next day
all days

View: session overviewtalk overview

09:00-09:10 Session : Opening Remarks
Location: Dalton Woods Auditorium
09:30-10:20 Session 1A: Water Supply
Steve Whitting (Intertek-PSI, United States)
Location: Dalton Woods Auditorium
Ryan Clark (The Water Institute of the Gulf, United States)
Melissa Baustian (The Water Institute of the Gulf, United States)
Eric White (The Water Institute of the Gulf, United States)
Yushi Wang (The Water Institute of the Gulf, United States)
Harris Bienn (The Water Institute of the Gulf, United States)
Andrea Jerabek (The Water Institute of the Gulf, United States)
A pilot study for assessing freshwater flow impacts to Louisiana estuaries
SPEAKER: Ryan Clark

ABSTRACT. The Water Institute of the Gulf (the Institute) has developed a framework to analyze available resources and demand for both surface water and groundwater across Louisiana, allowing researchers to analyze available water supplies and the consumption levels of various end users, including public supplies, agriculture, and industry. The research and data collected will help policymakers make informed decisions about water use and ensure that Louisiana will have an adequate supply of freshwater for public drinking as well as agricultural and industrial use.

One of the key uncertainties of the water resources framework was determined to be the quantity of freshwater necessary to be delivered to coastal estuaries by rivers. Freshwater input serves several essential ecological functions, including the regulation of salinity, and delivery of nutrients and sediments from the watershed. To begin quantifying these environmental flows, the Institute performed a pilot study to determine the effects of changing freshwater inflow of the Amite River to the marshes and swamps around Lake Maurepas. The Institute developed a state of the art computer model that has previously been used to determine the hydrologic, ecological, and land change effects of Louisiana coastal restoration projects from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) 2017 Coastal Master Plan. This project adapted that model to determine the ecological responses of the wetlands, swamps, and estuaries to variations in riverine freshwater input. It illustrated how variations in the flow of rivers such as the Amite can have effects on the suitability of habitats for key fish and wildlife species, as well as how it affects the distribution of wetland vegetation types over time. The methods developed in this pilot study can be adapted and used in coastal riverine systems across Louisiana, and around the world.

Emad Habib (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, United States)
Hisham Eldardiry (University of Louisiana at Lafayette (currently with University of Washington), United States)
David Borrok (Missouri University of Science and Technology, United States)
Assessment of Effects of Climate Variability on Water Supply Stress in Louisiana: Opportunities and Implications for Sustainable Water Management
SPEAKER: Emad Habib

ABSTRACT. Water resource systems are faced with meeting the challenge of growing demands coupled with the potential for added stress from climate change in the coming decades. Previous studies have used water stress indices to investigate the stresses on freshwater systems; however, the majority of these studies have focused on average annual water availability and demand conditions in calculating the stress metrics. Water supply is greatly impacted by both short-term and longer-term climate variability which may have substantial negative impacts on water system sustainability. Hence, with the multiple services provided by water resources systems, including drinking water, power generation, and ecological flows, it is crucial to understand how the stresses on the water system may change in response to variability in water supply and changing demand over timescales that are hidden by averaging. Addressing such variability in the analysis of water systems will be critical for building sustainable systems and enabling the successful regulation of water resources. In this study, we implement a water stress assessment analysis over the state of Louisiana on a watershed scale representing Hydrological Unit Code boundaries (HUC12). The hourly streamflow estimates from the second phase of the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS-2) dataset (available for 1979-present) are used to incorporate intra-annual and inter-annual variability in surface water availability and the impact on water stress calculations at different temporal scales (seasonal and annual). The results indicate that looking only at average annual stresses can substantially mask the impacts of climate variability reflected in the annual variability of water stress at a watershed scale. This study also revealed significant seasonal variability in the water stresses, especially in irrigation-dominated watersheds due to variability in both water supply and water demand. The results have important implications for water management decisions in Louisiana, and other similar regions in the US, in regards to planning for droughts and flooding, as well as opportunities for harvesting excess surface water and thus increasing the sustainability of the overall water system.

