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Category: Publications: Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL)
  • Evaluation of Cedar Tree Revetments for Bank Stabilization at the Locust Creek Conservation Area, Missouri: Quantifying Bank Erosion Volumes from Preproject to Postfailure

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers Regional Sediment Management (RSM) program funded research to assess the longevity and effectiveness of cedar tree revetments for sediment reduction. Between 1988 and 1997, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) constructed multiple cedar tree revetments, plantings, and a grade-control structure at an experimental stream management area on Locust Creek within the Locust Creek Conservation Area (LCCA). For the first few years, MDC also replaced missing trees as needed. MDC monitored these sites with photographs and cross sections until 2004. This study evaluated bank stability on Locust Creek from 1970 to 2019 using aerial imagery, lidar, ground surveys, and a December 2019 site visit to estimate the areal change in streambanks and the volume of sediment eroded over the years. Based on their dates of construction, the project compared preproject, with-project, and postfailure conditions at each site. The project included cedar tree revetments, other hardwood revetments, plantings, and a grade-control structure. This research found a 50% to 64% reduction in erosion for approximately 14 years. As of December 2019, all tree revetments had failed, and banks were bare and steep. The grade-control structure remained intact and continued to stabilize bed and banks immediately upstream.
  • A Review of Tidal Embayment Shoaling Mechanisms in the Context of Future Wetland Placement

    Abstract: Wetland construction in tidally influenced embayments is a strategy for beneficial use of sediment dredged from nearby navigation channels. These projects have the potential to alter basin morphology, tidal hydrodynamics, and shoaling trends. This special report provides a broad review of the literature related to engineering-induced changes in tidal range, salinity, tidal prism, tidal asymmetry, and other known causes of shoaling. Each potential shoaling mechanism is then evaluated in the context of wetland placement to provide a foundation for future beneficial use research. Based on a compilation of worldwide examples, wetland placement may reduce tidal amplitude and enhance ebb current dominance, thus reducing shoaling rates in the channels. However, constructed wetlands could also reduce the embayment’s tidal prism and cause accelerated shoaling relative to the pre-engineered rate. Because constructed wetlands are often created in conjunction with navigation channel dredging, the system’s morphologic response to wetland construction is likely to be superimposed upon its response to channel deepening, and the net effect may vary depending on a variety of system- specific parameters. Planning for future wetland placements should include an evaluation of local hydrodynamic behavior considering these factors to predict site-specific response.
  • Ship-Induced Waves at Tybee Island, Georgia

    Abstract: Commercial vessels transiting the Savannah entrance channel intermittently generate large wake events at Tybee Island, Georgia, creating a potential hazard for beachgoers. However, not all commercial vessels generate large wakes, and the relationship between vessel dimensions, operating conditions, wake height, and drawdown magnitude is unclear. This study evaluates bathymetric data, high-frequency wave and vessel wake measurements, and broadcast vessel identification over a 4-month period with the goal of providing a quantitative characterization of vessel wake conditions at Tybee Island. Data from 1,386 cargo vessel passages and 202 tanker passages indicate that vessel dimensions (length and beam) are positively correlated with drawdown magnitude and secondary wake height, although large vessels do not consistently generate large wakes. Container ships, which tended to travel faster than tankers, corresponded to the largest wakes in the dataset. A further hypothesis is that tidally modulated energy dissipation may favor smaller vessel wake uprush at low tide and larger uprush at high tide, but this idea cannot be confirmed without additional measurements to quantify nonlinear wave propagation on the beach face. Based on the collected data, the study concludes with four recommendations for reducing risk to beachgoers.
  • Risk-Based Prioritization of Operational Condition Assessments: Methodology and Case Study Results

    Abstract: USACE operates, maintains, and manages more than $232 billion of the Nation’s water resource infrastructure. USACE uses the Operational Condition Assessment (OCA) to allocate limited resources to assess condition of this infrastructure in efforts to minimize risks associated with performance degradation. The analysis of risk associated with flood risk management (FRM) assets includes consideration of how each asset contributes to its associated FRM watershed system, understanding the consequences of the asset’s performance degradation, and a determination of the likelihood that the asset will perform as expected given the current OCA condition ratings of critical components. This research demonstrates a proof-of-concept application of a scalable methodology to model the probability of a dam performing as expected given the state of its gates and their components. The team combines this likelihood of degradation with consequences generated by the application of designed simulation experiments with hydrological models to develop a risk measure. The resulting risk scores serve as an input for a mixed-integer optimization program that outputs the optimal set of components to conduct OCAs on to minimize risk in the watershed. This report documents the results of the application of this methodology to two case studies.
  • Numerical Analysis of Dike Effects on the Mississippi River Using a Two-Dimensional Adaptive Hydraulics Model (AdH)

    Abstract: This report describes the hydraulic effects of dikes on water surface elevation (WSE) and velocities in the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, MS, from Interstate 20 to Highway 80 using a previously calibrated 2D Adaptive Hydraulics numerical model. Dike heights and their associated hydraulic roughness values were varied to quantify the overall effects of adjustments to dike fields. Steady flows characterized as low, medium, and high conditions were simulated. The WSE and velocity difference plots were generated to illustrate the hydraulic effects on the river under all scenarios discussed above. Overall, the dike adjustments had negligible impacts on WSEs and showed minimal effects on velocities on a system wide scale.
  • Practical Guidance for Numerical Modeling in FUNWAVE-TVD

