The water crisis, a major problem of the 21st century, occurs mainly due to poor management. The central issue that should govern the management is the integration of the various aspects that interfere with the use of water resources and their protection, supported by legal basis. A watershed is a unit of water interacting with the physical, biotic, social, economic and cultural variables. The Brazilian law recognized river basin as the territorial management unit. Based on the diagnosis of the current situation of the water resources of the Rio Grande Basin, a discussion informed in the Brazilian legal basis was made to propose measures to fight or mitigate damages and environmental degradation in the Basin. To manage water resources more efficiently, conserve water and optimize their multiple uses, the integration of acquired scientific knowledge and management is essential. Moreover, it is necessary to monitor compliance with environmental legislation.
Farmers who are living in flood-prone areas such as coasts are exposed to storm surges increased due to climate change. Crop cultivation is the most important economic activity of farmers, and in the time of flooding, agricultural lands are subject to inundation. Additionally, overflow saline water causes more severe damage outcomes than riverine flooding. Agricultural crops are more vulnerable to salinity than other land uses for which the economic damages may continue for a number of years even after flooding and affect farmers’ decision-making for the following year. Therefore, it is essential to assess what extent the agricultural areas are flooded and how much the associated flood damage to each individual farmer is. To address these questions, we integrated farmers’ decision-making at farm-scale with flood risk management. The integrated model includes identification of hazard scenarios, failure analysis of structural measures, derivation of hydraulic parameters for the inundated areas and analysis of the economic damages experienced by each farmer. The present study has two aims; firstly, it attempts to investigate the flooded cropland and potential crop damages for the whole area. Secondly, it compares them among farmers’ field for three flood scenarios, which differ in breach locations of the flood protection structure. To achieve its goal, the spatial distribution of fields and cultivated crops of farmers were fed into the flood risk model, and a 100-year storm surge hydrograph was selected as the flood event. The study area was Pellworm Island that is located in the German Wadden Sea National Park and surrounded by North Sea. Due to high salt content in seawater of North Sea, crops cultivated in the agricultural areas of Pellworm Island are 100% destroyed by storm surges which were taken into account in developing of depth-damage curve for analysis of consequences. As a result, inundated croplands and economic damages to crops were estimated in the whole Island which was further compared for six selected farmers under three flood scenarios. The results demonstrate the significance and the flexibility of the proposed model in flood risk assessment of flood-prone areas by integrating flood risk management and decision-making.
Strength and deformability characteristics of a liquefiable sand deposit including the development of earthquake-induced shear stress and shear strain as well as soil softening via the progressive degradation of shear modulus were studied via shaking table experiments. To do so, a model of a liquefiable sand deposit was constructed and densely instrumented where accelerations, pressures, and displacements at different locations were continuously monitored. Furthermore, the confinement effects on the strength and deformation characteristics of the liquefiable sand deposit due to an external surcharge by placing a heavy concrete slab (i.e. the model of an actual structural rigid pavement) on the ground surface were examined. The results indicate that as the number of seismic-loading cycles increases, the sand deposit softens progressively as large shear strains take place in different sand elements. Liquefaction state is reached after the combined effects of the progressive degradation of the initial shear modulus associated with the continuous decrease in the mean principal stress, and the buildup of the excess of pore pressure takes place in the sand deposit. Finally, the confinement effects given by a concrete slab placed on the surface of the sand deposit resulted in a favorable increasing in the initial shear modulus, an increase in the mean principal stress and a decrease in the softening rate (i.e. the decreasing rate in shear modulus) of the sand, thus making the onset of liquefaction to take place at a later stage. This is, only after the sand deposit having a concrete slab experienced a higher number of seismic loading cycles liquefaction took place, in contrast to an ordinary sand deposit having no concrete slab.