09:30-10:20 Session 1B: Modeling
Mary Gentry (Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, United States)
Location: Conference Room
Ning Zhang (McNeese State University, United States)
Arun Yadav (McNeese State University, United States)
Hydraulic Modeling for Southwest Louisiana with Small River Systems
SPEAKER: Arun Yadav

ABSTRACT. Southwest Louisiana lakes, such as Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, have marshes and wetlands covering its surrounding areas. The frequent floods through small rivers and streams are the major water sources of the wetlands. However, the storm surge floods through the rivers will also bring saline water from the Gulf to the area too, which is damaging and lead to deterioration of the health of the wetland vegetation. Therefore, hydraulic modeling is an critical tool to study and understand the dynamically changing conditions of the area. Regional scale hydraulic models usually has a relatively large grid resolutions comparing to the sizes of the small rivers, therefore, it is costly to include these small rivers in the model. In this study, an immersed boundary method (IBM) is used to implement the small rivers independent to the background grid. As the outcomes of the implementation, the flooding and water exchanges between the rivers and the wetlands can be realized. Due to the lack of measurement data, the "hard-coded" rivers with modified topography data to realize the rivers were also implemented to verify the IBM model results. Both results agree with each other thus prove the accuracy of the IBM model. Detailed physics were revealed based on the modeling results.

Georgios Etsias (McNeese State University, United States)
Dimitrios Dermisis (McNeese State University, United States)
Ning Zhang (McNeese State University, United States)
A Laboratory Study on Turbulent Flow around Various Breakwater Structures.

ABSTRACT. The fragile system of Louisiana’s coastline is in urgent need for protection. Environmentally mild, submerged breakwaters could greatly contribute in preserving the state’s shores. This research aims to investigate turbulent flow surrounding such structures. Various permeable and non-permeable submerged breakwater designs were tested under steady flow in a water recirculating flume. The 3-dimensional velocity field was recorded whit an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV) in the vicinity of the structures. Turbulent characteristics such as Reynolds Shear Stresses and Turbulent Strengths were derived out of these data and were compared with results obtained by numerical simulations. Flow around non-permeable breakwaters was in general more turbulent than that around permeable designs. Through detailed comparison between the different breakwater designs, the impact of their geometric characteristics on the generation of turbulence was quantified. This laboratory study could contribute towards the effective protection of the coast of Louisiana.

10:00-13:00 Session 2: Posters
Frank Tsai (Louisiana State University, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, United States)
Location: Rotunda
Ye-Hong Chen (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, United States)
Frank T.-C. Tsai (Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, United States)
Three-dimensional Underseepage Evaluation for Profit Island Vicinity Levee
SPEAKER: Ye-Hong Chen

ABSTRACT. A levee reach at the west bank of Mississippi River near Profit Island experiences high underseepage during high river stage. The United Stated Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) constructed an array of relief wells along the levee to reduce hydraulic pressure and control sand boils. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the relief wells, a three-dimensional USGS MODFLOW-USG (unstructured grid) model is developed to predict hydraulic pressure and seepage underneath the Profit Island vicinity levee. A locally dense grid mesh (3.125m by 3.125m) is built to keep a high resolution seepage simulation underneath the levee where relief wells are located while simulating subsurface flow in a large domain (4.5km by 5.0km). The model is calibrated with piezometric head data and relief well discharge data from the high water-level event in 1997. Relief well discharges are calculated through the calibrated model for the 2017 flood event and compared with qualitative classification of relief well discharge during five field trips in June 2017. Several relief wells in the north of the levee are shown with low to no discharges which is regarded as a concern effectiveness of relief wells, and may be due to the maintenance issue or local stratigraphy. A comprehensive evaluation of the performance of relief wells near the Profit Island vicinity levee and the techniques of subsurface modeling are described in this study.

Mohamed Elsaadani (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, United States)
Emad Habib (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, United States)
Integration of Physically-Based Distributed Hydrologic model's into Local Flood Mapping Application

ABSTRACT. In this study we explore the potential of using the runoff estimates from physically-based distributed hydrologic models such as, WRF-Hydro and the National Water Model (NWM) for local flood mapping application. We do this by feeding the hydrologic model's runoff estimates to local scale 1D hydraulic models (e.g., HEC-RAS) in order to obtain detailed flood inundation maps that correspond to either design storms or actual rainfall estimates. Moreover, we constructed an operational flood forecasting system that automatically generates inundation maps in real-time using the atmospheric forcings and rainfall forecasts from the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) as an input to WRF-Hydro. We also perform separate runs for simulating the current flow conditions using the Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor (MRMS) rainfall observation. We applied this forecasting framework to a medium sized basin called Coulee Mine located in South-West Louisiana. We hope that this framework will enable local engineering firms to make use to the large amounts of hydrologic data which is provided by the National Water Center (NWC) operationally.

