This paper presents an overview of the foundation and evolution of environmental related problems in local governments with specific reference on air pollution in South Africa. Local government has a direct mandate in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter, the Constitution). This mandate to protect, fulfil, respect and promote the Bill of Rights by local governments in respect of the powers and functions creates confusion around the role of where a local government fits in, in addressing the problem of climate change in South Africa. A reflection of the evolving legislations, developments, and processes regarding climate change that shaped local government dispensation in South Africa is addressed by the notion of developmental local governments. This paper seeks to examine the advances for mitigation and adaptation regulation of air pollution and application in South Africa. This study involves a qualitative approach that will involve South African national legislation as well as an interpretation of international strategies. A literature review study was conducted to undertake the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands, as well as the relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. It then proceeds to outline the responsibilities of local governments in South Africa to mitigate and adapt to air pollution strategies.
Manufacturing a composite material from post-consumer bottles is an interesting outlet since Madagascar is still facing the challenges of managing plastic waste on the one hand and appropriate waste treatment facilities are not yet developed on the other hand. New waste management options are needed to divert End-Of-Life (EOL) soft plastic wastes from landfills and incineration. Waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles might be considered as a valuable resource and recovered into polymer concrete. The methodology is easy to implement and appropriate to the local context in Madagascar. This approach will contribute to the production of ecological building materials that might be profitable for the environment and the construction sector. This work aims to study the feasibility of using the post-consumer PET bottles as an alternative binding agent instead of the conventional Portland cement and water. Then, the mechanical and physical properties of the materials were evaluated.
The Voltage Unbalance Factor (VUF) index is recommended to evaluate system performance under unbalanced operation. However, its calculation requires complex algebra which limits its use in the field. Furthermore, one system cycle is required at least to detect unbalance using the VUF. Ideally unbalance mitigation must be performed within 10 ms for 50 Hz systems. In this work, a linear relation for VUF evaluation in three-phase electrical power system using space vector (SV) is derived. It is proposed to determine the voltage unbalance quickly and accurately and to overcome the constraints associated with the traditional methods of VUF evaluation. Aqaba-Qatrana-South Amman (AQSA) power system is considered to study the system performance under unbalanced conditions. The results show that both the complexity of calculations and the time required to evaluate VUF are reduced significantly.
Grid connected solar PV inverters need to be compliant to standard regulations regarding unwanted harmonic generation. This paper gives an introduction to harmonics, solar PV inverter voltage regulation and balancing through compensation and investigates the behaviour of harmonic generation at different power levels. Practical measurements of harmonics and power levels with a power quality data logger were made, on a test network at a university in Germany. The test setup and test results are discussed. The major finding was that between the morning and afternoon load peak windows when the PV inverters operate under low solar insolation and low power levels, more unwanted harmonics are generated. This has a huge impact on the power quality of the grid as well as capital and maintenance costs. The design of a single-tuned harmonic filter towards harmonic mitigation is presented.
Regions with a significant percentage of non-seismically designed buildings and reduced urban planning are particularly vulnerable to natural hazards. In this context, the project ‘Improved Tools for Disaster Risk Mitigation in Algeria’ (ITERATE) aims at seismic risk mitigation in Algeria. Past earthquakes in North Algeria caused extensive damages, e.g. the El Asnam 1980 moment magnitude (Mw) 7.1 and Boumerdes 2003 Mw 6.8 earthquakes. This paper will address a number of proposed developments and considerations made towards a further improvement of the component of seismic hazard. In specific, an updated earthquake catalog (until year 2018) is compiled, and new conversion equations to moment magnitude are introduced. Furthermore, a network-based method for the estimation of the spatial and temporal distribution of the minimum magnitude of completeness is applied. We found relatively large values for Mc, due to the sparse network, and a nonlinear trend between Mw and body wave (mb) or local magnitude (ML), which are the most common scales reported in the region. Lastly, the resulting b-value of the Gutenberg-Richter distribution is sensitive to the declustering method.
