Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 16

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 16
    Innovative Waste Management Practices in Remote Areas

    Municipal waste consist of a variety of items that are everyday discarded by the population. They are usually collected by municipalities and include waste generated by households, commercial activities (local shops) and public buildings. The composition of municipal waste varies greatly from place to place, being mostly related to levels and patterns of consumption, rates of urbanization, lifestyles, and local or national waste management practices. Each year, a huge amount of resources is consumed in the EU, and according to that, also a huge amount of waste is produced. The environmental problems derived from the management and processing of these waste streams are well known, and include impacts on land, water and air. The situation in remote areas is even worst. Difficult access when climatic conditions are adverse, remoteness of centralized municipal treatment systems or dispersion of the population, are all factors that make remote areas a real municipal waste treatment challenge. Furthermore, the scope of the problem increases significantly because the total lack of awareness of the existing risks in this area together with the poor implementation of advanced culture on waste minimization and recycling responsibly. The aim of this work is to analyze the existing situation in remote areas in reference to the production of municipal waste and evaluate the efficiency of different management alternatives. Ideas for improving waste management in remote areas include, for example: the implementation of self-management systems for the organic fraction; establish door-to-door collection models; promote small-scale treatment facilities or adjust the rates of waste generation thereof.

    General Formula for Water Surface Profile over Side Weir in the Combined, Trapezoidal and Exponential, Channels

    A side weir is a hydraulic structure set into the side of a channel. This structure is used for water level control in channels, to divert flow from a main channel into a side channel when the water level in the main channel exceeds a specific limit and as storm overflows from urban sewerage system. Computation of water surface over the side weirs is essential to determine the flow rate of the side weir. Analytical solutions for water surface profile along rectangular side weir are available only for the special cases of rectangular and trapezoidal channels considering constant specific energy. In this paper, a rectangular side weir located in a combined (trapezoidal with exponential) channel was considered. Expanding binominal series of integer and fraction powers and the using of reduction formula of cosine function integrals, a general analytical formula was obtained for water surface profile along a side weir in a combined (trapezoidal with exponential) channel. Since triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal and parabolic cross-sections are special cases of the combined cross section, the derived formula, is applicable to triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal cross-sections as analytical solution and semi-analytical solution to parabolic cross-section with maximum relative error smaller than 0.76%. The proposed solution should be a useful engineering tool for the evaluation and design of side weirs in open channel.

    Life Cycle Datasets for the Ornamental Stone Sector

    The environmental impact related to ornamental stones (such as marbles and granites) is largely debated. Starting from the industrial revolution, continuous improvements of machineries led to a higher exploitation of this natural resource and to a more international interaction between markets. As a consequence, the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of stones has increased. Nevertheless, if compared with other building materials, ornamental stones are generally more durable, natural, and recyclable. From the scientific point of view, studies on stone life cycle sustainability have been carried out, but these are often partial or not very significant because of the high percentage of approximations and assumptions in calculations. This is due to the lack, in life cycle databases (e.g. Ecoinvent, Thinkstep, and ELCD), of datasets about the specific technologies employed in the stone production chain. For example, databases do not contain information about diamond wires, chains or explosives, materials commonly used in quarries and transformation plants. The project presented in this paper aims to populate the life cycle databases with specific data of specific stone processes. To this goal, the methodology follows the standardized approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to the requirements of UNI 14040-14044 and to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook guidelines of the European Commission. The study analyses the processes of the entire production chain (from-cradle-to-gate system boundaries), including the extraction of benches, the cutting of blocks into slabs/tiles and the surface finishing. Primary data have been collected in Italian quarries and transformation plants which use technologies representative of the current state-of-the-art. Since the technologies vary according to the hardness of the stone, the case studies comprehend both soft stones (marbles) and hard stones (gneiss). In particular, data about energy, materials and emissions were collected in marble basins of Carrara and in Beola and Serizzo basins located in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Data were then elaborated through an appropriate software to build a life cycle model. The model was realized setting free parameters that allow an easy adaptation to specific productions. Through this model, the study aims to boost the direct participation of stone companies and encourage the use of LCA tool to assess and improve the stone sector environmental sustainability. At the same time, the realization of accurate Life Cycle Inventory data aims at making available, to researchers and stone experts, ILCD compliant datasets of the most significant processes and technologies related to the ornamental stone sector.