Ramazan Karakullukcu (Louisiana State University, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, United States)
Frank Tsai (Louisiana State University, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, United States)
Calibration and Water Budget Analysis of MRAA Groundwater Model in between 2004-2015

ABSTRACT. The Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer (MRAA) locates in the northeastern of Louisiana and is the second most pumped aquifer in the state. Groundwater withdrawals from MRAA is mainly used for irrigation. The demand and usage of the groundwater increases yearly such that high groundwater withdrawals cause decline in the MRAA groundwater level and induce saltwater intrusion to the aquifer. Therefore, proper management of MRAA is vital to maintain sufficient and necessary water to the fields. For this reason, MRAA hydrostratigraphy model was built by using nearly 8,000 drillers’ logs and electric logs collected from Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR). An MRAA MODFLOW model was constructed with a grid generation technique based on the hydrostratigraphy model, river, recharge, pumping, general and changing head boundary packages. The Mississippi River was considered as a general head boundary of the MRAA because of the connection between the river and the alluvial aquifer. The objectives of this study include calibration of the MRAA groundwater model with USGS observation well data between 2004 and 2015 and evaluation of the water budget of MRAA to prepare for MRAA groundwater management plans. There were available 47 observation wells with 850 groundwater level observation data in MRAA between 2004 and 2015, which were used to calibrate MRAA groundwater model by a genetic algorithm code. The model output produces a good fit to the observation data with the root mean square error (RMSE) 1.05 m. The model simulation result shows average groundwater decline 10 ft in MRAA between 2004 and 2015.

An Li (Louisiana State University, United States)
Frank Tsai (Louisiana State University, United States)
3-D Modeling of Subsurface Stratigraphy in The Lower Mississippi River Delta Plain

ABSTRACT. The Mississippi River Delta Plain (MRDP) is one of the largest delta plain in the world and is social-economically imperative to the Louisiana and the U.S. However, the delta plain has been suffering from a high rate of land loss due to multiple reasons, such as sea level rise, land subsidence and coastal erosion. Coastal protection and restoration projects have been planned and implemented to mitigate the land loss problem, such as sediment diversions, beach and dune restoration, and marsh creation. To understand physical processes and optimize the effectiveness of protection and restoration projects, a large number of studies have been conducted focusing on surface water and river diversion. However, the role of subsurface components, such as stratigraphy and groundwater, have been ignored. Subsurface stratigraphy is believed to be a key component affecting subsidence in the coastal area. This study uses geotechnical boring data collected by multiple agencies, such as USGS, USACE, LADNR and CPRA, and geostatistics method to regionalize data scattered in an area of ~1000 square kilometers and extended from 4 m to -65 m in elevation. The product of the study is a three-dimensional stratigraphy model to reveal spatial distribution of different types of soils in the delta plain. An integrated groundwater-subsidence model will later be constructed upon the stratigraphy model. The result can give insight into how subsurface stratigraphy connect river water with groundwater and how this process affect subsidence and land loss.

Hamid Vahdat-Aboueshagh (Louisiana State University, United States)
Frank Tsai (Louisiana State University, United States)
Calibrating Chicot aquifer groundwater model: challenges and solutions