In this research, TRACE code with the interface code-SNAP was used to simulate and analyze the SBO (station blackout) accident which occurred in Maanshan PWR (pressurized water reactor) nuclear power plant (NPP). There are four main steps in this research. First, the SBO accident data of Maanshan NPP were collected. Second, the TRACE/SNAP model of Maanshan NPP was established by using these data. Third, this TRACE/SNAP model was used to perform the simulation and analysis of SBO accident. Finally, the simulation and analysis of SBO with mitigation equipments was performed. The analysis results of TRACE are consistent with the data of Maanshan NPP. The mitigation equipments of Maanshan can maintain the safety of Maanshan in the SBO according to the TRACE predictions.
Online marketplaces are not only digital places where consumers buy and sell merchandise, and they are also destinations for brands to connect with real consumers at the moment when customers are in the shopping mindset. For many marketplaces, brands have been important partners through advertising. There can be, however, a risk of advertising impacting a consumer’s shopping journey if it hurts the use experience or takes the user away from the site. Both could lead to the loss of transaction revenue for the marketplace. In this paper, we present user-based methods for cannibalization control by selectively turning off ads to users who are likely to be cannibalized by ads subject to business objectives. We present ways of measuring cannibalization of advertising in the context of an online marketplace and propose novel ways of measuring cannibalization through purchase propensity and uplift modeling. A/B testing has shown that our methods can significantly improve user purchase and engagement metrics while operating within business objectives. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that addresses cannibalization mitigation at the user-level in the context of advertising.
In this paper, we report how to acquire serious victims’ locations in the Acute Stage of Large-scale Disasters, in an Emergency Information Network System designed by us. The background of our concept is based on the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11th, 2011. Through many experiences of national crises caused by earthquakes and tsunamis, we have established advanced communication systems and advanced disaster medical response systems. However, Japan was devastated by huge tsunamis swept a vast area of Tohoku causing a complete breakdown of all the infrastructures including telecommunications. Therefore, we noticed that we need interdisciplinary collaboration between science of disaster medicine, regional administrative sociology, satellite communication technology and systems engineering experts. Communication of emergency information was limited causing a serious delay in the initial rescue and medical operation. For the emergency rescue and medical operations, the most important thing is to identify the number of casualties, their locations and status and to dispatch doctors and rescue workers from multiple organizations. In the case of the Tohoku earthquake, the dispatching mechanism and/or decision support system did not exist to allocate the appropriate number of doctors and locate disaster victims. Even though the doctors and rescue workers from multiple government organizations have their own dedicated communication system, the systems are not interoperable.
The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.
An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.
A probabilistic formulation to assess the slopes safety under the hazard of strong storms is presented and illustrated through a slope in Mexico. The formulation is based on the classical safety factor (SF) used in practice to appraise the slope stability, but it is introduced the treatment of uncertainties, and the slope failure probability is calculated as the probability that SF<1. As the main hazard is the rainfall on the area, statistics of rainfall intensity and duration are considered and modeled with an exponential distribution. The expected life-cycle cost is assessed by considering a monetary value on the slope failure consequences. Alternative mitigation measures are simulated, and the formulation is used to get the measures driving to the optimal one (minimum life-cycle costs). For the example, the optimal mitigation measure is the reduction on the slope inclination angle.
This article examines cloudburst-triggered natural hazards mainly flashfloods and landslides in the Uttarakhand Himalaya. It further describes mechanism and implications of natural hazards and illustrates the preventive and mitigation measures. We conducted this study through collection of archival data, case study of cloudburst hit areas, and rapid field visit of the affected regions. In the second week of August 2017, about 50 people died and huge losses to property were noticed due to cloudburst-triggered flashfloods. Our study shows that although cloudburst triggered hazards in the Uttarakhand Himalaya are natural phenomena and unavoidable yet, disasters can be minimized if preventive measures are taken up appropriately. We suggested that construction of human settlements, institutions and infrastructural facilities along the seasonal streams and the perennial rivers should be avoided to prevent disasters. Further, large-scale tree plantation on the degraded land will reduce the magnitude of hazards.
