Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 456

Geological and Environmental Engineering

Extracting Terrain Points from Airborne Laser Scanning Data in Densely Forested Areas

Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) is one of the main technologies for generating high-resolution digital terrain models (DTMs). DTMs are crucial to several applications, such as topographic mapping, flood zone delineation, geographic information systems (GIS), hydrological modelling, spatial analysis, etc. Laser scanning system generates irregularly spaced three-dimensional cloud of points. Raw ALS data are mainly ground points (that represent the bare earth) and non-ground points (that represent buildings, trees, cars, etc.). Removing all the non-ground points from the raw data is referred to as filtering. Filtering heavily forested areas is considered a difficult and challenging task as the canopy stops laser pulses from reaching the terrain surface. This research presents an approach for removing non-ground points from raw ALS data in densely forested areas. Smoothing splines are exploited to interpolate and fit the noisy ALS data. The presented filter utilizes a weight function to allocate weights for each point of the data. Furthermore, unlike most of the methods, the presented filtering algorithm is designed to be automatic. Three different forested areas in the United Kingdom are used to assess the performance of the algorithm. The results show that the generated DTMs from the filtered data are accurate (when compared against reference terrain data) and the performance of the method is stable for all the heavily forested data samples. The average root mean square error (RMSE) value is 0.35 m.

The Magnetic Susceptibility of the Late Quaternary Loess in North-East of Iran and Its Correlation with Other Palaeoclimatical Parameters

Magnetic susceptibility (χ) is operational to identify of late quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles in loess-paleosol sequences. It is well accepted that many loess-paleosol sequences bear witness to cold-dry/warm-humid periods, well known as glacial-interglacial cycles, respectively. For this study, loess-paleosol sequence of north-east of Iran was magnetically investigated. The study area is situated at about 8 km away of Neka city, on the main road of Sari-Behshahr, in Mazandaran Province, north of Iran. The youngest deposits of study area are the late Quaternary wind-blown accumulations. In this study, the total number of 117 samples was collected from loess-paleosols units. After that, the natural remnant magnetization (NRM) and magnetic susceptibility (MS) of the samples were measured. Variation of MS of more than 110 loess samples was plotted to reveal the correlation of the MS and paleoclimatic changes. This study aims reconstruction of climatic changes (glacial-interglacial and stadials-interstadials cycles). To confirm our results we compared MS (χ) and the curves of other investigations in paleoclimatology. This correspondence abled us to recognize worldly events in the study area such as: Younger Dryas, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), deglaciation of Northern Hemisphere etc. The obtained magnetic data indicate that during almost 50 ka, at least two glacial-interglacial periods occurred in north-east of Iran. Further, variation of χ values revealed short period of climatically cycles known as stadials-interstadials. We recognized 4 stadials and a single stadial as colder sub-periods for S0 (recently soil-paleosol) and S2 (lower paleosol), respectively, Moreover, we recognized 6 warmer sub-periods (interstadials) for L1 (upper loess) and one interstadial L2 (lower loess).

The Quality Assessment of Seismic Reflection Survey Data Using Statistical Analysis: A Case Study of Fort Abbas Area, Cholistan Desert, Pakistan

In geophysical exploration surveys, the quality of acquired data holds significant importance before executing the data processing and interpretation phases. In this study, 2D seismic reflection survey data of Fort Abbas area, Cholistan Desert, Pakistan was taken as test case in order to assess its quality on statistical bases by using normalized root mean square error (NRMSE), Cronbach’s alpha test (α) and null hypothesis tests (t-test and F-test). The analysis challenged the quality of the acquired data and highlighted the significant errors in the acquired database. It is proven that the study area is plain, tectonically least affected and rich in oil and gas reserves. However, subsurface 3D modeling and contouring by using acquired database revealed high degrees of structural complexities and intense folding. The NRMSE had highest percentage of residuals between the estimated and predicted cases. The outcomes of hypothesis testing also proved the biasness and erraticness of the acquired database. Low estimated value of alpha (α) in Cronbach’s alpha test confirmed poor reliability of acquired database. A very low quality of acquired database needs excessive static correction or in some cases, reacquisition of data is also suggested which is most of the time not feasible on economic grounds. The outcomes of this study could be used to assess the quality of large databases and to further utilize as a guideline to establish database quality assessment models to make much more informed decisions in hydrocarbon exploration field.