ABSTRACT. Calibration is the last step and still most challenging part in building groundwater models. In this study, the calibration process for Chicot aquifer is elaborated. Chicot aquifer is the uppermost surficial groundwater system in southwest Louisiana and yet heavily pumped aquifer in the entire state. Observation data, pumping data, screen information, and geology of the aquifer systems play a vital role in Chicot aquifer model calibration. The geological model has been developed based on three sources of electrical logs, screen information, and drillers logs. The boreholes are almost uniformly distributed over the region and number of data points was sufficient to build the geological model. However, inaccuracy in measurements and descriptions associated with well log information as well as those with pumping rates and observations introduce uncertainties to the groundwater model. As a result, errors are created in calibrated model. Modifying geological structures is one of the options to overcome these errors. Considering lower depth for drillers’ logs induces a geological structure with higher portion of clay which partially creates additional error to the model. Hence, filtering drillers logs based on a predefined depth may be part of initial calibration process. In addition, defining different parameter zones can reduce the difference between the observations and simulated values for groundwater head. In this study, prior-to-calibration model was layered almost equally into four layers. Various horizontal zones were defined based on concentration of pumping wells. Furthermore, boundary conditions were zoned around the aquifer region. The results demonstrate a significant drop in the difference between the observation and simulated values comparing to the uniform boundary condition and unlayered model.

10:30-11:45 Session 3A: Water Supply
Robert Conger (BASF, United States)
Location: Dalton Woods Auditorium
Douglas Carlson (Louisiana Geological Survey, United States)
An overview of trends within hydraulic fracturing in Haynesville Shale Gas Play, Louisiana

ABSTRACT. For 70 years, hydraulic fracturing has occurred but has come to public attentions due the massive amounts of water used for development of unconventional hydrocarbon deposits with long horizontal holes in the last decade. A few general studies considered volumes of water used and chemistry of fracturing water throughout the United States. For these studies, periods considered are broad, decades. For this study, hydraulic fracturing trends are considered on a year-by-year manner and for within Haynesville Shale Gas Play (HSGP).

Data from two sources was analyzed. Louisiana Department of Natural Resources data of volumes of water used, source type and source location. Frac Focus has data for the chemistry of water used within the fracturing solution. Their chemical data, maximum concentrations, is split up by components of fracking by reason of use, such as: acid, acid/corrosion inhibitor, biocide, base carrier fluid (water), breaker, clay and shale stabilization control, crosslinker, friction reducer, gel, iron control, non-emulsifier, pH adjusting agent/buffer, propping agent, scale inhibitor, and surfactant. Often 10 to 20 different chemicals were used in addition to water and sand for each hydraulic fracturing job. Many of these are not identified for economic reasons. Within the HSGP there are over 100 different compounds used with fracking in solutions. However, for this study focus is on the thirty most commonly used compounds.

Throughout the past decade, the median volume of water used for hydraulic fracturing has increased. The source of that water is nearly always surface waters. Usually a natural or artificial pond is nearby. However, an increasing share of sources are larger water bodies, example Red River. This is contractor response to general agreements between LDNR and frackers to use more regional surface water sources moving frack water demand from groundwater to local small ponds, indirect withdrawals of local groundwater, and ultimately to regional water bodies supplied by distant groundwater baseflow.

In the past six years chemistry the fracture solutions are changing. Concentrations of hazard compounds methanol, naphthalene, or light/heavy petroleum distillates are decreasing. By contrast, concentrations of more benign compounds such as sand/quartz/silicon dioxide for propend or guar gum are increasing.

John Lovelace (United States Geological Survey, United States)
Molly Maupin (United States Geological Survey, United States)
Martha Nielsen (United States Geological Survey, United States)
Amy Read (United States Geological Survey, United States)
Chid Murphy (United States Geological Survey, United States)
Estimating Water Withdrawals from Principal Aquifers in the United States, 2015
SPEAKER: John Lovelace

ABSTRACT. The intensity of groundwater withdrawals changes in response to changing population, industrial operations, agricultural practices, climate conditions, conservation measures, and groundwater availability. In some areas, groundwater withdrawals can change from year-to-year to offset surface-water supplies that have declined due to periods of heavy use or drought conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to document withdrawals from principal aquifers in the United States to better understand how groundwater is used, estimate water budgets, and ultimately to help manage these water resources. Sixty-seven principal aquifers have been identified and delineated in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Principal aquifers are defined as regionally extensive aquifers or aquifer systems that have the potential to be used as sources of water of suitable quality and quantity to meet various needs.  In 2000, withdrawals from these principal aquifers for public-supply, self-supplied industrial, and irrigation uses accounted for 90 percent of estimated groundwater withdrawals for all uses in the U.S. A long-term goal of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Availability and Use Program is to report groundwater withdrawals from the nation’s principal aquifers at a high spatial and temporal resolution for various uses including public supply, self-supplied domestic, industrial, thermoelectric power generation, mining, irrigation, livestock, and aquaculture.  Meeting this goal will provide crucial information to water planners and managers and the public, as well as to ongoing and future groundwater-availability studies for which regional groundwater models have been developed or are planned.  The USGS is estimating withdrawals from principal aquifers for the various categories of use in each county of the United States for the year 2015.  These estimates will largely be based on groundwater-withdrawal data for 2015 that were previously compiled or estimated by the USGS, and a variety of ancillary data including water-well information and aquifer locations.  The estimated withdrawals from principal aquifers are expected to be released in 2018 and will complement a national report documenting 2015 groundwater and surface-water withdrawals for various uses in each state, which also is expected to be released in 2018.