Motor vehicle related pedestrian road traffic collisions are a major road safety challenge, since they are a leading cause of death and serious injury worldwide, contributing to a third of the global disease burden. The auto rickshaw, which is a common form of urban transport in many developing countries, plays a major transport role, both as a vehicle for hire and for private use. The most common auto rickshaws are quite unlike ‘typical’ four-wheel motor vehicle, being typically characterised by three wheels, a non-tilting sheet-metal body or open frame construction, a canvas roof and side curtains, a small drivers’ cabin, handlebar controls and a passenger space at the rear. Given the propensity, in developing countries, for auto rickshaws to be used in mixed cityscapes, where pedestrians and vehicles share the roadway, the potential for auto rickshaw impacts with pedestrians is relatively high. Whilst auto rickshaws are used in some Western countries, their limited number and spatial separation from pedestrian walkways, as a result of city planning, has not resulted in significant accident statistics. Thus, auto rickshaws have not been subject to the vehicle impact related pedestrian crash kinematic analyses and/or injury mechanics assessment, typically associated with motor vehicle development in Western Europe, North America and Japan. This study presents a parametric analysis of auto rickshaw related pedestrian impacts by computational simulation, using a Finite Element model of an auto rickshaw and an LS-DYNA 50th percentile male Hybrid III Anthropometric Test Device (dummy). Parametric variables include auto rickshaw impact velocity, auto rickshaw impact region (front, centre or offset) and relative pedestrian impact position (front, side and rear). The output data of each impact simulation was correlated against reported injury metrics, Head Injury Criterion (front, side and rear), Neck injury Criterion (front, side and rear), Abbreviated Injury Scale and reported risk level and adds greater understanding to the issue of auto rickshaw related pedestrian injury risk. The parametric analyses suggest that pedestrians are subject to a relatively high risk of injury during impacts with an auto rickshaw at velocities of 20 km/h or greater, which during some of the impact simulations may even risk fatalities. The present study provides valuable evidence for informing a series of recommendations and guidelines for making the auto rickshaw safer during collisions with pedestrians. Whilst it is acknowledged that the present research findings are based in the field of safety engineering and may over represent injury risk, compared to “Real World” accidents, many of the simulated interactions produced injury response values significantly greater than current threshold curves and thus, justify their inclusion in the study. To reduce the injury risk level and increase the safety of the auto rickshaw, there should be a reduction in the velocity of the auto rickshaw and, or, consideration of engineering solutions, such as retro fitting injury mitigation technologies to those auto rickshaw contact regions which are the subject of the greatest risk of producing pedestrian injury.
Population growth in cities has led to an increase in the infrastructures construction, including buildings and roadways. This aspect leads directly to the soils waterproofing. In turn, changes in precipitation patterns are developing into higher and more frequent intensities. Thus, these two conjugated aspects decrease the rainwater infiltration into soils and increase the volume of surface runoff. The practice of green and sustainable urban solutions has encouraged research in these areas. The porous asphalt pavement, as a green infrastructure, is part of practical solutions set to address urban challenges related to land use and adaptation to climate change. In this field, permeable pavements with porous asphalt mixtures (PA) have several advantages in terms of reducing the runoff generated by the floods. The porous structure of these pavements, compared to a conventional asphalt pavement, allows the rainwater infiltration in the subsoil, and consequently, the water quality improvement. This green infrastructure solution can be applied in cities, particularly in streets or parking lots to mitigate the floods effects. Over the years, the pores of these pavements can be filled by sediment, reducing their function in the rainwater infiltration. Thus, double layer porous asphalt (DLPA) was developed to mitigate the clogging effect and facilitate the water infiltration into the lower layers. This study intends to deepen the knowledge of the performance of DLPA when subjected to clogging. The experimental methodology consisted on four evaluation phases of the DLPA infiltration capacity submitted to three precipitation events (100, 200 and 300 mm/h) in each phase. The evaluation first phase determined the behavior after DLPA construction. In phases two and three, two 500 g/m2 clogging cycles were performed, totaling a 1000 g/m2 final simulation. Sand with gradation accented in fine particles was used as clogging material. In the last phase, the DLPA was subjected to simple sweeping and vacuuming maintenance. A precipitation simulator, type sprinkler, capable of simulating the real precipitation was developed for this purpose. The main conclusions show that the DLPA has the capacity to drain the water, even after two clogging cycles. The infiltration results of flows lead to an efficient performance of the DPLA in the surface runoff attenuation, since this was not observed in any of the evaluation phases, even at intensities of 200 and 300 mm/h, simulating intense precipitation events. The infiltration capacity under clogging conditions decreased about 7% on average in the three intensities relative to the initial performance that is after construction. However, this was restored when subjected to simple maintenance, recovering the DLPA hydraulic functionality. In summary, the study proved the efficacy of using a DLPA when it retains thicker surface sediments and limits the fine sediments entry to the remaining layers. At the same time, it is guaranteed the rainwater infiltration and the surface runoff reduction and is therefore a viable solution to put into practice in permeable pavements.
