International Science Index

128
10008898
Projections of Climate Change in the Rain Regime of the Ibicui River Basin
Abstract:

The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.

Paper Detail
84
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127
10008837
Experimental Simulation Set-Up for Validating Out-Of-The-Loop Mitigation when Monitoring High Levels of Automation in Air Traffic Control
Abstract:

An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.

Paper Detail
121
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126
10008927
Optimal Mitigation of Slopes by Probabilistic Methods
Abstract:

A probabilistic formulation to assess the slopes safety under the hazard of strong storms is presented and illustrated through a slope in Mexico. The formulation is based on the classical safety factor (SF) used in practice to appraise the slope stability, but it is introduced the treatment of uncertainties, and the slope failure probability is calculated as the probability that SF<1. As the main hazard is the rainfall on the area, statistics of rainfall intensity and duration are considered and modeled with an exponential distribution. The expected life-cycle cost is assessed by considering a monetary value on the slope failure consequences. Alternative mitigation measures are simulated, and the formulation is used to get the measures driving to the optimal one (minimum life-cycle costs). For the example, the optimal mitigation measure is the reduction on the slope inclination angle.

Paper Detail
50
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125
10008493
Cloudburst-Triggered Natural Hazards in Uttarakhand Himalaya: Mechanism, Prevention, and Mitigation
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
154
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124
10008192
Auto Rickshaw Impacts with Pedestrians: A Computational Analysis of Post-Collision Kinematics and Injury Mechanics
Abstract:

Motor vehicle related pedestrian road traffic collisions are a major road safety challenge, since they are a leading cause of death and serious injury worldwide, contributing to a third of the global disease burden. The auto rickshaw, which is a common form of urban transport in many developing countries, plays a major transport role, both as a vehicle for hire and for private use. The most common auto rickshaws are quite unlike ‘typical’ four-wheel motor vehicle, being typically characterised by three wheels, a non-tilting sheet-metal body or open frame construction, a canvas roof and side curtains, a small drivers’ cabin, handlebar controls and a passenger space at the rear. Given the propensity, in developing countries, for auto rickshaws to be used in mixed cityscapes, where pedestrians and vehicles share the roadway, the potential for auto rickshaw impacts with pedestrians is relatively high. Whilst auto rickshaws are used in some Western countries, their limited number and spatial separation from pedestrian walkways, as a result of city planning, has not resulted in significant accident statistics. Thus, auto rickshaws have not been subject to the vehicle impact related pedestrian crash kinematic analyses and/or injury mechanics assessment, typically associated with motor vehicle development in Western Europe, North America and Japan. This study presents a parametric analysis of auto rickshaw related pedestrian impacts by computational simulation, using a Finite Element model of an auto rickshaw and an LS-DYNA 50th percentile male Hybrid III Anthropometric Test Device (dummy). Parametric variables include auto rickshaw impact velocity, auto rickshaw impact region (front, centre or offset) and relative pedestrian impact position (front, side and rear). The output data of each impact simulation was correlated against reported injury metrics, Head Injury Criterion (front, side and rear), Neck injury Criterion (front, side and rear), Abbreviated Injury Scale and reported risk level and adds greater understanding to the issue of auto rickshaw related pedestrian injury risk. The parametric analyses suggest that pedestrians are subject to a relatively high risk of injury during impacts with an auto rickshaw at velocities of 20 km/h or greater, which during some of the impact simulations may even risk fatalities. The present study provides valuable evidence for informing a series of recommendations and guidelines for making the auto rickshaw safer during collisions with pedestrians. Whilst it is acknowledged that the present research findings are based in the field of safety engineering and may over represent injury risk, compared to “Real World” accidents, many of the simulated interactions produced injury response values significantly greater than current threshold curves and thus, justify their inclusion in the study. To reduce the injury risk level and increase the safety of the auto rickshaw, there should be a reduction in the velocity of the auto rickshaw and, or, consideration of engineering solutions, such as retro fitting injury mitigation technologies to those auto rickshaw contact regions which are the subject of the greatest risk of producing pedestrian injury.

Paper Detail
229
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123
10008125
Permeable Asphalt Pavement as a Measure of Urban Green Infrastructure in the Extreme Events Mitigation
Abstract:

Population growth in cities has led to an increase in the infrastructures construction, including buildings and roadways. This aspect leads directly to the soils waterproofing. In turn, changes in precipitation patterns are developing into higher and more frequent intensities. Thus, these two conjugated aspects decrease the rainwater infiltration into soils and increase the volume of surface runoff. The practice of green and sustainable urban solutions has encouraged research in these areas. The porous asphalt pavement, as a green infrastructure, is part of practical solutions set to address urban challenges related to land use and adaptation to climate change. In this field, permeable pavements with porous asphalt mixtures (PA) have several advantages in terms of reducing the runoff generated by the floods. The porous structure of these pavements, compared to a conventional asphalt pavement, allows the rainwater infiltration in the subsoil, and consequently, the water quality improvement. This green infrastructure solution can be applied in cities, particularly in streets or parking lots to mitigate the floods effects. Over the years, the pores of these pavements can be filled by sediment, reducing their function in the rainwater infiltration. Thus, double layer porous asphalt (DLPA) was developed to mitigate the clogging effect and facilitate the water infiltration into the lower layers. This study intends to deepen the knowledge of the performance of DLPA when subjected to clogging. The experimental methodology consisted on four evaluation phases of the DLPA infiltration capacity submitted to three precipitation events (100, 200 and 300 mm/h) in each phase. The evaluation first phase determined the behavior after DLPA construction. In phases two and three, two 500 g/m2 clogging cycles were performed, totaling a 1000 g/m2 final simulation. Sand with gradation accented in fine particles was used as clogging material. In the last phase, the DLPA was subjected to simple sweeping and vacuuming maintenance. A precipitation simulator, type sprinkler, capable of simulating the real precipitation was developed for this purpose. The main conclusions show that the DLPA has the capacity to drain the water, even after two clogging cycles. The infiltration results of flows lead to an efficient performance of the DPLA in the surface runoff attenuation, since this was not observed in any of the evaluation phases, even at intensities of 200 and 300 mm/h, simulating intense precipitation events. The infiltration capacity under clogging conditions decreased about 7% on average in the three intensities relative to the initial performance that is after construction. However, this was restored when subjected to simple maintenance, recovering the DLPA hydraulic functionality. In summary, the study proved the efficacy of using a DLPA when it retains thicker surface sediments and limits the fine sediments entry to the remaining layers. At the same time, it is guaranteed the rainwater infiltration and the surface runoff reduction and is therefore a viable solution to put into practice in permeable pavements.

Paper Detail
211
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122
10008014
3D Dynamic Modeling of Transition Zones
Abstract:
In railways transition zone is present at the boundaries of zones with different stiffness. When a train rides from an embankment onto a stiff structure, such as a bridge, tunnel or culvert, an abrupt change in the support stiffness occurs possibly inducing differential settlements. This in long term can yield to the degradation of the tracks and foundations in the transition zones. A number of techniques have been proposed or implemented to provide gradual stiffness transition at the problem zones, such as methods to ensure gradually changing pad stiffness, application of long sleepers or installation of auxiliary rails in the transition zone. Aim of the research presented in this paper is to analyze the 3D and the dynamic effects induced by the passing train over an area where significant difference in the support stiffness exists. The effects were analyzed for different arrangements associated with certain differential settlement mitigation strategies of the transition zones.
Paper Detail
180
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121
10008616
Sustainability Impact Assessment of Construction Ecology to Engineering Systems and Climate Change
Abstract:

Construction industry, as one of the main contributor in depletion of natural resources, influences climate change. This paper discusses incremental and evolutionary development of the proposed models for optimization of a life-cycle analysis to explicit strategy for evaluation systems. The main categories are virtually irresistible for introducing uncertainties, uptake composite structure model (CSM) as environmental management systems (EMSs) in a practice science of evaluation small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The model simplified complex systems to reflect nature systems’ input, output and outcomes mode influence “framework measures” and give a maximum likelihood estimation of how elements are simulated over the composite structure. The traditional knowledge of modeling is based on physical dynamic and static patterns regarding parameters influence environment. It unified methods to demonstrate how construction systems ecology interrelated from management prospective in procedure reflects the effect of the effects of engineering systems to ecology as ultimately unified technologies in extensive range beyond constructions impact so as, - energy systems. Sustainability broadens socioeconomic parameters to practice science that meets recovery performance, engineering reflects the generic control of protective systems. When the environmental model employed properly, management decision process in governments or corporations could address policy for accomplishment strategic plans precisely. The management and engineering limitation focuses on autocatalytic control as a close cellular system to naturally balance anthropogenic insertions or aggregation structure systems to pound equilibrium as steady stable conditions. Thereby, construction systems ecology incorporates engineering and management scheme, as a midpoint stage between biotic and abiotic components to predict constructions impact. The later outcomes’ theory of environmental obligation suggests either a procedures of method or technique that is achieved in sustainability impact of construction system ecology (SICSE), as a relative mitigation measure of deviation control, ultimately.

