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  • Phase I Geothermal Opportunities Assessment of the Delta Junction Area, Alaska

    Abstract: To enhance energy resilience at military installations in Interior Alaska, we are exploring geothermal energy, which harvests Earth’s heat to provide thermal energy, electricity, or both. Parts of Interior Alaska have high subsurface heat flow, likely related to high-heat-producing granites. While electric load is usually the focus of energy resilience; in cold regions, the thermal load dominates energy demand, and operations can be sensitive to it. A local geothermal energy source enhances energy resilience by providing baseload energy and lessening supply chain demand. Geothermal energy technology is mature and often economical, but resource location and assessment remain challenging. We present exploration methods for a geothermal feasibility study for Interior Alaska and Phase I prefeasibility study results assessing opportunities to develop geothermal at Fort Greely, Alaska. We present possible geothermal resource types, their potential uses, likelihood of existence, and development risk. We also present custom methodology for locating the resources, associated uncertainty, and the impact of finding each resource. Phase I shows geothermal at Fort Greely survives the elimination test. Investment into a Phase II field study to address knowledge gaps should consider the higher risk in comparison to other geothermal plays due to new methodology and sparse existing data.
  • DataSwitch Data Sweeper (DS)2

    Purpose: The purpose of this Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering technical note (CHETN) is to specify the software requirements, architecture, and detailed design for the DataSwitch Data Sweeper (DS)² application. This document is designed for the software developers maintaining (DS)² and is intended to aid these developers in understanding its architecture and underlying functionality.
  • Guidelines for How to Approach Thin-Layer Placement Projects

    Abstract: Historically, dredged material (DM) has been placed at the nearest available placement site. There has been an increasing trend of beneficial use projects recently, often using innovative methods. Thin-layer placement (TLP) involves one- to two-foot-thick DM placement, compared to traditional, thicker sediment placement applications, to restore coastal wetlands. The main idea of TLP is to promote the natural recolonization or reestablishment of habitat and benthic species. These guidelines present a roadmap of TLP’s evolution and offer easily digestible examples and considerations for TLP applications in wetlands and open-water environments. Offered as a tool to the practitioner, the eight chapters of these guidelines cover the history of TLP, characterization of the project area, setting goals and objectives, project design, construction considerations, monitoring and adaptive management, knowledge gaps, and future research needs. Several case studies are presented as examples of how such applications have been implemented and highlight lessons learned, particularly best-management practices. These guidelines offer consideration of TLP as a critical component in the project development phase, a tool for the sustainable management of DM, and a method that may create, maintain, enhance, or restore ecological function while supporting navigation channel infrastructure and providing flood risk management benefits.
  • Fort Riley Firing Ranges and Military Training Lands: A History and Analysis

    Abstract: The US Congress codified the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), the nation’s most effective cultural resources legislation to date, mostly 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 Riley is in north-central Kansas within Riley and Geary Counties. It consists of six functional areas, including the Main Post, Camp Funston, Marshall Army Airfield (MAAF), Camp Whitside, Camp Forsyth, and Custer Hill. This report provides a historic context for ranges, features, and buildings associated with the post’s training lands in support of Section 110 of the NHPA.
  • Evaluation of Venturi Pump Blower Attachment Prototype

    Purpose: The US Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) tasked the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) with (1) developing a prototype venturi pump blower attachment for removing standing water from open excavations and (2) comparing its performance to that of traditional pumps. This technical note summarizes testing conducted as a part of the development of the prototype and provides analysis and conclusions based on the results.
  • Pilot-Scale Optimization: Research on Algae Flotation Techniques (RAFT)

    Abstract: The impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on US national waterways continue to cause significant economic and environmental damage. Researchers at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) successfully demonstrated the Research on Algae Flotation Techniques (RAFT) project at pilot scale. This study was designed to show that the surface concentrations of algal biomass can be effectively increased with near linear scalability utilizing the natural methods by which some algae entrap air within excreted mucilage for flotation. The surface concentration of cyanobacteria measured as phycocyanin pigment increased by six-fold after RAFT flocculation treatment. Further optimization of chemical delivery systems, mixing, and dissolved air exposure will be required before full scale readiness.
  • Proceedings from the Soft Substrate Island Design Workshop