Construction industry, as one of the main contributor in depletion of natural resources, influences climate change. This paper discusses incremental and evolutionary development of the proposed models for optimization of a life-cycle analysis to explicit strategy for evaluation systems. The main categories are virtually irresistible for introducing uncertainties, uptake composite structure model (CSM) as environmental management systems (EMSs) in a practice science of evaluation small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The model simplified complex systems to reflect nature systems’ input, output and outcomes mode influence “framework measures” and give a maximum likelihood estimation of how elements are simulated over the composite structure. The traditional knowledge of modeling is based on physical dynamic and static patterns regarding parameters influence environment. It unified methods to demonstrate how construction systems ecology interrelated from management prospective in procedure reflects the effect of the effects of engineering systems to ecology as ultimately unified technologies in extensive range beyond constructions impact so as, - energy systems. Sustainability broadens socioeconomic parameters to practice science that meets recovery performance, engineering reflects the generic control of protective systems. When the environmental model employed properly, management decision process in governments or corporations could address policy for accomplishment strategic plans precisely. The management and engineering limitation focuses on autocatalytic control as a close cellular system to naturally balance anthropogenic insertions or aggregation structure systems to pound equilibrium as steady stable conditions. Thereby, construction systems ecology incorporates engineering and management scheme, as a midpoint stage between biotic and abiotic components to predict constructions impact. The later outcomes’ theory of environmental obligation suggests either a procedures of method or technique that is achieved in sustainability impact of construction system ecology (SICSE), as a relative mitigation measure of deviation control, ultimately.
The goal of the Libyan Environmental General Authority (EGA) and National Oil Corporation (Department of Health, Safety & Environment) during the last 5 years has been to adopt a common approach to coastal and marine spatial planning. Protection and planning of the coastal zone is a significant for Libya, due to the length of coast and, the high rate of oil export, and spills’ potential negative impacts on coastal and marine habitats. Coastal resource scenarios constitute an important tool for exploring the long-term and short-term consequences of oil spill impact and available response options that would provide an integrated perspective on mitigation. To investigate that, this paper reviews the Misratah coastal parameters to present the physical and human controls and attributes of coastal habitats as the first step in understanding how they may be damaged by an oil spill. This paper also investigates costal resources, providing a better understanding of the resources and factors that impact the integrity of the ecosystem. Therefore, the study described the potential spatial distribution of oil spill risk and the coastal resources value, and also created spatial maps of coastal resources and their vulnerability to oil spills along the coast. This study proposes an analysis of coastal resources condition at a local level in the Misratah region of the Mediterranean Sea, considering the implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning over time as an indication of the will to manage urban development. Oil spill contamination analysis and their impact on the coastal resources depend on (1) oil spill sequence, (2) oil spill location, (3) oil spill movement near the coastal area. The resulting maps show natural, socio-economic activity, environmental resources along of the coast, and oil spill location. Moreover, the study provides significant geodatabase information which is required for coastal sensitivity index mapping and coastal management studies. The outcome of study provides the information necessary to set an Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) for the Misratah shoreline, which can be used for management of coastal resources and setting boundaries for each coastal sensitivity sectors, as well as to help planners measure the impact of oil spills on coastal resources. Geographic Information System (GIS) tools were used in order to store and illustrate the spatial convergence of existing socio-economic activities such as fishing, tourism, and the salt industry, and ecosystem components such as sea turtle nesting area, Sabkha habitats, and migratory birds feeding sites. These geodatabases help planners investigate the vulnerability of coastal resources to an oil spill.
