings, structures, and landscapes associated with the Gordon Lakes Golf Club constructed between 1975 and 2009. The report recommends two Real Property landscapes (the Golf Driving Range and 18-Hole Golf Course including Gordon Lake) and one structure (Gordon Lake Dam) are eligible for the NRHP. The other 21 buildings and structures are recommended Not Eligible. Consulting with the Georgia State Historic Preservation Officer, this work fulfills Section 110 requirements for these buildings, structures, and landscapes.
  • Naval Expeditionary Runway Construction Criteria: P-8 Poseidon Pavement Requirements

    Abstract: A full-scale airfield pavement test section was constructed and trafficked by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center to determine minimum rigid and flexible pavement thickness requirements to support contingency operations of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft. Additionally, airfield damage repair solutions were tested to evaluate the compatibility of those solutions with the P-8 Poseidon. The test items consisted of various material thickness and strengths to yield a range of operations to failure allowing development of performance predictions at a relatively lower number of design operations than are considered in traditional sustainment pavement design scenarios. Test items were trafficked with a dual-wheel P-8 test gear on a heavy-vehicle simulator. Flexible pavement rutting, rigid pavement cracking and spalling, instrumentation response, and falling-weight deflectometer data were monitored at select traffic intervals. The results of the trafficking tests indicated that existing design predictions were generally overconservative. Thus, minimum pavement layer thickness recommendations were made to support a minimum level of contingency operations. The results of full-scale flexible pavement experiment were utilized to support an analytical modeling effort to extend flexible pavement thickness recommendations beyond those evaluated.