    Low Energy Technology for Leachate Valorisation

    Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.

    Using Manipulating Urban Layouts to Enhance Ventilation and Thermal Comfort in Street Canyons

    High density of high rise buildings in urban areas lead to a deteriorative Urban Heat Island Effect, gradually. This study focuses on discussing the relationship between urban layout and ventilation comfort in street canyons. This study takes Songjiang Nanjing Rd. area of Taipei, Taiwan as an example to evaluate the wind environment comfort index by field measurement and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to improve both the quality and quantity of the environment. In this study, different factors including street blocks size, the width of buildings, street width ratio and the direction of the wind were used to discuss the potential of ventilation. The environmental wind field was measured by the environmental testing equipment, Testo 480. Evaluation of blocks sizes, the width of buildings, street width ratio and the direction of the wind was made under the condition of constant floor area with the help of Stimulation CFD to adjust research methods for optimizing regional wind environment. The results of this study showed the width of buildings influences the efficiency of outdoor ventilation; improvement of the efficiency of ventilation with large street width was also shown. The study found that Block width and H/D value and PR value has a close relationship. Furthermore, this study showed a significant relationship between the alteration of street block geometry and outdoor comfortableness.

    Settlement Prediction for Tehran Subway Line-3 via FLAC3D and ANFIS

    Nowadays, tunnels with different applications are developed, and most of them are related to subway tunnels. The excavation of shallow tunnels that pass under municipal utilities is very important, and the surface settlement control is an important factor in the design. The study sought to analyze the settlement and also to find an appropriate model in order to predict the behavior of the tunnel in Tehran subway line-3. The displacement in these sections is also determined by using numerical analyses and numerical modeling. In addition, the Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) method is utilized by Hybrid training algorithm. The database pertinent to the optimum network was obtained from 46 subway tunnels in Iran and Turkey which have been constructed by the new Austrian tunneling method (NATM) with similar parameters based on type of their soil. The surface settlement was measured, and the acquired results were compared to the predicted values. The results disclosed that computing intelligence is a good substitute for numerical modeling.

    Mineralogical and Geochemical Characteristics of Serpentinite-Derived Ni-Bearing Laterites from Fars Province, Iran: Implications for the Lateritization Process and Classification of Ni-Laterites

    Nickel-bearing laterites occur as two parallel belts along Sedimentary Zagros Orogenic (SZO) and Metamorphic Sanandaj-Sirjan (MSS) petrostructural zones, Fars Province, south Iran. An undisturbed vertical profile of these laterites includes protolith, saprolite, clay, and oxide horizons from base to top. Highly serpentinized harzburgite with relicts of olivine and orthopyroxene is regarded as the source rock. The laterites are unusual in lacking a significant saprolite zone with little development of Ni-silicates. Hematite, saponite, dolomite, smectite and clinochlore increase, while calcite, olivine, lizardite and chrysotile decrease from saprolite to oxide zones. Smectite and clinochlore with minor calcite are the major minerals in clay zone. Contacts of different horizons in laterite profiles are gradual and characterized by a decrease in Mg concentration ranging from 18.1 to 9.3 wt.% in oxide and saprolite, respectively. The maximum Ni concentration is 0.34 wt.% (NiO) in the base of the oxide zone, and goethite is the major Ni-bearing phase. From saprolite to oxide horizons, Al2O3, K2O, TiO2, and CaO decrease, while SiO2, MnO, NiO, and Fe2O3 increase. Silica content reaches up to 45 wt.% in the upper part of the soil profile. There is a decrease in pH (8.44-8.17) and an increase in organic matter (0.28-0.59 wt.%) from base to top of the soils. The studied laterites are classified in the oxide clans which were derived from ophiolite ultramafic rocks under Mediterranean climate conditions.

