Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 393

Geological and Environmental Engineering

Evaluation of Groundwater Quality and Its Suitability for Drinking and Agricultural Purposes Using Self-Organizing Maps

In the present study, the self-organizing map (SOM) clustering technique was applied to identify homogeneous clusters of hydrochemical parameters in El Milia plain, Algeria, to assess the quality of groundwater for potable and agricultural purposes. The visualization of SOM-analysis indicated that 35 groundwater samples collected in the study area were classified into three clusters, which showed progressive increase in electrical conductivity from cluster one to cluster three. Samples belonging to cluster one are mostly located in the recharge zone showing hard fresh water type, however, water type gradually changed to hard-brackish type in the discharge zone, including clusters two and three. Ionic ratio studies indicated the role of carbonate rock dissolution in increases on groundwater hardness, especially in cluster one. However, evaporation and evapotranspiration are the main processes increasing salinity in cluster two and three.

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.
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.

Grain Size Characteristics and Sediments Distribution in the Eastern Part of Lekki Lagoon
A total of 20 bottom sediment samples were collected from the Lekki Lagoon during the wet and dry season. The study was carried out to determine the textural characteristics, sediment distribution pattern and energy of transportation within the lagoon system. The sediment grain sizes and depth profiling was analyzed using dry sieving method and MATLAB algorithm for processing. The granulometric reveals fine grained sand both for the wet and dry season with an average mean value of 2.03 ϕ and -2.88 ϕ, respectively. Sediments were moderately sorted with an average inclusive standard deviation of 0.77 ϕ and -0.82 ϕ. Skewness varied from strongly coarse and near symmetrical 0.34- ϕ and 0.09 ϕ. The kurtosis average value was 0.87 ϕ and -1.4 ϕ (platykurtic and leptokurtic). Entirely, the bathymetry shows an average depth of 4.0 m. The deepest and shallowest area has a depth of 11.2 m and 0.5 m, respectively. High concentration of fine sand was observed at deep areas compared to the shallow areas during wet and dry season. Statistical parameter results show that the overall sediments are sorted, and deposited under low energy condition over a long distance. However, sediment distribution and sediment transport pattern of Lekki Lagoon is controlled by a low energy current and the down slope configuration of the bathymetry enhances the sorting and the deposition rate in the Lekki Lagoon.
Simulation Study of Asphaltene Deposition and Solubility of CO2 in the Brine during Cyclic CO2 Injection Process in Unconventional Tight Reservoirs

A compositional reservoir simulation model (CMG-GEM) was used for cyclic CO2 injection process in unconventional tight reservoir. Cyclic CO2 injection is an enhanced oil recovery process consisting of injection, shut-in, and production. The study of cyclic CO2 injection and hydrocarbon recovery in ultra-low permeability reservoirs is mainly a function of rock, fluid, and operational parameters. CMG-GEM was used to study several design parameters of cyclic CO2 injection process to distinguish the parameters with maximum effect on the oil recovery and to comprehend the behavior of cyclic CO2 injection in tight reservoir. On the other hand, permeability reduction induced by asphaltene precipitation is one of the major issues in the oil industry due to its plugging onto the porous media which reduces the oil productivity. In addition to asphaltene deposition, solubility of CO2 in the aquifer is one of the safest and permanent trapping techniques when considering CO2 storage mechanisms in geological formations. However, the effects of the above uncertain parameters on the process of CO2 enhanced oil recovery have not been understood systematically. Hence, it is absolutely necessary to study the most significant parameters which dominate the process. The main objective of this study is to improve techniques for designing cyclic CO2 injection process while considering the effects of asphaltene deposition and solubility of CO2 in the brine in order to prevent asphaltene precipitation, minimize CO2 emission, optimize cyclic CO2 injection, and maximize oil production.