The Gravitational Impact of the Sun and the Moon on Heavy Mineral Deposits and Dust Particles in Low Gravity Regions of the Earth

The Earth’s gravity is not uniform. The satellite imageries of the Earth’s surface from NASA reveal a number of different gravity anomaly regions all over the globe. When the moon rotates around the earth, its gravity has a major physical influence on a number of regions on the earth. This physical change can be seen by the tides. The tides make sea levels high and low in coastal regions. During high tide, the gravitational force of the Moon pulls the Earth’s gravity so that the total gravitational intensity of Earth is reduced; it is further reduced in the low gravity regions of Earth. This reduction in gravity helps keep the suspended particles such as dust in the atmosphere, sand grains in the sea water for longer. Dramatic differences can be seen from the floating dust in the low gravity regions when compared with other regions. The above phenomena can be demonstrated from experiments. The experiments have to be done in high and low gravity regions of the earth during high and low tide, which will assist in comparing the final results. One of the experiments that can be done is by using a water filled cylinder about 80 cm tall, a few particles, which have the same density and same diameter (about 1 mm) and a stop watch. The selected particles were dropped from the surface of the water in the cylinder and the time taken for the particles to reach the bottom of the cylinder was measured using the stop watch. The times of high and low tide charts can be obtained from the regional government authorities. This concept is demonstrated by the particle drop times taken at high and low tides. The result of the experiment shows that the particle settlement time is less in low tide and high in high tide. The experiment for dust particles in air can be collected on filters, which are cellulose ester membranes and using a vacuum pump. The dust on filters can be used to make slides according to the NOHSC method. Counting the dust particles on the slides can be done using a phase contrast microscope. The results show that the concentration of dust is high at high tide and low in low tide. As a result of the high tides, a high concentration of heavy minerals deposit on placer deposits and dust particles retain in the atmosphere for longer in low gravity regions. These conditions are remarkably exhibited in the lowest low gravity region of the earth, mainly in the regions of India, Sri Lanka and in the middle part of the Indian Ocean. The biggest heavy mineral placer deposits are found in coastal regions of India and Sri Lanka and heavy dust particles are found in the atmosphere of India, particularly in the Delhi region.

Sedimentological Study of Bivalve Fossils Site Locality in Hong Hoi Formation, Lampang, Thailand

Hong Hoi Formation is a Middle Triassic deep marine succession presented in outcrops throughout the Lampang Basin of northern Thailand. The primary goal of this research is to diagnose the paleoenvironment, petrographic compositions, and sedimentary sources of the Hong Hoi Formation in Ban Huat, Ngao District. The Triassic Hong Hoi Formation is chosen because the outcrops are continuous and fossils are greatly exposed and abundant. Depositional environment is reconstructed through sedimentological studies along with facies analysis. The Hong Hoi Formation is petrographically divided into two major facies, they are: sandstones with mudstone interbeds, and mudstones or shale with sandstone interbeds. Sandstone beds are lithic arenite and lithic greywacke, volcanic lithic fragments are dominated. Sedimentary structures, paleocurrent data and lithofacies arrangement indicate that the formation deposited in a part of deep marine abyssal plain environment. The sedimentological and petrographic features suggest that during the deposition the Hong Hoi Formation received sediment supply from nearby volcanic arc. This suggested that the intensive volcanic activity within the Sukhothai Arc during the Middle Triassic is the main sediment source.

Chemical Composition, Petrology and P-T Conditions of Ti-Mg-Biotites within Syenitic Rocks from the Lar Igneous Suite, East of Iran

The Lar Igneous Suite (LIS), east of Iran, is part of post collisional alkaline magmatism related to Late Cretaceous- mid Eocene Sistan suture zone. The suite consists of a wide variety of igneous rocks, from volcanic to intrusive and hypabissal rocks such as tuffs, trachyte, monzonite, syenites and lamprophyres. Syenitic rocks which mainly occur in a giant ring dike and stocks, are shoshonitic to potassic-ultrapotassic (K2O/Na2O > 2 wt.%; MgO > 3 wt.%; K2O > 3 wt.%) in composition and are also associated with Cu-Mo mineralization. In this study, chemical composition of biotites within the Lar syenites (LS) is determined by electron microprobe analysis. The results show that LS biotites are Ti-Mg-biotites (phlogopite) which contain relatively high Ti and Mg, and low Fe concentrations. The Mg/(Fe2++ Mg) ratio in these biotites range between 0.56 and 0.73 that represent their transitionally chemical evolution. TiO2 content in these biotites is high and in the range of 3.0-5.4 wt.%. These chemical characteristics indicate that the LS biotites are primary and have been crystallized directly from magma. The investigations also demonstrate that the LS biotites have crystallized from a magma of orogenic nature. Temperature and pressure are the most significant factors controlling Mg and Ti content in the LS biotites, respectively. The results show that the LS biotites crystallized at temperatures (T) between 800 to 842 °C and pressures (P) between 0.99 to 1.44 kbar. These conditions are indicative of a crystallization depth of 3.26-4.74 km.

