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Category: Publications: Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL)
  • Low Sill Control Structure: Physical Modeling Investigation of Riprap Stability Downstream of End Sill

    The model investigation reported herein describes the process to model and analyze the stability of scaled riprap in the existing 1:55 Froude-scaled Low Sill Control Structure physical model. The existing model is a fixed-bed model, so modifications were made to create a testing section for the scaled stone. Three separate gradations of scaled riprap were tested at varying boundary conditions (discharge, head and tailwater elevations, and gate openings). Each test was surveyed using lidar for pre to posttest comparisons. It was found that Gradation B remained stable throughout the tests in the physical model.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Snow-Impacted National Inventory of Dams by GAGESII Watershed

    Abstract: This Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) Technical Note describes the development of a set of locations within the contiguous United States (CONUS) where snowmelt is a component of the annual streamflow. The locations are selected from the US Geological Survey (USGS) Geospatial Attributes of Gages for Evaluating Streamflow II (GAGESII) and National Inventory of Dams (NID) data sets. The 30-year normal snow regimes were used to identify all GAGESII watersheds that have any of the basin delineated as transitional (rain/snow), snow dominated, or perennial snow zones. NID dams that are within snow affected GAGESII watersheds are included in the data set. The purpose of this ERDC Technical Note is to describe the development of a comprehensive data set of CONUS GAGESII and dam infrastructure affected by snow changing regimes.
  • Low Sill Control Structure: Physical Modeling Investigation of Velocities Downstream of the End Sill

    Abstract: The model investigation reported herein describes the process to measure velocities at various locations downstream of the Low Sill Control Structure using an existing 1:55 Froude-scaled physical model. To collect these measurements, an acoustic-Doppler velocimeter was deployed downstream of the structure at varying locations and depths. A total of 79 velocity measurements were taken across nine flow conditions (discharge, head and tailwater elevations, and gate openings) provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District.
  • Data-Driven Modeling of Groundwater Level Using Machine Learning

    Purpose: This US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory engineering technical note (CHETN) documents a preliminary study on the use of specialized machine learning (ML) methods to model the variations in groundwater level (GWL) with time. This approach uses historical groundwater observation data at seven gage locations in Wyoming, USA, available from the USGS database and historical data on several relevant meteorological variables obtained from the ERA5 reanalysis dataset produced by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (usually referred to as C3S) at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts to predict future GWL values for a desired period of time. The results presented in this report indicate that the ML method has the potential to predict both short-term (4-hourly) as well as daily variations in GWL several days into the future for the chosen study region, thus alleviating the need for employing sophisticated process-based numerical models with complicated model structure configurations.
  • Development and Testing of the Sediment Distribution Pipe (SDP): A Pragmatic Tool for Wetland Nourishment

    Abstract: Standard dredging operations during thin layer placement (TLP) projects are labor intensive as crews are necessary to periodically move the outfall location, which can have lasting adverse effects on the marsh surface. In an effort to increase efficiency during TLP, a novel Sediment Distribution Pipe (SDP) system was investigated. This system offers multiple discharge points along the pipeline to increase the sediment distribution while reducing pipeline movements. An SDP Modeling Application (SDPMA) was developed to assist in the design of SDP field applications by quickly assessing the pressure and velocity inside the discharge pipe and approximating the slurry throw distances. An SDP field proof of concept was performed during a two-phase TLP on Sturgeon Island, New Jersey, in 2020. The SDPMA was shown to be an accurate method of predicting performance of the SDP. The SDP was successful at distributing dredge material across the placement site; however, further research is warranted to better quantify performance metrics.
  • Uncrewed Survey-Vessel Conversion

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the uses of an uncrewed survey vessel to maintain mission readiness of all federal navigation channels and ports. Developing an uncrewed survey vessel capable of collecting data in a riverine environment may increase the efficiency and resiliency of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) missions and USACE districts to conduct surveys during post natural disasters and pandemics. This document describes the installation, enhancement, and modification of the commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) system, the Sea Machines SM300, on a US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) survey vessel to create a semiautonomous survey capability.
  • Embracing Biodiversity on Engineered Coastal Infrastructure through Structured Decision-Making and Engineering With Nature

    Abstract: Extreme weather variation, natural disasters, and anthropogenic actions negatively impact coastal communities through flooding and erosion. To safeguard coastal settlements, shorelines are frequently reinforced with seawalls and bulkheads. Hardened shorelines, however, result in biodiversity loss and environmental deterioration. The creation of sustainable solutions that engineer with nature is required to lessen natural and anthropogenic pressures. Nature-based solutions (NbS) are a means to enhance biodiversity and improve the environment while meeting engineering goals. To address this urgent need, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering With Nature® (EWN) program balances economic, environmental, and social benefits through collaboration. This report presents how design and engineering practice can be enhanced through organized decision-making and landscape architectural renderings that integrate engineering, science, and NbS to increase biodiversity in coastal marine habitats. When developing new infrastructure or updating or repairing existing infrastructure, such integration can be greatly beneficial. Further, drawings and renderings exhibiting EWN concepts can assist in decision-making by aiding in the communication of NbS designs. Our practical experiences with the application of EWN have shown that involving landscape architects can play a critical role in effective collaboration and result in solutions that safeguard coastal communities while maintaining or enhancing biodiversity.
  • Coastal Modeling System User’s Manual

    Abstract: The Coastal Modeling System (CMS) is a suite of coupled 2D numerical models for simulating nearshore waves, currents, water levels, sediment transport, morphology change, and salinity and temperature. Developed by the Coastal Inlets Research Program of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the CMS provides coastal engineers and scientists a PC-based, easy-to-use, accurate, and efficient tool for understanding of coastal processes and for designing and managing of coastal inlets research, navigation projects, and sediment exchange between inlets and adjacent beaches. The present technical report acts as a user guide for the CMS, which contains comprehensive information on model theory, model setup, and model features. The detailed descriptions include creation of a new project, configuration of model grid, various types of boundary conditions, representation of coastal structures, numerical methods, and coupled simulations of waves, hydrodynamics, and sediment transport. Pre- and postmodel data processing and CMS modeling procedures are also described through operation within a graphic user interface—the Surface Water Modeling System.