Hydrological Modelling of Geological Behaviours in Environmental Planning for Urban Areas

Runoff,decreasing water levels and recharge in urban areas have been a complex issue now a days pointing defective urban design and increasing demography as cause. Very less has been discussed or analysed for water sensitive Urban Master Plans or local area plans. Land use planning deals with land transformation from natural areas into developed ones, which lead to changes in natural environment. Elaborated knowledge of relationship between the existing patterns of land use-land cover and recharge with respect to prevailing soil below is less as compared to speed of development. The parameters of incompatibility between urban functions and the functions of the natural environment are becoming various. Changes in land patterns due to built up, pavements, roads and similar land cover affects surface water flow seriously. It also changes permeability and absorption characteristics of the soil. Urban planners need to know natural processes along with modern means and best technologies available,as there is a huge gap between basic knowledge of natural processes and its requirement for balanced development planning leading to minimum impact on water recharge. The present paper analyzes the variations in land use land cover and their impacts on surface flows and sub-surface recharge in study area. The methodology adopted was to analyse the changes in land use and land cover using GIS and Civil 3d auto cad. The variations were used in  computer modeling using Storm-water Management Model to find out the runoff for various soil groups and resulting recharge observing water levels in POW data for last 40 years of the study area. Results were anlayzed again to find best correlations for sustainable recharge in urban areas.

Characterization of Organic Matter in Spodosol Amazonian by Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Soil organic matter (SOM) plays an important role in maintaining soil productivity and accounting for the promotion of biological diversity. The main components of the SOM are the humic substances which can be fractionated according to its solubility in humic acid (HA), fulvic acids (FA) and humin (HU). The determination of the chemical properties of organic matter as well as its interaction with metallic species is an important tool for understanding the structure of the humic fractions. Fluorescence spectroscopy has been studied as a source of information about what is happening at the molecular level in these compounds. Specially, soils of Amazon region are an important ecosystem of the planet. The aim of this study is to understand the molecular and structural composition of HA samples from Spodosol of Amazonia using the fluorescence Emission-Excitation Matrix (EEM) and Time Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy (TRFS). The results showed that the samples of HA showed two fluorescent components; one has a more complex structure and the other one has a simpler structure, which was also seen in TRFS through the evaluation of each sample lifetime. Thus, studies of this nature become important because it aims to evaluate the molecular and structural characteristics of the humic fractions in the region that is considered as one of the most important regions in the world, the Amazon.

GIS-Based Spatial Distribution and Evaluation of Selected Heavy Metals Contamination in Topsoil around Ecton Mining Area, Derbyshire, UK

The study area (Ecton mining area) is located in the southern part of the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. It is bounded by the River Manifold from the west. This area has been mined for a long period. As a result, huge amounts of potentially toxic metals were released into the surrounding area and are most likely to be a significant source of heavy metal contamination to the local soil, water and vegetation. In order to appraise the potential heavy metal pollution in this area, 37 topsoil samples (5-20 cm depth) were collected and analysed for their total content of Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn, Cr, Ni and V using ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma) optical emission spectroscopy. Multivariate Geospatial analyses using the GIS technique were utilised to draw geochemical maps of the metals of interest over the study area. A few hotspot points, areas of elevated concentrations of metals, were specified, which are presumed to be the results of anthropogenic activities. In addition, the soil’s environmental quality was evaluated by calculating the Mullers’ Geoaccumulation index (I geo), which suggests that the degree of contamination of the investigated heavy metals has the following trend: Pb > Zn > Cu > Mn > Ni = Cr = V. Furthermore, the potential ecological risk, using the enrichment factor (EF), was also specified. On the basis of the calculated amount or the EF, the levels of pollution for the studied metals in the study area have the following order: Pb>Zn>Cu>Cr>V>Ni>Mn.

Understanding the Notion between Resiliency and Recovery through a Spatial-Temporal Analysis of Section 404 Wetland Alteration Permits before and after Hurricane Ike

Historically, wetlands in the United States have been lost due to agriculture, anthropogenic activities, and rapid urbanization along the coast. Such losses of wetlands have resulted in high flooding risk for coastal communities over the period of time. In addition, alteration of wetlands via the Section 404 Clean Water Act permits can increase the flooding risk to future hurricane events, as the cumulative impact of this program is poorly understood and under-accounted. Further, recovery after hurricane events is acting as an encouragement for new development and reconstruction activities by converting wetlands under the wetland alteration permitting program. This study investigates the degree to which hurricane recovery activities in coastal communities are undermining the ability of these places to absorb the impacts of future storm events. Specifically, this work explores how and to what extent wetlands are being affected by the federal permitting program post-Hurricane Ike in 2008. Wetland alteration patterns are examined across three counties (Harris, Galveston, and Chambers County) along the Texas Gulf Coast over a 10-year time period, from 2004-2013 (five years before and after Hurricane Ike) by conducting descriptive spatial analyses. Results indicate that after Hurricane Ike, the number of permits substantially increased in Harris and Chambers County. The vast majority of individual and nationwide type permits were issued within the 100-year floodplain, storm surge zones, and areas damaged by Ike flooding, suggesting that recovery after the hurricane is compromising the ecological resiliency on which coastal communities depend. The authors expect that the findings of this study can increase awareness to policy makers and hazard mitigation planners regarding how to manage wetlands during a long-term recovery process to maintain their natural functions for future flood mitigation.