River Stage-Discharge Forecasting Based on Multiple-Gauge Strategy Using EEMD-DWT-LSSVM Approach
This study presented hybrid pre-processing approach along with a conceptual model to enhance the accuracy of river discharge prediction. In order to achieve this goal, Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition algorithm (EEMD), Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Mutual Information (MI) were employed as a hybrid pre-processing approach conjugated to Least Square Support Vector Machine (LSSVM). A conceptual strategy namely multi-station model was developed to forecast the Souris River discharge more accurately. The strategy used herein was capable of covering uncertainties and complexities of river discharge modeling. DWT and EEMD was coupled, and the feature selection was performed for decomposed sub-series using MI to be employed in multi-station model. In the proposed feature selection method, some useless sub-series were omitted to achieve better performance. Results approved efficiency of the proposed DWT-EEMD-MI approach to improve accuracy of multi-station modeling strategies.
Computation of Flood and Drought Years over the North-West Himalayan Region Using Indian Meteorological Department Rainfall Data

The climatic condition over Indian region is highly dependent on monsoon. India receives maximum amount of rainfall during southwest monsoon. Indian economy is highly dependent on agriculture. The presence of flood and drought years influenced the total cultivation system as well as the economy of the country as Indian agricultural systems is still highly dependent on the monsoon rainfall. The present study has been planned to investigate the flood and drought years for the north-west Himalayan region from 1951 to 2014 by using area average Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) rainfall data. For this investigation the Normalized index (NI) has been utilized to find out whether the particular year is drought or flood. The data have been extracted for the north-west Himalayan (NWH) region states namely Uttarakhand (UK), Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to find out the rainy season average rainfall for each year, climatological mean and the standard deviation. After calculation it has been plotted by the diagrams (or graphs) to show the results- some of the years associated with drought years, some are flood years and rest are neutral. The flood and drought years can also relate with the large-scale phenomena El-Nino and La-Lina.

Delineating Concern Ground in Block Caving – Underground Mine Using Ground Penetrating Radar

Mining by block or panel caving is a mining method that takes advantage of fractures within an ore body, coupled with gravity, to extract material from a predetermined column of ore. The caving column is weakened from beneath through the use of undercutting, after which the ore breaks up and is extracted from below in a continuous cycle. The nature of this method induces cyclical stresses on the pillars of excavations as stress is built up and released over time, which has a detrimental effect on both the installed ground support and the rock mass itself. Ground support capacity, especially on the production where excavation void ratio is highest, is subjected to heavy loading. Strain above threshold of the elongation of support capacity can yield resulting in damage to excavations. Geotechnical engineers must evaluate not only the remnant capacity of ground support systems but also investigate depth of rock mass yield within pillars, backs and floors. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that has the ability to evaluate rock mass damage using electromagnetic waves. This paper illustrates a case study from the Grasberg mining complex where non-invasive information on the depth of damage and condition of the remaining rock mass was required. GPR with 100 MHz antenna resolution was used to obtain images of the subsurface to determine rehabilitation requirements prior to recommencing production activities. The GPR surveys were used to calibrate the reflection coefficient response of varying rock mass conditions to known Rock Quality Designation (RQD) parameters observed at the mine. The calibrated GPR survey allowed site engineers to map subsurface conditions and plan rehabilitation accordingly.

Seismic Performance of Slopes Subjected to Earthquake Mainshock Aftershock Sequences

It is commonly observed that aftershocks follow the mainshock. Aftershocks continue over a period of time with a decreasing frequency and typically there is not sufficient time for repair and retrofit between a mainshock–aftershock sequence. Usually, aftershocks are smaller in magnitude; however, aftershock ground motion characteristics such as the intensity and duration can be greater than the mainshock due to the changes in the earthquake mechanism and location with respect to the site. The seismic performance of slopes is typically evaluated based on the sliding displacement predicted to occur along a critical sliding surface. Various empirical models are available that predict sliding displacement as a function of seismic loading parameters, ground motion parameters, and site parameters but these models do not include the aftershocks. The seismic risks associated with the post-mainshock slopes ('damaged slopes') subjected to aftershocks is significant. This paper extends the empirical sliding displacement models for flexible slopes subjected to earthquake mainshock-aftershock sequences (a multi hazard approach). A dataset was developed using 144 pairs of as-recorded mainshock-aftershock sequences using the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) database. The results reveal that the combination of mainshock and aftershock increases the seismic demand on slopes relative to the mainshock alone; thus, seismic risks are underestimated if aftershocks are neglected.

An Overview of the Porosity Classification in Carbonate Reservoirs and Their Challenges: An Example of Macro-Microporosity Classification from Offshore Miocene Carbonate in Central Luconia, Malaysia