    Purpose: This technical note describes the physical and numerical considerations for developing an idealized numerical wave-structure interaction modeling study using the fully nonlinear, phase-resolving Boussinesq-type wave model, FUNWAVE-TVD (Shi et al. 2012). The focus of the study is on the range of validity of input wave characteristics and the appropriate numerical domain properties when inserting partially submerged, impermeable (i.e., fully reflective) coastal structures in the domain. These structures include typical designs for breakwaters, groins, jetties, dikes, and levees. In addition to presenting general numerical modeling best practices for FUNWAVE-TVD, the influence of nonlinear wave-wave interactions on regular wave propagation in the numerical domain is discussed. The scope of coastal structures considered in this document is restricted to a single partially submerged, impermeable breakwater, but the setup and the results can be extended to other similar structures without a loss of generality. The intended audience for these materials is novice to intermediate users of the FUNWAVE-TVD wave model, specifically those seeking to implement coastal structures in a numerical domain or to investigate basic wave-structure interaction responses in a surrogate model prior to considering a full-fledged 3-D Navier-Stokes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model. From this document, users will gain a fundamental understanding of practical modeling guidelines that will flatten the learning curve of the model and enhance the final product of a wave modeling study. Providing coastal planners and engineers with ease of model access and usability guidance will facilitate rapid screening of design alternatives for efficient and effective decision-making under environmental uncertainty.
  • Wave Attenuation of Coastal Mangroves at a Near-Prototype Scale

    Abstract: A physical model study investigating the dissipation of wave energy by a 1:2.1 scale North American red mangrove forest was performed in a large-scale flume. The objectives were to measure the amount of wave attenuation afforded by mangroves, identify key hydrodynamic parameters influencing wave attenuation, and provide methodologies for application. Seventy-two hydrodynamic conditions, comprising irregular and regular waves, were tested. The analysis related the dissipation to three formulations that can provide estimates of wave attenuation for flood risk management projects considering mangroves: damping coefficient β, drag coefficient CD, and Manning’s roughness coefficient n. The attenuation of the incident wave height through the 15.12 m long, 1:2.1 scale mangrove forest was exponential in form and varied from 13%–77%. Water depth and incident wave height strongly influenced the amount of wave attenuation. Accounting for differences in water depth using the sub-merged volume fraction resulted in a common fit of the damping coefficient as a function of relative wave height and wave steepness. The drag coefficient demonstrated a stronger relationship with the Keulegan–Carpenter number than the Reynolds number. The linear relationship be-tween relative depth and Manning’s n was stronger than that between Manning’s n and either relative wave height or wave steep
  • Evaluation of Climatic and Hydroclimatic Resources to Support the US Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program

    Abstract: Short-term climatic and hydrologic interactions, or hydroclimatology, are an important consideration when delineating the geographic extent of aquatic resources and assessing whether an aquatic resource is a jurisdictional water of the United States (WOTUS) and is therefore subject to the Clean Water Act (CWA). The now vacated 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) required the evaluation of precipitation and other hydroclimatic conditions to assess the jurisdictional status of an aquatic resource based on normal hydroclimatic conditions. Short-term hydroclimatic conditions, such as antecedent precipitation, evapotranspiration, wetland delineation, and streamflow duration assessments, provide information on an aquatic resource’s geo-graphic extent, hydrologic characteristics, and hydrologic connectivity with other aquatic resources. Here, researchers from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) evaluate tools and data available to practitioners for assessing short-term hydroclimatic conditions. The work highlights specific meteorological phenomena that are important to consider when assessing short-term hydroclimatic conditions that affect the geographic extent and hydrologic characteristics of an aquatic resource. The findings suggest that practitioners need access to data and tools that more holistically consider the impact of short-term antecedent hydroclimatology on the entire hydrologic cycle, rather than tools based solely on precipitation.
  • A Revisit and Update on the Verification and Validation of the Coastal Modeling System (CMS): Report 1–Hydrodynamics and Waves

    Abstract: This is the first part of a two-part report that revisits and updates the verification and validation (V&V) of the Coastal Modeling System (CMS). The V&V study in this part of the report focuses on hydrodynamic and wave modeling. With the updated CMS code (Version 5) and its latest graphical user interface, the Surface-water Modeling System (Version 13), the goal of this study is to revisit some early CMS V&V cases and assess some new cases on model performance in coastal applications. The V&V process includes the comparison and evaluation of the CMS output against analytical solutions, laboratory experiments in prototype cases, and field cases in and around coastal inlets and navigation projects. The V&V results prove that the basic physics incorporated are represented well, the computational algorithms implemented are accurate, and the coastal processes are reproduced well. This report provides the detailed descriptions of those test simulations, which include the model configuration, the selection of model parameters, the determination of model forcing, and the quantitative assessment of the model and data comparisons. It is to be hoped that, through the V&V process, the CMS users will better understand the model’s capability and limitation as a tool to solve real-world problems.
  • Sediment Mobility, Closure Depth, and the Littoral System – Oregon and Washington Coast

    Abstract: Forty years ago, the depth of closure concept was introduced to provide a systematic, process-based approach to evaluate seasonal changes in cross-shore profiles and sediment mobility in the nearshore. This study aims to extend that theory by directly considering wave-asymmetry in the nearshore environment. This technical note introduces a methodology to calculate wave induced dispersal of dredged material placed in nearshore sites and summarizes analyses validating the approach using data from the South Jetty Site at the Mouth of the Columbia River. This investigation highlights the notion of a cross-shore gradient in nearshore placement effectiveness of dredged material that can assist project managers plan and execute sustainable sediment management practices at coastal inlets.