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Tag: Mississippi River
  • Real-Time Forecasting Model Development Work Plan

    Abstract: The objective of the Lowermost Mississippi River Management Program is to move the nation toward more holistic management of the lower reaches of the Mississippi River through the development and use of a science-based decision-making framework. There has been substantial investment in the last decade to develop multidimensional numerical models to evaluate the Lowermost Mississippi River (LMMR) hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and salinity dynamics. The focus of this work plan is to leverage the existing scientific knowledge and models to improve holistic management of the LMMR. Specifically, this work plan proposes the development of a real-time forecasting (RTF) system for water, sediment, and selected nutrients in the LMMR. The RTF system will help inform and guide the decision-making process for operating flood-control and sediment-diversion structures. This work plan describes the primary components of the RTF system and their interactions. The work plan includes descriptions of the existing tools and numerical models that could be leveraged to develop this system together with a brief inventory of existing real-time data that could be used to validate the RTF system. A description of the tasks that would be required to develop and set up the RTF system is included together with an associated timeline.
  • Evaluation of Structural and Operational Alternatives to Optimize the Distribution of Water and Sediment in the Passes of the Mississippi River

    Abstract: Mississippi River shoaling and dredging processes in the vicinity of Head of Passes and in Southwest Pass were investigated. Existing rates of deposition and dredging were determined using near-daily eHydro bathymetric surveys, National Dredging Quality Management dredge operating data, and geospatial processing steps developed for this study. These surveys provide a means to characterize the highly dynamic and variable sedimentation patterns observed in the navigation channel. The HEC-6T one-dimensional numerical sedimentation model was used to evaluate possible modifications to the distribution of water and sediment in the Mississippi River near Head of Passes in an attempt to reduce shoaling in the navigation channel. The model was used to evaluate the effects of partial closures of several distributaries downstream from Venice and to evaluate the effects of channel widening and channel deepening adjacent to the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area at Head of Passes. In this study, various structural alternatives were compared to a base test that represented existing conditions. Sedimentation and dredging effects were projected 50 years into the future.
  • Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Study of Water and Sediment Movement through a Deep Scour Hole in the Lower Mississippi River

    Abstract: A series of acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) transects were collected through a deep scour hole at the bend near River Mile 60 on the Lower Mississippi River. The measurements were collected during both a low and a high flow. The ADCP results show a 3D flow field through the deep bend. The backscatter intensity of the ADCP measurements indicates the majority of the sediment remains close to the inside of the bed and high in the water column, with minimal concentrations at the bottom of the bend. These findings have implications for numerical sediment transport models, which tend to deposit material at the bottom of deep scour holes like the one in this study
  • Automatic Identification System (AIS) Data Case Study: Identifying Unofficial Mooring Areas along the Upper Mississippi River

    Purpose: This Dredging Operations and Technical Support (DOTS) program technical note presents the results of a study undertaken at the request of staff from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Rock Island District (MVR) as part of a larger effort examining the potential creation of seven new permanent mooring cells along the Upper Mississippi River in proximity to lock and dam (LD) locations selected by MVR. MVR staff were interested in evaluating vessel traffic and identifying unofficial mooring areas (i.e., waiting areas) in the vicinity of LD7, LD10, LD11, LD14, LD15, LD20, and LD22; they were also interested in travel times from those unofficial mooring areas to the destination lock. The search distance for unofficial mooring areas was limited to 20 miles from the lock, or the distance to the next closest lock if less than 20 miles, in the appropriate direction (i.e., upstream or downstream), as specified by MVR staff.
  • Sediment Supply from Bank Caving on the Lower Mississippi River, 1765 to Present

    Abstract: Bank caving rates and associated total sediment supply were calculated along the Lower Mississippi River from Cairo, IL, to Baton Rouge, LA, using historical maps between 1765 and 1992. Comparison of these maps reveals that the added sediment loads from bank erosion have greatly declined through time. In the pre-1960s period, erosion rates generally ranged from approximately 300 million cubic yards (MCY) to 400 MCY, with the 1880–1930s period having the highest erosion rates of approximately 600 MCY. By the 1990s, the sediment supply from bank erosion was essentially eliminated, with significant erosion being observed at only a few locations, totaling approximately 40 MCY/year. This equates to approximately a 90% reduction in the amount of total sediment being supplied to the channel system from bank erosion.
  • The Old River, Mississippi River, Atchafalaya River, and Red River (OMAR) Technical Assessment