Biological and chemical activities in carbonates are responsible for the complexity of the pore system. Primary porosity is generally of natural origin while secondary porosity is subject to chemical reactivity through diagenetic processes. To understand the integrated part of hydrocarbon exploration, it is necessary to understand the carbonate pore system. However, the current porosity classification scheme is limited to adequately predict the petrophysical properties of different reservoirs having various origins and depositional environments. Rock classification provides a descriptive method for explaining the lithofacies but makes no significant contribution to the application of porosity and permeability (poro-perm) correlation. The Central Luconia carbonate system (Malaysia) represents a good example of pore complexity (in terms of nature and origin) mainly related to diagenetic processes which have altered the original reservoir. For quantitative analysis, 32 high-resolution images of each thin section were taken using transmitted light microscopy. The quantification of grains, matrix, cement, and macroporosity (pore types) was achieved using a petrographic analysis of thin sections and FESEM images. The point counting technique was used to estimate the amount of macroporosity from thin section, which was then subtracted from the total porosity to derive the microporosity. The quantitative observation of thin sections revealed that the mouldic porosity (macroporosity) is the dominant porosity type present, whereas the microporosity seems to correspond to a sum of 40 to 50% of the total porosity. It has been proven that these Miocene carbonates contain a significant amount of microporosity, which significantly complicates the estimation and production of hydrocarbons. Neglecting its impact can increase uncertainty about estimating hydrocarbon reserves. Due to the diversity of geological parameters, the application of existing porosity classifications does not allow a better understanding of the poro-perm relationship. However, the classification can be improved by including the pore types and pore structures where they can be divided into macro- and microporosity. Such studies of microporosity identification/classification represent now a major concern in limestone reservoirs around the world.

Comparison of Data Reduction Algorithms for Image-Based Point Cloud Derived Digital Terrain Models

Digital Terrain Model (DTM) is a digital numerical representation of the Earth's surface. DTMs have been applied to a diverse field of tasks, such as urban planning, military, glacier mapping, disaster management. In the expression of the Earth' surface as a mathematical model, an infinite number of point measurements are needed. Because of the impossibility of this case, the points at regular intervals are measured to characterize the Earth's surface and DTM of the Earth is generated. Hitherto, the classical measurement techniques and photogrammetry method have widespread use in the construction of DTM. At present, RADAR, LiDAR, and stereo satellite images are also used for the construction of DTM. In recent years, especially because of its superiorities, Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) has an increased use in DTM applications. A 3D point cloud is created with LiDAR technology by obtaining numerous point data. However recently, by the development in image mapping methods, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for photogrammetric data acquisition has increased DTM generation from image-based point cloud. The accuracy of the DTM depends on various factors such as data collection method, the distribution of elevation points, the point density, properties of the surface and interpolation methods. In this study, the random data reduction method is compared for DTMs generated from image based point cloud data. The original image based point cloud data set (100%) is reduced to a series of subsets by using random algorithm, representing the 75, 50, 25 and 5% of the original image based point cloud data set. Over the ANS campus of Afyon Kocatepe University as the test area, DTM constructed from the original image based point cloud data set is compared with DTMs interpolated from reduced data sets by Kriging interpolation method. The results show that the random data reduction method can be used to reduce the image based point cloud datasets to 50% density level while still maintaining the quality of DTM.

Sustainable Building Technologies for Post-Disaster Temporary Housing: Integrated Sustainability Assessment and Life Cycle Assessment

After natural disasters, displaced people (DP) require important numbers of housing units, which have to be erected quickly due to emergency pressures. These tight timeframes can cause the multiplication of the environmental construction impacts. These negative impacts worsen the already high energy consumption and pollution caused by the building sector. Indeed, post-disaster housing, which is often carried out without pre-planning, usually causes high negative environmental impacts, besides other economic and social impacts. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a suitable strategy to deal with this problem which also takes into account the instability of its causes, like changing ratio between rural and urban population. To this end, this study aims to present a model that assists decision-makers to choose the most suitable building technology for post-disaster housing units. This model focuses on the alternatives sustainability and fulfillment of the stakeholders’ satisfactions. Four building technologies have been analyzed to determine the most sustainability technology and to validate the presented model. In 2003, Bam earthquake DP had their temporary housing units (THUs) built using these four technologies: autoclaved aerated concrete blocks (AAC), concrete masonry unit (CMU), pressed reeds panel (PR), and 3D sandwich panel (3D). The results of this analysis confirm that PR and CMU obtain the highest sustainability indexes. However, the second life scenario of THUs could have considerable impacts on the results.

The Effect of Fly Ash in Dewatering of Marble Processing Wastewaters

In the thermal power plants established to meet the energy need, lignite with low calorie and high ash content is used. Burning of these coals results in wastes such as fly ash, slag and flue gas. This constitutes a significant economic and environmental problems. However, fly ash can find evaluation opportunities in various sectors. In this study, the effectiveness of fly ash on suspended solid removal from marble processing wastewater containing high concentration of suspended solids was examined. Experiments were carried out for two different suspensions, marble and travertine. In the experiments, FeCl3, Al2(SO4)3 and anionic polymer A130 were used also to compare with fly ash. Coagulant/flocculant type/dosage, mixing time/speed and pH were the experimental parameters. The performances in the experimental studies were assessed with the change in the interface height during sedimentation resultant and turbidity values of treated water. The highest sedimentation efficiency was achieved with anionic flocculant. However, it was determined that fly ash can be used instead of FeCl3 and Al2(SO4)3 in the travertine plant as a coagulant.

