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Integral Consulting Inc. (Integral), as part of a subcontract with Stanford University, will collaborate on an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research designed to improve sediment fate and transport models. The project, “Improved Observation and Parameterization of Bottom Boundary Layer Turbulence and Particle Properties for Sediment Fate and Transport Modeling,” extends through September 2020.

Used to help answer environmental questions, sediment fate and transport models can quantify and forecast the environmental effects of cleanup efforts, the potential for reliable natural recovery, and possible impacts of extreme events such as severe storms and hurricanes.

“This award will help to advance the state of sediment fate and transport modeling,” said Integral principal investigator Grace Chang, Ph.D. “Using numerical simulations, along with in situ measurements, we will be able to quantify turbulent forcing and particle properties affecting sediment movement, which will better parameterize state-of-the-art models such as high-resolution large-eddy simulation (LES).”

Novel acoustical and optical instrumentation will be deployed in the wave-driven estuarine waters of San Francisco Bay to collect a suite of field data to directly observe relationships between physical dynamics and biogeochemical properties of suspended particles. SEDflume laboratory experiments will also be performed to measure erosion rates and bulk densities of sediment collected at the field site. The field and laboratory results will be used to inform an LES model that resolves high-resolution variability of the turbulent, sediment-laden boundary layer.

Other Integral staff involved with the project include Kara Scheu, technical lead; Frank Spada, field manager; Sam McWilliams, laboratory manager; and Craig Jones, Ph.D., principal in charge and technical advisor. Stanford principal investigators are Oliver Fringer, Ph.D., and Stephen Monismith, Ph.D. Andy Manning, Ph.D., of HR Wallingford also serves as a principal investigator.

Linking academic-level researchers directly with consultants actively involved in Superfund cleanup, the project will also support the doctoral research of two graduate students. They will be advised by a diverse group and trained in advanced computational fluid dynamics and acoustic and optical field instrumentation, as well as practical aspects of environmental engineering.

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