Stacia Davis (LSU AgCenter, United States)
Daniel Fromme (LSU AgCenter, United States)
Advancing Irrigation for Agronomic Crops through STAMP
SPEAKER: Stacia Davis

ABSTRACT. Louisiana’s agricultural producers have begun to search for education, tools, and resources to improve their irrigation methods as acreage under irrigation continues to rise, increasing from 31% in 2011 to 49% in 2017. Historically, irrigation was scheduled instinctually rather than based on plant moisture status. Thus, irrigation efficiency may be improved by using technologies to determine irrigation events based on estimations of crop water requirements. The objective of this project was to develop a simple decision tool to accurately estimate crop water requirements for agronomic crops. The decision tool relies on a soil water balance to keep track of water movement in the shallow soil area identified as the potential root zone. This simplistic tool was developed using a spreadsheet for ease of access and availability without internet. Calibration and validation of the tool was conducted by using irrigation data and soil moisture sensor measurements collected from research plots in 2015 and 2016. The decision tool worked well in identifying when deficit conditions occurred in the sandy clay loam soils. The volumetric water content sensors did not perform well in heavier soil types, so the data could not be used to validate the model in other locations. The soil water potential sensors had good performance in heavy soils, but more work must be done to convert the potential readings to volumetric water content using a soil water retention curve. In addition to the benefit of knowing when an irrigation event should occur, this spreadsheet can also act as a descriptive record that keeps track of water application and estimated efficiency.

10:30-11:45 Session 3B: Sediment/Lithological Impacts
John Jenning (Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, United States)
Location: Conference Room
Bo Wang (Louisiana State University, United States)
Yi-Jun Xu (Louisiana State University, United States)
Sediment Availability in the Middle Lower Mississippi River

ABSTRACT. The Mississippi River Delta is experiencing rapid land loss. Restoration of the delta largely relies on available sediment in the Mississippi River. Channel bars are major sediment sources in large alluvial rivers. However, the knowledge about how much sediment was accumulated in large channel bars in the Lower Mississippi River has remained limited. In this study, we assessed 30-yr morphologic changes of 30 large emerged bars located in a 223 km reach of the Lower Mississippi River from Vicksburg, Mississippi, to the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River diversion. Landsat imagery and river stage data between 1985 and 2015 were utilized to characterize bar morphologic features and quantify decadal changes. Based on bar surface areas estimated with the satellite images at different river stages, a rating curve was developed for each of the 30 bars to determine their volumes. Results from this study show that the highly regulated river reach favored the growth of mid-channel and attached bars, while more than half of the point bars showed degradation. Currently, the mid-channel and attached bars accounted for 38% and 34% of the total volume of the 30 bars. The average volume of a single mid-channel bar is over two times that of an attached bar and over four times that of a point bar. Overall, in the past three decades, the total volume of the studied 30 bars increased by 110,118,000 m3 (41%). Total dike length in a dike field was found mostly contributing to the bar volume increase. Currently, the emerged volume of the 30 bars was estimated approximately 378,183,000 m3. The total bar volume is equivalent to ~530 million metric tons of coarse sand, based on an average measured bulk density of 1.4 t/m3 for the bar sediment. The findings show that these bars are large sediment reservoirs and could be a critical sediment resource for future delta restoration.

Changyoon Jeong (Red River Research Station, LSU AgCenter, United States)
Jong Hyun Ham (Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, LSU AgCenter, United States)
Microbial community changes at the bottom sediments in tailwater recovery system influenced by the concentrated poultry feeding operations.

