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Category: Publications: Engineer Research & Development Center (ERDC)
  • Engineering With Nature: An Atlas, Volume 3

    Abstract: Engineering With Nature: An Atlas, Volume 3 showcases EWN principles and practices “in action” through 58 projects from around the world. These exemplary projects demonstrate what it means to partner with nature to deliver engineering solutions with triple-win benefits. The collection of projects included were developed and constructed by a large number of government, private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and other organizations. Through the use of photographs and narrative descriptions, the EWN Atlas was developed to inspire interested readers and practitioners with the potential to engineer with nature.
  • Site Selection and Conceptual Designs for Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Sites for Habitat Creation in the Lower Columbia River

    Abstract: Channel maintenance in most major rivers throughout the United States requires ongoing dredging to maintain navigability. The US Army Corps of Engineers explores several options for placement based on sediment characteristics, material quantity, cost, operational constraints, and minimization of potential adverse effects to existing resources and habitat. It is a priority to beneficially reuse dredged sediments to create habitat and retain sediments within the river system whenever possible. Nonetheless, there can be discrepancies among state and federal resource agencies, landowners, tribes, and various other stakeholders about what constitutes a benefit and how those benefits are ultimately weighed against short- and long-term tradeoffs. This work leveraged prior Regional Sediment Management efforts building consensus among stakeholders on a suite of viable strategies for in-water placement in the lower Columbia River. The goal was to identify suitable locations for applying the various strategies to maximize habitat benefits and minimize potential adverse effects. A multistep site-selection matrix was developed with criteria accounting for existing site conditions, overall placement capacity, tradeoffs, long-term maintenance, cost, stakeholder concerns, and landscape principles in the context of other habitat restoration projects implemented in the lower river. Three highly ranked sites were selected for conceptual design and exemplify results of collaborative beneficial use implementation.
  • Railroad Infrastructure Management: A Novel Tool for Automatic Interpretation of GPR Imaging to Minimize Human Intervention in Railroad Inspection

    Abstract: Regular monitoring and inspection of military railroad tracks are necessary to ensure the safe transportation of military freight. Manual railroad inspection has drawbacks and limitations that can impact accuracy and efficiency. This study introduces a novel tool designed to automate Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) imaging interpretation for railroad ballast condition assessment, aiming to reduce human intervention in inspections. The tool uses advanced signal processing techniques, such as the Short-Time Fourier Transform (STFT) and Wavelet Transform (WT), to quantify ballast fouling levels accurately, enhancing maintenance and safety protocols for railroad tracks. Validation through comprehensive testing, including two case studies, demonstrates the tool’s superior efficacy over traditional manual inspection methods. This research represents a pivotal step towards more efficient and reliable infrastructure management, ensuring critical railroad systems’ safety and operational integrity.
  • A Dynamic Aircraft Response Model for Determining Roughness Limits

    Abstract: Runway roughness poses significant risks to aircraft and aircraft personnel. Roughness irregularities can be found in both civilian and military airfields, from rutting to bomb-damaged repairs. Various methods exist for determining roughness criteria, such as discrete surface deviation evaluation and dynamic response models. Although validated dynamic response models such as TAXI-G were used extensively in the HAVE BOUNCE program from the 1970s up to the late 1990s, modern military aircraft have not undergone the same formal analysis. This paper presents the mathematical formulation and validation of the WESTAX dynamic response model. The computer program is capable of simulating the responses of different critical aircraft components while trafficking over idealized runway profiles. The validation results showed that the numerical model was capable of closely matching field data over single- and double bump events. The findings suggest that the WESTAX dynamic response model is a capable candidate for establishing aircraft roughness limits.
  • Interlaboratory Study of Polyethylene and Polydimethylsiloxane Polymeric Samplers for Ex Situ Measurement of Freely Dissolved Hydrophobic Organic Compounds in Sediment Porewater

    Abstract: We evaluated the precision and accuracy of multilaboratory measurements for determining freely dissolved concentrations (Cfree) of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediment porewater using polydimethylsiloxane and low-density polyethylene polymeric samplers. Four laboratories exposed performance reference compound (PRC) preloaded polymers to actively mixed and static ex situ sediment for approximately one month or more. For Cfree results, intralaboratory precision was high for single compounds; most PAHs and PCBs variability was low. Variability was higher for most hydrophobic PAHs, PCBs, and naphthalene, which were present at low concentrations and required larger PRC-based corrections. Intra- and interlaboratory variability between methods was low. Cfree polymer equilibrium was achieved in approximately one month during active exposures, suggesting using PRCs may be avoided for ex situ analysis using comparable active exposure; however, such testing may not reflect field conditions. Polymer-derived Cfree concentrations for most PCBs and PAHs averaged within a factor of 2 compared with concentrations in isolated porewater; difference factors of up to 6 were observed for naphthalene and the most hydrophobic PAHs and PCBs. Cfree results were similar for academic and private sector laboratories. The accuracy and precision demonstrated for determinating Cfree using polymer sampling are anticipated to increase regulatory acceptance and confidence.
  • Rolling Prairie, Minnesota, Beneficial Use Area: A 100-Year Plan for Multiuse Land Management and Restoration Using Dredged Sediment