    Numerical Modeling of Various Support Systems to Stabilize Deep Excavations
    Urban development requires deep excavations near buildings and other structures. Deep excavation has become more a necessity for better utilization of space as the population of the world has dramatically increased. In Lebanon, some urban areas are very crowded and lack spaces for new buildings and underground projects, which makes the usage of underground space indispensable. In this paper, a numerical modeling is performed using the finite element method to study the deep excavation-diaphragm wall soil-structure interaction in the case of nonlinear soil behavior. The study is focused on a comparison of the results obtained using different support systems. Furthermore, a parametric study is performed according to the remoteness of the structure.
    Spatial Variation of WRF Model Rainfall Prediction over Uganda
    Rainfall is a major climatic parameter affecting many sectors such as health, agriculture and water resources. Its quantitative prediction remains a challenge to weather forecasters although numerical weather prediction models are increasingly being used for rainfall prediction. The performance of six convective parameterization schemes, namely the Kain-Fritsch scheme, the Betts-Miller-Janjic scheme, the Grell-Deveny scheme, the Grell-3D scheme, the Grell-Fretas scheme, the New Tiedke scheme of the weather research and forecast (WRF) model regarding quantitative rainfall prediction over Uganda is investigated using the root mean square error for the March-May (MAM) 2013 season. The MAM 2013 seasonal rainfall amount ranged from 200 mm to 900 mm over Uganda with northern region receiving comparatively lower rainfall amount (200–500 mm); western Uganda (270–550 mm); eastern Uganda (400–900 mm) and the lake Victoria basin (400–650 mm). A spatial variation in simulated rainfall amount by different convective parameterization schemes was noted with the Kain-Fritsch scheme over estimating the rainfall amount over northern Uganda (300–750 mm) but also presented comparable rainfall amounts over the eastern Uganda (400–900 mm). The Betts-Miller-Janjic, the Grell-Deveny, and the Grell-3D underestimated the rainfall amount over most parts of the country especially the eastern region (300–600 mm). The Grell-Fretas captured rainfall amount over the northern region (250–450 mm) but also underestimated rainfall over the lake Victoria Basin (150–300 mm) while the New Tiedke generally underestimated rainfall amount over many areas of Uganda. For deterministic rainfall prediction, the Grell-Fretas is recommended for rainfall prediction over northern Uganda while the Kain-Fritsch scheme is recommended over eastern region.
    Performance of Axially Loaded Single Pile Embedded in Cohesive Soil with Cavities

    The stability of a single model pile located adjacent to a continuous cavity was studied. This paper is an attempt to understand the behaviour of axially loaded single pile embedded in clayey soil with the presences of cavities. The performance of piles located in such soils was studied analytically. A verification analysis was carried out on available studies to assess the ability of analytical model to correctly interpret the system behaviour. The study was adopted by finite element program (PLAXIS). The study included many cases; in each case, there is a critical value in which the presence of cavities has shown minimum effect on the pile performance. Figures including the load carrying capacity of pile with the affecting factors are presented. These figures provide beneficial information for pile design constructed close to underground cavities. It was concluded that the load carrying capacity of the pile is reduced by the presence of the cavity within the soil mass. This reduction varies according to the size and location of cavity.

    Long Term Changes of Water Quality in Latvia

    The aim of this study was to analyze long term changes of surface water quality in Latvia, spatial variability of water chemical composition, possible impacts of different pollution sources as well as to analyze the measures to protect national water resources - river basin management. Within this study, the concentrations of major water ingredients and microelements in major rivers and lakes of Latvia have been determined. Metal concentrations in river and lake waters were compared with water chemical composition. The mean concentrations of trace metals in inland waters of Latvia are appreciably lower than the estimated world averages for river waters and close to or lower than background values, unless regional impacts determined by local geochemistry. This may be explained by a comparatively lower level of anthropogenic load. In the same time in several places, direct anthropogenic impacts are evident, regarding influences of point sources both transboundary transport impacts. Also, different processes related to pollution of surface waters in Latvia have been analyzed. At first the analysis of changes and composition of pollutant emissions in Latvia has been realized, and the obtained results were compared with actual composition of atmospheric precipitation and their changes in time.

