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Tag: Harbors--Mobile (Ala.)
  • Surge Analysis in Mobile Harbor, Alabama: Ship-Simulation Report

    Abstract: A navigation channel improvement study for Mobile Harbor was conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District (CESAM), and the Alabama State Port Authority. The US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) assisted CESAM in assessing channel modifications using ERDC’s Ship/Tow Simulator through a Feasibility Level Screening Simulation study in 2017 and through a more comprehensive ship-simulation study in 2020. During the 2020 study, a safety concern was identified related to vessel interactions between a transiting vessel passing docked vessels at the McDuffie Coal Terminal located along the main federal channel. In the previous ship-simulation studies, the docked vessels were represented as targets, which means the ships are visually represented but no hydrodynamic interaction is captured. To fully assess this interaction, a surge-analysis study was completed in 2022 that used hydrodynamic models to represent docked vessels with representative mooring conditions. This study assessed several proposed navigation channel expansions across from the McDuffie Coal Terminal over the course of six testing days with four pilots. Assessment of the proposed modifications was accomplished through analysis of ship simulations completed by experienced local pilots, track plots, run sheets, and final pilot questionnaires.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Evaluation of the Potential Impacts of the Proposed Mobile Harbor Navigation Channel Expansion on the Aquatic Resources of Mobile Bay, Alabama

    Abstract: This report assesses potential impacts to aquatic resources resulting from proposed navigation channel expansion activities within Mobile Bay, Alabama. This work was conducted for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Mobile District, to support development of a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Changes in water quality and hydrodynamics were evaluated for potential impacts to benthic macroinvertebrates, wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation, oysters, and fish. The assessment includes extensive characterization of baseline conditions, evaluation of estimated post-project conditions related to aquatic resource habitat (e.g., changes in salinity, dissolved oxygen). An analysis of potential impacts related to a 0.5-m sea level rise scenario were also evaluated. Results suggest that no substantial impacts in aquatic resources within the study area are anticipated due to project implementation, as the area of greatest potential changes to environmental conditions are already adapted to natural shifts in salinity (and other factors), and to conditions resulting from the existing navigation channel. Although sea level rise has the potential to alter aquatic resource habitats with Mobile Bay, additional impacts related to project implementation remain negligible under the 0.5-m sea level rise scenario.