Tackling Trapped Sediments

by Scott A. Jenkins, Res. Engr.; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of CA, San Diego, CA,
Joseph Wasyl, Development Engr.; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of CA, San Diego, CA,
David W. Skelly, (M.ASCE), Development Engr.; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of CA, San Diego, CA,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 2, Pg. 61-63


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Crater-sink fluidization has been used to recover sediment from harbors for the past couple of decades. Can this method bypass sediment around dams and return it to eroded beaches, solving two major problems? This may happen in Southern California. An eight-year study of the San Diego county coastline by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that the beaches are in dire need of nourishment. One of the Corps' recommendations involves restoring the equilibrium in the area's littoral cells (the coastal regions defined by the limits of beach sediment trapped behind area dams to the beaches). Due to the steep topography of the region, dams are situated near the coast, making the suggestion feasible. At the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif., research is under way with the California Water Authority and the San Diego Association of Governments to discern the best method of dam bypassing. One method under consideration is crate-sink fluidization. The key advantage of this type of hydraulic-extraction system is its fixed-place installation, which allows automation. This system would collect coarse-grain sediments from a top-set delta by means of mobile fluidizer pipes that inject high-pressure water into the sedimentary mass.

Subject Headings: Beach nourishment | Dams | Deposition | Extraction procedures | Fluidization | Sediment

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