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Archive: September, 2020
  • A First Examination of the Interaction between Alternaria alternantherae and Agasicles hygrophila on Alternanthera philoxeroides

    PURPOSE: The use of an alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) insect biological control agent, alligatorweed flea beetle (Agasicles hygrophila Selman and Vogt), and the leaf spot plant pathogen, alligatorweed leaf pathogen (Alternaria alternantherae Holcomb and Antonopoulis), may provide enhanced control of alligatorweed infestations if competitive interactions between agents are minimal and damage to host plants are synergistic. However, to assess suitability of co-use of these two agents, it is necessary to first identify whether introduction of one may impact performance of the other. This technical note details a first examination of competitive interactions between A. hygrophila and A. alternantherae under varied temperature and host nutritional conditions. Presented are the results of laboratory experimentation and recommendations for future research.
  • Using Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and Satellite Imagery to Map Aquatic and Terrestrial Vegetation

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the application potential of using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) combined with a time series of moderately high-resolution satellite imagery for mapping ecological restoration progress and resulting land cover changes. This technical note addresses a project under the US Army Corps of Engineers Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Project (EMRRP) focusing on image acquisition and assessment, digital image processing techniques, analytical methodology, geospatial product development, and documentation of best practice for future data acquisition and analysis in support of ecological management efforts.
  • Autonomous Vehicle Pilot at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall: Project Report Summary and Recommendations

    Abstract: Military installations serve as strategic staging areas that are integral to national security. The Army is currently reconsidering how it views its installations as part of the battle space under multi-domain operations, which includes technology modernization efforts, such as the rapidly expanding field of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology. The DoD community and military installations have an interest in investigating autonomous transportation systems to determine their potential role in a broad range of military applications. CAVs capture, store, and analyze tremendous amounts of data. Military installations need to understand the data systems and processes involved in CAV deployments. To that end, the Army is conducting pilot projects that deploy updated and commercially-available CAVs on installations and within adjacent com-munities to further demonstrate their use and conduct research and development to optimize and inform the integration of this emerging technology. This report documents the deployment of Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technologies at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall for a 90-day pilot study to evaluate a commercially-available AV.
  • Raster-Based Floristic Quality Index: Proof of Concept

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop and demonstrate a raster-based floristic quality index (FQIraster) as a proof of concept. This raster-based approach leverages many of the advantages of high spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution space-borne imagery as well as established remote sensing techniques (vegetation indices and feature classification) to provide rapid measures of vegetation productivity and biodiversity. The developed method should provide researchers and managers a new tool for quantifying and tracking the condition, response, and recovery of expansive wetland landscapes.
  • Fusion of Spectral Data from Multiple Handheld Analyzers (LIBS, XRF and Raman) for Chemical Analysis and Classification of Soil

     Abstract:  An 18-month multidisciplinary project was undertaken by JRPlumer & Associates, LLC and four subcontractors that had three technical objectives: (i) to upgrade current handheld technology for chemical analysis by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRFS), Raman spectroscopy (RS), and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS); (ii) to design a multisensor system based on these technologies for the rapid, in-situ chemical analysis of soils and other materials of military interest; and (iii) to investigate the classification/discrimination performance benefit that might be achieved through advanced signal pre-processing and data fusion with XRFS, RS, and LIBS analyses acquired for four suites of natural soils. Accomplishments of the program in the latter area are described in this report.
  • South Atlantic Division (SAD) Regional Sediment Management Optimization Pilot

    Purpose: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) South Atlantic Division (SAD) Regional Sediment Management Optimization Pilot (RSM-OP) Tool was developed and implemented under a pilot effort to help define sustainable solutions across USACE missions and to support regional implementation strategies across project business lines. The goals of the RSM-OP are to (1) develop and provide an actionable and optimized Regional Sediment Management (RSM) strategy on a USACE division scale that will most efficiently execute the Navigation (NAV) and Flood Risk Management (FRM) Business Line budgets and (2) maximize the amount of dredging while also increasing the amount of RSM opportunities implemented to create value to the nation. Value created and funding saved as identified through the RSM-OP will allow the USACE to execute a greater number of projects under flatlined or reduced budgets. While RSM principles and strategies have been explored and implemented in many USACE districts, the RSM-OP is the first comprehensive approach to define and optimize RSM opportunities for coastal NAV and FRM projects and to quantify economic benefits across a USACE division.
  • Readily Available Hydrologic Models: Pertinence to Regulatory Application

    Purpose: Water is the driving force of wetlands. Hydroperiod represents both the frequency and duration of inundation or soil saturation whether it is from flooding or ponding. The formation of hydric soils and an expression of hydrophytic vegetation are evidence of the hydroperiod, which can be described along a gradient of hydrologic conditions (Figure 1). Hydrologic modeling provides a means to establish wetland hydroperiod, including current wetland hydrologic conditions and forecasting future conditions in response to future with and without wetland impacts or restoration actions. Today, fast computer processing and hydrologic models allow the user to make a large number of computations very rapidly on potentially large volumes of data. Currently, there is a myriad of hydrologic models available that offer an array of applications. For regulatory application, accurate determination of wetland hydrology is paramount to the following: - Confirm wetland hydrologic criteria in accordance to the US Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (1987 Manual) and Regional Supplements. - Establish frequency and duration (hydroperiod) of wetland ponding and flooding. - Conduct wetland functional assessments including identification of predominant water source(s). - Estimate wetland impacts from regulated activities. - Determine ecological lift in response to restoration actions (compensatory mitigation). - Establish performance standards and success criteria for compensatory mitigation. - Facilitate development of a monitoring and adaptive management plan. The objective of this report is to provide a treatise of hydrologic models that offer specific application to establish wetland hydrology for existing and future conditions in response to regulated activities and restoration actions. The emphasis is on the suitability of existing hydrologic models to hydrogeomorphic (HGM) wetland classes. HGM subclasses are not addressed in this technical note. For more details on HGM classification, see Brinson (1993).
  • Investigation of Testing Materials for the Chickamauga Lock and Dam Reconstruction Project

    Abstract: In support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Nashville District, a preliminary investigation of concrete materials was conducted pursuant to re-construction at the Chickamauga Lock and Dam located near Chattanooga, TN. Local materials provided to the U.S. Army Engineer Research Development Center (ERDC) for testing included three different coarse aggregate gradations, two fine aggregate sources, two type I/II cements, a fly ash sources, a slag cement, a silica fume, and a limestone powder. Aggregate tests consisted of sieve analysis, specific gravity, absorption, materials finer than No. 200, organic impurities, soundness, LA abrasion, clay lumps and friable particles, flat and elongated particles, lightweight particles, petrography, and freezing and thawing. All cementitious and admixture materials were tested for chemical and physical properties based on appropriate specifications. This report presents the material characteristic results determined by laboratory testing in accordance with American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) procedures or regulating specification criteria.
  • Study of Sand Boil Development at Kaskaskia Island, IL, Middle Mississippi River Valley

    Abstract: Mississippi River flooding in 2013 and 2016 caused severe underseepage and development of several medium to large high-energy sand boils behind the landside levee toe at Kaskaskia Island, IL. This levee system is located between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, MO, and is part of the Kaskaskia Island Drainage and Levee District on the Middle Mississippi River. Flooding on the Mississippi River in 2013 and 2016 was below the design flowline for this levee. This report documents a case history study into the causes of seepage, piping, and sand boil development at a levee reach at Kaskaskia. Site-specific geotechnical data were collected and evaluated to determine the causes for poor performance at the studied levee reach locations. Data collected involved design documents, geologic and geotechnical borings, closely spaced cone-penetrometer tests (CPTs), electrical resistivity surveys, laboratory soil testing of sand boil ejecta, CPT samples from targeted stratigraphic horizons in the subsurface, and both piezometer and river-stage data. These data indicate sand boils present within this levee reach involved a chronic seepage condition that became progressively worse through time. This condition was directly related to the underlying site geology, namely the top stratum thickness and the depositional environment in this levee reach.
  • Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) and High Performance Computing (HPC) Architecture Design

    Abstract: The Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) proof-of-concept will be deployed within the existing U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) to test additional capabilities and features for high performance computing (HPC) users. iRODS is a data-grid middleware that virtualizes access to data, regardless of which physical storage device the data resides within. Users, and HPC jobs on behalf of users, can leverage the various application programming interfaces (APIs) within iRODS to search and retrieve data using metadata and a unified data namespace. In addition to facilitating data discovery and retrieval, iRODS has a robust security system to implement fine-grained access control and auditing rules.