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Tag: flood control
  • Analysis of Paxton Siphon Frazil Ice Blockage Event during January 2022

    Abstract: In early January 2022, the Paxton Siphon, owned and operated by the Nebraska Public Power District, filled with frazil ice creating a blockage that resulted in a rapid upstream stage rise for the Sutherland Canal. An event of this type has never happened in the over 80 years of operating the Paxton Siphon. An analysis of the available weather and canal data suggests a rapid air temperature change resulted in the water becoming supercooled, which combined with the moderately low flows in the canal resulted in an anomalous frazil ice formation event. To address this issue for future cold weather events, a water temperature model was developed using the Hydrologic Engineering Center’s River Analysis System and can be used to determine the spatial extents of the supercooling event using forecasted weather information. In addition, we developed a heat-exchange forecast tool that can be used operationally to screen for potential frazil ice formation periods with a 1-week outlook period.
  • Numerical Modeling of Supercritical Flow in the Los Angeles River: Part I: Adaptive Hydraulics Numerical Modeling of the 1943 Physical Model

    Abstract: The Los Angeles District of the US Army Corps of Engineers is assisting the City of Los Angeles with restoration efforts on the Los Angeles River. The city wishes to restore portions of the channelized river to a more natural state with riparian/vegetative green spaces for both wildlife and public recreation usage. The Los Angeles River provides an important role for the City of Los Angeles from a flood-control perspective, and functionality needs to be preserved when contemplating system modifications. This report details the development of an Adaptive Hydraulics (AdH) numerical model capable of representing this complex system consisting of both subcritical and supercritical flow regimes. Due to limited hydraulic data in the study area, an extensive model validation to observed data was not possible. To bridge the data gap, a numerical model was developed from a previously completed physical model study with extensive quantitative measurements and qualitative reports of hydraulic conditions. This approach allowed engineers to evaluate the effectiveness of the AdH model in representing this complex hydraulic system along with determining the best methodology to accurately represent the existing conditions. This study determined appropriate model parameters that will be utilized in further numerical modeling efforts to evaluate system modifications associated with restoration efforts.
  • Automation of Gridded HEC-HMS Model Development Using Python: Initial Condition Testing and Calibration Applications

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers’s (USACE) Hydrologic Engineering Center-Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) rainfall-runoff model is widely used within the research community to develop both event-based and continuous rainfall-runoff models. The soil moisture accounting (SMA) algorithm is commonly used for long-term simulations. Depending on the final model setup, 12 to 18 parameters are needed to characterize the modeled watershed’s canopy, surface, soil, and routing processes, all of which are potential calibration parameters. HEC-HMS includes optimization tools to facilitate model calibration, but only initial conditions (ICs) can be calibrated when using the gridded SMA algorithm. Calibrating a continuous SMA HEC-HMS model is an iterative process that can require hundreds of simulations, a time intensive process requiring automation. HEC-HMS is written in Java and is predominantly run through a graphical user interface (GUI). As such, conducting a long-term gridded SMA calibration is infeasible using the GUI. USACE Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) has written a workflow that utilizes the existing Jython application programming interface (API) to batch run HEC-HMS simulations with Python. The workflow allows for gridded SMA HEC-HMS model sensitivity and calibration analyses to be conducted in a timely manner.
  • 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
  • Realizing Multiple Benefits in a Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project through Application of Engineering With Nature® Principles

    PURPOSE: The application of Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) principles in urban environments and watersheds within and outside the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is increasing. Extreme rainfall events have triggered the need and development of more sustainable urban infrastructure in urban areas such as New Orleans, Louisiana. This technical note documents a USACE–New Orleans District (MVN) project that successfully applied EWN principles in an urban landscape to reduce flood risk while providing other environmental, social, economic, and engineering benefits to both the community and the environment.
  • Engineering With Nature® Principles in Action: Islands

    Abstract: The Engineering With Nature® (EWN) Program supports nature-based solutions that reduce coastal-storm and flood risks while providing environmental and socioeconomic benefits. Combining the beneficial use of dredged sediments with the restoration or creation of islands increases habitat and recreation, keeps sediment in the system, and reduces coastal-storm and flood impacts. Given the potential advantages of islands, EWN seeks to support science-based investigations of island performance, impacts, and benefits through collaborative multidisciplinary efforts. Using a series of case studies led by US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) districts and others, this technical report highlights the role of islands in providing coastal resilience benefits in terms of reducing waves and erosion as well as other environmental and socioeconomic benefits to the communities and the ecosystems they reside in.
  • Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River Basins, North Carolina, Geomorphic Summary Report

    Abstract: The Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River Basins are neighboring basins in eastern North Carolina, both originating in the piedmont physiographic region, transitioning to coastal plains, and emptying into Pamlico Sound. The Pittsburgh District is responsible for the continued efforts to assist local sponsors with managing these basins and submitted a Water Operations Technical Support (WOTS) request. The WOTS program, funded by Headquarters, US Army Corps of Engineers, provides funding for the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) to provide technical assistance to develop innovative solutions to water resource problems. The objectives of this study are to identify flood risk management alternatives to address the accumulation of woody debris in the channel systems. CHL compiled existing conditions information and researched current and potential new methods for managing woody debris to provide a comprehensive list of recommendations. The results and recommendations are provided in this document.
  • Three-Dimensional Underseepage Evaluation for Profit Island Vicinity Levee, North of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    Abstract: This project developed a three-dimensional (3D) seepage model to evaluate efficiency of 84 relief wells and factors of safety (FoS) along the Profit Island vicinity levee (PIVL), north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The PIVL model was built based on US Geological Survey MODFLOW-USG. Moreover, a 3D seepage model of RocScience RS3 was also built for a specific study of relief well experiments conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the 1930s and 1940s. The PIVL model was calibrated with measured piezometric head data and relief well flow rates in 1997. Six flood scenarios were conducted: the extreme flood (56 feet), design flood (52.4 feet), 1997 flood (50 feet), 2008 flood (49.22 feet), 2017 flood (45.55 feet), and 2018 flood (49.1 feet). The modeling results show that FoS are all above 1.5 given relief wells at the 1997 design condition. FoS calculated by the blanket theory are more conservative than those by the PIVL model because designed discharge rates were not observed in the field. In comparison with measured flow rates in 2008, the PIVL modeling result indicates potential clogging at many relief wells. New piezometric data and well discharge data are recommended to re-evaluate factors of safety.
  • Hydrodynamics in the Morganza Floodway and Atchafalaya Basin, Report 3: Phase 3; A Report for the US Army Corps of Engineers, MRG&P

    Abstract: The Morganza Floodway and the Atchafalaya Basin, located in Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, were evaluated using a two-dimensional Adaptive Hydraulics model. Prior to this study, Phase 1 and 2 model studies were performed that indicated that the existing floodway may not be able to pass the Project Design Flood discharge of 600,000 cubic feet per second due to levee overtopping. In this study, all elevations of exterior and interior levees were updated with current crest elevations. In addition, the Phase 3 effort evaluated the sensitivity of the floodway’s flow capacity to variations in tree/vegetation density conditions. These adjustments in roughness will improve the understanding of the role of land cover characteristics in the simulated water surfaces. This study also provides a number of inundation maps corresponding to certain flows through the Morganza Control Structure.
  • Development of a Sand Boil Testing Laboratory and Preliminary Results

    Purpose: To document the purpose, use, and preliminary results of a full-scale sand boil generator developed at the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory.