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Archive: 2021
  • Data Documentation Tool (DDoT) User Manual

    Abstract: This manual is intended for new users with minimal or no experience with using the Data Documentation Tool. The goal of this document is to give an overview of the main functions of DDoT. The primary focus of this doc-ument is to demonstrate functionality. Every effort has been made to ensure this document is an accurate repre-sentation of the functionality of the DDoT. For additional information about this manual, contact
  • 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).
  • The Behaviour of Near-Surface Soils Through Ultrasonic Near-Surface Inundation Testing

    Abstract: Seismometers installed within the upper metre of the subsurface can experience significant variability in signal propagation and attenuation properties of observed arrivals due to meteorological events. For example, during rain events, both the time and frequency representations of observed seismic waveforms can be significantly altered, complicating potential automatic signal processing efforts. Historically, a lack of laboratory equipment to explicitly investigate the effects of active inundation on seismic wave properties in the near surface prevented recreation of the observed phenomena in a controlled environment. Presented herein is a new flow chamber designed specifically for near-surface seismic wave/fluid flow interaction phenomenology research, the ultrasonic near-surface inundation testing device and new vp-saturation and vs-saturation relationships due to the effects of matric suction on the soil fabric.
  • JAIC Predictive Maintenance Dashboard User Manual

    Abstract: This manual is intended for new users with minimal or no experience with using the JAIC Predictive Maintenance Dashboard (JPD). The goal of this document is to give an overview of the main functions of JPD. The primary focus of this document is to demonstrate functionality. Every effort has been made to ensure this document is an accurate representation of the functionality of the JPD. For additional information about this manual, contact
  • Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay, TX Pre-Construction, Engineering and Design (PED): Coastal Storm Surge and Wave Hazard Assessment: Report 1 – Background and Approach

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, is executing the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) project for Brazoria, Jefferson, and Orange Counties regions. The project is currently in the Pre-construction, Engineering, and Design phase. This report documents coastal storm water level and wave hazards for the Port Arthur CSRM structures. Coastal storm water level (SWL) and wave loading and overtopping are quantified using high-fidelity hydrodynamic modeling and stochastic simulations. The CSTORM coupled water level and wave modeling system simulated 195 synthetic tropical storms on three relative sea level change scenarios for with- and without-project meshes. Annual exceedance probability (AEP) mean values were reported for the range of 0.2 to 0.001 for peak SWL and wave height (Hm0) along with associated confidence limits. Wave period and mean wave direction associated with Hm0 were also computed. A response-based stochastic simulation approach is applied to compute AEP runup and overtopping for levees and overtopping, nappe geometry, and combined hydrostatic and hydrodynamic fluid pressures for floodwalls. CSRM structure crest design elevations are defined based on overtopping rates corresponding to incipient damage. Survivability and resilience are evaluated. A system-wide hazard level assessment was conducted to establish final recommended system-wide CSRM structure elevations.
  • A Definition and Categorization System for Advanced Materials: The Foundation for Risk-Informed Environmental Health and Safety Testing

    Abstract: Novel materials with unique or enhanced properties relative to conventional materials are being developed at an increasing rate. These materials are often referred to as advanced materials (AdMs) and they enable technological innovations that can benefit society. Despite their benefits, however, the unique characteristics of many AdMs, including many nanomaterials, are poorly understood and may pose environmental safety and occupational health (ESOH) risks that are not readily determined by traditional risk assessment methods. To assess these risks while keeping up with the pace of development, technology developers and risk assessors frequently employ risk-screening methods that depend on a clear definition for the materials that are to be assessed (e.g., engineered nanomaterial) as well as a method for binning materials into categories for ESOH risk prioritization. In this study, we aim to establish a practitioner-driven definition for AdMs and a practitioner-validated framework for categorizing AdMs into conceptual groupings based on material characteristics. The definition and categorization framework established here serve as a first step in determining if and when there is a need for specific ESOH and regulatory screening for an AdM as well as the type and extent of risk-related information that should be collected or generated for AdMs and AdM-enabled technologies
  • Captive-Rearing Duration May Be More Important Than Environmental Enrichment for Enhancing Turtle Head-Starting Success