Probability of failure (PF) often appears alongside factor of safety (FS) in design acceptance criteria for rock slope, underground excavation and open pit mine designs. However, the design acceptance criteria generally provide no guidance relating to how PF should be calculated for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses, or what qualifies a ‘reasonable’ PF assessment for a given slope design. Observational and kinematic methods were widely used in the 1990s until advances in computing permitted the routine use of numerical modelling. In the 2000s and early 2010s, PF in numerical models was generally calculated using the point estimate method. More recently, some limit equilibrium analysis software offer statistical parameter inputs along with Monte-Carlo or Latin-Hypercube sampling methods to automatically calculate PF. Factors including rock type and density, weathering and alteration, intact rock strength, rock mass quality and shear strength, the location and orientation of geologic structure, shear strength of geologic structure and groundwater pore pressure influence the stability of rock slopes. Significant engineering and geological judgment, interpretation and data interpolation is usually applied in determining these factors and amalgamating them into a geotechnical model which can then be analysed. Most factors are estimated ‘approximately’ or with allowances for some variability rather than ‘exactly’. When it comes to numerical modelling, some of these factors are then treated deterministically (i.e. as exact values), while others have probabilistic inputs based on the user’s discretion and understanding of the problem being analysed. This paper discusses the importance of understanding the key aspects of slope design for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses and how they can be translated into reasonable PF assessments where the data permits. A case study from a large open pit gold mine in a complex geological setting in Western Australia is presented to illustrate how PF can be calculated using different methods and obtain markedly different results. Ultimately sound engineering judgement and logic is often required to decipher the true meaning and significance (if any) of some PF results.
This paper details the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of slope stability whereby quick and convenient solutions can be obtained using the developed tool. The AI tool used in this study is the artificial neural network (ANN), while the slope stability analysis methods are the finite element limit analysis methods. The developed tool allows for the prompt prediction of the safety factors of fill slopes and their corresponding probability of failure (depending on the degree of variation of the soil parameters), which can give the practicing engineer a reasonable basis in their decision making. In fact, the successful use of the Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) algorithm shows that slope stability analysis is no longer confined to the conventional methods of modeling, which at times may be tedious and repetitive during the preliminary design stage where the focus is more on cost saving options rather than detailed design. Therefore, similar ANN-based tools can be further developed to assist engineers in this aspect.
Two geo-referenced sea level datasets (September 2008 – November 2010) and (April 2012 – January 2014) were recorded at Alexandria Western Harbour (AWH). Accurate re-definition of tidal datum, referred to the latest International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF-2014), was discussed and updated to improve our understanding of the old predefined tidal datum at Alexandria. Tidal and non-tidal components of sea level were separated with the use of Delft-3D hydrodynamic model-tide suit (Delft-3D, 2015). Tidal characteristics at AWH were investigated and harmonic analysis showed the most significant 34 constituents with their amplitudes and phases. Tide was identified as semi-diurnal pattern as indicated by a “Form Factor” of 0.24 and 0.25, respectively. Principle tidal datums related to major tidal phenomena were recalculated referred to a meaningful geodetic height datum. The portion of residual energy (surge) out of the total sea level energy was computed for each dataset and found 77% and 72%, respectively. Power spectral density (PSD) showed accurate resolvability in high band (1–6) cycle/days for the nominated independent constituents, except some neighbouring constituents, which are too close in frequency. Wind and atmospheric pressure data, during the recorded sea level time, were analysed and cross-correlated with the surge signals. Moderate association between surge and wind and atmospheric pressure data were obtained. In addition, long-term sea level rise trend at AWH was computed and showed good agreement with earlier estimated rates.
The geological environment where the groundwater is collected represents the most important element that affects the behaviour of groundwater aquifer. As groundwater is a worldwide vital resource, it requires knowing the parameters that affect this source accurately so that the conceptualized mathematical models would be acceptable to the broadest ranges. Therefore, groundwater models have recently become an effective and efficient tool to investigate groundwater aquifer behaviours. Groundwater aquifer may contain aquitards, aquicludes, or interfaces within its geological formations. Aquitards and aquicludes have geological formations that forced the modellers to include those formations within the conceptualized groundwater models, while interfaces are commonly neglected from the conceptualization process because the modellers believe that the interface has no effect on aquifer behaviour. The current research highlights the impact of an interface existing in a real unconfined groundwater aquifer called Dibdibba, located in Al-Najaf City, Iraq where it has a river called the Euphrates River that passes through the eastern part of this city. Dibdibba groundwater aquifer consists of two types of soil layers separated by an interface soil layer. A groundwater model is built for Al-Najaf City to explore the impact of this interface. Calibration process is done using PEST 'Parameter ESTimation' approach and the best Dibdibba groundwater model is obtained. When the soil interface is conceptualized, results show that the groundwater tables are significantly affected by that interface through appearing dry areas of 56.24 km² and 6.16 km² in the upper and lower layers of the aquifer, respectively. The Euphrates River will also leak water into the groundwater aquifer of 7359 m³/day. While these results are changed when the soil interface is neglected where the dry area became 0.16 km², the Euphrates River leakage became 6334 m³/day. In addition, the conceptualized models (with and without interface) reveal different responses for the change in the recharge rates applied on the aquifer through the uncertainty analysis test. The aquifer of Dibdibba in Al-Najaf City shows a slight deficit in the amount of water supplied by the current pumping scheme and also notices that the Euphrates River suffers from stresses applied to the aquifer. Ultimately, this study shows a crucial need to represent the interface soil layer in model conceptualization to be the intended and future predicted behaviours more reliable for consideration purposes.
