Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 7

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 7
    Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources of Greater Zab and Lesser Zab Basins, Iraq, Using Soil and Water Assessment Tool Model
    The Greater Zab and Lesser Zab are the major tributaries of Tigris River contributing the largest flow volumes into the river. The impacts of climate change on water resources in these basins have not been well addressed. To gain a better understanding of the effects of climate change on water resources of the study area in near future (2049-2069) as well as in distant future (2080-2099), Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied. The model was first calibrated for the period from 1979 to 2004 to test its suitability in describing the hydrological processes in the basins. The SWAT model showed a good performance in simulating streamflow. The calibrated model was then used to evaluate the impacts of climate change on water resources. Six general circulation models (GCMs) from phase five of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) under three Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, and RCP 8.5 for periods of 2049-2069 and 2080-2099 were used to project the climate change impacts on these basins. The results demonstrated a significant decline in water resources availability in the future.
    Prediction of in situ Permeability for Limestone Rock Using Rock Quality Designation Index

    Geotechnical study for evaluating soil or rock permeability is a highly important parameter. Permeability values for rock formations are more difficult for determination than soil formation as it is an effect of the rock quality and its fracture values. In this research, the prediction of in situ permeability of limestone rock formations was predicted. The limestone rock permeability was evaluated using Lugeon tests (in-situ packer permeability). Different sites which spread all over the Riyadh region of Saudi Arabia were chosen to conduct our study of predicting the in-situ permeability of limestone rock. Correlations were deducted between the values of in-situ permeability of the limestone rock with the value of the rock quality designation (RQD) calculated during the execution of the boreholes of the study areas. The study was performed for different ranges of RQD values measured during drilling of the sites boreholes. The developed correlations are recommended for the onsite determination of the in-situ permeability of limestone rock only. For the other sedimentary formations of rock, more studies are needed for predicting the actual correlations related to each type.

    Effect of Fill Material Density under Structures on Ground Motion Characteristics Due to Earthquake

    Due to limited areas and excessive cost of land for projects, backfilling process has become necessary. Also, backfilling will be done to overcome the un-leveling depths or raising levels of site construction, especially near the sea region. Therefore, backfilling soil materials used under the foundation of structures should be investigated regarding its effect on ground motion characteristics, especially at regions subjected to earthquakes. In this research, 60-meter thickness of sandy fill material was used above a fixed 240-meter of natural clayey soil underlying by rock formation to predict the modified ground motion characteristics effect at the foundation level. Comparison between the effect of using three different situations of fill material compaction on the recorded earthquake is studied, i.e. peak ground acceleration, time history, and spectra acceleration values. The three different densities of the compacted fill material used in the study were very loose, medium dense and very dense sand deposits, respectively. Shake computer program was used to perform this study. Strong earthquake records, with Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) of 0.35 g, were used in the analysis. It was found that, higher compaction of fill material thickness has a significant effect on eliminating the earthquake ground motion properties at surface layer of fill material, near foundation level. It is recommended to consider the fill material characteristics in the design of foundations subjected to seismic motions. Future studies should be analyzed for different fill and natural soil deposits for different seismic conditions.

    Total and Leachable Concentration of Trace Elements in Soil towards Human Health Risk, Related with Coal Mine in Jorong, South Kalimantan, Indonesia

    Coal mining is well known to cause considerable environmental impacts, including trace element contamination of soil. This study aimed to assess the trace element (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn) contamination of soil in the vicinity of coal mining activities, using the case study of Asam-asam River basin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia, and to assess the human health risk, incorporating total and bioavailable (water-leachable and acid-leachable) concentrations. The results show the enrichment of As and Co in soil, surpassing the background soil value. Contamination was evaluated based on the index of geo-accumulation, Igeo and the pollution index, PI. Igeo values showed that the soil was generally uncontaminated (Igeo ≤ 0), except for elevated As and Co. Mean PI for Ni and Cu indicated slight contamination. Regarding the assessment of health risks, the Hazard Index, HI showed adverse risks (HI > 1) for Ni, Co, and As. Further, Ni and As were found to pose unacceptable carcinogenic risk (risk > 1.10-5). Farming, settlement, and plantation were found to present greater risk than coal mines. These results show that coal mining activity in the study area contaminates the soils by particular elements and may pose potential human health risk in its surrounding area. This study is important for setting appropriate countermeasure actions and improving basic coal mining management in Indonesia.

    Forest Risk and Vulnerability Assessment: A Case Study from East Bokaro Coal Mining Area in India

    The expansion of large scale coal mining into forest areas is a potential hazard for the local biodiversity and wildlife. The objective of this study is to provide a picture of the threat that coal mining poses to the forests of the East Bokaro landscape. The vulnerable forest areas at risk have been assessed and the priority areas for conservation have been presented. The forested areas at risk in the current scenario have been assessed and compared with the past conditions using classification and buffer based overlay approach. Forest vulnerability has been assessed using an analytical framework based on systematic indicators and composite vulnerability index values. The results indicate that more than 4 km2 of forests have been lost from 1973 to 2016. Large patches of forests have been diverted for coal mining projects. Forests in the northern part of the coal field within 1-3 km radius around the coal mines are at immediate risk. The original contiguous forests have been converted into fragmented and degraded forest patches. Most of the collieries are located within or very close to the forests thus threatening the biodiversity and hydrology of the surrounding regions. Based on the vulnerability values estimated, it was concluded that more than 90% of the forested grids in East Bokaro are highly vulnerable to mining. The forests in the sub-districts of Bermo and Chandrapura have been identified as the most vulnerable to coal mining activities. This case study would add to the capacity of the forest managers and mine managers to address the risk and vulnerability of forests at a small landscape level in order to achieve sustainable development.

    Soil Stress State under Tractive Tire and Compaction Model

    Soil compaction induced by a tractor towing trailer becomes a major problem associated to sugarcane productivity. Soil beneath the tractor’s tire is not only under compressing stress but also shearing stress. Therefore, in order to help to understand such effects on soil, this research aimed to determine stress state in soil and predict compaction of soil under a tractive tire. The octahedral stress ratios under the tires were higher than one and much higher under higher draft forces. Moreover, the ratio was increasing with increase of number of tire’s passage. Soil compaction model was developed using data acquired from triaxial tests. The model was then used to predict soil bulk density under tractive tire. The maximum error was about 4% at 15 cm depth under lower draft force and tended to increase with depth and draft force. At depth of 30 cm and under higher draft force, the maximum error was about 16%.

    Refining Waste Spent Hydroprocessing Catalyst and Their Metal Recovery

    Catalysts play an important role in producing valuable fuel products in petroleum refining; but, due to feedstock’s impurities catalyst gets deactivated with carbon and metal deposition. The disposal of spent catalyst falls under the category of hazardous industrial waste that requires strict agreement with environmental regulations. The spent hydroprocessing catalyst contains Mo, V and Ni at high concentrations that have been found to be economically significant for recovery. Metal recovery process includes deoiling, decoking, grinding, dissolving and treatment with complexing leaching agent such as ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA). The process conditions have been optimized as a function of time, temperature and EDTA concentration in presence of ultrasonic agitation. The results indicated that optimum condition established through this approach could recover 97%, 94% and 95% of the extracted Mo, V and Ni, respectively, while 95% EDTA was recovered after acid treatment.