    Abstract: Raising captive animals past critical mortality stages for eventual release (head-starting) is a common conservation tactic. Counterintuitively, post-release survival can be low. Post-release behavior affecting survival could be influenced by captive-rearing duration and housing conditions. Practitioners have adopted environmental enrichment to promote natural behaviors during head-starting such as raising animals in naturalistic enclosures. Using 32 captive-born turtles (Terrapene carolina), half of which were raised in enriched enclosures, we employed a factorial design to explore how enrichment and rearing duration affected post-release growth, behavior, and survival. Six turtles in each treatment (enriched or unenriched) were head-started for nine months (cohort one). Ten turtles in each treatment were head-started for 21 months (cohort two). At the conclusion of captive-rearing, turtles in cohort two were overall larger than cohort one, but unenriched turtles were generally larger than enriched turtles within each cohort. Once released, enriched turtles grew faster than unenriched turtles in cohort two, but we otherwise found minimal evidence suggesting enrichment affected post-release survival or behavior. Our findings suggest attaining larger body sizes from longer captive-rearing periods to enable greater movement and alleviate susceptibility to predation (the primary cause of death) could be more effective than environmental enrichment alone in chelonian head-starting programs where substantial predation could hinder success.
  • Spatial and Temporal Variance of Soil and Meteorological Properties Affecting Sensor Performance—Phase 2

    ABSTRACT: An approach to increasing sensor performance and detection reliability for buried objects is to better understand which physical processes are dominant under certain environmental conditions. The present effort (Phase 2) builds on our previously published prior effort (Phase 1), which examined methods of determining the probability of detection and false alarm rates using thermal infrared for buried-object detection. The study utilized a 3.05 × 3.05 m test plot in Hanover, New Hampshire. Unlike Phase 1, the current effort involved removing the soil from the test plot area, homogenizing the material, then reapplying it into eight discrete layers along with buried sensors and objects representing targets of interest. Each layer was compacted to a uniform density consistent with the background undisturbed density. Homogenization greatly reduced the microscale soil temperature variability, simplifying data analysis. The Phase 2 study spanned May–November 2018. Simultaneous measurements of soil temperature and moisture (as well as air temperature and humidity, cloud cover, and incoming solar radiation) were obtained daily and recorded at 15-minute intervals and coupled with thermal infrared and electro-optical image collection at 5-minute intervals.
  • In Situ Measurements of Directional Wave Spectra from an Unmanned Aerial System

    Purpose: This Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering Technical Note (CHETN) describes the ability to measure the directional-frequency spectrum of sea surface waves based on the motion of a floating unmanned aerial system (UAS). The UAS used in this effort was custom built and designed to land on and take off from the sea surface. It was deployed in the vicinity of an operational wave sensor, the 8 m* array, at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Field Research Facility (FRF) in Duck, NC. While on the sea surface, an inertial navigation system (INS) recorded the response of the UAS to the incoming ocean waves. Two different INS signals were used to calculate one-dimensional (1D) frequency spectra and compared against the 8 m array. Two-dimensional (2D) directional-frequency spectra were calculated from INS data using traditional single-point-triplet analysis and a data adaptive method. The directional spectrum compared favorably against the 8 m array.
  • Photo-transformation of Aqueous Nitroguanidine and 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one: Emerging Munitions Compounds

    Abstract: Two major components of insensitive munition formulations, nitroguanidine (NQ) and 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO), are highly water soluble and therefore likely to photo-transform while in solution in the environment. The ecotoxicities of NQ and NTO solutions are known to increase with UV exposure, but a detailed accounting of aqueous degradation rates, products, and pathways under different exposure wavelengths is currently lacking. Here, we irradiated aqueous solutions of NQ and NTO over a 32-h period at three ultraviolet wavelengths (254 nm, 300 nm, and 350 nm) and analyzed their degradation rates and transformation products. NQ was completely degraded by 30 min at 254 nm and by 4 h at 300 nm, but it was only 10% degraded after 32 h at 350 nm. Mass recoveries of NQ and its transformation products were >80% for all three wavelengths, and consisted of large amounts of guanidine, nitrate, and nitrite, and smaller amounts of cyanamide, cyanoguanidine, urea, and ammonium. NTO degradation was greatest at 300 nm with 3% remaining after 32 h, followed by 254 nm (7% remaining) and 350 nm (20% remaining). Mass recoveries of NTO and its transformation products were high for the first 8 h but decreased to 22e48% by 32 h, with the major aqueous products identified as ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, and a urazole intermediate. Environmental half-lives of NQ and NTO in pure water were estimated as 4 and 6 days, respectively. We propose photo-degradation pathways for NQ and NTO supported by observed and quantified degradation products and changes in solution pH.