Paper Detail
253
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120
10008644
Coastal Resources Spatial Planning and Potential Oil Risk Analysis: Case Study of Misratah’s Coastal Resources, Libya
Abstract:

The goal of the Libyan Environmental General Authority (EGA) and National Oil Corporation (Department of Health, Safety & Environment) during the last 5 years has been to adopt a common approach to coastal and marine spatial planning. Protection and planning of the coastal zone is a significant for Libya, due to the length of coast and, the high rate of oil export, and spills’ potential negative impacts on coastal and marine habitats. Coastal resource scenarios constitute an important tool for exploring the long-term and short-term consequences of oil spill impact and available response options that would provide an integrated perspective on mitigation. To investigate that, this paper reviews the Misratah coastal parameters to present the physical and human controls and attributes of coastal habitats as the first step in understanding how they may be damaged by an oil spill. This paper also investigates costal resources, providing a better understanding of the resources and factors that impact the integrity of the ecosystem. Therefore, the study described the potential spatial distribution of oil spill risk and the coastal resources value, and also created spatial maps of coastal resources and their vulnerability to oil spills along the coast. This study proposes an analysis of coastal resources condition at a local level in the Misratah region of the Mediterranean Sea, considering the implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning over time as an indication of the will to manage urban development. Oil spill contamination analysis and their impact on the coastal resources depend on (1) oil spill sequence, (2) oil spill location, (3) oil spill movement near the coastal area. The resulting maps show natural, socio-economic activity, environmental resources along of the coast, and oil spill location. Moreover, the study provides significant geodatabase information which is required for coastal sensitivity index mapping and coastal management studies. The outcome of study provides the information necessary to set an Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) for the Misratah shoreline, which can be used for management of coastal resources and setting boundaries for each coastal sensitivity sectors, as well as to help planners measure the impact of oil spills on coastal resources. Geographic Information System (GIS) tools were used in order to store and illustrate the spatial convergence of existing socio-economic activities such as fishing, tourism, and the salt industry, and ecosystem components such as sea turtle nesting area, Sabkha habitats, and migratory birds feeding sites. These geodatabases help planners investigate the vulnerability of coastal resources to an oil spill.

Paper Detail
74
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119
10007866
Assessment of the Number of Damaged Buildings from a Flood Event Using Remote Sensing Technique
Abstract:
The heavy rainfall from 3rd to 22th January 2017 had swamped much area of Ranot district in southern Thailand. Due to heavy rainfall, the district was flooded which had a lot of effects on economy and social loss. The major objective of this study is to detect flooding extent using Sentinel-1A data and identify a number of damaged buildings over there. The data were collected in two stages as pre-flooding and during flood event. Calibration, speckle filtering, geometric correction, and histogram thresholding were performed with the data, based on intensity spectral values to classify thematic maps. The maps were used to identify flooding extent using change detection, along with the buildings digitized and collected on JOSM desktop. The numbers of damaged buildings were counted within the flooding extent with respect to building data. The total flooded areas were observed as 181.45 sq.km. These areas were mostly occurred at Ban khao, Ranot, Takhria, and Phang Yang sub-districts, respectively. The Ban khao sub-district had more occurrence than the others because this area is located at lower altitude and close to Thale Noi and Thale Luang lakes than others. The numbers of damaged buildings were high in Khlong Daen (726 features), Tha Bon (645 features), and Ranot sub-district (604 features), respectively. The final flood extent map might be very useful for the plan, prevention and management of flood occurrence area. The map of building damage can be used for the quick response, recovery and mitigation to the affected areas for different concern organization.
Paper Detail
183
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118
10007399
Sustainability of Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Concrete
Abstract:

Concrete, despite being one of the most produced materials in the world, still has weaknesses and drawbacks. Significant concern of the cementitious materials in structural applications is their quasi-brittle behavior, which causes the material to crack and lose its durability. One of the very recently proposed mitigations for this problem is the implementation of nanotechnology in the concrete mix by adding carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to it. CNTs can enhance the critical mechanical properties of concrete as a structural material. Thus, this paper demonstrates a state-of-the-art review of reinforcing concrete with CNTs, emphasizing on the structural performance. It also goes over the properties of CNTs alone, the present methods and costs associated with producing them, the possible special applications of concretes reinforced with CNTs, the key challenges and drawbacks that this new technology still encounters, and the most reliable practices and methodologies to produce CNT-reinforced concrete in the lab. This work has shown that the addition of CNTs to the concrete mix in percentages as low as 0.25% weight of cement could increase the flexural strength and toughness of concrete by more than 45% and 25%, respectively, and enhance other durability-related properties, given that an effective dispersion of CNTs in the cementitious mix is achieved. Since nano reinforcement for cementitious materials is a new technology, many challenges have to be tackled before it becomes practiced at the mass level.

