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  • Coastal Hazards System–Louisiana (CHS-LA)

    Abstract: The US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) expanded the Coastal Hazards System (CHS) to quantify storm surge and wave hazards for coastal Louisiana. The CHS Louisiana (CHS-LA) coastal study was sponsored by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and the New Orleans District (MVN), US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to support Louisiana’s critical coastal infrastructure and to ensure the effectiveness of coastal storm risk management projects. The CHS-LA applied the CHS Probabilistic Coastal Hazard Analysis (PCHA) framework to quantify tropical cyclone (TC) responses, leveraging new atmospheric and hydrodynamic numerical model simulations of synthetic TCs developed explicitly for the Louisiana region. This report focuses on documenting the PCHA conducted for the CHS-LA, including details related to the characterization of storm climate, storm sampling, storm recurrence rate estimation, marginal distributions, correlation and dependence structure of TC atmospheric-forcing parameters, development of augmented storm suites, and assignment of discrete storm weights to the synthetic TCs. As part of CHS-LA, coastal hazards were estimated within the study area for annual exceedance frequencies (AEFs) over the range of 10 yr-1 to 1×10-4 yr-1.
  • Photographic Aerial Transects of Fort Wainwright, Alaska

    Abstract: This report presents the results of low-altitude photographic transects conducted over the training areas of US Army Garrison Fort Wainwright, in the boreal biome of central Alaska, to document baseline land-cover conditions. Flights were conducted via a Cessna™ 180 on two flight paths over portions of the Tanana Flats, Yukon, and Donnelly Training Areas and covered 486 mi (782 km) while documenting GPS waypoints. Nadir photographs were made with two GoPro™ cameras operating at 5 sec time-lapse intervals and with a handheld digital camera for oblique imagery. This yielded 6,063 GoPro photos and 706 oblique photos. Each image was intersected with a land-cover-classification map, collectively representing 38 of the 44 cover categories.
  • Sediment Supply from Bank Caving on the Lower Mississippi River, 1765 to Present

    Abstract: Bank caving rates and associated total sediment supply were calculated along the Lower Mississippi River from Cairo, IL, to Baton Rouge, LA, using historical maps between 1765 and 1992. Comparison of these maps reveals that the added sediment loads from bank erosion have greatly declined through time. In the pre-1960s period, erosion rates generally ranged from approximately 300 million cubic yards (MCY) to 400 MCY, with the 1880–1930s period having the highest erosion rates of approximately 600 MCY. By the 1990s, the sediment supply from bank erosion was essentially eliminated, with significant erosion being observed at only a few locations, totaling approximately 40 MCY/year. This equates to approximately a 90% reduction in the amount of total sediment being supplied to the channel system from bank erosion.
  • Current State of Practice of Nearshore Nourishment by the United States Army Corps of Engineers

    Abstract: This US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) special report prepared by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, provides an overview of the current state of practice for nearshore nourishment with dredged sediment. This special report was completed with responses and input from professionals across the dredging and placement teams from each of the USACE Coastal and Great Lakes districts, providing comprehensive overviews of the decision trees these districts utilize in the placement of their dredged sediment. This report describes the general practice of nearshore nourishment, the impediments and concerns faced by nearshore nourishment projects, and the practical methods utilized by the Coastal and Great Lakes districts for their nearshore nourishment projects. Understanding the current state of practice, along with the general and specific impediments the districts face, enables further research in and development of best practices for use across the USACE and better communication of the practice to other stakeholders.
  • Automated Detection of Austere Entry Landing Zones: A “GRAIL Tools” Validation Assessment

    Abstract: The Geospatial Remote Assessment for Ingress Locations (GRAIL) Tools software is a geospatial product developed to locate austere entry landing zones (LZs) for military aircraft. Using spatial datasets like land classification and slope, along with predefined LZ geometry specifications, GRAIL Tools generates binary suitability filters that distinguish between suitable and unsuitable terrain. GRAIL Tools combines input suitability filters, searches for LZs at user‐defined orientations, and plots results. To refine GRAIL Tools, we: (a) verified software output; (b) conducted validation assessments using five unpaved LZ sites; and (c) assessed input dataset resolution on outcomes using 30 and 1‐m datasets. The software was verified and validated in California and the Baltics, and all five LZs were correctly identified in either the 30 or the 1‐m data. The 30‐m data provided numerous LZs for consideration, while the 1‐m data highlighted hazardous conditions undetected in the 30‐m data. Digital elevation model grid size affected results, as 1‐m data produced overestimated slope values. Resampling the data to 5 m resulted in more realistic slopes. Results indicate GRAIL Tools is an asset the military can use to rapidly assess terrain conditions.
  • Screening Dredged Material to Meet Placement Requirements

