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ARS Home » Plains Area » Stillwater, Oklahoma » Hydraulic Engineering Research » Research » Research Project #432309

Research Project: Development of Engineering Tools for the Design and Rehabilitation of Safe, Efficient Embankment Protection Alternatives, Hydraulic Structures, and Channels

Location: Hydraulic Engineering Research

Project Number: 3072-13000-010-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 18, 2017
End Date: Apr 17, 2022

Objective:
Objective 1: Improve the WinDAM model to predict the erosion of complex embankment geometries and composite materials, and the allowable overtopping flows for alternative materials, including articulated concrete blocks or riprap integrated with vegetation. Subobjective 1A: Quantify the impact of complex vegetated embankment geometries on erosion process during overtopping including: convergence zones at the intersection of the earthen embankment and valley walls and embankment berms and toes. Subobjective 1B: Quantify the impact of changes in soil materials (specifically zoned vs. homogenous) on erosion processes and rates of earthen embankment erosion and breach. Objective 2: Develop engineering guidance to determine hydraulic performance of alternative stepped chute designs. Subobjective 2A: Develop guidelines for alternative step and/or chute geometry for stepped chutes constructed over existing earth dams. Subobjective 2B: Improve engineering design guidance for stilling basin design for stepped chutes. Objective 3. Engage Missouri River Basin stakeholders through our University of Missouri Research and Extension partners to characterize water resource managers’ and producers’ behavior, attitudes, and economic considerations with respect to irrigation water use, conservation, and flood mitigation; and to introduce them to analytical based decision aides for evaluating new technologies, best management practices, and cost-benefit assessment. Objective 4. Develop holistic stochastic optimization models, risk assessment, and decision support tools to improve sustainable agriculture production water management practices, while enhancing long-term landscape health in temperate environments. These models will focus on water availability, water storage, and flood mitigation with dynamic economic assessments. This objective will be met through a collaborative effort between HERU and our University of Missouri partners.

Approach:
Large-scale physical model testing on intergraded surface protection (i.e. vegetation or vegetation integrated with riprap and/or ACBs) of steep embankment channels coupled with data from vegetated channel databases will be used to develop knowledge on erosion of complex embankment geometries (i.e. berms and convergence zones) and the materials (i.e. vegetation, riprap, and/or ACBs) intergraded within the embankment as surface protection. Large and small-scale models will be used to evaluate and to develop knowledge of fundamental processes and rates of erosion of zoned embankment materials. These tests will provide knowledge to develop key algorithms related to earthen embankment erosion. Large and small-scale physical models will be used to develop knowledge on the affect step and/or chute geometry has on the design of stepped chutes and stilling basins. Data from these physical models will be used to develop new relationships and/or tools or expand the use of existing technology for embankment erosion prediction and spillway and stilling basin design. USDA-ARS HERU scientists will collaborate with other ARS, government, university, international scientists, and consultants to carry-out these objectives. Research results will be integrated into new or existing evaluation tools, software, design criteria, and management practices; thereby, allowing for the continued service and increased benefit of our nation's multi-purpose agricultural infrastructure.