Paper Detail
295
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117
10008056
Comparison of Inter Cell Interference Coordination Approaches
Abstract:

This work aims to compare various techniques used in order to mitigate Inter-Cell Interference (ICI) in Long Term Evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced systems. For that, we will evaluate the performance of each one. In mobile communication networks, systems are limited by ICI particularly caused by deployment of small cells in conventional cell’s implementation. Therefore, various mitigation techniques, named Inter-Cell Interference Coordination techniques (ICIC), enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) techniques and Coordinated Multi-Point transmission and reception (CoMP) are proposed. This paper presents a comparative study of these strategies. It can be concluded that CoMP techniques can ameliorate SINR and capacity system compared to ICIC and eICIC. In fact, SINR value reaches 15 dB for a distance of 0.5 km between user equipment and servant base station if we use CoMP technology whereas it cannot exceed 12 dB and 9 dB for eICIC and ICIC approaches respectively as reflected in simulations.

Paper Detail
161
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116
10008917
Wireless Body Area Network’s Mitigation Method Using Equalization
Abstract:

A wireless body area sensor network (WBASN) is composed of a central node and heterogeneous sensors to supervise the physiological signals and functions of the human body. This overwhelmimg area has stimulated new research and calibration processes, especially in the area of WBASN’s attainment and fidelity. In the era of mobility or imbricated WBASN’s, system performance incomparably degrades because of unstable signal integrity. Hence, it is mandatory to define mitigation techniques in the design to avoid interference. There are various mitigation methods available e.g. diversity techniques, equalization, viterbi decoder etc. This paper presents equalization mitigation scheme in WBASNs to improve the signal integrity. Eye diagrams are also given to represent accuracy of the signal. Maximum no. of symbols is taken to authenticate the signal which in turn results in accuracy and increases the overall performance of the system.

Paper Detail
38
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115
10007478
Resilience Assessment for Power Distribution Systems
Abstract:

Power distribution systems are essential and crucial infrastructures for the development and maintenance of a sustainable society. These systems are extremely vulnerable to various types of natural and man-made disasters. The assessment of resilience focuses on preparedness and mitigation actions under pre-disaster conditions. It also concentrates on response and recovery actions under post-disaster situations. The aim of this study is to present a methodology to assess the resilience of electric power distribution poles against wind-related events. The proposed methodology can improve the accuracy and rapidity of the evaluation of the conditions and the assessment of the resilience of poles. The methodology provides a metric for the evaluation of the resilience of poles under pre-disaster and post-disaster conditions. The metric was developed using mathematical expressions for physical forces that involve various variables, such as physical dimensions of the pole, the inclination of the pole, and wind speed. A three-dimensional imaging technology (photogrammetry) was used to determine the inclination of poles. Based on expert opinion, the proposed metric was used to define zones to visualize resilience. Visual representation of resilience is helpful for decision makers to prioritize their resources before and after experiencing a wind-related disaster. Multiple electric poles in the City of Beaumont, TX were used in a case study to evaluate the proposed methodology.  

Paper Detail
268
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114
10006773
The Mitigation Strategy Analysis of Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant Spent Fuel Pool Using MELCOR2.1/SNAP
Abstract:

Kuosheng nuclear power plant (NPP) is a BWR/6 plant in Taiwan. There is more concern for the safety of Spent Fuel Pools (SFPs) in Taiwan after Fukushima event. In order to estimate the safety of Kuosheng NPP SFP, by using MELCOR2.1 and SNAP, the safety analysis of Kuosheng NPP SFP was performed combined with the mitigation strategy of NEI 06-12 report. There were several steps in this research. First, the Kuosheng NPP SFP models were established by MELCOR2.1/SNAP. Second, the Station Blackout (SBO) analysis of Kuosheng SFP was done by TRACE and MELCOR under the cooling system failure condition. The results showed that the calculations of MELCOR and TRACE were very similar in this case. Second, the mitigation strategy analysis was done with the MELCOR model by following the NEI 06-12 report. The results showed the effectiveness of NEI 06-12 strategy in Kuosheng NPP SFP. Finally, a sensitivity study of SFP quenching was done to check the differences of different water injection time and the phenomena during the quenching. The results showed that if the cladding temperature was over 1600 K, the water injection may have chance to cause the accident more severe with more hydrogen generation. It was because of the oxidation heat and the “Breakaway” effect of the zirconium-water reaction. An animation model built by SNAP was also shown in this study.

Paper Detail
255
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113
10006821
Numerical Modelling of Shear Zone and Its Implications on Slope Instability at Letšeng Diamond Open Pit Mine, Lesotho
Abstract:

Rock mass damage due to shear tectonic activity has been investigated largely in geoscience where fluid transport is of major interest. However, little has been studied on the effect of shear zones on rock mass behavior and its impact on stability of rock slopes. At Letšeng Diamonds open pit mine in Lesotho, the shear zone composed of sheared kimberlite material, calcite and altered basalt is forming part of the haul ramp into the main pit cut 3. The alarming rate at which the shear zone is deteriorating has triggered concerns about both local and global stability of pit the walls. This study presents the numerical modelling of the open pit slope affected by shear zone at Letšeng Diamond Mine (LDM). Analysis of the slope involved development of the slope model by using a two-dimensional finite element code RS2. Interfaces between shear zone and host rock were represented by special joint elements incorporated in the finite element code. The analysis of structural geological mapping data provided a good platform to understand the joint network. Major joints including shear zone were incorporated into the model for simulation. This approach proved successful by demonstrating that continuum modelling can be used to evaluate evolution of stresses, strain, plastic yielding and failure mechanisms that are consistent with field observations. Structural control due to geological shear zone structure proved to be important in its location, size and orientation. Furthermore, the model analyzed slope deformation and sliding possibility along shear zone interfaces. This type of approach can predict shear zone deformation and failure mechanism, hence mitigation strategies can be deployed for safety of human lives and property within mine pits.

Paper Detail
356
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112
10006822
A Case Study on Performance of Isolated Bridges under Near-Fault Ground Motion
Abstract:

This paper presents a numerical investigation on the seismic performance of a benchmark bridge with different optimal isolation systems under near fault ground motion. Usually, very large displacements make seismic isolation an unfeasible solution due to boundary conditions, especially in case of existing bridges or high risk seismic regions. Hence, near-fault ground motions are most likely to affect either structures with long natural period range like isolated structures or structures sensitive to velocity content such as viscously damped structures. The work is aimed at analyzing the seismic performance of a three-span continuous bridge designed with different isolation systems having different levels of damping. The case study was analyzed in different configurations including: (a) simply supported, (b) isolated with lead rubber bearings (LRBs), (c) isolated with rubber isolators and 10% classical damping (HDLRBs), and (d) isolated with rubber isolators and 70% supplemental damping ratio. Case (d) represents an alternative control strategy that combines the effect of seismic isolation with additional supplemental damping trying to take advantages from both solutions. The bridge is modeled in SAP2000 and solved by time history direct-integration analyses under a set of six recorded near-fault ground motions. In addition to this, a set of analysis under Italian code provided seismic action is also conducted, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the suggested optimal control strategies under far field seismic action. Results of the analysis demonstrated that an isolated bridge equipped with HDLRBs and a total equivalent damping ratio of 70% represents a very effective design solution for both mitigation of displacement demand at the isolation level and base shear reduction in the piers also in case of near fault ground motion.

Paper Detail
246
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111
10007359
Understanding the Notion between Resiliency and Recovery through a Spatial-Temporal Analysis of Section 404 Wetland Alteration Permits before and after Hurricane Ike
Abstract:

Historically, wetlands in the United States have been lost due to agriculture, anthropogenic activities, and rapid urbanization along the coast. Such losses of wetlands have resulted in high flooding risk for coastal communities over the period of time. In addition, alteration of wetlands via the Section 404 Clean Water Act permits can increase the flooding risk to future hurricane events, as the cumulative impact of this program is poorly understood and under-accounted. Further, recovery after hurricane events is acting as an encouragement for new development and reconstruction activities by converting wetlands under the wetland alteration permitting program. This study investigates the degree to which hurricane recovery activities in coastal communities are undermining the ability of these places to absorb the impacts of future storm events. Specifically, this work explores how and to what extent wetlands are being affected by the federal permitting program post-Hurricane Ike in 2008. Wetland alteration patterns are examined across three counties (Harris, Galveston, and Chambers County) along the Texas Gulf Coast over a 10-year time period, from 2004-2013 (five years before and after Hurricane Ike) by conducting descriptive spatial analyses. Results indicate that after Hurricane Ike, the number of permits substantially increased in Harris and Chambers County. The vast majority of individual and nationwide type permits were issued within the 100-year floodplain, storm surge zones, and areas damaged by Ike flooding, suggesting that recovery after the hurricane is compromising the ecological resiliency on which coastal communities depend. The authors expect that the findings of this study can increase awareness to policy makers and hazard mitigation planners regarding how to manage wetlands during a long-term recovery process to maintain their natural functions for future flood mitigation.

Paper Detail
203
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110
10006572
Analysis of Delays during Initial Phase of Construction Projects and Mitigation Measures
Abstract:

A perfect start is a key factor for project completion on time. The study examined the effects of delayed mobilization of resources during the initial phases of the project. This paper mainly highlights the identification and categorization of all delays during the initial construction phase and their root cause analysis with corrective/control measures for the Kuwait Oil Company oil and gas projects. A relatively good percentage of the delays identified during the project execution (Contract award to end of defects liability period) attributed to mobilization/preliminary activity delays. Data analysis demonstrated significant increase in average project delay during the last five years compared to the previous period. Contractors had delays/issues during the initial phase, which resulted in slippages and progressively increased, resulting in time and cost overrun. Delays/issues not mitigated on time during the initial phase had very high impact on project completion. Data analysis of the delays for the past five years was carried out using trend chart, scatter plot, process map, box plot, relative importance index and Pareto chart. Construction of any project inside the Gathering Centers involves complex management skills related to work force, materials, plant, machineries, new technologies etc. Delay affects completion of projects and compromises quality, schedule and budget of project deliverables. Works executed as per plan during the initial phase and start-up duration of the project construction activities resulted in minor slippages/delays in project completion. In addition, there was a good working environment between client and contractor resulting in better project execution and management. Mainly, the contractor was on the front foot in the execution of projects, which had minimum/no delays during the initial and construction period. Hence, having a perfect start during the initial construction phase shall have a positive influence on the project success. Our research paper studies each type of delay with some real example supported by statistic results and suggests mitigation measures. Detailed analysis carried out with all stakeholders based on impact and occurrence of delays to have a practical and effective outcome to mitigate the delays. The key to improvement is to have proper control measures and periodic evaluation/audit to ensure implementation of the mitigation measures. The focus of this research is to reduce the delays encountered during the initial construction phase of the project life cycle.

Paper Detail
396
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109
10006628
Vulnerability of Indian Agriculture to Climate Change: A Study of the Himalayan Region State
Abstract:
Climate variability and changes are the emerging challenges for Indian agriculture with the growing population to ensure national food security. A study was conducted to assess the Climatic Change effects in medium to low altitude areas of the Himalayan region causing changes in land use and cereal crop productivity with the various climatic parameters. The rainfall and temperature changes from 1951 to 2013 were studied at four locations of varying altitudes, namely Hardwar, Rudra Prayag, Uttar Kashi and Tehri Garwal. It was observed that there is noticeable increment in temperature on all the four locations. It was surprisingly observed that the mean rainfall intensity of 30 minutes duration has increased at the rate of 0.1 mm/hours since 2000. The study shows that the combined effect of increasing temperature, rainfall, runoff and urbanization at the mid-Himalayan region is causing an increase in various climatic disasters and changes in agriculture patterns. A noticeable change in cropping patterns, crop productivity and land use change was observed. Appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies are necessary to ensure that sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture. Appropriate information is necessary for farmers, as well as planners and decision makers for developing, disseminating and adopting climate-smart technologies.
Paper Detail
969
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108
10006238
Trees for Air Pollution Tolerance to Develop Green Belts as an Ecological Mitigation
Abstract:
Air pollution both from point and non-point sources is difficult to control once released in to the atmosphere. There is no engineering method known available to ameliorate the dispersed pollutants. The only suitable approach is the ecological method of constructing green belts in and around the pollution sources. Air pollution in Muscat, Oman is a serious concern due to ever increasing vehicles on roads. Identifying the air pollution tolerance levels of species is important for implementing pollution control strategies in the urban areas of Muscat. Hence, in the present study, Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) for ten avenue tree species was evaluated by analyzing four bio-chemical parameters, plus their Anticipated Performance Index (API) in field conditions. Based on the two indices, Ficus benghalensis was the most suitable one with the highest performance score. Conocarpus erectuse, Phoenix dactylifera, and Pithcellobium dulce were found to be good performers and are recommended for extensive planting. Azadirachta indica which is preferred for its dense canopy is qualified in the moderate category. The rest of the tree species expressed lower API score of less than 51, hence cannot be considered as suitable species for pollution mitigation plantation projects.
Paper Detail
443
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107
10006388
Precipitation Intensity: Duration Based Threshold Analysis for Initiation of Landslides in Upper Alaknanda Valley
Abstract:

The entire Himalayan range is globally renowned for rainfall-induced landslides. The prime focus of the study is to determine rainfall based threshold for initiation of landslides that can be used as an important component of an early warning system for alerting stake holders. This research deals with temporal dimension of slope failures due to extreme rainfall events along the National Highway-58 from Karanprayag to Badrinath in the Garhwal Himalaya, India. Post processed 3-hourly rainfall intensity data and its corresponding duration from daily rainfall data available from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) were used as the prime source of rainfall data. Landslide event records from Border Road Organization (BRO) and some ancillary landslide inventory data for 2013 and 2014 have been used to determine Intensity Duration (ID) based rainfall threshold. The derived governing threshold equation, I= 4.738D-0.025, has been considered for prediction of landslides of the study region. This equation was validated with an accuracy of 70% landslides during August and September 2014. The derived equation was considered for further prediction of landslides of the study region. From the obtained results and validation, it can be inferred that this equation can be used for initiation of landslides in the study area to work as a part of an early warning system. Results can significantly improve with ground based rainfall estimates and better database on landslide records. Thus, the study has demonstrated a very low cost method to get first-hand information on possibility of impending landslide in any region, thereby providing alert and better preparedness for landslide disaster mitigation.