ABSTRACT. This study aimed to observe how the effluents from a massive poultry farming facility influence the microbial community in the sediment of the nearby constructed wetland, which functions as a reservoir for poultry wastes. The microbial community structures and compositions in the two neighboring constructed wetlands of Louisiana (named Big Pond and Corner Pond) were characterized and compared through a metagenomics approach using the high-throughput sequence data of a conserved 16S rDNA region (V4 region) obtained from the sediment DNA samples and the metagenomics analysis tool QIIME. Big Pond is connected to a poultry farming facility, directly influenced by the poultry wastes, while its neighboring Corner Pond is separated from the poultry house. Results and discussion Among the 74 phyla of prokaryotes detected from the sediments of the two wetlands, four phyla (Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Euryarchaeota, and Proteobacteria) were predominant in both conditions. Proteobacteria, the most predominant phylum in both wetlands, was not significantly different in its relative abundance between the two conditions. However, Alphaproteobacteria one of the four major classes within Proteobacteria, was almost depleted in Big Pond. Within another major phylum Euryarchaeota, all the three classes known as methanogenic organisms (Methanobacteria, Methanomicrobia, and Thermoplasmata) were more abundant in BigPond. Also, the relative abundance of Acidobacteria was significantly reduced in Big Pond, while that of the class Dehalococcoidetes within the phylum Chloroflexi was significantly higher in Big Pond compared to Corner Pond. Wastes released from an intensive poultry farming facility change significantly the relative abundance of some taxonomic groups of microorganisms in the microbial community of the wetland sediment. This study provided valuable information about the global changes of a microbial community in the wetland sediments caused by the infusion of poultry wastes at various taxonomic levels.

Carson Allen (School of Geosciences University of Louisiana Lafayette, United States)
Steve Sinitiere (Kourco Environmental Services, United States)
Timothy Duex (School of Geosciences University of Louisiana Lafayette, United States)
Lithological Influences on the Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure Test and Implications to Assessment and Remediation at Southwest Foods Site in Lafayette, Louisiana (LDEQ Agency Interest no. 69569)
SPEAKER: Carson Allen

ABSTRACT. Southwest Foods in Lafayette, Louisiana has multiple underground storage tanks that leaked petroleum products over a period of time, releasing numerous toxic constituents of concern into the surrounding soil and groundwater. During the assessment phase of risk evaluation, the Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP) test was used to measure the leaching potential of possibly contaminated soils and lithologies when exposed to acidic rainfall. However, during the site investigation, SPLP data produced erratic results that apparently are related to the type of geologic material (“soil”) involved. These erratic results could have major implications for assessment, remediation, and the establishment of Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Program (RECAP) standards in the state of Louisiana. Incorrectly applied RECAP standards could ultimately mean contaminants of concern could reach points of exposure (POEs), and potentially harm nearby residents and the environment. Previously, lithological composition had not been considered when evaluating the environmental impact of the test.

At the site, numerous geotechnical soil boring logs were completed, and soil samples were sent to analytical laboratories for analysis of contamination. Soil analytical data compiled by the laboratories along with samples acquired from multiple groundwater monitoring wells at the site provided an in-depth view into the degree of contamination at Southwest Foods and produced the first signs of erratic SPLP test results. Contour maps of contamination and groundwater potentiometric levels were created to show both the level of contaminants in soil and the possible migration paths of affected groundwater. The SPLP sample data were evaluated and categorized into lithological subgroups for further examination. The lithologies, or soil types (with USCS symbols), that produced erratic results (i.e., some “passed” and some “failed”) for the SPLP analyses included “clay, high plasticity” (CH) and “clayey silt/sandy silt/silt” (ML). The results for “silty clay/sandy clay” (CL) were more consistent. The inconsistent SPLP data could result in incorrect application of site-specific RECAP standards and the subsequent cleanup at Southwest Foods and conceivably at other contaminated sites as well.

