Civil Works

#19: Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations

Managing a reservoir is a delicate balancing act. If you keep too much water, there may not be enough storage capacity when heavy rains hit, increasing the risk for catastrophic flooding. If you release too much water, there won’t be enough to supply nearby residents who depend upon the reservoir for their survival. For decades,…

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#18: SandSnap

Knowing the size of sand grains on the nation’s beaches is important to many coastal management efforts. However, getting that information is labor intensive, and no nationwide database of sand grain size currently exists. To fill this void, ERDC has launched SandSnap, a collaborative effort to engage citizen scientists in a project that will build…

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#16: Invasive Fisheries

Invasive carp species pose a significant threat to native fisheries, disrupting ecological balances, inflicting economic harm and hampering recreational activities. One effort to mitigate this threat is focused on blocking these fish from entering the Great Lakes, where they could significantly disrupt a $7-billion fishing industry. Guided by ERDC research, a series of electric barriers…

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#12: Structural Health Monitoring

Given the aging condition and economic importance of much of the nation’s navigation infrastructure, asset managers need accurate and real-time information on the conditions of structures operating well beyond their expected design lives. However, visual inspections of structures like locks and dams are often difficult and expensive. ERDC is filling this void with a broad…

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#11: Rescue Engineering

After a structural collapse disaster, the eyes of the public are intensely focused on search-and-rescue efforts. Less familiar is the work of a special team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) laboring behind the scenes to ensure the safety of those efforts. The USACE Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) program deploys specially trained…

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#10: DamBot

There are more than 8,000 major dams in the United States, and many of them are beyond their expected design life and require regular inspections and maintenance. The majority are embankment dams that feature outlet works structures that can be up to a half-mile long and that can be dangerous to inspect. Responding to a…

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#7: Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful algal blooms occur in freshwater when aquatic microorganisms, called cyanobacteria, grow rapidly and sometimes release toxins that are dangerous to humans and aquatic life. Such events have been known to compromise drinking water reservoirs, disrupt recreation, shut down fisheries, and kill fish, birds and other aquatic species. And scientists largely agree that these events…

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#6: Ship Simulator

The blockage of Egypt’s Suez Canal in March shone renewed focus on just how many goods are shipped around the world and how fragile those routes can be. Given the shipping industry’s importance in the U.S., American planners must have world-class tools to prevent a comparable disaster from congesting American waterways. ERDC has operated a…

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#5: Ice adhesion basic research

The rapid accumulation of ice creates significant challenges for U.S. military operations and civilian activities in cold environments. It hampers mobility, disrupts communication, creates power outages and degrades infrastructure. That’s why a team of ERDC researchers is conducting innovative basic research to unravel the physical processes of how ice attaches to different surfaces, paving the…

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#3: Cybersecurity

The importance of cybersecurity continues to increase, both as more functions become connected to the internet and as adversaries exploit cyberattacks as a weapon in future conflicts. From the SolarWinds Orion hack to the breach of a Florida water treatment plant, recent attacks have underscored the critical function cybersecurity plays to national security interests. ERDC…

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