Open Access Publications

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Open access publications by faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 81
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    Numerical modeling of revetment and sill in reducing shore erosion
    (Coastal and Offshore Science and Engineering, 2022) Yuksel, Z. T.; Kobayashi, N.
    Interactions among waves, sand beaches, and rubble mound structures are difficult to investigate experimentally, because of the differences between the model and prototype, and to predict numerically, because of complex sediment dynamics inside porous structures. A small-scale experiment in a wave flume was conducted by Yuksel and Kobayashi (2019) in order to compare sand beach profile evolution and wave overtopping of a sand berm for the three cases of no structure (N), a stone revetment protecting a steep sand berm (R), and a stone sill reducing wave action on the berm (S). An existing numerical model verified with the small-scale N, R, and S tests was used to predict what may happen to prototype revetments and sills. Froude similitude with a length ratio of 1/16 (model/prototype) was used to scale up the incident waves, beach profile, and stones in the prototype. The sand was kept the same in hypothetical prototype PN (No structure), PR (Revetment), and PS (Sill) tests. The computed wave transformation and stone damage were predicted reasonably well. The beach profile changes were larger in the prototype because the fine sand was exposed to much larger waves.
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    Coastal topography and hydrogeology control critical groundwater gradients and potential beach surface instability during storm surges
    (Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2022-12-02) Paldor, Anner; Stark, Nina; Florence, Matthew; Raubenheimer, Britt; Elgar, Steve; Housego, Rachel; Frederiks, Ryan S.; Michael, Holly A.
    Ocean surges pose a global threat for coastal stability. These hazardous events alter flow conditions and pore pressures in flooded beach areas during both inundation and subsequent retreat stages, which can mobilize beach material, potentially enhancing erosion significantly. In this study, the evolution of surge-induced pore-pressure gradients is studied through numerical hydrologic simulations of storm surges. The spatiotemporal variability of critically high gradients is analyzed in three dimensions. The analysis is based on a threshold value obtained for quicksand formation of beach materials under groundwater seepage. Simulations of surge events show that, during the run-up stage, head gradients can rise to the calculated critical level landward of the advancing inundation line. During the receding stage, critical gradients were simulated seaward of the retreating inundation line. These gradients reach maximum magnitudes just as sea level returns to pre-surge levels and are most accentuated beneath the still-water shoreline, where the model surface changes slope. The gradients vary along the shore owing to variable beach morphology, with the largest gradients seaward of intermediate-scale (1–3 m elevation) topographic elements (dunes) in the flood zone. These findings suggest that the common practices in monitoring and mitigating surge-induced failures and erosion, which typically focus on the flattest areas of beaches, might need to be revised to include other topographic features.
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    Critical facility accessibility and road criticality assessment considering flood-induced partial failure
    (Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, 2022-11-25) Gangwal, Utkarsh; Siders, A. R.; Horney, Jennifer; Michael, Holly A.; Dong, Shangjia
    This paper examines communities’ accessibility to critical facilities such as hospitals, emergency medical services, and emergency shelters when facing flooding. We use travel speed reduction to account for flood-induced partial road failure. A modified betweenness centrality metric is also introduced to calculate the criticality of roads for connecting communities to critical facilities. The proposed model and metric are applied to the Delaware road network under 100-year floods. This model highlights the severe critical facility access loss risk due to flood isolation of facilities. The mapped post-flooding accessibility suggests a significant travel time increase to critical facilities and reveals disparities among communities, especially for vulnerable groups such as long-term care facility residents. We also identified critical roads that are vital for post-flooding access to critical facilities. The results of this research can help inform targeted infrastructure investment decisions and hazard mitigation strategies that contribute to equitable community resilience enhancement.
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    Performance Evaluation of Uncooled UAV Infrared Camera in Detecting Concrete Delamination
    (Infrastructures, 2022-11-30) Aljagoub, Dyala; Na, Ri; Cheng, Chongsheng; Shen, Zhigang
    Concrete delamination detection using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-mounted infrared cameras has proved effective in recent research. However, most studies used expensive research-grade infrared cameras and proprietary software to acquire images, which is hard to implement in state departments of transportation (DOTs) due to the lack of specialty professionals. Some state DOTs started deploying lightweight UAV-based consumer-grade infrared cameras for delamination detection. Quantitative performance evaluation of such a camera in concrete delamination detection is lacking. To fill this gap, this study intends to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the consumer-grade camera benchmarked against the results of a research-grade camera to see the practicality of using the small and low-cost camera in concrete delamination detection. Data was collected for a slab with mimicked delamination and two in-service bridge decks. For the case of the slab, maximum detectability of 70–72% was achieved. A transient numerical simulation was conducted to provide a supplemental and noise-free dataset to explore detectability accuracy peaks throughout the day. The results of the in-service bridge decks indicated that the consumer-grade infrared camera provided adequate detection of the locations of suspected delamination. Results of both the slab and in-service bridge decks were comparable to those of a research-grade infrared camera.
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    Backed-Up, Saturated, and Stagnant: Effect of Milldams on Upstream Riparian Groundwater Hydrologic and Mixing Regimes
    (Water Resources Research, 2022-09-28) Sherman, Melissa; Hripto, Johanna; Peck, Erin K.; Gold, Arthur J.; Peipoch, Marc; Imhoff, Paul; Inamdar, Shreeram
    How milldams alter riparian hydrologic and groundwater mixing regimes is not well understood. Understanding the effects of milldams and their legacies on riparian hydrology is key to assessing riparian pollution buffering potential and for making appropriate watershed management decisions. We examined the spatiotemporal effects of milldams on groundwater gradients, flow directions, and mixing regime for two dammed sites on Chiques Creek, Pennsylvania (2.4 m tall milldam), and Christina River, Delaware (4 m tall dam), USA. Riparian groundwater levels were recorded every 30 min for multiple wells and transects. Groundwater mixing regime was characterized using 30-min specific conductance data and selected chemical tracers measured monthly for about 2 years. Three distinct regimes were identified for riparian groundwaters—wet, dry, and storm. Riparian groundwater gradients above the dam were low but were typically from the riparian zone to the stream. These flow directions were reversed (stream to riparian) during dry periods due to riparian evapotranspiration losses and during peak stream flows. Longitudinal (parallel to the stream) riparian flow gradients and directions also varied across the hydrologic regimes. Groundwater mixing varied spatially and temporally between storms and seasons. Near-stream groundwater was poorly flushed or mixed during storms whereas that in the adjacent swales revealed greater mixing. This differential groundwater behavior was attributed to milldam legacies that include: berm and swale topography that influenced the routing of surface waters, varying riparian legacy sediment depths and hydraulic conductivities, evapotranspiration losses from riparian vegetation, and runoff input from adjoining roads. Key Points: - Milldams raise riparian groundwater levels, decrease hydraulic gradients, and cause reversals in groundwater flow - Milldam legacies contribute to reduced groundwater mixing in near-stream sediments - Altered groundwater regimes due to milldams could affect riparian water quality processes Plain Language Summary: Riparian zones can buffer streams from upland nitrogen pollution and are thus considered as important water quality management practices. How the presence of milldams affects groundwater flow paths and their buffering capacity is not known. This study showed that milldams back up stream water above dams, reduce the groundwater gradients from the upland to the stream, and also result in their reversal during summer dry conditions and floods. Milldams reduced the mixing of groundwaters for near-stream sediments. This response was attributed to the topographic and sediment conditions associated with the milldams.
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