    Water Resources Vulnerability Assessment to Climate Change in a Semi-Arid Basin of South India

    This paper examines vulnerability assessment of water resources in a semi-arid basin using the 4-step approach. The vulnerability assessment framework is developed to study the water resources vulnerability which includes the creation of GIS-based vulnerability maps. These maps represent the spatial variability of the vulnerability index. This paper introduces the 4-step approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a new set of indicators. The approach is demonstrated using a framework composed of a precipitation data for (1975–2010) period, temperature data for (1965–2010) period, hydrological model outputs and the water resources GIS data base. The vulnerability assessment is a function of three components such as exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The current water resources vulnerability is assessed using GIS based spatio-temporal information. Rainfall Coefficient of Variation, monsoon onset and end date, rainy days, seasonality indices, temperature are selected for the criterion ‘exposure’. Water yield, ground water recharge, evapotranspiration (ET) are selected for the criterion ‘sensitivity’. Type of irrigation and storage structures are selected for the criterion ‘Adaptive capacity’. These indicators were mapped and integrated in GIS environment using overlay analysis. The five sub-basins, namely Arjunanadhi, Kousiganadhi, Sindapalli-Uppodai and Vallampatti Odai, fall under medium vulnerability profile, which indicates that the basin is under moderate stress of water resources. The paper also explores prioritization of sub-basinwise adaptation strategies to climate change based on the vulnerability indices.

    Digital Geomatics Trends for Production and Updating Topographic Map by Using Digital Generalization Procedures

    An accuracy digital map must satisfy the users for two main requirements, first, map must be visually readable and second, all the map elements must be in a good representation. These two requirements hold especially true for map generalization which aims at simplifying the representation of cartographic data. Different scales of maps are very important for any decision in any maps with different scales such as master plan and all the infrastructures maps in civil engineering. Cartographer cannot project the data onto a piece of paper, but he has to worry about its readability. The map layout of any geodatabase is very important, this layout is help to read, analyze or extract information from the map. There are many principles and guidelines of generalization that can be find in the cartographic literature. A manual reduction method for generalization depends on experience of map maker and therefore produces incompatible results. Digital generalization, rooted from conventional cartography, has become an increasing concern in both Geographic Information System (GIS) and mapping fields. This project is intended to review the state of the art of the new technology and help to understand the needs and plans for the implementation of digital generalization capability as well as increase the knowledge of production topographic maps.

    Researches on Attractive Flowered Natural Woody Plants of Bursa Flora in Terms of Landscape Design

    One of the most important criteria that increase the success of design in landscape architecture is the visual effect. The characteristics that affect visual appearance in plant design vary depending on the phenological periods of the plants. In plants, although different effects are observed in different periods of the year, this effect is felt most prominently in flowering periods. For this reason, knowing the flowering time, duration and flower characteristics should be considered as a factor increasing the success of plant design. In this study, flower characteristics of natural woody plants with attractive flowers have been examined. Because of the variability of these characteristics of plants in the region, consideration of these criteria in the planting design processes in the region may increase the success of the design. At the same time, when species selection is made considering the obtained data, visuality and sustainability of natural species can be possible in Bursa city with planting design.

    Using Micropiles to Improve the Anzali's Saturated Loose Silty Sand

    Today, with the daily advancement of geotechnical engineering on soil improvement and modification of the physical properties and shear strength of soil, it is now possible to construct structures with high-volume and high service load on loose sandy soils. One of such methods is using micropiles, which are mostly used to control asymmetrical subsidence, increase bearing capacity, and prevent soil liquefaction. This study examined the improvement of Anzali's saturated loose silty sand using 192 micropiles with a length of 8 meters and diameter of 75 mm. Bandar-e Anzali is one of Iran's coastal populated cities which are located in a high-seismicity region. The effects of the insertion of micropiles on prevention of liquefaction and improvement of subsidence were examined through comparison of the results of Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Plate Load Test (PLT) before and after implementation of the micropiles. The results show that the SPT values and the ultimate bearing capacity of silty sand increased after the implementation of the micropiles. Therefore, the installation of micropiles increases the strength of silty sand improving the resistance of soil against liquefaction.

    Methods for Preparation of Soil Samples for Determination of Trace Elements

    It is generally accepted that only about ten microelements are vitally important to all plants, and approximately ten more elements are proved to be significant for the development of some species. The main methods for their determination in soils are the atomic spectral techniques - AAS and ICP-OAS. Critical stage to obtain correct results for content of heavy metals and nutrients in the soil is the process of mineralization. A comparative study of the most widely spread methods for soil sample preparation for determination of some trace elements was carried out. Three most commonly used methods for sample preparation were used as follows: ISO11466, EPA Method 3051 and BDS ISO 14869-1. Their capabilities were assessed and their bounds of applicability in determining the levels of the most important microelements in agriculture were defined.