CHL recognizes the need to better manage sediment and soil as our Nation’s resource. This requires improved understanding of sediment processes. Therefore, CHL continues to develop new methods for understanding sediment processes on multiple scales to predict how sediments move in a system or how they will react to man-made changes in a system.
CHL conducts sediment and soil studies at many levels in order to provide clients with project assessment tools as well as to improve our future capabilities to understand and predict processes. These studies include data collection/analysis, laboratory/field experiments, model/tool development, and technical support for riverine and coastal projects. Modeling scales include micro-scale, meso-scale, project-scale, and watershed-scale.
In riverine environments, CHL conducts one, two, and three-dimensional simulations of sediment transport and morphology change in rivers. Individual study areas include impacts of hydraulic structures such as dikes, dams, and diversion structures, sediment transport potential due to channel alterations and maintenance dredging, and long-term stability of restoration projects.
The coastal arena of CHL is currently studying basic processes that control variables in sediment and assessing coupled effects of sediments, shorelines, and navigation channels. Physical and numerical models and supporting data assist in the management of navigation channels and associated environments (wetlands, shorelines, inlets). Some study areas involve relocating sand to adjacent beaches that was removed during widening/deepening of navigation channels and using fine sediment to restore and create wetlands.