A Numerical Study of Seismic Response of Shallow Square Tunnels in Two-Layered Ground
In this study, the seismic behavior of a shallow tunnel with square cross section is investigated in a two layered and elastic heterogeneous environment using numerical method. To do so, FLAC finite difference software was used. Behavioral model of the ground and tunnel structure was assumed linear elastic. Dynamic load was applied to the model for 0.2 seconds from the bottom in form of a square pulse with maximum acceleration of 1 m/s2. The interface between the two layers was considered at three different levels of crest, middle, and bottom of the tunnel. The stiffness of the two upper and lower layers was considered to be varied from 10 MPa to 1000 MPa. Deformation of cross section of the tunnel due to dynamic load propagation, as well as the values of axial force and bending moment created in the tunnel structure, were examined in the three states mentioned above. The results of analyses show that heterogeneity of the environment, its stratification, and positioning of the interface of the two layers with respect to tunnel height and the stiffness ratio of the two layers have significant effects on the value of bending moment, axial force, and distortion of tunnel cross-section.
The Flotation Device Designed to Treat Phosphate Rock

To overcome the some shortcomings associated with traditional flotation machines and columns in collophanite flotation, a flotation device was designed and fabricated in the laboratory. A multi-impeller pump with same function as a mechanical cell was used instead of the injection sparger and circulation pump in column flotation unit. The influence of main operational parameters of the device like feed flow rate, air flow rate and impellers’ speed on collophanite flotation was analyzed. Experiment results indicate that the influence of the operational parameters were significant on flotation recovery and grade of phosphate concentrate. The best operating conditions of the device were: feed flow rate 0.62 L/min, air flow rate 6.67 L/min and impellers speed 900 rpm. At these conditions, a phosphate concentrate assaying about 30.5% P2O5 and 1% MgO with a P2O5 recovery of about 81% was obtained from a Yuan'an phosphate ore sample containing about 22.30% P2O5 and 3.2% MgO.

Improvement of Soft Clay Using Floating Cement Dust-Lime Columns

The two main criteria that control the design and performance of footings are bearing capacity and settlement of soil. In soft soils, the construction of buildings, storage tanks, warehouse, etc. on weak soils usually involves excessive settlement problems. To solve bearing capacity or reduce settlement problems, soil improvement may be considered by using different techniques, including encased cement dust–lime columns. The proposed research studies the effect of adding floating encased cement dust and lime mix columns to soft clay on the clay-bearing capacity. Four experimental tests were carried out. Columns diameters of 3.0 cm, 4.0 cm, and 5.0 cm and columns length of 60% of the clay layer thickness were used. Numerical model was constructed and verified using commercial finite element package (PLAXIS 2D, V8.5). The verified model was used to study the effect of distributing columns around the footing at different distances. The study showed that the floating cement dust lime columns enhanced the clay-bearing capacity with 262%. The numerical model showed that the columns around the footing have a limit effect on the clay improvement.

Determination of Surface Deformations with Global Navigation Satellite System Time Series

The development of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology has led to increasingly widely and successful applications of GNSS surveys for monitoring crustal movements. Instead of the multi-period GNSS solutions, this study utilizes GNSS time series that are required to more precisely determine the vertical deformations in the study area. In recent years, the surface deformations that are parallel and semi-parallel to Bolvadin fault have occurred in Western Anatolia. These surface deformations have continued to occur in Bolvadin settlement area that is located mostly on alluvium ground. Due to these surface deformations, a number of cracks in the buildings located in the residential areas and breaks in underground water and sewage systems have been observed. In order to determine the amount of vertical surface deformations, two continuous GNSS stations have been established in the region. The stations have been operating since 2015 and 2017, respectively. In this study, GNSS observations from the mentioned two GNSS stations were processed with GAMIT/GLOBK (GNSS Analysis Massachusetts Institute of Technology/GLOBal Kalman) program package to create coordinate time series. With the time series analyses, the GNSS stations’ behaviour models (linear, periodical, etc.), the causes of these behaviours, and mathematical models were determined. The study results from the time series analysis of these two 2 GNSS stations show approximately 50-90 mm/yr vertical movement.

Investigation of Some Flotation Parameters and the Role of Dispersants in the Flotation of Chalcopyrite

A suitable choice of flotation parameters and reagents have a strong effect on the effectiveness of flotation process. The objective of this paper is to give an overview of the flotation of chalcopyrite with the different conditions and dispersants. Flotation parameters such as grinding time, pH, type, and dosage of dispersant were investigated. In order to understand the interaction of some dispersants, sodium silicate, sodium hexametaphosphate and sodium polyphosphate were used. The optimum results were obtained at a pH of 11.5 and a grinding time of 10 minutes. A copper concentrate was produced assaying 29.85% CuFeS2 and 65.97% flotation recovery under optimum rougher flotation conditions with sodium silicate.

