Publication Notices

Notifications of New Publications Released by ERDC

Contact ERDC Library

601.501.7632 - text
601.634.2355 - voice


ERDC Library Catalog

Not finding what you are looking for? Search the ERDC Library Catalog

Tag: Levees--Erosion
  • Backward Erosion Testing: Magnolia Levee

    Abstract: Using a confined flume device, an experimental study investigated the critical horizontal gradient of soils obtained from a site identified as potentially vulnerable to backward erosion piping (BEP). Tests were conducted on glacial outwash material obtained from a sand and gravel quarry in the vicinity of Magnolia Levee in the community of Magnolia, OH. The two bulk samples collected from the quarry had similar grain-size distributions, grain roundness, and depositional environments as the foundation materials beneath the levee. Samples were prepared at various densities and subjected to gradual increases of flow in a wooden flume with an acrylic top until BEP was observed. The critical average horizontal gradient ranged from 0.21 to 0.30 for a bulk sample with a coefficient of uniformity of 1.6, while tests conducted on a bulk sample with a coefficient of uniformity of 2.5 yielded critical average horizontal gradients of 0.31 to 0.36. The critical average gradients measured during these tests compared favorably to values in the literature after applying adjustments according to Schmertmann’s method.
  • Backward Erosion Progression Rates from Small-Scale Flume Tests

    Abstract: Backward erosion piping (BEP) is an internal erosion mechanism by which erosion channels progress upstream, typically through cohesionless or highly erodible foundation materials of dams and levees. As one of the primary causes of embankment failures, usually during high pool events, the probability of BEP-induced failure is commonly evaluated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for existing dams and levees. In current practice, BEP failure probability is quantitatively assessed assuming steady state conditions with qualitative adjustments for temporal aspects of the process. In cases with short-term hydraulic loads, the progression rate of the erosion pipe may control the failure probability such that more quantitative treatment of the temporal development of erosion is necessary to arrive at meaningful probabilities of failure. This report builds upon the current state of the practice by investigating BEP progression rates through a series of laboratory experiments. BEP progression rates were measured for nine uniform sands in a series of 55 small-scale flume tests. Results indicate that the pipe progression rates are proportional to the seepage velocity and can be predicted using equations recently proposed in the literature.
  • Automated Characterization of Ridge-Swale Patterns Along the Mississippi River

    Abstract: The orientation of constructed levee embankments relative to alluvial swales is a useful measure for identifying regions susceptible to backward erosion piping (BEP). This research was conducted to create an automated, efficient process to classify patterns and orientations of swales within the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) to support levee risk assessments. Two machine learning algorithms are used to train the classification models: a convolutional neural network and a U-net. The resulting workflow can identify linear topographic features but is unable to reliably differentiate swales from other features, such as the levee structure and riverbanks. Further tuning of training data or manual identification of regions of interest could yield significantly better results. The workflow also provides an orientation to each linear feature to support subsequent analyses of position relative to levee alignments. While the individual models fall short of immediate applicability, the procedure provides a feasible, automated scheme to assist in swale classification and characterization within mature alluvial valley systems similar to LMV.
  • Laboratory Evaluation of Aquablok™ Erosion Resistance: Implications for Geotechnical Applications

    Abstract: AquaBlok™ (AB) is a commercial product traditionally used as an alternative material for contaminated sediment capping applications. Previous studies of AB capping performance have reported enhanced stabilization through increased erosion resistance. Subsequently, AB has been considered for use as an alternative levee repair material due to its cohesive properties. Through a series of laboratory experiments, this study investigated the erosion behavior of new AquaBlok formulations (10%, 20%, and 30% clay by weight) under increased shear stresses previously unachievable in the previous tests. The new AquaBlok formulations were tested in non-compacted and compacted states to simulate the physical properties in capping and levee repair applications. In the non-compacted state, excess hydration of the clay matrix extended approximately 5 cm below the bed surface, which greatly reduced erosion resistance and was independent of clay percentage. Below this horizon, critical shear stress increased, and erosion rates decreased, with clay percentage, respectively. However, this does not consider a continuous change in hydration state when exposed to free water. In the compacted state, erosion rates were greatly arrested, with measureable erosion only possible under the maximum applied shear stress (24 Pa). The results are discussed in the context of capping and levee applications.