Comparison and Improvement of the Existing Cone Penetration Test Results: Shear Wave Velocity Correlations for Hungarian Soils

Due to the introduction of Eurocode 8, the structural design for seismic and dynamic effects has become more significant in Hungary. This has emphasized the need for more effort to describe the behavior of structures under these conditions. Soil conditions have a significant effect on the response of structures by modifying the stiffness and damping of the soil-structural system and by modifying the seismic action as it reaches the ground surface. Shear modulus (G) and shear wave velocity (vs), which are often measured in the field, are the fundamental dynamic soil properties for foundation vibration problems, liquefaction potential and earthquake site response analysis. There are several laboratory and in-situ measurement techniques to evaluate dynamic soil properties, but unfortunately, they are often too expensive for general design practice. However, a significant number of correlations have been proposed to determine shear wave velocity or shear modulus from Cone Penetration Tests (CPT), which are used more and more in geotechnical design practice in Hungary. This allows the designer to analyze and compare CPT and seismic test result in order to select the best correlation equations for Hungarian soils and to improve the recommendations for the Hungarian geologic conditions. Based on a literature review, as well as research experience in Hungary, the influence of various parameters on the accuracy of results will be shown. This study can serve as a basis for selecting and modifying correlation equations for Hungarian soils. Test data are taken from seven locations in Hungary with similar geologic conditions. The shear wave velocity values were measured by seismic CPT. Several factors are analyzed including soil type, behavior index, measurement depth, geologic age etc. for their effect on the accuracy of predictions. The final results show an improved prediction method for Hungarian soils

Influence of Pile Radius on Inertial Response of Pile Group in Fundamental Frequency of Homogeneous Soil Medium
An efficient method is developed for the response of a group of vertical, cylindrical fixed-head, finite length piles embedded in a homogeneous elastic stratum, subjected to harmonic force atop the pile group cap. Pile to pile interaction is represented through simplified beam-on-dynamic-Winkler-foundation (BDWF) with realistic frequency-dependent springs and dashpots. Pile group effect is considered through interaction factors. New closed-form expressions for interaction factors and curvature ratios atop the pile are extended by considering different boundary conditions at the tip of the piles (fixed, hinged). In order to investigate the fundamental characteristics of inertial bending strains in pile groups, inertial bending strains at the head of each pile are expressed in terms of slenderness ratio. The results of parametric study give valuable insight in understanding the behavior of fixed head pile groups in fundamental natural frequency of soil stratum.
Effect of Horizontal Joint Reinforcement on Shear Behaviour of RC Knee Connections

To investigate seismic performance of beam-column knee joints, four full-scale reinforced concrete beam-column knee joints, which were fabricated to simulate those in as-built RC frame buildings designed to ACI 318-14 and ACI-ASCE 352R-02, were tested under reversed cyclic loading. In the experimental programme, particular emphasis was given to the effect of horizontal reinforcement (in format of inverted U-shape bars) on the shear strength and ductility capacity of knee joints. Test results are compared with those predicted by four seismic design codes, including ACI 318-14, EC8, NZS3101 and GB50010. It is seen that the current design codes of practice cannot accurately predict the shear strength of seismically designed knee joints.

Ground Response Analyses in Budapest Based on Site Investigations and Laboratory Measurements

Near-surface loose sediments and local ground conditions in general have a major influence on seismic response of structures. It is a difficult task to model ground behavior in seismic soil-structure-foundation interaction problems, fully account for them in seismic design of structures, or even properly consider them in seismic hazard assessment. In this study, we focused on applying seismic soil investigation methods, used for determining soil stiffness and damping properties, to response analysis used in seismic design. A site in Budapest, Hungary was investigated using Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves, Seismic Cone Penetration Tests, Bender Elements, Resonant Column and Torsional Shear tests. Our aim was to compare the results of the different test methods and use the resulting soil properties for 1D ground response analysis. Often in practice, there are little-to no data available on dynamic soil properties and estimated parameters are used for design. Therefore, a comparison is made between results based on estimated parameters and those based on detailed investigations. Ground response results are also compared to Eurocode 8 design spectra.