The Evaluation of Gravity Anomalies Based on Global Models by Land Gravity Data

The Earth system generates different phenomena that are observable at the surface of the Earth such as mass deformations and displacements leading to plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanism. The dynamic processes associated with the interior, surface, and atmosphere of the Earth affect the three pillars of geodesy: shape of the Earth, its gravity field, and its rotation. Geodesy establishes a characteristic structure in order to define, monitor, and predict of the whole Earth system. The traditional and new instruments, observables, and techniques in geodesy are related to the gravity field. Therefore, the geodesy monitors the gravity field and its temporal variability in order to transform the geodetic observations made on the physical surface of the Earth into the geometrical surface in which positions are mathematically defined. In this paper, the main components of the gravity field modeling, (Free-air and Bouguer) gravity anomalies are calculated via recent global models (EGM2008, EIGEN6C4, and GECO) over a selected study area. The model-based gravity anomalies are compared with the corresponding terrestrial gravity data in terms of standard deviation (SD) and root mean square error (RMSE) for determining the best fit global model in the study area at a regional scale in Turkey. The least SD (13.63 mGal) and RMSE (15.71 mGal) were obtained by EGM2008 for the Free-air gravity anomaly residuals. For the Bouguer gravity anomaly residuals, EIGEN6C4 provides the least SD (8.05 mGal) and RMSE (8.12 mGal). The results indicated that EIGEN6C4 can be a useful tool for modeling the gravity field of the Earth over the study area.

Optimization of Technical and Technological Solutions for the Development of Offshore Hydrocarbon Fields in the Kaliningrad Region

Currently, LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft» is implementing a comprehensive program for the development of offshore fields of the Kaliningrad region. This is largely associated with the depletion of the resource base of land in the region, as well as the positive results of geological investigation surrounding the Baltic Sea area and the data on the volume of hydrocarbon recovery from a single offshore field are working on the Kaliningrad region – D-6 «Kravtsovskoye».The article analyzes the main stages of the LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft»’s development program for the development of the hydrocarbon resources of the region's shelf and suggests an optimization algorithm that allows managing a multi-criteria process of development of shelf deposits. The algorithm is formed on the basis of the problem of sequential decision making, which is a section of dynamic programming. Application of the algorithm during the consolidation of the initial data, the elaboration of project documentation, the further exploration and development of offshore fields will allow to optimize the complex of technical and technological solutions and increase the economic efficiency of the field development project implemented by LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft».

Synthetic Aperture Radar Remote Sensing Classification Using the Bag of Visual Words Model to Land Cover Studies

Classification of high resolution polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) images plays an important role in land cover and land use management. Recently, classification algorithms based on Bag of Visual Words (BOVW) model have attracted significant interest among scholars and researchers in and out of the field of remote sensing. In this paper, BOVW model with pixel based low-level features has been implemented to classify a subset of San Francisco bay PolSAR image, acquired by RADARSAR 2 in C-band. We have used segment-based decision-making strategy and compared the result with the result of traditional Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier. 90.95% overall accuracy of the classification with the proposed algorithm has shown that the proposed algorithm is comparable with the state-of-the-art methods. In addition to increase in the classification accuracy, the proposed method has decreased undesirable speckle effect of SAR images.

Numerical Modeling of Determination of in situ Rock Mass Deformation Modulus Using the Plate Load Test

Accurate determination of rock mass deformation modulus, as an important design parameter, is one of the most controversial issues in most engineering projects. A 3D numerical model of standard plate load test (PLT) using the FLAC3D code was carried to investigate the mechanism governing the test process. Five objectives were the focus of this study. The first goal was to employ 3D modeling in the interpretation of PLT conducted at the Bazoft dam site, Iran. The second objective was to investigate the effect of displacements measuring depth from the loading plates on the calculated moduli. The magnitude of rock mass deformation modulus calculated from PLT depends on anchor depth, and in practice, this may be a cause of error in the selection of realistic deformation modulus for the rock mass. The third goal of the study was to investigate the effect of testing plate diameter on the calculated modulus. Moreover, a comparison of the calculated modulus from ISRM formula, numerical modeling and calculated modulus from the actual PLT carried out at right abutment of the Bazoft dam site was another objective of the study. Finally, the effect of plastic strains on the calculated moduli in each of the loading-unloading cycles for three loading plates was investigated. The geometry, material properties, and boundary conditions on the constructed 3D model were selected based on the in-situ conditions of PLT at Bazoft dam site. A good agreement was achieved between numerical model results and the field tests results.