As known, the water energy is a renewable and clean source of energy. Energy production from hydropower has been the first, and still is today a renewable source used to generate electricity. The optimal location and sizing of a small hydropower plant is a very important issue in engineering design which encourages investigation. The aim of this paper is to present a formula that can be utilized for locating the position of a small hydropower plant although there is a high dependence on economic, environmental, and social parameters. In this paper, the economic and technical side of the problem is considered. More specifically, there is a critical terrain slope that determines if the plant should be located at the end of the slope or not. Of course, this formula can be used for a first estimate and does not include detailed economic analysis. At the end, a case study is presented for the location of a small hydropower plant in order to demonstrate the validity of the proposed formula.
The type of foundation commonly used today for berthing dolphins is a set of tubular steel piles with large diameters, which are known as monopiles. The design of these monopiles is based on the theories related with laterally loaded piles. One of the most common methods to analyze and design the piles subjected to lateral loads is the p-y curves. In the present study, centrifuge tests are conducted in order to obtain the p-y curves. Series of tests were designed in order to investigate the scaling laws in the centrifuge for monotonic loading. Also, two important parameters, the embedded depth L of the pile in the soil and free length e of the pile, as well as their ratios were studied via five experimental tests. Finally, the p-y curves of API are presented to be compared with the curves obtained from the tests so that the differences could be demonstrated. The results show that the p-y curves proposed by API highly overestimate the lateral load bearing capacity. It suggests that these curves need correction and modification for each site as the soil conditions change.
Artificial lightweight aggregates have a wide range of applications in industry and engineering. Nowadays, the usage of this material in geotechnical activities, especially as backfill in retaining walls has been growing due to the specific characteristics which make it a competent alternative to the conventional geotechnical materials. In practice, a material with lower weight but higher shear strength parameters would be ideal as backfill behind retaining walls because of the important roles that these parameters play in decreasing the overall active lateral earth pressure. In this study, two types of Light Expanded Clay Aggregates (LECA) produced in the Leca factory are investigated. LECA is made in a rotary kiln by heating natural clay at different temperatures up to 1200 °C making quasi-spherical aggregates with different sizes ranged from 0 to 25 mm. The loose bulk density of these aggregates is between 300 and 700 kN/m3. The purpose of this research is to determine the stress-strain behavior, shear strength parameters, and the energy absorption of LECA materials. Direct shear tests were conducted at five normal stresses of 25, 50, 75, 100, and 200 kPa. In addition, conventional triaxial compression tests were operated at confining pressures of 50, 100, and 200 kPa to examine stress-strain behavior. The experimental results show a high internal angle of friction and even a considerable amount of nominal cohesion despite the granular structure of LECA. These desirable properties along with the intrinsic low density of these aggregates make LECA as a very proper material in geotechnical applications. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that lightweight aggregates may have high energy absorption that is excellent alternative material in seismic isolations.
A study of the tidal current behavior and bathymetric changes was undertaken in order to establish an information base for future coastal management. The average velocity for tidal current was 0.46 m/s and the maximum velocity was 1.08 m/s during ebb tide. During spring tides, maximum velocities range from 0.90 m/s to 1.08 m/s, whereas maximum velocities vary from 0.40 m/s to 0.60 m/s during neap tides. Despite greater current velocities during flood tide, the bathymetric features enhance the dominance of the ebb tide. This can be related to the abundance of fine sediments from the ebb current approaching the study area, and the relatively coarser sediment from the approaching flood current. Significant bathymetric changes for the period from 1985 to 1998 were found with dominance of erosion process. Approximately 96.5% of depth changes occurred within the depth change classes of -5 m to 5 m. The high erosion processes within the study area will subsequently result in high accretion processes, particularly in the north, the location of the proposed Boubyan Port and its navigation channel.