    Abstract: Certain types of dredging projects require screening of the dredged material (DM) to achieve the project’s DM placement requirement(s). Screening in the context of this report will be defined as the separation of an oversized fraction of the DM from the remaining fraction to meet project-specific placement compliance criteria (or criterion). Examples of DM placement requirements include aspects such as removing Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) to address safety concerns and extracting over-sized material for beneficial use of DM (e.g., gravel and debris from sand to meet beach nourishment placement standards). Welp et al. (2008) provide detailed guidance for personnel involved in dredging projects with sediment containing MEC. The purpose of this document is to not only update the previous MEC-centric guidance with newly developed or identified technology but to also expand upon screening aspects to provide guidance for personnel involved in dredging projects that require removal of an oversized fraction for screening purposes other than just MEC removal.
  • Legacy Datums and Changes in Benchmark Elevation through Time at the Old River Control Structure, Louisiana

    Abstract: Vertical datums used in the study area at the Old River Control Structure in southern Louisiana have involved Memphis Datum, Mean Gulf Level, Mean Sea Level, Mean Sea Level Datum of 1929, National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929, and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. The focus of this study was to examine historic benchmarks in the study area to determine the magnitude of elevation changes associated with the different legacy datums that have been used by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Comparison of elevation values across these legacy datums has involved examining historic hydrographic surveys, compiling a list of known benchmarks from these surveys, and comparing their elevation values against publications involving spirit-leveling surveys from the Lower Mississippi Valley and the National Geodetic Survey database for benchmarks. This study describes the history of legacy datums, floodplain geology at the Old River Control Structure, potential subsidence impacts affecting the benchmarks, methods for identification and tracking benchmarks, and the results obtained from this study.
  • Determination of Residual Low-Order Detonation Particle Characteristics from Composition B Mortar Rounds

    Empirical measurements of the spatial distribution, particle-size distribution, mass, morphology, and energetic composition of particles from low-order (LO) detonations are critical to accurately characterizing environ-mental impacts on military training ranges. This study demonstrated a method of generating and characterizing LO-detonation particles, previously applied to insensitive munitions, to 81 mm mortar rounds containing the conventional explosive formulation Composition B. The three sampled rounds had estimated detonation efficiencies ranging from 64% to 82% as measured by sampled residual energetic material. For all sampled rounds, energetic deposition rates were highest closer to the point of detonation; however, the mass per radial meter varied. The majority of particles (>60%), by mass, were <2 mm in size. However, the spatial distribution of the <2 mm particles from the point of detonation varied between the three sampled rounds. In addition to the particle-size-distribution results, several method performance observations were made, including command-detonation configurations, sampling quality control, particle-shape influence on laser-diffraction particle-size analysis (LD-PSA), and energetic purity trends. Overall, this study demonstrated the successful characterization of Composition B LO-detonation particles from command detonation through combined analysis by LD-PSA and sieving.
  • Live-Fire Validation of Command-Detonation Residues Testing Using a 60 mm IMX-104 Munition

    Abstract: Command detonation (i.e., static firing) provides a method of testing munitions for their postdetonation residues early in the acquisition process. However, necessary modifications to the firing train and cartridge orientation raise uncertainty whether command detonation accurately represents residue deposition as it occurs during live-fire training. This study collected postdetonation residues from live-fired 60 mm IMX-104 mortar cartridges and then compared estimated energetic-compound deposition rates between live fire and prior command detonations of the same munition. Average live-fire deposition rates of IMX-104 compounds deter-mined from 11 detonations were 3800 mg NTO (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one), 34 mg DNAN (2,4-dinitroanisole), 12 mg RDX (1,3,5-Trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-Triazine), and 1.9 mg HMX (1,3,5,7-Tetranitro-1,3,5,7-Tetrazocane) per cartridge. Total live-fire residue deposition (mean ± standard deviation: 3800 ± 900 mg/cartridge) was not significantly different from command detonation using a representative fuze simulator (3800 ± 900 mg/cartridge, n = 7, p = 0.76) but was significantly different from command detonation using a simplified fuze simulator (2200 ± 500 mg/cartridge, n = 7, p < 0.01). While the dominant residue compound NTO was broadly similar between live fire and command detonation, the minor residue compounds RDX and DNAN were underestimated during command detonation by a factor of approximately three to seven.
  • Remote Sensing Capabilities to Support EWN® Projects: An R&D Approach to Improve Project Efficiencies and Quantify Performance

    PURPOSE: Engineering With Nature (EWN®) is a US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Initiative and Program that promotes more sustainable practices for delivering economic, environmental, and social benefits through collaborative processes. As the number and variety of EWN® projects continue to grow and evolve, there is an increasing opportunity to improve how to quantify their benefits and communicate them to the public. Recent advancements in remote sensing technologies are significant for EWN® because they can provide project-relevant detail across a large areal extent, in which traditional survey methods may be complex due to site access limitations. These technologies encompass a suite of spatial and temporal data collection and processing techniques used to characterize Earth's surface properties and conditions that would otherwise be difficult to assess. This document aims to describe the general underpinnings and utility of remote sensing technologies and applications for use: (1) in specific phases of the EWN® project life cycle; (2) with specific EWN® project types; and (3) in the quantification and assessment of project implementation, performance, and benefits.