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Archive: July, 2022
  • Investigation of Sources of Sediment Associated with Deposition in the Calcasieu Ship Channel

    Abstract: The Calcasieu Ship Channel (CSC) is a deep-draft federal channel located in southwest Louisiana. It is the channelized lowermost segment of the Calcasieu River, connecting Lake Charles to the Gulf of Mexico. With support from the Regional Sediment Management Program, the US Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, requested that the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, perform an investigation of the potential sources of sediment associated with dredging in the CSC. A previous study had quantified sediment from known sources, indicating that the known sediment sources contribute approximately only 21% of the volume that is regularly dredged from the channel. This technical report details the results of the current study, which employed multiple methods, including numerical analysis, to identify potential additional sources of sediment by first examining the available literature and the modeled energetics and flow pathways, and then estimating the quantities of sediment associated with these identified sources that may be contributing to the shoaling of the CSC. The results of these efforts were used to update the original sediment budget with estimates of the contributions from two additional sources: the erosion of interior wetlands and coastally derived sediments.
  • Using Geophysical and Erosion Properties to Identify Potential Beneficial Use Applications for Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Sediments

    Abstract: In an effort to identify alternative and beneficial use placement strategies for dredged sediments from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW), the US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District (SAS), and the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) performed a series of physical property tests of 34 core borings from the SAS AIWW. Physical property testing found that 14 of the borings were non-cohesive sandy materials that may be suitable for potential beach renourishment or berm construction. The remaining 20 borings had mud contents sufficient enough to result in cohesive behavior. A subset of six of these materials from across the geographic region were further evaluated to characterize their erosion behavior. Following a self-weight consolidation period of 30 days, erosion testing showed that the tested cohesive sediments had critical shear stress values that ranged from 1.7 Pa to 2.9 Pa, suggesting that these sediments would likely be resistant to erosion in most wetland environments after placement. Additionally, the cohesive sediments were found to produce gravel-sized mud clasts. These clasts could account for 20% or more of the eroded mass and significantly reduce the amount of silts and clays incorporated in suspended plumes during and immediately following placement.
  • Sediment Provenance Studies of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, Louisiana

    Abstract: To maintain the navigability of the Calcasieu Ship Channel (CSC), the US Army Corps of Engineers annually dredges millions of cubic yards of sediment from the inland channel. To assess sources of channel shoaling, a previous study examined river and bankline erosion as inputs. Results from that study accounted for approximately 20% of dredged volumes. Through the support of the Regional Sediment Management Program, a follow-up investigation reviewed prior sediment budgets, identified potential missing sediment sources, modeled potential sediment pathways, and utilized geochemical fingerprinting to discern primary shoaling sources to the channel. The missing sediment sources from the original budget include coastally derived sediment from the Gulf of Mexico and terrestrially derived sediment from Lake Calcasieu and surrounding wetlands. Results from geochemical fingerprinting of various potential sediment sources indicate the Calcasieu River and the Gulf of Mexico are primary contributors of sediment to the CSC, and sediments sourced from bankline erosion, Lake Calcasieu bed, and interior wetlands are secondary in nature. These results suggest that engineering solutions to control shoaling in the CSC should be focused on sources originating from the Gulf of Mexico and river headwaters as opposed to Lake Calcasieu, channel banklines, and surrounding wetlands
  • Chitosan as a Coagulant and Precipitant of Algae Present in Backwater

    PURPOSE: : The purpose of this technical note (TN) is to highlight the current state of knowledge of algal flocculation by chitosan and identify data gaps existing between specific algal characteristics and chitosan binding efficiency. Published relationships and correlations between the quality of backwaters and the prevalence of algae, a baseline for flocculation efficiency of microalgae, and ideal treatment instances for algal removal by way of chitosan flocculation and precipitation will be identified.
  • Organogel Synthesis Towards Electrochemical Sensing Applications

    PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to synthesize a novel and tunable organogel system capable of stand-alone use with integration via electrochemical tools for the detection of aerosol particles.
  • Synthesis of 2-methoxypropyl benzene for epitope imprinting

