A Literature Review of Processes for Gravel Deposit Identification in the Lower Mississippi River
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS GEOTECHNICAL AND STRUCTURES LAB
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The purpose of this study was to identify feasible techniques for the detection and identification of gravel deposits in the Lower Mississippi River LMR. This study involved a thorough review of literature concerning investigative techniques used to classify sediment types in bodies of water, as well as interviews with experts in this field. Researchers identified the technique or combination of techniques that have the greatest potential for use on the LMR and recommended a plan for testing those techniques there. This study revealed that direct observation and acoustic techniques can be used to classify the subaqueous bed material in the LMR. Direct observation is obviously the most reliable method, but it is limited to exposed areas of gravel. It is recommended that a detailed visual inspection of the river from Cairo to Old River be conducted with focus on the identification of exposed gravel bars. With respect to acoustical methods, GeoSwath Plus appears to have the greatest potential to map large areas of the river. Both the visual inspections and the GeoSwath Plus system will provide information only about the surface bed material. To assess the potential volume of gravel available in the system, an estimate of the depth of these deposits is needed. Therefore, it is recommended that a subbottom profiling system be applied to the selected test sites to determine its ability to both classify buried gravel strata and determine the vertical extent of these strata. The two-dimensional model being developed by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center should be applied on the gravel test sites.
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy