Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 12

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 12
    Sediment Transport Monitoring in the Port of Veracruz Expansion Project

    The construction of most coastal infrastructure developments around the world are usually made considering wave height, current velocities and river discharges; however, little effort has been paid to surveying sediment transport during dredging or the modification to currents outside the ports or marinas during and after the construction. This study shows a complete survey during the construction of one of the largest ports of the Gulf of Mexico. An anchored Acoustic Doppler Current Velocity profiler (ADCP), a towed ADCP and a combination of model outputs were used at the Veracruz port construction in order to describe the hourly sediment transport and current modifications in and out of the new port. Owing to the stability of the system the new port was construction inside Vergara Bay, a low wave energy system with a tidal range of up to 0.40 m. The results show a two-current system pattern within the bay. The north side of the bay has an anticyclonic gyre, while the southern part of the bay shows a cyclonic gyre. Sediment transport trajectories were made every hour using the anchored ADCP, a numerical model and the weekly data obtained from the towed ADCP within the entire bay. The sediment transport trajectories were carefully tracked since the bay is surrounded by coral reef structures which are sensitive to sedimentation rate and water turbidity. The survey shows that during dredging and rock input used to build the wave breaker sediments were locally added (< 2500 m2) and local currents disperse it in less than 4 h. While the river input located in the middle of the bay and the sewer system plant may add more than 10 times this amount during a rainy day or during the tourist season. Finally, the coastal line obtained seasonally with a drone suggests that the southern part of the bay has not been modified by the construction of the new port located in the northern part of the bay, owing to the two subsystem division of the bay.

    Effects of Axial Loads and Soil Density on Pile Group Subjected to Triangular Soil Movement

    Laboratory tests have been carried out to investigate the response of 2x2 pile group subjected to triangular soil movement. The pile group was instrumented with displacement and tilting devices at the pile cap and strain gauges on two piles of the group. In this paper, results from four model tests were presented to study the effects of axial loads and soil density on the lateral behavior of piles. The responses in terms of bending moment, shear force, soil pressure, deflection, and rotation of piles were compared. Test results indicate that increasing the soil strength could increase the measured moment, shear, soil pressure, and pile deformations. Most importantly, adding loads to the pile cap induces additional moment to the head of front-pile row unlike the back-pile row which was influenced insignificantly.

    Community Perceptions and Attitudes Regarding Wildlife Crime in South Africa

    Wildlife crime is a complex problem with many interconnected facets, which are generally responded to in parts or fragments in efforts to “break down” the complexity into manageable components. However, fragmentation increases complexity as coherence and cooperation become diluted. A whole-of-society approach has been developed towards finding a common goal and integrated approach to preventing wildlife crime. As part of this development, research was conducted in rural communities adjacent to conservation areas in South Africa to define and comprehend the challenges faced by them, and to understand their perceptions of wildlife crime. The results of the research showed that the perceptions of community members varied - most were in favor of conservation and of protecting rhinos, only if they derive adequate benefit from it. Regardless of gender, income level, education level, or access to services, conservation was perceived to be good and bad by the same people. Even though people in the communities are poor, a willingness to stop rhino poaching does exist amongst them, but their perception of parks not caring about people triggered an attitude of not being willing to stop, prevent or report poaching. Understanding the nuances, the history, the interests and values of community members, and the drivers behind poaching mind-sets (intrinsic or driven by transnational organized crime) is imperative to create sustainable and resilient communities on multiple levels that make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives, but also conserve wildlife for posterity.

    Experimental Investigation on the Shear Strength Parameters of Sand-Slag Mixtures

    Utilizing waste materials in civil engineering applications has a positive influence on the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and issues associated with waste disposal. Granulated blast furnace slag (GBFS) is a by-product of the iron and steel industry, with millions of tons of slag being annually produced worldwide. Slag has been widely used in structural engineering and for stabilizing clay soils; however, studies on the effect of slag on sandy soils are scarce. This article investigates the effect of slag content on shear strength parameters through direct shear tests and unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests on mixtures of Perth sand and slag. For this purpose, sand-slag mixtures, with slag contents of 2%, 4%, and 6% by weight of samples, were tested with direct shear tests under three normal stress values, namely 100 kPa, 150 kPa, and 200 kPa. Unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests were performed under a single confining pressure of 100 kPa and relative density of 80%. The internal friction angles and shear stresses of the mixtures were determined via the direct shear tests, demonstrating that shear stresses increased with increasing normal stress and the internal friction angles and cohesion increased with increasing slag. There were no significant differences in shear stresses parameters when slag content rose from 4% to 6%. The unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests demonstrated that shear strength increased with increasing slag content.

    Anisotropic Shear Strength of Sand Containing Plastic Fine Materials
    Anisotropy is one of the major aspects that affect soil behavior, and extensive efforts have investigated its effect on the mechanical properties of soil. However, very little attention has been given to the combined effect of anisotropy and fine contents. Therefore, in this paper, the anisotropic strength of sand containing different fine content (F) of 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%, was investigated using hollow cylinder tests under different principal stress directions of α = 0° and α = 90°. For a given principal stress direction (α), it was found that increasing fine content resulted in decreasing deviator stress (q). Moreover, results revealed that all fine contents showed anisotropic strength where there is a clear difference between the strength under 0° and the strength under 90°. This anisotropy was greatest under F = 5% while it decreased with increasing fine contents, particularly at F = 10%. Mixtures with low fine content show low contractive behavior and tended to show more dilation. Moreover, all sand-clay mixtures exhibited less dilation and more compression at α = 90° compared with that at α = 0°.
    PM10 Chemical Characteristics in a Background Site at the Universidad Libre Bogotá
    One of the most important factors for air pollution is that the concentrations of PM10 maintain a constant trend, with the exception of some places where that frequently surpasses the allowed ranges established by Colombian legislation. The community that surrounds the Universidad Libre Bogotá is inhabited by a considerable number of students and workers, all of whom are possibly being exposed to PM10 for long periods of time while on campus. Thus, the chemical characterization of PM10 found in the ambient air at the Universidad Libre Bogotá was identified as a problem. A Hi-Vol sampler and EPA Test Method 5 were used to determine if the quality of air is adequate for the human respiratory system. Additionally, quartz fiber filters were utilized during sampling. Samples were taken three days a week during a dry period throughout the months of November and December 2015. The gravimetric analysis method was used to determine PM10 concentrations. The chemical characterization includes non-conventional carcinogenic pollutants. Atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) was used for the determination of metals and VOCs were analyzed using the FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) method. In this way, concentrations of PM10, ranging from values of 13 µg/m3 to 66 µg/m3, were obtained; these values were below standard conditions. This evidence concludes that the PM10 concentrations during an exposure period of 24 hours are lower than the values established by Colombian law, Resolution 610 of 2010; however, when comparing these with the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO), these concentrations could possibly exceed permissible levels.
    A Comparison of Tsunami Impact to Sydney Harbour, Australia at Different Tidal Stages

    Sydney Harbour is an iconic location with a dense population and low-lying development. On the east coast of Australia, facing the Pacific Ocean, it is exposed to several tsunamigenic trenches. This paper presents a component of the most detailed assessment of the potential for earthquake-generated tsunami impact on Sydney Harbour to date. Models in this study use dynamic tides to account for tide-tsunami interaction. Sydney Harbour’s tidal range is 1.5 m, and the spring tides from January 2015 that are used in the modelling for this study are close to the full tidal range. The tsunami wave trains modelled include hypothetical tsunami generated from earthquakes of magnitude 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, and 9.0 MW from the Puysegur and New Hebrides trenches as well as representations of the historical 1960 Chilean and 2011 Tohoku events. All wave trains are modelled for the peak wave to coincide with both a low tide and a high tide. A single wave train, representing a 9.0 MW earthquake at the Puysegur trench, is modelled for peak waves to coincide with every hour across a 12-hour tidal phase. Using the hydrodynamic model ANUGA, results are compared according to the impact parameters of inundation area, depth variation and current speeds. Results show that both maximum inundation area and depth variation are tide dependent. Maximum inundation area increases when coincident with a higher tide, however, hazardous inundation is only observed for the larger waves modelled: NH90high and P90high. The maximum and minimum depths are deeper on higher tides and shallower on lower tides. The difference between maximum and minimum depths varies across different tidal phases although the differences are slight. Maximum current speeds are shown to be a significant hazard for Sydney Harbour; however, they do not show consistent patterns according to tide-tsunami phasing. The maximum current speed hazard is shown to be greater in specific locations such as Spit Bridge, a narrow channel with extensive marine infrastructure. The results presented for Sydney Harbour are novel, and the conclusions are consistent with previous modelling efforts in the greater area. It is shown that tide must be a consideration for both tsunami modelling and emergency management planning. Modelling with peak tsunami waves coinciding with a high tide would be a conservative approach; however, it must be considered that maximum current speeds may be higher on other tides.

    Application of Unstructured Mesh Modeling in Evolving SGE of an Airport at the Confluence of Multiple Rivers in a Macro Tidal Region

    Among the various developing countries in the world like China, Malaysia, Korea etc., India is also developing its infrastructures in the form of Road/Rail/Airports and Waterborne facilities at an exponential rate. Mumbai, the financial epicenter of India is overcrowded and to relieve the pressure of congestion, Navi Mumbai suburb is being developed on the east bank of Thane creek near Mumbai. The government due to limited space at existing Mumbai Airports (domestic and international) to cater for the future demand of airborne traffic, proposes to build a new international airport near Panvel at Navi Mumbai. Considering the precedence of extreme rainfall on 26th July 2005 and nearby townships being in a low-lying area, wherein new airport is proposed, it is inevitable to study this complex confluence area from a hydrodynamic consideration under both tidal and extreme events (predicted discharge hydrographs), to avoid inundation of the surrounding due to the proposed airport reclamation (1160 hectares) and to determine the safe grade elevation (SGE). The model studies conducted using the application of unstructured mesh to simulate the Panvel estuarine area (93 km2), calibration, validation of a model for hydraulic field measurements and determine the maxima water levels around the airport for various extreme hydrodynamic events, namely the simultaneous occurrence of highest tide from the Arabian Sea and peak flood discharges (Probable Maximum Precipitation and 26th July 2005) from five rivers, the Gadhi, Kalundri, Taloja, Kasadi and Ulwe, meeting at the proposed airport area revealed that: (a) The Ulwe River flowing beneath the proposed airport needs to be diverted. The 120m wide proposed Ulwe diversion channel having a wider base width of 200 m at SH-54 Bridge on the Ulwe River along with the removal of the existing bund in Moha Creek is inevitable to keep the SGE of the airport to a minimum. (b) The clear waterway of 80 m at SH-54 Bridge (Ulwe River) and 120 m at Amra Marg Bridge near Moha Creek is also essential for the Ulwe diversion and (c) The river bank protection works on the right bank of Gadhi River between the NH-4B and SH-54 bridges as well as upstream of the Ulwe River diversion channel are essential to avoid inundation of low lying areas. The maxima water levels predicted around the airport keeps SGE to a minimum of 11m with respect to Chart datum of Ulwe Bundar and thus development is not only technologically-economically feasible but also sustainable. The unstructured mesh modeling is a promising tool to simulate complex extreme hydrodynamic events and provides a reliable solution to evolve optimal SGE of airport.

    Ontology-Driven Generation of Radiation Protection Procedures
    In this article, we present the principle and suitable methodology for the design of a medical ontology that highlights the radiological and dosimetric knowledge, applied in diagnostic radiology and radiation-therapy. Our ontology, which we named «Onto.Rap», is the subject of radiation protection in medical and radiology centers by providing a standardized regulatory oversight. Thanks to its added values of knowledge-sharing, reuse and the ease of maintenance, this ontology tends to solve many problems. Of which we name the confusion between radiological procedures a practitioner might face while performing a patient radiological exam. Adding to it, the difficulties they might have in interpreting applicable patient radioprotection standards. Here, the ontology, thanks to its concepts simplification and expressiveness capabilities, can ensure an efficient classification of radiological procedures. It also provides an explicit representation of the relations between the different components of the studied concept. In fact, an ontology based-radioprotection expert system, when used in radiological center, could implement systematic radioprotection best practices during patient exam and a regulatory compliance service auditing afterwards.
    Solid Waste Management Challenges and Possible Solution in Kabul City

    Most developing nations face energy production and supply problems. This is also the case of Afghanistan whose generating capacity does not meet its energy demand. This is due in part to high security and risk caused by war which deters foreign investments and insufficient internal revenue. To address the issue above, this paper would like to suggest an alternative and affordable way to deal with the energy problem. That is by converting Solid Waste to energy. As a result, this approach tackles the municipal solid waste issue (potential cause of several diseases), contributes to the improvement of the quality of life, local economy, and so on. While addressing the solid waste problem in general, this paper samples specifically one municipality which is District-12, one of the 22 districts of Kabul city. Using geographic information system (GIS) technology, District-12 is divided into nine different zones whose municipal solid waste is respectively collected, processed, and converted into electricity and distributed to the closest area. It is important to mention that GIS has been used to estimate the amount of electricity to be distributed and to optimally position the production plant.

    A Study on Vulnerability of Alahsa Governorate to Generate Urban Heat Islands

    The purpose of this study is to investigate Alahsa Governorate status and its vulnerability to generate urban heat islands. Alahsa Governorate is a famous oasis in the Arabic Peninsula including several oil centers. Extensive literature review was done to collect previous relative data on the urban heat island of Alahsa Governorate. Data used for the purpose of this research were collected from authorized bodies who control weather station networks over Alahsa Governorate, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Although, the number of weather station networks within the region is very limited and the analysis using GIS software and its techniques is difficult and limited, the data analyzed confirm an increase in temperature for more than 2 °C from 2004 to 2014. Such increase is considerable whenever human health and comfort are the concern. The increase of temperature within one decade confirms the availability of urban heat islands. The study concludes that, Alahsa Governorate is vulnerable to create urban heat islands and more attention should be drawn to strategic planning of the governorate that is developing with a high pace and considerable increasing levels of urbanization.

    Catchment Yield Prediction in an Ungauged Basin Using PyTOPKAPI

    This study extends the use of the Drainage Area Regionalization (DAR) method in generating synthetic data and calibrating PyTOPKAPI stream yield for an ungauged basin at a daily time scale. The generation of runoff in determining a river yield has been subjected to various topographic and spatial meteorological variables, which integers form the Catchment Characteristics Model (CCM). Many of the conventional CCM models adapted in Africa have been challenged with a paucity of adequate, relevance and accurate data to parameterize and validate the potential. The purpose of generating synthetic flow is to test a hydrological model, which will not suffer from the impact of very low flows or very high flows, thus allowing to check whether the model is structurally sound enough or not. The employed physically-based, watershed-scale hydrologic model (PyTOPKAPI) was parameterized with GIS-pre-processing parameters and remote sensing hydro-meteorological variables. The validation with mean annual runoff ratio proposes a decent graphical understanding between observed and the simulated discharge. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency and coefficient of determination (R²) values of 0.704 and 0.739 proves strong model efficiency. Given the current climate variability impact, water planner can now assert a tool for flow quantification and sustainable planning purposes.