Numerical Modelling of Shear Zone and Its Implications on Slope Instability at Letšeng Diamond Open Pit Mine, Lesotho

Rock mass damage due to shear tectonic activity has been investigated largely in geoscience where fluid transport is of major interest. However, little has been studied on the effect of shear zones on rock mass behavior and its impact on stability of rock slopes. At Letšeng Diamonds open pit mine in Lesotho, the shear zone composed of sheared kimberlite material, calcite and altered basalt is forming part of the haul ramp into the main pit cut 3. The alarming rate at which the shear zone is deteriorating has triggered concerns about both local and global stability of pit the walls. This study presents the numerical modelling of the open pit slope affected by shear zone at Letšeng Diamond Mine (LDM). Analysis of the slope involved development of the slope model by using a two-dimensional finite element code RS2. Interfaces between shear zone and host rock were represented by special joint elements incorporated in the finite element code. The analysis of structural geological mapping data provided a good platform to understand the joint network. Major joints including shear zone were incorporated into the model for simulation. This approach proved successful by demonstrating that continuum modelling can be used to evaluate evolution of stresses, strain, plastic yielding and failure mechanisms that are consistent with field observations. Structural control due to geological shear zone structure proved to be important in its location, size and orientation. Furthermore, the model analyzed slope deformation and sliding possibility along shear zone interfaces. This type of approach can predict shear zone deformation and failure mechanism, hence mitigation strategies can be deployed for safety of human lives and property within mine pits.

A Simple and Empirical Refraction Correction Method for UAV-Based Shallow-Water Photogrammetry
The aerial photogrammetry of shallow water bottoms has the potential to be an efficient high-resolution survey technique for shallow water topography, thanks to the advent of convenient UAV and automatic image processing techniques Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and Multi-View Stereo (MVS)). However, it suffers from the systematic overestimation of the bottom elevation, due to the light refraction at the air-water interface. In this study, we present an empirical method to correct for the effect of refraction after the usual SfM-MVS processing, using common software. The presented method utilizes the empirical relation between the measured true depth and the estimated apparent depth to generate an empirical correction factor. Furthermore, this correction factor was utilized to convert the apparent water depth into a refraction-corrected (real-scale) water depth. To examine its effectiveness, we applied the method to two river sites, and compared the RMS errors in the corrected bottom elevations with those obtained by three existing methods. The result shows that the presented method is more effective than the two existing methods: The method without applying correction factor and the method utilizes the refractive index of water (1.34) as correction factor. In comparison with the remaining existing method, which used the additive terms (offset) after calculating correction factor, the presented method performs well in Site 2 and worse in Site 1. However, we found this linear regression method to be unstable when the training data used for calibration are limited. It also suffers from a large negative bias in the correction factor when the apparent water depth estimated is affected by noise, according to our numerical experiment. Overall, the good accuracy of refraction correction method depends on various factors such as the locations, image acquisition, and GPS measurement conditions. The most effective method can be selected by using statistical selection (e.g. leave-one-out cross validation).
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.

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.

Mapping of Alteration Zones in Mineral Rich Belt of South-East Rajasthan Using Remote Sensing Techniques

Remote sensing techniques have emerged as an asset for various geological studies. Satellite images obtained by different sensors contain plenty of information related to the terrain. Digital image processing further helps in customized ways for the prospecting of minerals. In this study, an attempt has been made to map the hydrothermally altered zones using multispectral and hyperspectral datasets of South East Rajasthan. Advanced Space-borne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Hyperion (Level1R) dataset have been processed to generate different Band Ratio Composites (BRCs). For this study, ASTER derived BRCs were generated to delineate the alteration zones, gossans, abundant clays and host rocks. ASTER and Hyperion images were further processed to extract mineral end members and classified mineral maps have been produced using Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) method. Results were validated with the geological map of the area which shows positive agreement with the image processing outputs. Thus, this study concludes that the band ratios and image processing in combination play significant role in demarcation of alteration zones which may provide pathfinders for mineral prospecting studies.

