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Category: Technology
  • Optimization of Reach-Scale Gravel Nourishment on the Green River below Howard Hanson Dam, King County, Washington

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, nourishes gravel downstream of Howard Hanson Dam (HHD) on the Green River in Washington State. The study team developed numerical models to support the ongoing salmonid habitat improvement mission downstream of HHD. Recent advancements in computing and numerical modeling software make long-term simulations in steep, gravel, cobble, and boulder river environments cost effective. The team calibrated mobile-bed, sediment-transport models for the pre-dam and post-dam periods. The modeling explored geomorphic responses to flow and sediment regime changes associated with HHD construction and operation. The team found that pre-dam conditions were significantly more dynamic than post-dam conditions and may have had lower spawning habitat quality in the project vicinity. The team applied the Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model to the site and then calibrated to the post-dam gravel augmentation period. The team implemented a new hiding routine in HEC-RAS that improved the simulated grain size trends but underestimated coarse sediment transport. Models without the hiding function overestimated grain size but matched bed elevations and mass flux very well. Decade-long simulations of four future gravel nourishment conditions showed continued sediment storage in the reach. The storage rate was sensitive to nourishment mass and grain size.
  • A Dynamic Hyperbolic Surface Model for Responsive Data Mining

    Abstract: Data management systems impose structure on data via a static representation schema or data structure. Information from the data is extracted by executing queries based on predefined operators. This paradigm restricts the searchability of the data to concepts and relationships that are known or assumed to exist among the objects. While this is an effective and efficient means of retrieving simple information, we propose that such a structure severely limits the ability to derive breakthrough knowledge that exists in data under the guise of “unknown unknowns.” A dynamic system will alleviate this dependence, allowing theoretically infinite projections of the data to reveal discoverable relationships that are hidden by traditional use case-driven, static query systems. In this paper, we propose a framework for a data-responsive query algebra based on a dynamic hyperbolic surface model. Such a model could provide more intuitive access to analytics and insights from massive, aggregated datasets than existing methods. This model will significantly alter the means of addressing the underlying data by representing it as an arrangement on a dynamic, hyperbolic plane. Consequently, querying the data can be viewed as a process similar to quantum annealing, in terms of characterizing data representation as an energy minimization problem with numerous minima.
  • Risk-Based Prioritization of Operational Condition Assessments: Jennings Randolph Case Study

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) operates, maintains, and manages over $232 billion worth of the Nation’s water resource infrastructure. Using Operational Condition Assessments (OCA), the USACE allocates limited resources to assess asset condition in efforts to minimize risks associated with asset performance degradation, but decision makers require a greater understanding of those risks. The analysis of risk associated with Flood Risk Management assets in the context of its associated watershed system includes understanding the consequences of the asset’s failure and a determination of the likelihood that the asset will perform as expected given the current OCA ratings of critical components. This research demonstrates an application of a scalable methodology to model the probability of a dam performing as expected given the state of its subordinate gates and their components. The research team combines this likelihood with consequences generated by the application of designed simulation experiments with hydrological models to develop a measure of risk. The resulting risk scores serve as an input for an optimization program that outputs the optimal set of components to conduct OCAs on to minimize risk in the watershed. Proof-of-concept results for an initial case study on the Jennings Randolph Dam are provided.
  • Setup and Data Collection Process of an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV) in a Laboratory Setting

    Abstract: The purpose of this Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering Technical Note (CHETN) is to outline experimental set up and the data collection process of an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV) in a laboratory setting. The Nortek Vectrino ADV will be referenced in this CHETN as will the Nortek Comprehensive Manual for Velocimeters (Nortek AS 2018). Note that Nortek no longer sells the Vectrino, but the Vector, which is similar to the Vectrino aside from only having one configuration, is available.
  • A Literature Review of Beach Nourishment Impacts on Marine Turtles

    Abstract: This report was developed by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center-Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL) to summarize the known impacts to nesting sea turtles along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts resulting from beach nourishment. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for maintaining the nation’s infrastructure to include ports and harbors through dredging of Federal navigation channels as well as shoreline stabilization. Shoreline stabilization through beach nourishment activities can provide opportunities for reductions in storm surge, flood control, and provide opportunities for residential growth, recreational activities, and coastal habitat restoration (Guilfoyle et al. 2019). Beach nourishment is an effective method for protection and enhancement of coastal development projects but may have detrimental impacts on marine life (e.g., nesting sea turtles and shorebirds). The objective of this report is to examine all elements of the beach nourishment process including active beach construction, entrainment of marine turtles in hopper dredges, beach protection and hard structures, beach profile features, compaction and shear resistance, artificial lighting, marine turtle nest relocation, and nesting habitat factors. Recommendations for mitigating and minimizing these impacts are provided.
  • Toward the Electrochemical Detection of 2,4-Dinitroanisole (DNAN) and Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN)