    Purpose: Inland waterway dredged sediment management is challenged by a lack of capacity in existing dredged material confined disposal facilities (CDFs) and a lack of available land to place sediment near frequently dredged navigation channels. Navigation operation and maintenance (O&M) dredging, material management, and coordination costs are increasing, and alternative long-term solutions are required. In response, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), St. Paul District has addressed the challenge by investigating regional sediment management and beneficial use of dredged material when updating navigation pool–specific dredged material management plans (DMMP). The recently completed Pool 5 DMMP planning identified a 950 acre (384 ha)[1] placement site consisting of several land parcels available from willing sellers that will accommodate a “100-year plan” for dredged material management (USACE 2019). This technical note describes the multiple-use site plan that creates sand prairie and wetland habitat, provides public access to sand stockpiles, and implements agriculture studies with the University of Minnesota to evaluate the benefits of dredged material (i.e., sand) amendments in alluvial cropland soils, which has not been widely investigated. The Rolling Prairie site will demonstrate benefits of “distributed DMMPs” in which thin-layer placement on agricultural land near dredging locations can supplement traditional disposal methods. It also shows the advantage of having a large placement site to achieve multiple objectives.
  • Additive Regulated Concrete for Thermally Extreme Conditions

    Abstract: This study details a multiprong effort to validate the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory’s solution for concrete construction and repair in cold weather, Additive Regulated Concrete for Thermally Extreme Conditions (ARCTEC). ARCTEC is the product of several years of research and consists of a testing and simulation workflow which generates scenario-sensitive guidance for use of accelerating admixtures in concrete. This report details efforts to validate ARCTEC using real-world, full-scale, field demonstrations. These demonstrations were used to collect data on the behavior of concrete obtained through conventional supply chains, to assess the accuracy of the simulation component of the workflow, and test efficacy of ARCTEC guidance in achieving frost protection. Results indicate that ARCTEC is at a high level of maturity, and provides additive dosage guidance that ensures frost protection and strength development in concrete placed where overnight lows fall as low as 0°F. The effort and cost required to implement ARCTEC as a cold weather protection strategy is minimal, and significantly less burdensome than conventional methods. Any cold region installation with a winter construction or repair needs and access to conventional concrete supply chains could field ARCTEC, and reduce the cost and schedule constraints associated with winter construction.
  • Beyond Glacier-Wide Mass Balances: Parsing Seasonal Elevation Change into Spatially Resolved Patterns of Accumulation and Ablation at Wolverine Glacier, Alaska

    Abstract: We present spatially distributed seasonal and annual surface mass balances of Wolverine Glacier, Alaska, from 2016 to 2020. Our approach accounts for the effects of ice emergence and firn compaction on surface elevation changes to resolve the spatial patterns in mass balance at 10 m scale. We present and compare three methods for estimating emergence velocities. Firn compaction was constrained by optimizing a firn model to fit three firn cores. Distributed mass balances showed good agreement with mass-balance stakes (RMSE = 0.67 m w.e., r = 0.99, n = 41) and ground-penetrating radar surveys (RMSE = 0.36 m w.e., r = 0.85, n = 9024). Fundamental differences in the distributions of seasonal balances highlight the importance of disparate physical processes, with anomalously high ablation rates observed in icefalls. Winter balances were found to be positively skewed when controlling for elevation, while summer and annual balances were negatively skewed. We show that only a small percent of the glacier surface represents ideal locations for mass-balance stake placement. Importantly, no suitable areas are found near the terminus or in elevation bands dominated by icefalls. These findings offer explanations for the often-needed geodetic calibrations of glaciological time series.
  • Business Continuity Management, Operational Resilience, and Organizational Resilience: Commonalities, Distinctions, and Synthesis

    Abstract: The concepts of business continuity management, operational resilience, and organizational resilience each refer to actions that businesses and organizations can take in anticipating and responding to disruptions. However, the existing definitions and usages are difficult to differentiate due to overlapping objectives, implementation processes, and outcomes. This article examines definitions and approaches for these three concepts and suggest a framework to operationalize methods and tools relevant to each. These definitions emphasize three dyads: risk versus resilience; organizational processes versus assets; and normal operating conditions versus crisis conditions. Using these dyads to differentiate the concepts of business continuity management, operational resilience, and organizational resilience can support planners in clarifying objectives and identifying which approach will be most beneficial as businesses or organizations plan for and encounter disruptions. This article evaluates these concepts by examining illustrative examples of disruptions and responses.
  • Vessel Impacted by Structure on the Ohio River: Louisville District

    Abstract: This Dredging Operations Technical Support (DOTS) Program technical note presents the results of a study undertaken by the Navigation Branch, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL), at the request from the Louisville District (LRL) to examine an incident involving a single vessel and structure in a high-water condition. The vessel-position data used in this request were broadcast from an onboard Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceiver and received by US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)–owned Lock Operations Management Application (LOMA) tower sites located along the Ohio River.