Rapid Methods for Estimating Navigation Channel Shoaling
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS COASTAL AND HYDRAULICS LAB
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The US Army Corps of Engineers navigation mission is to provide safe, reliable, and efficient waterborne transportation systems channels, harbors, and waterways for the movement of commerce, national security needs, and recreation. Federally maintained channels through as many as 600 coastal inlets and through bays, estuaries, and rivers are therefore dredged. Many of these navigation channels have been deepened, widened, and lengthened to accommodate larger vessels and greater transit speed, and to increase maneuverability. These channel expansions have led to increasing and, at many sites, unanticipated maintenance dredging requirements, because in part the relationship between an increase in channel cross-sectional area and the subsequent shoaling rate is nonlinear. As waterborne commerce and the need for national security continue to grow, vessels are expected to become larger, wider, or both due to economies of scale and increased cargo capacity. It is anticipated that coastal inlet entrance channels will continue to be enlarged in the future. This paper discusses empirical and analytical relationships for predicting channel shoaling based upon historical maintenance dredging data for Corps channels that have been deepened, widened, and lengthened. A new analytical relationship based on an equilibrium channel depth and width is presented to calculate channel infilling and bank encroachment, and tested with the available data.
- Civil Engineering
- Underwater and Marine Navigation and Guidance