Alternative Acidizing Fluids and Their Impact on the Southern Algerian Shale Formations
Acidification is a technique used in oil reservoirs to improve annual production, reduce the skin and increase the pressure of an oil well while eliminating the formation damage that occurs during the drilling process, completion and, amongst others, to create new channels allowing the easy circulation of oil around a producing well. This is achieved by injecting an acidizing fluid at a relatively low pressure to prevent fracturing formation. The treatment fluid used depends on the type and nature of the reservoir rock traversed as well as its petrophysical properties. In order to understand the interaction mechanisms between the treatment fluids used for the reservoir rock acidizing, several candidate wells for stimulation were selected in the large Hassi Messaoud deposit in southern Algeria. The stimulation of these wells is completed using different fluids composed mainly of HCl acid with other additives such as corrosion inhibitors, clay stabilizers and iron controllers. These treatment fluids are injected over two phases, namely with clean tube (7.5% HCl) and matrix aidizing with HCl (15%). The stimulation results obtained are variable according to the type of rock traversed and its mineralogical composition. These results show that there has been an increase in production flow and head pressure respectively from 1.99 m3 / h to 3.56 m3 / h and from 13 Kgf / cm2 to 20 kgf / cm2 in the sands formation having good petrophysical properties of (porosity = 16%) and low amount of clay (Vsh = 6%).
Groundwater Potential Zone Identification in Unconsolidated Aquifer Using Geophysical Techniques around Tarbela Ghazi, District Haripur, Pakistan

Electrical resistivity investigation was conducted in vicinity of Tarbela Ghazi, in order to study the subsurface layer with a view of determining the depth to the aquifer and thickness of groundwater potential zones. Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) using Schlumberger array was carried out at 16 VES stations. Well logging data at four tube wells have been used to mark the super saturated zones with great discharge rate. The present paper shows a geoelectrical identification of the lithology and an estimate of the relationship between the resistivity and Dar Zarrouk parameters (transverse unit resistance and longitudinal unit conductance). The VES results revealed both homogeneous and heterogeneous nature of the subsurface strata. Aquifer is unconfined to confine in nature, and at few locations though perched aquifer has been identified, groundwater potential zones are developed in unconsolidated deposits layers and more than seven geo-electric layers are observed at some VES locations. Saturated zones thickness ranges from 5 m to 150 m, whereas at few area aquifer is beyond 150 m thick. The average anisotropy, transvers resistance and longitudinal conductance values are 0.86 %, 35750.9821 Ω.m2, 0.729 Siemens, respectively. The transverse unit resistance values fluctuate all over the aquifer system, whereas below at particular depth high values are observed, that significantly associated with the high transmissivity zones. The groundwater quality in all analyzed samples is below permissible limit according to World Health Standard (WHO).

Utilization of Process Mapping Tool to Enhance Production Drilling in Underground Metal Mining Operations

Underground mining is at the core of rapidly evolving metals and minerals sector due to the increasing mineral consumption globally. Even though the surface mines are still more abundant on earth, the scales of industry are slowly tipping towards underground mining due to rising depth and complexities of orebodies. Thus, the efficient and productive functioning of underground operations depends significantly on the synchronized performance of key elements such as operating site, mining equipment, manpower and mine services. Production drilling is the process of conducting long hole drilling for the purpose of charging and blasting these holes for the production of ore in underground metal mines. Thus, production drilling is the crucial segment in the underground metal mining value chain. This paper presents the process mapping tool to evaluate the production drilling process in the underground metal mining operation by dividing the given process into three segments namely Input, Process and Output. The three segments are further segregated into factors and sub-factors. As per the study, the major input factors crucial for the efficient functioning of production drilling process are power, drilling water, geotechnical support of the drilling site, skilled drilling operators, services installation crew, oils and drill accessories for drilling machine, survey markings at drill site, proper housekeeping, regular maintenance of drill machine, suitable transportation for reaching the drilling site and finally proper ventilation. The major outputs for the production drilling process are ore, waste as a result of dilution, timely reporting and investigation of unsafe practices, optimized process time and finally well fragmented blasted material within specifications set by the mining company. The paper also exhibits the drilling loss matrix, which is utilized to appraise the loss in planned production meters per day in a mine on account of availability loss in the machine due to breakdowns, underutilization of the machine and productivity loss in the machine measured in drilling meters per unit of percussion hour with respect to its planned productivity for the day. The given three losses would be essential to detect the bottlenecks in the process map of production drilling operation so as to instigate the action plan to suppress or prevent the causes leading to the operational performance deficiency. The given tool is beneficial to mine management to focus on the critical factors negatively impacting the production drilling operation and design necessary operational and maintenance strategies to mitigate them. 

Sustainable Geographic Information System-Based Map for Suitable Landfill Sites in Aley and Chouf, Lebanon