    Abstract: Analytical methods to rapidly detect explosive compounds with high precision are paramount for applications ranging from national security to environmental remediation. This report demonstrates two proof-of-concept electroanalytical methods for the quantification of 2,4-dinitroanisol (DNAN) and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN). For the first time, DNAN reduction was analyzed and compared at a bare graphitic carbon electrode, a polyaniline-modified (PANI) electrode, and a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) electrode utilizing PANI to explore the effect of surface-area and preconcentration affinity on the analytical response. Since some explosive compounds such as PETN are not appreciably soluble in water (<10 μg/L), necessitating a different solvent system to permit direct detection via electrochemical reduction. A 1,2-dichloroethane system was explored as a possibility by generating a liquid-liquid extraction-based sensor exploiting the immiscibility of 1,2-dichloroethane and water. The reduction process was explored using a scan rate analysis to extract a diffusion coefficient of 6.67 x 10⁻⁶ cm/s, in agreement with literature values for similarly structured nitrate esters. Once further refined, these techniques may be extended to other explosives and combined with portable electrochemical hardware to bring real-time chemical information to soldiers and citizens alike.
  • Design, Construction, and Testing of the PFAS Effluent Treatment System (PETS), a Mobile Ion Exchange–Based System for the Treatment of Per-, Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) Contaminated Water

    Abstract: Poly-,Per-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are versatile chemicals that were incorporated in a wide range of products. One of their most important use was in aqueous film-forming foams for fighting liquid fuel fires. PFAS compounds have recently been identified as potential environmental contaminants. In the United States there are hundreds of potential military sites with PFAS contamination.The ERDC designed and constructed a mobile treatment system to address small sites (250,000 gallons or less) and as a platform to field test new adsorptive media. The PFAS Effluent Treatment System (PETS) has cartridge filters to remove sediments and a granular activated carbon (GAC) media filter to remove organic compounds that might compete with PFAS in the ion exchange process, although it may also remove PFAS too. The last process is an ion exchange resin specifically designed to remove PFAS to a target level of 70 ng/L or less (equivalent to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water Health Advisory). The system was tested at Hurlburt Field, a US Air Force facility in Florida and at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South in Millington, TN.
  • Continued Investigation of Thermal and Lidar Surveys of Building Infrastructure

    ABSTRACT: We conducted a combined lidar and thermal infrared survey from both ground-based and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) platforms at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, in February 2020 to assess the building thermal envelope and infrastructure of the Crary Lab and the wet utility corridor (utilidor). These high-accuracy, coregistered data produced a 3-D model with assigned temperature values for measured surfaces, useful in identifying thermal anomalies and areas for potential improvements and for assessing building and utilidor infrastructure by locating and quantifying areas settlement and structural anomalies. The ground-based survey of the Crary Lab was similar to previous work performed by the team at both Palmer (2015) and South Pole (2017) Stations. The UAS platform focused on approximately 10,500 linear-feet of utilidor throughout McMurdo Station. The datasets of the two survey areas overlapped, allowing us to combine them into a single, georeferenced 3-D model of McMurdo Station. Coincident exterior temperature and atmospheric measurements and Global Navigation Satellite System real-time kinematic surveys provided further insights. Finally, we assessed the thermal envelope of the Crary Lab and the structural features of the utilidor. The resulting dataset is available for analysis and quantification.
  • Terrestrial Fate and Effects of Nanometer-Sized Silver

    Abstract: Although engineered nanomaterials are active components in a wide variety of commercial products, there is still limited information related to the effects of these nanomaterials once released into the terrestrial environment. A high number of commercial applications use silver nanoparticles (nAg) due to its anti-microbial activity. This may be of concern for waste management since nAg could be applied to soil (e.g., biosolids) or disposed of in traditional landfills, which could lead to possible leaching into surrounding soil. This report aims to provide additional insight into the fate and effects of nAg in terrestrial systems. The studies in this report examine the leachability of nAg in field soil and compares the soil migration to bulk (i.e., micron-sized) silver; examine the ecotoxicity of nAg to earthworms in four field soils spanning several different soil orders; and examine the behavioral effects of earthworms when exposed to engineered nanoparticles in field soil. These data provide additional insight into engineered nanoparticle fate and effects to terrestrial receptors in field soils, an important distinction from laboratory-generated soils. These data will also assist ecological risk assessors to better determine the acute environmental risks of nAg in terrestrial ecosystems with different soil compositions.
  • Evaluating Cross-Shore Sediment Grain Size Distribution, Sediment Transport, and Morphological Evolution of a Nearshore Berm at Fort Myers Beach, Florida

    Abstract: Navigation channels are periodically dredged to maintain safe depths. Dredged sediment was historically placed in upland management areas or in offshore disposal areas. Florida state law prohibits placement of beach fill sediment that contains more than 10% by weight of silt and clay, which is typically a characteristic of dredged material. An alternative is placement in a nearshore berm. Some potential benefits of nearshore berms include wave energy dissipation, reduced cost of dredging and shore protection, and possible onshore movement of the berm material. This study considers sediment distribution, morphological evolution, sediment transport, and shoreline trends along Fort Myers Beach, Florida, related to the nearshore berm constructed in August 2016. Due to timing of the field study, this report also includes information on the influence of a major hurricane that impacted the area. The overall conclusion of this study is that the dredge-sourced sediment in the berm performed as expected. Within 2 years, the berm adjusted to the shoreface environment, maintained a large part of its original volume, and contributed to protection of the beach and shoreline. The impact of Hurricane Irma included a shift in sediment textures and a large but temporary increase in shoreface sediment volumes.