After the recent devastating flood in Kashmir in 2014, dredging of the local water bodies, especially Jhelum River has become a priority for the government. Local government under the project name of 'Comprehensive Flood Management Programme' plans to undertake an increase in discharge of existing flood channels by removal of encroachments and acquisition of additional land, dredging and other works of the water bodies. The total quantity of soil to be dredged will be 16.15 lac cumecs. Dredged soil is a major component that would result from the project which requires disposal/utilization. This study analyses the effect of cement and sand on the engineering properties of soil. The tests were conducted with variable additions of sand (10%, 20% and 30%), whereas cement was added at 12%. Samples with following compositions: soil-cement (12%) and soil-sand (30%) were tested as well. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the engineering characteristics of soil, i.e., compaction, strength, and CBR characteristics. The strength characteristics of the soil were determined by unconfined compressive strength test and direct shear test. Unconfined compressive strength of the soil was tested immediately and for a curing period of seven days. CBR test was performed for unsoaked, soaked (worst condition- 4 days) and cured (4 days) samples.
The aim of this paper is the comparison of three different methods, in order to produce fuzzy tolerance relations for rainfall data classification. More specifically, the three methods are correlation coefficient, cosine amplitude and max-min method. The data were obtained from seven rainfall stations in the region of central Greece and refers to 20-year time series of monthly rainfall height average. Three methods were used to express these data as a fuzzy relation. This specific fuzzy tolerance relation is reformed into an equivalence relation with max-min composition for all three methods. From the equivalence relation, the rainfall stations were categorized and classified according to the degree of confidence. The classification shows the similarities among the rainfall stations. Stations with high similarity can be utilized in water resource management scenarios interchangeably or to augment data from one to another. Due to the complexity of calculations, it is important to find out which of the methods is computationally simpler and needs fewer compositions in order to give reliable results.
This article discusses the possibility of using dilatometer tests (DMT) together with in situ seismic tests (MASW) in order to get the shape of G-g degradation curve in cohesive soils (clay, silty clay, silt, clayey silt and sandy silt). MASW test provides the small soil stiffness (Go from vs) at very small strains and DMT provides the stiffness of the soil at ‘work strains’ (MDMT). At different test locations, dilatometer shear stiffness of the soil has been determined by the theory of elasticity. Dilatometer shear stiffness has been compared with the theoretical G-g degradation curve in order to determine the typical range of shear deformation for different types of cohesive soil. The analysis also includes factors that influence the shape of the degradation curve (G-g) and dilatometer modulus (MDMT), such as the overconsolidation ratio (OCR), plasticity index (IP) and the vertical effective stress in the soil (svo'). Parametric study in this article defines the range of shear strain gDMT and GDMT/Go relation depending on the classification of a cohesive soil (clay, silty clay, clayey silt, silt and sandy silt), function of density (loose, medium dense and dense) and the stiffness of the soil (soft, medium hard and hard). The article illustrates the potential of using MASW and DMT to obtain G-g degradation curve in cohesive soils.
Water resources management includes several disciplines; the modeling of rainfall-runoff relationship is the most important discipline to prevent natural risks. There are several models to study rainfall-runoff relationship in watersheds. However, the majority of these models are not applicable in all basins of the world. In this study, a new stochastic method called The Only Corresponding Competitor method (OCC) was used for the hydrological modeling of M’ZAB Watershed (South East of Algeria) to adapt a few empirical models for any hydrological regime. The results obtained allow to authorize a certain number of visions, in which it would be interesting to experiment with hydrological models that improve collectively or separately the data of a catchment by the OCC method.
In this article, the results of a series of carefully conducted laboratory test program were represented to determine the small strain shear modulus of sand mixed with a range of kaolinite including zero to 30%. This was experimentally achieved using a triaxial cell equipped with bender element. Results indicate that small shear modulus tends to increase, while clay content decreases and effective confining pressure increases. The exponent of stress in the power model regression analysis was not sensitive to the amount of clay content for all sand clay mixtures, while coefficient A was directly affected by change in clay content.