Selection of Rayleigh Damping Coefficients for Seismic Response Analysis of Soil Layers
One good analysis method in seismic response analysis is direct time integration, which widely adopts Rayleigh damping. An approach is presented for selection of Rayleigh damping coefficients to be used in seismic analyses to produce a response that is consistent with Modal damping response. In the presented approach, the expression of the error of peak response, acquired through complete quadratic combination method, and Rayleigh damping coefficients was set up and then the coefficients were produced by minimizing the error. Two finite element modes of soil layers, excited by 28 seismic waves, were used to demonstrate the feasibility and validity.
Precipitation Intensity: Duration Based Threshold Analysis for Initiation of Landslides in Upper Alaknanda Valley

The entire Himalayan range is globally renowned for rainfall-induced landslides. The prime focus of the study is to determine rainfall based threshold for initiation of landslides that can be used as an important component of an early warning system for alerting stake holders. This research deals with temporal dimension of slope failures due to extreme rainfall events along the National Highway-58 from Karanprayag to Badrinath in the Garhwal Himalaya, India. Post processed 3-hourly rainfall intensity data and its corresponding duration from daily rainfall data available from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) were used as the prime source of rainfall data. Landslide event records from Border Road Organization (BRO) and some ancillary landslide inventory data for 2013 and 2014 have been used to determine Intensity Duration (ID) based rainfall threshold. The derived governing threshold equation, I= 4.738D-0.025, has been considered for prediction of landslides of the study region. This equation was validated with an accuracy of 70% landslides during August and September 2014. The derived equation was considered for further prediction of landslides of the study region. From the obtained results and validation, it can be inferred that this equation can be used for initiation of landslides in the study area to work as a part of an early warning system. Results can significantly improve with ground based rainfall estimates and better database on landslide records. Thus, the study has demonstrated a very low cost method to get first-hand information on possibility of impending landslide in any region, thereby providing alert and better preparedness for landslide disaster mitigation.

Kirchhoff’s Depth Migration over Heterogeneous Velocity Models with Ray Tracing Modeling Approach

Complex seismic signatures are generated due to the complexity of the subsurface which is difficult to interpret. In the present study, an attempt has been made to model the complex subsurface using the Ray tracing modeling technique. Add to this, for the imaging of these geological features, Kirchhoff’s prestack depth migration is applied over the synthetic common shot gather dataset. It is found that the Kirchhoff’s migration technique in addition with the Ray tracing modeling concept has the flexibility towards the imaging of various complex geology which gives satisfactory results with proper delineation of the reflectors at their respective true depth position. The entire work has been carried out under the MATLAB environment.

Comparison of Different Techniques to Estimate Surface Soil Moisture

Land subsidence is a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the land surface from changes that take place underground. There are different causes of land subsidence; most notably, ground-water overdraft and severe weather conditions. Subsidence of the land surface due to ground water overdraft is caused by an increase in the intergranular pressure in unconsolidated aquifers, which results in a loss of buoyancy of solid particles in the zone dewatered by the falling water table and accordingly compaction of the aquifer. On the other hand, exploitation of underground water may result in significant changes in degree of saturation of soil layers above the water table, increasing the effective stress in these layers, and considerable soil settlements. This study focuses on estimation of soil moisture at surface using different methods. Specifically, different methods for the estimation of moisture content at the soil surface, as an important term to solve Richard’s equation and estimate soil moisture profile are presented, and their results are discussed through comparison with field measurements obtained from Yanco1 station in south-eastern Australia. Surface soil moisture is not easy to measure at the spatial scale of a catchment. Due to the heterogeneity of soil type, land use, and topography, surface soil moisture may change considerably in space and time.

Experimental and Graphical Investigation on Oil Recovery by Buckley-Leveret Theory
Recently increasing oil production from petroleum reservoirs is one of the most important issues in the global energy sector. So, in this paper, the recovery of oil by the waterflooding technique from petroleum reservoir are considered. To investigate the aforementioned phenomena, the relative permeability of two immiscible fluids in sand is measured in the laboratory based on the steady-state method. Two sorts of oils, kerosene and heavy oil, and water are pumped simultaneously into a vertical sand column with different pumping ratio. From the change in fractional discharge measured at the outlet, a method for determining the relative permeability is developed focusing on the displacement mechanism in sand. Then, displacement mechanism of two immiscible fluids in the sand is investigated under the Buckley-Leveret frontal displacement theory and laboratory experiment. Two sorts of experiments, one is the displacement of pore water by oil, the other is the displacement of pore oil by water, are carried out. It is revealed that the relative permeability curves display tolerably different shape owing to the properties of oils, and produce different amount of residual oils and irreducible water saturation.
An Experimental Study to Mitigate Swelling Pressure of Expansive Tabuk Shale, Saudi Arabia

In Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there are several areas where expansive soil exists in the form of variable-thicknesses layers in the developed regions. Severe distress to infrastructures can be caused by the development of heave and swelling pressure in this kind of expansive shale. Among the various techniques for expansive soil mitigation, the removal and replacement technique is very popular for lightly loaded structures and shallow foundations. This paper presents the result of an experimental study conducted for evaluating the effect of type and thickness of the cushion soils on mitigation of swelling characteristics of expanded shale. Seven undisturbed shale samples collected from Al Qadsiyah district, which is located in the Tabuk town north Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are treated with two types of cushion coarse-grained sediments (CCS); sand and gravel. Each type is represented with three thicknesses, 22%, 33% and 44% in relation to the depth of the active zone. The test results indicated that the replacement of expansive shale by CCS reduces the swelling potential and pressure. It is found that the reduction in swelling depends on the type and thickness of CCS. The treatment by removing the original expansive shale and replacing it by cushion sand with 44% thickness reduced the swelling potential and pressure of about 53.29% and 62.78 %, respectively.

Combination of Geological, Geophysical and Reservoir Engineering Analyses in Field Development: A Case Study
A sequence of different Reservoir Engineering methods and tools in reservoir characterization and field development are presented in this paper. The real data of Jin Gas Field of L-Basin of Pakistan is used. The basic concept behind this work is to enlighten the importance of well test analysis in a broader way (i.e. reservoir characterization and field development) unlike to just determine the permeability and skin parameters. Normally in the case of reservoir characterization we rely on well test analysis to some extent but for field development plan, the well test analysis has become a forgotten tool specifically for locations of new development wells. This paper describes the successful implementation of well test analysis in Jin Gas Field where the main uncertainties are identified during initial stage of field development when location of new development well was marked only on the basis of G&G (Geologic and Geophysical) data. The seismic interpretation could not encounter one of the boundary (fault, sub-seismic fault, heterogeneity) near the main and only producing well of Jin Gas Field whereas the results of the model from the well test analysis played a very crucial rule in order to propose the location of second well of the newly discovered field. The results from different methods of well test analysis of Jin Gas Field are also integrated with and supported by other tools of Reservoir Engineering i.e. Material Balance Method and Volumetric Method. In this way, a comprehensive way out and algorithm is obtained in order to integrate the well test analyses with Geological and Geophysical analyses for reservoir characterization and field development. On the strong basis of this working and algorithm, it was successfully evaluated that the proposed location of new development well was not justified and it must be somewhere else except South direction.
Trend Analysis of Annual Total Precipitation Data in Konya
Hydroclimatic observation values ​​are used in the planning of the project of water resources. Climate variables are the first of the values ​​used in planning projects. At the same time, the climate system is a complex and interactive system involving the atmosphere, land surfaces, snow and bubbles, the oceans and other water structures. The amount and distribution of precipitation, which is an important climate parameter, is a limiting environmental factor for dispersed living things. Trend analysis is applied to the detection of the presence of a pattern or trend in the data set. Many trends work in different parts of the world are usually made for the determination of climate change. The detection and attribution of past trends and variability in climatic variables is essential for explaining potential future alteration resulting from anthropogenic activities. Parametric and non-parametric tests are used for determining the trends in climatic variables. In this study, trend tests were applied to annual total precipitation data obtained in period of 1972 and 2012, in the Konya Basin. Non-parametric trend tests, (Sen’s T, Spearman’s Rho, Mann-Kendal, Sen’s T trend, Wald-Wolfowitz) and parametric test (mean square) were applied to annual total precipitations of 15 stations for trend analysis. The linear slopes (change per unit time) of trends are calculated by using a non-parametric estimator developed by Sen. The beginning of trends is determined by using the Mann-Kendall rank correlation test. In addition, homogeneities in precipitation trends are tested by using a method developed by Van Belle and Hughes. As a result of tests, negative linear slopes were found in annual total precipitations in Konya.
Determining the Spatial Vulnerability Levels and Typologies of Coastal Cities to Climate Change: Case of Turkey