Municipal solid waste (MSW) generation is among the most significant sources which threaten the global environmental health. Solid Waste Management has been an important environmental problem in developing countries because of the difficulties in finding sustainable solutions for solid wastes. Therefore, more efforts are needed to be implemented to overcome this problem. Lebanon has suffered a severe solid waste management problem in 2015, and a new landfill site was proposed to solve the existing problem. The study aims to identify and locate the most suitable area to construct a landfill taking into consideration the sustainable development to overcome the present situation and protect the future demands. Throughout the article, a landfill site selection methodology was discussed using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). Several environmental, economic and social factors were taken as criterion for selection of a landfill. Soil, geology, and LUC (Land Use and Land Cover) indices with the Sustainable Development Index were main inputs to create the final map of Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) for landfill site. Different factors were determined to define each index. Input data of each factor was managed, visualized and analyzed using GIS. GIS was used as an important tool to identify suitable areas for landfill. Spatial Analysis (SA), Analysis and Management GIS tools were implemented to produce input maps capable of identifying suitable areas related to each index. Weight has been assigned to each factor in the same index, and the main weights were assigned to each index used. The combination of the different indices map generates the final output map of ESA. The output map was reclassified into three suitability classes of low, moderate, and high suitability. Results showed different locations suitable for the construction of a landfill. Results also reflected the importance of GIS and MCDA in helping decision makers finding a solution of solid wastes by a sanitary landfill.

Numerical Modelling of Crack Initiation around a Wellbore Due to Explosion

A wellbore is a hole that is drilled to aid in the exploration and recovery of natural resources including oil and gas. Occasionally, in order to increase productivity index and porosity of the wellbore and reservoir, the well stimulation methods have been used. Hydraulic fracturing is one of these methods. Moreover, several explosions at the end of the well can stimulate the reservoir and create fractures around it. In this study, crack initiation in rock around the wellbore has been numerically modeled due to explosion. One, two, three, and four pairs of explosion have been set at the end of the wellbore on its wall. After each stage of the explosion, results have been presented and discussed. Results show that this method can initiate and probably propagate several fractures around the wellbore.

A World Map of Seabed Sediment Based on 50 Years of Knowledge

Production of a global sedimentological seabed map has been initiated in 1995 to provide the necessary tool for searches of aircraft and boats lost at sea, to give sedimentary information for nautical charts, and to provide input data for acoustic propagation modelling. This original approach had already been initiated one century ago when the French hydrographic service and the University of Nancy had produced maps of the distribution of marine sediments of the French coasts and then sediment maps of the continental shelves of Europe and North America. The current map of the sediment of oceans presented was initiated with a UNESCO's general map of the deep ocean floor. This map was adapted using a unique sediment classification to present all types of sediments: from beaches to the deep seabed and from glacial deposits to tropical sediments. In order to allow good visualization and to be adapted to the different applications, only the granularity of sediments is represented. The published seabed maps are studied, if they present an interest, the nature of the seabed is extracted from them, the sediment classification is transcribed and the resulted map is integrated in the world map. Data come also from interpretations of Multibeam Echo Sounder (MES) imagery of large hydrographic surveys of deep-ocean. These allow a very high-quality mapping of areas that until then were represented as homogeneous. The third and principal source of data comes from the integration of regional maps produced specifically for this project. These regional maps are carried out using all the bathymetric and sedimentary data of a region. This step makes it possible to produce a regional synthesis map, with the realization of generalizations in the case of over-precise data. 86 regional maps of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean have been produced and integrated into the world sedimentary map. This work is permanent and permits a digital version every two years, with the integration of some new maps. This article describes the choices made in terms of sediment classification, the scale of source data and the zonation of the variability of the quality. This map is the final step in a system comprising the Shom Sedimentary Database, enriched by more than one million punctual and surface items of data, and four series of coastal seabed maps at 1:10,000, 1:50,000, 1:200,000 and 1:1,000,000. This step by step approach makes it possible to take into account the progresses in knowledge made in the field of seabed characterization during the last decades. Thus, the arrival of new classification systems for seafloor has improved the recent seabed maps, and the compilation of these new maps with those previously published allows a gradual enrichment of the world sedimentary map. But there is still a lot of work to enhance some regions, which are still based on data acquired more than half a century ago.

A Low-Power Two-Stage Seismic Sensor Scheme for Earthquake Early Warning System
The north-eastern, Himalayan, and Eastern Ghats Belt of India comprise of earthquake-prone, remote, and hilly terrains. Earthquakes have caused enormous damages in these regions in the past. A wireless sensor network based earthquake early warning system (EEWS) is being developed to mitigate the damages caused by earthquakes. It consists of sensor nodes, distributed over the region, that perform majority voting of the output of the seismic sensors in the vicinity, and relay a message to a base station to alert the residents when an earthquake is detected. At the heart of the EEWS is a low-power two-stage seismic sensor that continuously tracks seismic events from incoming three-axis accelerometer signal at the first-stage, and, in the presence of a seismic event, triggers the second-stage P-wave detector that detects the onset of P-wave in an earthquake event. The parameters of the P-wave detector have been optimized for minimizing detection time and maximizing the accuracy of detection.Working of the sensor scheme has been verified with seven earthquakes data retrieved from IRIS. In all test cases, the scheme detected the onset of P-wave accurately. Also, it has been established that the P-wave onset detection time reduces linearly with the sampling rate. It has been verified with test data; the detection time for data sampled at 10Hz was around 2 seconds which reduced to 0.3 second for the data sampled at 100Hz.
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