Paper Detail
425
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106
10006390
Application of Single Tuned Passive Filters in Distribution Networks at the Point of Common Coupling
Abstract:

The harmonic distortion of voltage is important in relation to power quality due to the interaction between the large diffusion of non-linear and time-varying single-phase and three-phase loads with power supply systems. However, harmonic distortion levels can be reduced by improving the design of polluting loads or by applying arrangements and adding filters. The application of passive filters is an effective solution that can be used to achieve harmonic mitigation mainly because filters offer high efficiency, simplicity, and are economical. Additionally, possible different frequency response characteristics can work to achieve certain required harmonic filtering targets. With these ideas in mind, the objective of this paper is to determine what size single tuned passive filters work in distribution networks best, in order to economically limit violations caused at a given point of common coupling (PCC). This article suggests that a single tuned passive filter could be employed in typical industrial power systems. Furthermore, constrained optimization can be used to find the optimal sizing of the passive filter in order to reduce both harmonic voltage and harmonic currents in the power system to an acceptable level, and, thus, improve the load power factor. The optimization technique works to minimize voltage total harmonic distortions (VTHD) and current total harmonic distortions (ITHD), where maintaining a given power factor at a specified range is desired. According to the IEEE Standard 519, both indices are viewed as constraints for the optimal passive filter design problem. The performance of this technique will be discussed using numerical examples taken from previous publications.

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545
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10006392
An Experimental Study to Mitigate Swelling Pressure of Expansive Tabuk Shale, Saudi Arabia
Abstract:

In Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there are several areas where expansive soil exists in the form of variable-thicknesses layers in the developed regions. Severe distress to infrastructures can be caused by the development of heave and swelling pressure in this kind of expansive shale. Among the various techniques for expansive soil mitigation, the removal and replacement technique is very popular for lightly loaded structures and shallow foundations. This paper presents the result of an experimental study conducted for evaluating the effect of type and thickness of the cushion soils on mitigation of swelling characteristics of expanded shale. Seven undisturbed shale samples collected from Al Qadsiyah district, which is located in the Tabuk town north Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are treated with two types of cushion coarse-grained sediments (CCS); sand and gravel. Each type is represented with three thicknesses, 22%, 33% and 44% in relation to the depth of the active zone. The test results indicated that the replacement of expansive shale by CCS reduces the swelling potential and pressure. It is found that the reduction in swelling depends on the type and thickness of CCS. The treatment by removing the original expansive shale and replacing it by cushion sand with 44% thickness reduced the swelling potential and pressure of about 53.29% and 62.78 %, respectively.

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463
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104
10006488
Urban Heat Island Intensity Assessment through Comparative Study on Land Surface Temperature and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index: A Case Study of Chittagong, Bangladesh
Abstract:

Current trend of urban expansion, especially in the developing countries has caused significant changes in land cover, which is generating great concern due to its widespread environmental degradation. Energy consumption of the cities is also increasing with the aggravated heat island effect. Distribution of land surface temperature (LST) is one of the most significant climatic parameters affected by urban land cover change. Recent increasing trend of LST is causing elevated temperature profile of the built up area with less vegetative cover. Gradual change in land cover, especially decrease in vegetative cover is enhancing the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect in the developing cities around the world. Increase in the amount of urban vegetation cover can be a useful solution for the reduction of UHI intensity. LST and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) have widely been accepted as reliable indicators of UHI and vegetation abundance respectively. Chittagong, the second largest city of Bangladesh, has been a growth center due to rapid urbanization over the last several decades. This study assesses the intensity of UHI in Chittagong city by analyzing the relationship between LST and NDVI based on the type of land use/land cover (LULC) in the study area applying an integrated approach of Geographic Information System (GIS), remote sensing (RS), and regression analysis. Land cover map is prepared through an interactive supervised classification using remotely sensed data from Landsat ETM+ image along with NDVI differencing using ArcGIS. LST and NDVI values are extracted from the same image. The regression analysis between LST and NDVI indicates that within the study area, UHI is directly correlated with LST while negatively correlated with NDVI. It interprets that surface temperature reduces with increase in vegetation cover along with reduction in UHI intensity. Moreover, there are noticeable differences in the relationship between LST and NDVI based on the type of LULC. In other words, depending on the type of land usage, increase in vegetation cover has a varying impact on the UHI intensity. This analysis will contribute to the formulation of sustainable urban land use planning decisions as well as suggesting suitable actions for mitigation of UHI intensity within the study area.

Paper Detail
347
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103
10005642
H.264 Video Privacy Protection Method Using Regions of Interest Encryption
Abstract:

Like a closed-circuit television (CCTV), video surveillance system is widely placed for gathering video from unspecified people to prevent crime, surveillance, or many other purposes. However, abuse of CCTV brings about concerns of personal privacy invasions. In this paper, we propose an encryption method to protect personal privacy system in H.264 compressed video bitstream with encrypting only regions of interest (ROI). There is no need to change the existing video surveillance system. In addition, encrypting ROI in compressed video bitstream is a challenging work due to spatial and temporal drift errors. For this reason, we propose a novel drift mitigation method when ROI is encrypted. The proposed method was implemented by using JM reference software based on the H.264 compressed videos, and experimental results show the verification of our proposed methods and its effectiveness.