    Abstract: This report summarizes the activities of the Soft Substrate Design Workshop held virtually on 08 September 2021. The 28 participants from federal, state, local, and academic organizations discussed designing and constructing islands with soft sediments in inland waterways. They were introduced to the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) initiative and the vision for Tri-County Planning Commission (Peoria, Illinois). An overview of collaborative projects using landscape architecture and EWN principles was provided. The focus of discussion was on two primary waterways, the Upper Mississippi River System, and Illinois River. Participants discussed their experience associated with designing and constructing islands with and on soft sediments prior to breakout sessions to discuss specific design and contracting elements. The groups were brought together to discuss design techniques that could be implemented in the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River systems.
  • A Review of Algal Phytoremediation Potential to Sequester Nutrients from Eutrophic Surface Water

    Abstract: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) and coastal hypoxic zones are evidence of cultural nutrient enrichment affecting public health and water supplies, aquatic ecosystem health, and economic well-being in the United States. Recognition of the far-reaching impacts of Midwest agriculture has led to establishing nutrient reduction objectives for surface waters feeding the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Erie, and many smaller water bodies. Municipal nutrient enrichment impacts have been addressed by increasing levels of sewage treatment and waste management through the Clean Water Act era, but HABs rebounded in the 1990s because of non-point source nutrient enrichment. HAB control and treatment includes watershed and waterbody treatments to reduce loading and address outbreaks. Systems to remove nutrients from impaired waters are expensive to build and operate. This review of algal production systems summarizes emerging algal water treatment technologies and considers their potential to effectively sequester nutrients and atmospheric carbon from hundreds of eutrophic reservoirs and DoD wastewater treatment facilities while producing useful biomass feedstock using solar energy. Algal water treatment systems including open ponds, photobioreactors, and algal turf scrubbers® can be used to grow biomass for biofuel, wastewater treatment, and commercial products. This review recommends continuing research on surface water nutrient reduction potential with algal turf scrubber productivity pilot studies, preliminary site design, and biomass utilization investigations.
  • Spatial Screening for Environmental Pool Management Opportunities

    Abstract: US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) reservoir projects significantly alter river ecosystem structure and function. Each project adheres to a defined set of operating rules to achieve primary objectives, which typically include flood risk management, hydropower, or navigation along with ancillary objectives for drinking water/irrigation, recreation, and natural resources management. Environmental flows (E-Flows) planning under the Sustainable Rivers Program has demonstrated new opportunities for environmental pool management (EPM; Theiling et al. 2021a, 2021b) that have no negative impact on other reservoir functions. In some locations, water level drivers can be managed to improve ecological outcomes, like wetlands, waterbirds, reptiles, and water quality, by altering the magnitude, timing, frequency, and duration of pool level changes that affect riparian and shoreline plant communities. Reservoirs with large delta areas may provide particularly important wetland or riparian habitat management along avian migratory pathways or in wildlife conservation regions (Johnson 2002). These large deltas can be identified and characterized using available satellite imagery, which along with water level habitat drivers available in hydrology databases, can be used to identify USACE reservoirs with good potential for EPM. A spatial analysis of USACE reservoirs capable to support EPM can be developed utilizing estimates of water occurrence, transition, and seasonality as well as surface elevation data derived from satellite imagery to assess geomorphology drivers. USACE water management records can be used to assess wetland drivers. Nationwide screening will be broken down into ecoregions to establish the anticipated geographic range of variation for wetland and riparian habitat drivers. Southwestern US reservoirs, for example, will have much different hydrology and fauna than Midwest and Eastern US reservoirs.
  • Review of Riparian Models for Assessing Ecological Impacts and Benefits

    BACKGROUND: Riparian zones are key transitional ecosystems between upland and aquatic zones, and these systems are often degraded due to both land use change and stream processes (e.g., deforestation and water impoundments and/or diversions). These important ecosystems require restoration because of the many benefits they provide ranging from providing habitat for diverse species to promoting water quality. Restoration practitioners, regulators, and researchers require riparian assessment methods and models to efficiently guide mitigation and restoration planning. This technical note (TN) compiles a subset of existing riparian tools and evaluates them relative to model objectives, modeling approach, and input variables. Findings are synthesized into a gap analysis of these models to inform future riparian model development and improve riparian assessment.