Laboratory Feasibility Study Concerning the Use of the SediMeter (trademark) to Detect Fine-Scale (< or = 1 mm) Sedimentation Resulting from Dredging Operations
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
The United States Army Corps of Engineers USACE is responsible for the operation and maintenance of much of the nation s inland waterways. USACE currently maintains 12,000 miles of commercial and navigation channels, 926 harbors, and owns and operates more than 600 dams. In the process of managing these resources, USACE dredges more than 200 million cubic yards of material annually USACE headquarters services, httpwww.usace. army.milServicesPagesServices.aspx. As a result of this dredging activity, bottom sediments are stirred up and resuspended into plumes. The transport of these plumes via currents can have physical, biological, and chemical impacts on habitats downstream of dredge sites e.g., Wildish and Thomas 1985 Wilber and Clarke 2001 Hossain et al. 2004 Nayar et al. 2007. In some sensitive habitats, it has been suggested that increased sedimentation on the order of 1mm or less can result in harmful impacts to the environment. Consequently, dredging operations are often regulated and dredging windows are put into place to reduce the effects of this assumed sedimentation. Currently, there is no accepted method to quantify sedimentation resulting from dredge-induced suspensions, making it difficult to determine the impacts of this sedimentation on a habitat. Recently, new instrumentation has been developed that may have the ability to quantify sedimentation on the scale of 1mm or less however, these instruments require laboratory and field testing to demonstrate their ability to accurately measure fine-grained sedimentation at the sub-millimeter scale. As part of the Dredging Operations and Environmental Research DOER Program, researchers at the USACE Engineering Research and Development Center-Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory ERDC-CHL are currently testing and evaluating some of these technologies.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods