Develop Accurate Methods for Characterizing and Quantifying Cohesive Sediment Erosion Under Combined Current-Wave Conditions
Engineer Research and Development Center Vicksburg
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Aquatic cohesive sediments are often the final receptor of contaminants released by Department of Defense DoD activities. In estuaries, harbors, and channels, fine sediments can be mobilized and transported by the combined action of both relatively steady currents forced by river flow, tides, and wind and by the larger unsteady bottom shear stresses associated with higher-frequency oscillatory wave motions either wind- or vessel-generated waves. Methods to measure contaminated sediment stability and erosion as influenced by wave processes are critical to assessing contaminant fate and associated risk as well as evaluating remediation options. This research focused on calibrating and verifying the applicability of a prototype flume designed to measure erosion of fine-grained cohesive sediment under combined unidirectional and superimposed oscillatory bottom shear stress. These are similar to the shear-stress conditions that exist in wave-current environments. This research will provide more accurate methods for assessing contaminated sediment stability for many DoD and Environmental Protection Agency managed contaminated sediment sites.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography