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Tag: geology
  • Old River Control Complex (ORCC) Low Sill: A Literature Synthesis

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New Orleans District (MVN), tasked the US Army Engineer and Research Development Center (ERDC) with assessing the condition of a grouted scour hole located at the southeast wall of the Old River Low Sill Structure (ORLSS) at the Old River Control Complex (ORCC) using noninvasive techniques, such as geophysical surveys and physical models. This special report (SR) combines a scientific literature synthesis of previous research with further geologic interpretation as a first step in the overall task assigned by MVN. The results discussed in this SR will be used to inform the interpretation of geophysical surveys, construction of physical models, and input for the slope stability analyses.
  • Legacy Datums and Changes in Benchmark Elevation through Time at the Old River Control Structure, Louisiana

    Abstract: Vertical datums used in the study area at the Old River Control Structure in southern Louisiana have involved Memphis Datum, Mean Gulf Level, Mean Sea Level, Mean Sea Level Datum of 1929, National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929, and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. The focus of this study was to examine historic benchmarks in the study area to determine the magnitude of elevation changes associated with the different legacy datums that have been used by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Comparison of elevation values across these legacy datums has involved examining historic hydrographic surveys, compiling a list of known benchmarks from these surveys, and comparing their elevation values against publications involving spirit-leveling surveys from the Lower Mississippi Valley and the National Geodetic Survey database for benchmarks. This study describes the history of legacy datums, floodplain geology at the Old River Control Structure, potential subsidence impacts affecting the benchmarks, methods for identification and tracking benchmarks, and the results obtained from this study.
  • 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.
  • Framework Geology of Cape Shoalwater and Northwest Willapa Bay, Washington: Assessing Potential Geologic Impacts on Recent Shoreline Change

    Abstract: The shoreline along Cape Shoalwater and northwest Willapa Bay has experienced the highest rates of erosion along the entire Pacific Coast of the United States, due in part to rapid northward migration of the navigation channel. Recently, channel migration and shoreline erosion in this region have slowed, but the cause of this relative stabilization, and thus the longevity of these new patterns, is unknown. Given the complex neotectonics and geologic framework of the southern coast of Washington, it is possible that underlying, erosion-resistant geologic units have become exposed along the channel and/or in the nearshore, and are acting to reduce or halt channel migration and/or shoreline erosion. Conversely, the apparent reduction may be due to subtle, short-term changes in regional hydrodynamics and/or sediment transport, and thus future rates of channel migration and/or shoreline erosion might increase back to historical rates. The purpose of this special report is to detail the geologic and neotectonic framework of the northern Willapa Bay region, and determine how the underlying framework geology might be impacting channel stability and adjacent shoreline erosion rates. Suggested research questions to quantify potential geologic control are also presented, including the potential benefits of the research to the district.