    PURPOSE: To synthesize a novel, yet simple, compound for use in the development of a molecularly imprinted sensor for field-portable detection of harmful algal bloom toxins. BACKGROUND: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are occurring with increasing frequency and severity across the globe in part due to climate change and anthropogenic pollution (Bullerjahn et al. 2016). HABs produce several classes of toxins; however, microcystins (MCs) are the most commonly studied (Lone et al. 2015) and can be potent toxins with LD50s in the range of 50 μg/kg (Puddick et al. 2014). Sample analysis in laboratories, typically by high-pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) or by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) (USEPA 2015). These analytical techniques are highly sensitive and selective for the given toxins; however, the time it takes to collect, transfer, prepare, and analyze a sample before the data can be reported is significant; often, multiple days is the most expeditious.
  • Environmental Effects of Sediment Release from Dams: Conceptual Model and Literature Review for the Kansas River Basin

    PURPOSE: Passing sediment from reservoirs to downstream channels is a potential solution to aging infrastructure and reservoir storage capacity loss, which is a pressing challenge nationwide. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) sediment management actions at reservoirs such as flushing may drive ecological changes that may be beneficial or detrimental to downstream ecosystems. However, these potential effects are currently not well understood or documented. An exploratory study of the potential ecological effects of releasing sediment downstream from reservoirs is presented in this technical note (TN). We focus on Tuttle Creek Reservoir in Kansas and use fish species as indicators of ecological change. A literature review of Kansas fishes was conducted and three conceptual models illustrating potential benefits or negative effects of releasing sediment downstream of Tuttle Creek Reservoir was developed. Some fish species may benefit from sediment releases, while others may be negatively affected. Further research and tools are needed to develop a greater understanding of these effects.
  • The Forefront : A Review of ERDC Publications, Summer 2022

    Abstract: : As the main research and development organization for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) helps solve our nation’s most challenging problems. With seven laboratories under the ERDC umbrella, ERDC expertise spans a wide range of disciplines. This provides researchers an amazing network of collaborators both within labs and across them. Many of the publications produced by ERDC through the Information Technology Laboratory’s Information Science and Knowledge Management Branch (ISKM), the publishing authority for ERDC, are a testament to the power of these partnerships. Therefore, in this issue of The Forefront, we wanted to highlight some of those collaborations, across ERDC and beyond. Colored flags at the top of each page indicate the laboratories involved in each report (see the end of this issue for a full list of the laboratories and their lab colors), in addition to USACE red for district collaborators and gray for others. Through these collaborations, ERDC is continuing to demonstrate its value nationally and internationally. Questions about the reports highlighted in The Forefront or others published by ERDC? Contact the ISKM virtual reference desk at or visit ERDC Knowledge Core, ISKM’s online repository, at For general questions about editing and publishing at ERDC, you are also welcome to reach out to me at We look forward to continuing to be a resource for ERDC and seeing all the remarkable research that is yet to come.
  • The Application of Engineering With Nature® Principles in Colorado Flood Recovery

    Purpose: This technical note features river-based restoration projects that incorporate Engineering with Nature® (EWN®), Natural and Nature Based Features (NNBF) approaches in the Front Range of Colorado as part of a comprehensive flood recovery program to protect life and property.
  • Engineering With Nature® in Fluvial Systems

    Purpose: The purpose of this technical note is to underline the growing need for Engineering With Nature® (EWN) guidance for inland fluvial systems. In comparison to the EWN coastal initiatives, guidance, and technical publications, emphasis on inland fluvial systems has been primarily focused on larger river systems, rather than smaller and intermediate-sized tributary systems. As EWN continues to expand its offerings and support inland systems, there is a strong need to fill data gaps and offer case study examples from underrepresented issues across different hydro-physiographic regions and ecosystems. Accordingly, this technical note offers background on the growing need for riverine EWN guidance as well recommendations moving forward to help address those needs.