Carbon dioxide and methane, the major components of biomass pyrolysis/gasification gas and biogas, top the list of substances that cause climate change, but they are also among the most important renewable energy sources in modern society. The purpose of this study is to convert carbon dioxide and methane into high-quality energy using char and commercial activated carbon obtained from biomass pyrolysis as a microwave receptor. The methane reforming process produces hydrogen and carbon. This carbon is deposited in the pores of the microwave receptor and lowers catalytic activity, thereby reducing the methane conversion rate. The deposited carbon was removed by carbon gasification due to the supply of carbon dioxide, which solved the problem of microwave receptor inactivity. In particular, the conversion rate remained stable at over 90% when the ratio of carbon dioxide to methane was 1:1. When the reforming results of carbon dioxide and methane were compared after fabricating nickel and iron catalysts using commercial activated carbon as a carrier, the conversion rate was higher in the iron catalyst than in the nickel catalyst and when no catalyst was used.
Improvement and reinforcement of soils with poor strength and engineering properties for constructing low height structures or structures such as liquid storage tanks, bridge columns, and heavy structures have necessitated applying particular techniques. Stone columns are among the well-known methods applied in such soils. This method provides an economically justified way for improving engineering properties of soft clay and loose sandy soils. Stone column implementation in these soils increases their bearing capacity and reduces the settlement of foundation build on them. In the present study, the finite difference based FLAC3D software was used to investigate the performance and effect of soil reinforcement through stone columns without lining and those with geosynthetic lining with different levels of stiffness in horizontal and vertical modes in clayey soils. The results showed that soil improvement using stone columns with lining in vertical and horizontal modes results in improvement of bearing capacity and foundation settlement.
This article examines cloudburst-triggered natural hazards mainly flashfloods and landslides in the Uttarakhand Himalaya. It further describes mechanism and implications of natural hazards and illustrates the preventive and mitigation measures. We conducted this study through collection of archival data, case study of cloudburst hit areas, and rapid field visit of the affected regions. In the second week of August 2017, about 50 people died and huge losses to property were noticed due to cloudburst-triggered flashfloods. Our study shows that although cloudburst triggered hazards in the Uttarakhand Himalaya are natural phenomena and unavoidable yet, disasters can be minimized if preventive measures are taken up appropriately. We suggested that construction of human settlements, institutions and infrastructural facilities along the seasonal streams and the perennial rivers should be avoided to prevent disasters. Further, large-scale tree plantation on the degraded land will reduce the magnitude of hazards.
The volume of overburden and coal excavations in open-pit mine is generally determined by conventional survey such as total station. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) used to measure overburden and coal excavations, and to compare TLS survey data sets with the data of the total station. Results revealed that, the reference points measured with the total station showed 0.2 mm precision for both horizontal and vertical coordinates. When using TLS on the same points, the standard deviations of 4.93 cm and 0.53 cm for horizontal and vertical coordinates, respectively, were achieved. For volume measurements covering the mining areas of 79,844 m2, TLS yielded the mean difference of about 1% and the surface error margin of 6 cm at the 95% confidence level when compared to the volume obtained by total station.
Microsporidia comprises various pathogenic species can infect humans by means of water. Moreover, chlorine disinfection of drinking-water has limitations against this protozoan pathogen. A total of 48 water samples were collected from two drinking water treatment plants having two different filtration systems (slow sand filter and rapid sand filter) during one year period. Samples were collected from inlet and outlet of each plant. Samples were separately filtrated through nitrocellulose membrane (142 mm, 0.45 µm), then eluted and centrifuged. The obtained pellet from each sample was subjected to DNA extraction, then, amplification using genus-specific primer for microsporidia. Each microsporidia-PCR positive sample was performed by two species specific primers for Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis. The results of the present study showed that the percentage of removal for microsporidia through different treatment processes reached its highest rate in the station using slow sand filters (100%), while the removal by rapid sand filter system was 81.8%. Statistically, the two different drinking water treatment plants (slow and rapid) had significant effect for removal of microsporidia. Molecular identification of microsporidia-PCR positive samples using two different primers for Enterocytozoon bieneusi and Encephalitozoon intestinalis showed the presence of the two pervious species in the inlet water of the two stations, while Encephalitozoon intestinalis was detected in the outlet water only. In conclusion, the appearance of virulent microsporidia in treated drinking water may cause potential health threat.