Concrete, despite being one of the most produced materials in the world, still has weaknesses and drawbacks. Significant concern of the cementitious materials in structural applications is their quasi-brittle behavior, which causes the material to crack and lose its durability. One of the very recently proposed mitigations for this problem is the implementation of nanotechnology in the concrete mix by adding carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to it. CNTs can enhance the critical mechanical properties of concrete as a structural material. Thus, this paper demonstrates a state-of-the-art review of reinforcing concrete with CNTs, emphasizing on the structural performance. It also goes over the properties of CNTs alone, the present methods and costs associated with producing them, the possible special applications of concretes reinforced with CNTs, the key challenges and drawbacks that this new technology still encounters, and the most reliable practices and methodologies to produce CNT-reinforced concrete in the lab. This work has shown that the addition of CNTs to the concrete mix in percentages as low as 0.25% weight of cement could increase the flexural strength and toughness of concrete by more than 45% and 25%, respectively, and enhance other durability-related properties, given that an effective dispersion of CNTs in the cementitious mix is achieved. Since nano reinforcement for cementitious materials is a new technology, many challenges have to be tackled before it becomes practiced at the mass level.
This work aims to compare various techniques used in order to mitigate Inter-Cell Interference (ICI) in Long Term Evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced systems. For that, we will evaluate the performance of each one. In mobile communication networks, systems are limited by ICI particularly caused by deployment of small cells in conventional cell’s implementation. Therefore, various mitigation techniques, named Inter-Cell Interference Coordination techniques (ICIC), enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) techniques and Coordinated Multi-Point transmission and reception (CoMP) are proposed. This paper presents a comparative study of these strategies. It can be concluded that CoMP techniques can ameliorate SINR and capacity system compared to ICIC and eICIC. In fact, SINR value reaches 15 dB for a distance of 0.5 km between user equipment and servant base station if we use CoMP technology whereas it cannot exceed 12 dB and 9 dB for eICIC and ICIC approaches respectively as reflected in simulations.
A wireless body area sensor network (WBASN) is composed of a central node and heterogeneous sensors to supervise the physiological signals and functions of the human body. This overwhelmimg area has stimulated new research and calibration processes, especially in the area of WBASN’s attainment and fidelity. In the era of mobility or imbricated WBASN’s, system performance incomparably degrades because of unstable signal integrity. Hence, it is mandatory to define mitigation techniques in the design to avoid interference. There are various mitigation methods available e.g. diversity techniques, equalization, viterbi decoder etc. This paper presents equalization mitigation scheme in WBASNs to improve the signal integrity. Eye diagrams are also given to represent accuracy of the signal. Maximum no. of symbols is taken to authenticate the signal which in turn results in accuracy and increases the overall performance of the system.
Power distribution systems are essential and crucial infrastructures for the development and maintenance of a sustainable society. These systems are extremely vulnerable to various types of natural and man-made disasters. The assessment of resilience focuses on preparedness and mitigation actions under pre-disaster conditions. It also concentrates on response and recovery actions under post-disaster situations. The aim of this study is to present a methodology to assess the resilience of electric power distribution poles against wind-related events. The proposed methodology can improve the accuracy and rapidity of the evaluation of the conditions and the assessment of the resilience of poles. The methodology provides a metric for the evaluation of the resilience of poles under pre-disaster and post-disaster conditions. The metric was developed using mathematical expressions for physical forces that involve various variables, such as physical dimensions of the pole, the inclination of the pole, and wind speed. A three-dimensional imaging technology (photogrammetry) was used to determine the inclination of poles. Based on expert opinion, the proposed metric was used to define zones to visualize resilience. Visual representation of resilience is helpful for decision makers to prioritize their resources before and after experiencing a wind-related disaster. Multiple electric poles in the City of Beaumont, TX were used in a case study to evaluate the proposed methodology.