One of the important impacts of climate change is the sea level rise. Turkey is a peninsula, so the coastal areas of the country are threatened by the problem of sea level rise. Therefore, the urbanized coastal areas are highly vulnerable to climate change. At the aim of enhancing spatial resilience of urbanized areas, this question arises: What should be the priority intervention subject in the urban planning process for a given city. To answer this question, by focusing on the problem of sea level rise, this study aims to determine spatial vulnerability typologies and levels of Turkey coastal cities based on morphological, physical and social characteristics. As a method, spatial vulnerability of coastal cities is determined by two steps as level and type. Firstly, physical structure, morphological structure and social structure were examined in determining spatial vulnerability levels. By determining these levels, most vulnerable areas were revealed as a priority in adaptation studies. Secondly, all parameters are also used to determine spatial typologies. Typologies are determined for coastal cities in order to use as a base for urban planning studies. Adaptation to climate change is crucial for developing countries like Turkey so, this methodology and created typologies could be a guide for urban planners as spatial directors and an example for other developing countries in the context of adaptation to climate change. The results demonstrate that the urban settlements located on the coasts of the Marmara Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean respectively, are more vulnerable than the cities located on the Black Sea’s coasts to sea level rise.

Cuban Shelf Results of Exploration and Petroleum Potential

Oil-and-gas potential of Cuba is found through the discoveries among which there are the most large-scale deposits, such as the Boca de Jaruco and Varadero fields of heavy oils. Currently, the petroleum and petroleum products needs of the island state are satisfied by own sources by less than a half. The prospects of the hydrocarbon resource base development are connected with the adjacent water area of the Gulf of Mexico where foreign companies had been granted license blocks for geological study and further development since 2001. Two Russian companies - JSC Gazprom Neft and OJSC Zarubezhneft, among others, took part in the development of the Cuban part of the Gulf of Mexico. Since 2004, five oil wells have been drilled by various companies in the deep waters of the exclusive economic zone of Cuba. Commercial oil-and-gas bearing prospects have been established in neither of them for both geological and technological reasons. However, only a small part of the water area has been covered by drilling and the productivity of the drill core has been tested at the depth of Cretaceous sediments only. In our opinion, oil-and-gas bearing prospects of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cuba in the Gulf of Mexico remain undervalued and the mentioned water area needs additional geological exploration. The planning of exploration work in this poorly explored region shall be carried out systematically and it shall be based on the results of the regional scientific research.

Limestone Briquette Production and Characterization

Modern agriculture requires productivity, efficiency and quality. Therefore, there is need for agricultural limestone implementation that provides adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium carbonates in order to correct soil acidity. During the limestone process, fine particles (with average size under 400#) are generated. These particles do not have economic value in agricultural and metallurgical sectors due their size. When limestone is used for agriculture purposes, these fine particles can be easily transported by wind generated air pollution. Therefore, briquetting, a mineral processing technique, was used to mitigate this problem resulting in an agglomerated product suitable for agriculture use. Briquetting uses compressive pressure to agglomerate fine particles. It can be aided by agglutination agents, allowing adjustments in shape, size and mechanical parameters of the mass. Briquettes can generate extra profits for mineral industry, presenting as a distinct product for agriculture, and can reduce the environmental liabilities of the fine particles storage or disposition. The produced limestone briquettes were subjected to shatter and water action resistance tests. The results show that after six minutes completely submerged in water, the briquettes where fully diluted, a highly favorable result considering its use for soil acidity correction.

Effect of Fractional Flow Curves on the Heavy Oil and Light Oil Recoveries in Petroleum Reservoirs

This paper evaluates and compares the effect of fractional flow curves on the heavy oil and light oil recoveries in a petroleum reservoir. Fingering of flowing water is one of the serious problems of the oil displacement by water and another problem is the estimation of the amount of recover oil from a petroleum reservoir. To address these problems, the fractional flow of heavy oil and light oil are investigated. The fractional flow approach treats the multi-phases flow rate as a total mixed fluid and then describes the individual phases as fractional of the total flow. Laboratory experiments are implemented for two different types of oils, heavy oil, and light oil, to experimentally obtain relative permeability and fractional flow curves. Application of the light oil fractional curve, which exhibits a regular S-shape, to the water flooding method showed that a large amount of mobile oil in the reservoir is displaced by water injection. In contrast, the fractional flow curve of heavy oil does not display an S-shape because of its high viscosity. Although the advance of the injected waterfront is faster than in light oil reservoirs, a significant amount of mobile oil remains behind the waterfront.

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