    NOTE: The Old River, Mississippi River, Atchafalaya River, and Red River (OMAR) Technical Assessment is a 9-volume series of reports that was produced under the direction of the Mississippi River Geomorphology & Potamology Program. An abstract from the main report, Volume 1, is listed below, along with the individual volume titles and links to the relevant reports. ABSTRACT: This is the main report of Old River, Mississippi River, Atchafalaya River, and Red River (OMAR) Technical Assessment. The primary objective of the OMAR Technical Assessment was to conduct a comprehensive evaluation that aimed to understand the impacts of former and potential changes to the system in the vicinity of the Old River Control Complex (ORCC) over time, the water and sediment delivery regime at the ORCC, and the effects to the river system surrounding the ORCC. Scenarios evaluated in this technical assessment were designed to investigate potential system responses to a wide range of possible operational alternatives and identify knowledge gaps in current understanding of system behavior. This report summarizes and synthesizes the individual reports detailing the investigations into specific aspects of the ORCC and the surrounding region.
  • Low-Sill Control Structure Gate Load Study

    Abstract: The effort performed here describes the process to determine the gate lifting loads at the Low-Sill Control Structure. To measure the gate loads, a 1:55 Froude-scaled model of the Low-Sill Control Structure was tested. Load cells were placed on 3 of the 11 gates. Tests evaluated the gate loads for various hydraulic heads across the structure. A total of 109 tests were conducted for 14 flows with each flow having two gate settings provided by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District. The load data illustrated the potential for higher gate lifting loads (GLL) to occur at the mid-range gate opening (Go) for Gates 3 and 6. While for Gate 10, the highest GLL (452 kips, maximum load in testing) was at a Go = 4.2 ft. Conversely, for the low-flow bays, the highest load occurred at Go = 24.86 ft.
  • Waterborne Geophysical Investigation to Assess Condition of Grouted Foundation: Old River Control Complex – Low Sill Structure, Concordia Parish, Louisiana

    Abstract: The Old River Low Sill Structure (ORLSS) at the Old River Control Complex (ORCC) in Concordia Parish, LA, is a steel pile-founded, gated reinforced-concrete structure that regulates the flow of water into the Atchafalaya River to prevent an avulsion between the Mississippi River and the Atchafalaya River. A scour hole that formed on the southeast wall of ORLSS during the Mississippi River flood of 1973 was remediated with riprap placement and varied mixtures of self-leveling, highly pumpable grout. Non-invasive waterborne geophysical surveys were used to evaluate the distribution and condition of the grout within the remediated scour area. Highly conductive areas were identified from the surveys that were interpreted to consist mostly of grout. Resistive responses, likely representing mostly riprap and/or sediment, were encountered near the remediated scour area periphery. A complex mixture of materials in the remediated scour area is interpreted by the more gradual transitions in the geophysical response. Survey measurements immediately beneath ORLSS were impeded by the abundance of steel along with the structure itself. The survey results and interpretation provide a better understanding of the subsurface properties of ORLSS.
  • Geophysical Investigation to Assess Condition of Grouted Scour Hole: Old River Control Complex—Low Sill Concordia Parish, Louisiana

    Abstract: Geophysical surveys, both land-based and water-borne, were conducted at the Old River Control Complex‒Low Sill, Concordia Parish, LA. The purpose of the surveys was to assess the condition of the grout within the scour region resulting from the 1973 flood event, including identification of potential voids within the grout. Information from the ground studies will also be used for calibration of subsequent marine geophysical data and used in stability analysis studies. The water-borne survey consisted of towed low frequency (16-80 MHz) ground penetrating radar (GPR), whereas the land-based surveys used electrical resistivity and seismic refraction. The GPR survey was conducted in the Old River Channel on the upstream side of the Low Sill structure. The high electrical conductivity of the water (~50 mS/m) precluded penetration of the GPR signal; thus, no useful data were obtained. The land-based surveys were performed on both northeast and southeast sides of the Low Sill structure. Both resistivity and seismic surveys identify a layered subsurface stratigraphy that corresponds, in general, with available borehole data and constructed geologic profiles. In addition, an anomalous area on the southeast side was identified that warrants future investigation and monitoring.
  • A Bathymetric Study of the Forebay at the Old River Low Sill Structure from 1963 to 2019

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to use historical hydrographic surveys to quantify bathymetric changes in the forebay channel area of ORLSS over the last 56 yr. The results from this comparison support an ongoing geotechnical study led by Mr. Lucas Walshire, U.S. Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District (USACE MVN).