Paper Detail
729
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102
10005527
Development of Corn (Zea mays L.) Stalk Geotextile Net for Soil Erosion Mitigation
Abstract:

This study aimed to introduce new natural fiber to be used in the production of geotextile net for mitigation of soil erosion. Fiber extraction from the stalks was the main challenge faced during the processing of stalks to ropes. Thus, an investigation on the extraction procedures of corn (Zea mays L.) stalk under biological and chemical retting was undertaken. Results indicated significant differences among percent fiber yield as affected by the retting methods used with values of 15.07%, 12.97%, 11.60%, and 9.01%, for dew, water, chemical (1 day after harvest and15 days after harvest), respectively, with the corresponding average extracting duration of 70, 82, 89, and 94 minutes. Physical characterization of the developed corn stalk geotextile net resulted to average mass per unit area of 806.25 g/m2 and 241% water absorbing capacity. The effect of corn stalk geotextile net in mitigating soil erosion was evaluated in a laboratory experiment for 30o and 60o inclinations with three treatments: bare soil (A1), corn stalk geotextile net (A2) and combined cornstalk geotextile net and vegetation cover (A3). Results revealed that treatment A2 and A3 significantly decreased sediment yield and an increase in terms of soil loss reduction efficiency. The cost of corn stalk geotextile net is Php 62.41 per square meter.

Paper Detail
506
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10005554
Adapting Tools for Text Monitoring and for Scenario Analysis Related to the Field of Social Disasters
Abstract:
Humanity faces more and more often with different social disasters, which in turn can generate new accidents and catastrophes. To mitigate their consequences, it is important to obtain early possible signals about the events which are or can occur and to prepare the corresponding scenarios that could be applied. Our research is focused on solving two problems in this domain: identifying signals related that an accident occurred or may occur and mitigation of some consequences of disasters. To solve the first problem, methods of selecting and processing texts from global network Internet are developed. Information in Romanian is of special interest for us. In order to obtain the mentioned tools, we should follow several steps, divided into preparatory stage and processing stage. Throughout the first stage, we manually collected over 724 news articles and classified them into 10 categories of social disasters. It constitutes more than 150 thousand words. Using this information, a controlled vocabulary of more than 300 keywords was elaborated, that will help in the process of classification and identification of the texts related to the field of social disasters. To solve the second problem, the formalism of Petri net has been used. We deal with the problem of inhabitants’ evacuation in useful time. The analysis methods such as reachability or coverability tree and invariants technique to determine dynamic properties of the modeled systems will be used. To perform a case study of properties of extended evacuation system by adding time, the analysis modules of PIPE such as Generalized Stochastic Petri Nets (GSPN) Analysis, Simulation, State Space Analysis, and Invariant Analysis have been used. These modules helped us to obtain the average number of persons situated in the rooms and the other quantitative properties and characteristics related to its dynamics.
Paper Detail
565
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10005021
A Risk Management Approach for Nigeria Manufacturing Industries
Abstract:

To be successful in today’s competitive global environment, manufacturing industry must be able to respond quickly to changes in technology. These changes in technology introduce new risks and hazards. The management of risk/hazard in a manufacturing process recommends method through which the success rate of an organization can be increased. Thus, there is a continual need for manufacturing industries to invest significant amount of resources in risk management, which in turn optimizes the production output and profitability of any manufacturing industry (if implemented properly). To help improve the existing risk prevention and mitigation practices in Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in Nigeria Manufacturing Industries (NMI), the researcher embarks on this research to develop a systematic Risk Management process.

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603
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10005370
Investigation of Failures in Wadi-Crossing Pipe Culverts, Sennar State, Sudan
Abstract:
Crossing culverts are essential element of rural roads. The paper aims to investigate failures of recently constructed wadi-crossing pipe culverts in Sennar state and provide necessary remedial measures. The investigation is conducted to provide an extensive diagnosis study in order to find out the main structural and hydrological weaknesses of the culverts. Literature of steel pipe culverts related to construction practices and common types of culvert failures and their appropriate mitigation measures were reviewed. A detailed field survey was conducted to detect failures and defects appeared on the existing culverts. The results revealed that seepage of water through the embankment and foundation of the culverts leads to excessive erosion and scouring causing sever failures and damages. The design mistakes and poor construction were detected as the main causes of culverts failures. For sustainability of the culverts, various remedial measures are recommended to be considered in urgent rehabilitation of the existing crossings.
Paper Detail
536
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