Kuosheng nuclear power plant (NPP) is a BWR/6 plant in Taiwan. There is more concern for the safety of Spent Fuel Pools (SFPs) in Taiwan after Fukushima event. In order to estimate the safety of Kuosheng NPP SFP, by using MELCOR2.1 and SNAP, the safety analysis of Kuosheng NPP SFP was performed combined with the mitigation strategy of NEI 06-12 report. There were several steps in this research. First, the Kuosheng NPP SFP models were established by MELCOR2.1/SNAP. Second, the Station Blackout (SBO) analysis of Kuosheng SFP was done by TRACE and MELCOR under the cooling system failure condition. The results showed that the calculations of MELCOR and TRACE were very similar in this case. Second, the mitigation strategy analysis was done with the MELCOR model by following the NEI 06-12 report. The results showed the effectiveness of NEI 06-12 strategy in Kuosheng NPP SFP. Finally, a sensitivity study of SFP quenching was done to check the differences of different water injection time and the phenomena during the quenching. The results showed that if the cladding temperature was over 1600 K, the water injection may have chance to cause the accident more severe with more hydrogen generation. It was because of the oxidation heat and the “Breakaway” effect of the zirconium-water reaction. An animation model built by SNAP was also shown in this study.
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.
This paper presents a numerical investigation on the seismic performance of a benchmark bridge with different optimal isolation systems under near fault ground motion. Usually, very large displacements make seismic isolation an unfeasible solution due to boundary conditions, especially in case of existing bridges or high risk seismic regions. Hence, near-fault ground motions are most likely to affect either structures with long natural period range like isolated structures or structures sensitive to velocity content such as viscously damped structures. The work is aimed at analyzing the seismic performance of a three-span continuous bridge designed with different isolation systems having different levels of damping. The case study was analyzed in different configurations including: (a) simply supported, (b) isolated with lead rubber bearings (LRBs), (c) isolated with rubber isolators and 10% classical damping (HDLRBs), and (d) isolated with rubber isolators and 70% supplemental damping ratio. Case (d) represents an alternative control strategy that combines the effect of seismic isolation with additional supplemental damping trying to take advantages from both solutions. The bridge is modeled in SAP2000 and solved by time history direct-integration analyses under a set of six recorded near-fault ground motions. In addition to this, a set of analysis under Italian code provided seismic action is also conducted, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the suggested optimal control strategies under far field seismic action. Results of the analysis demonstrated that an isolated bridge equipped with HDLRBs and a total equivalent damping ratio of 70% represents a very effective design solution for both mitigation of displacement demand at the isolation level and base shear reduction in the piers also in case of near fault ground motion.
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.
A perfect start is a key factor for project completion on time. The study examined the effects of delayed mobilization of resources during the initial phases of the project. This paper mainly highlights the identification and categorization of all delays during the initial construction phase and their root cause analysis with corrective/control measures for the Kuwait Oil Company oil and gas projects. A relatively good percentage of the delays identified during the project execution (Contract award to end of defects liability period) attributed to mobilization/preliminary activity delays. Data analysis demonstrated significant increase in average project delay during the last five years compared to the previous period. Contractors had delays/issues during the initial phase, which resulted in slippages and progressively increased, resulting in time and cost overrun. Delays/issues not mitigated on time during the initial phase had very high impact on project completion. Data analysis of the delays for the past five years was carried out using trend chart, scatter plot, process map, box plot, relative importance index and Pareto chart. Construction of any project inside the Gathering Centers involves complex management skills related to work force, materials, plant, machineries, new technologies etc. Delay affects completion of projects and compromises quality, schedule and budget of project deliverables. Works executed as per plan during the initial phase and start-up duration of the project construction activities resulted in minor slippages/delays in project completion. In addition, there was a good working environment between client and contractor resulting in better project execution and management. Mainly, the contractor was on the front foot in the execution of projects, which had minimum/no delays during the initial and construction period. Hence, having a perfect start during the initial construction phase shall have a positive influence on the project success. Our research paper studies each type of delay with some real example supported by statistic results and suggests mitigation measures. Detailed analysis carried out with all stakeholders based on impact and occurrence of delays to have a practical and effective outcome to mitigate the delays. The key to improvement is to have proper control measures and periodic evaluation/audit to ensure implementation of the mitigation measures. The focus of this research is to reduce the delays encountered during the initial construction phase of the project life cycle.