13:15-14:30 Session 4A: Flooding Impacts
John Johnston (Louisiana Geological Survey, United States)
Location: Dalton Woods Auditorium
Haitham Saad (University Of Louisiana, United States)
Emad Habib (University Of Louisiana, United States)
Robert Miller (University Of Louisiana, United States)
High Resolution Modeling of Extreme Floods in Low-gradient urbanized environments: A case study in South Louisiana
SPEAKER: Haitham Saad

ABSTRACT. In August 2016, the city of Lafayette and many other urban centers in south Louisiana experienced catastrophic flooding resulting from prolonged rainfall. Statewide, this historic storm displaced more than 30,000 people from their homes, resulted in damages up to $8.7 billion, put rescue workers at risk, interrupted institutions of education and business, and worst of all, resulted in the loss of life of at least 13 Louisiana residents. With growing population and increasing signs of climate change, the frequency of major floods and severe storms is expected to increase, as will the impacts of these events on our communities. Local communities need improved capabilities for forecasting flood events, monitoring of flood impacts on roads and key infrastructure, and effectively communicating real-time flood dangers at scales that are useful to the public. The current study presents the application of the WRF-Hydro modeling system to represent integrated hydrologic, hydraulic and hydrometeorological processes that drive flooding in urban basins at temporal and spatial scales that can be useful to local communities. The study site is the 25- mile2 Coulee mine catchment in Lafayette, south Louisiana. The catchment includes two tributaries with natural streams located within mostly agricultural lands. The catchment crosses the I-10 highway and through the metropolitan area of the City of Lafayette into a man-made channel, which eventually drains into the Vermilion River and the Gulf of Mexico. Due to its hydrogeomorphic setting, local and rapid diversification of land uses, low elevation, and interdependent infrastructure, the integrated modeling of this coulee is considered a challenge. A nested multi-scale model is being built using the WRF-HYDRO, with 1000m and 50m resolutions for the NOAH land-surface model and diffusive wave terrain routing grids, respectively.

Craig Colten (Department of Geography & Anthropology, United States)
Can Public Policy Perpetuate the Memory of Flood Disasters
SPEAKER: Craig Colten

ABSTRACT. Two years after the tragic1983 flood along the Amite River in Louisiana (USA), Rod Emmer, a local floodplain manager, advised his peers that planners and policy makers needed to take steps to avoid a repeat of that event. Thirty years elapsed between his guidance and the next tragic flood in 2016. It produced even more devastating consequences, due in part to incomplete implementation of his recommendations and the extensive urban sprawl that took place between the floods. Local governments made adjustments in their floodplain policies in the interim, but sequestered the memory of the 1983 event as they prioritized development over safety. This paper examines the local policies enacted after 1983, considers their perpetuation during the intervening decades, and critiques the dismissal of risks in regional development.

Lee Presley Gary Jr (Tulane University, United States)
Kari F. Brisolara (LSU School of Public Health, United States)
Robert S. Reimers (Tulane University - Emeritus, United States)
Mitigating Impact of Evacuation Waste on Vital water Sources

ABSTRACT. Unsecured surface and ground water sources are often vulnerable during catastrophe events due to raw human waste, generated during the mass evacuation of communities, which puts unprepared individuals on roadways and evacuation routes, minus appropriate waste facilities.

Consequently, raw biowaste, human and animal, is discarded randomly and recklessly in open,unguarded areas bordering evacuation roads or emergency routes, which are conveniently, but unfortunately, located near or adjacent to open, unguarded, and unprotected surface water or innocent, latent paths to ground water.

Such waste can contain bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and even helminths (worms) that are all deadly threats to the public health of individuals, even whole communities, plus temporary facilities for mass evacuees, when entering and contaminating water sources.

Inexpensive, convenient and safe methods for mitigating the threat of raw human excreta to surface and ground water are presented, including options for public-private partnerships.

13:15-14:30 Session 4B: Water chemistry
Anthony Duplechin (Capital Area Groundwater Conservation District, United States)
Location: Conference Room
Anthony Duplechin (Capital Area Groundwater Conservation District, United States)
Addressing Saltwater Intrusion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

ABSTRACT. Due to heavy pumping of certain aquifers within the Capital area, saltwater from the south has moved across the Baton Rouge Fault into some of the fresh water aquifers in East Baton Rouge Parish. The Capital Area Groundwater Conservation District is empowered to take all necessary steps to prevent intrusion of salt water or any other form of pollutant into any aquifer or aquifers, including the powers to operate withdrawal wells for the extraction of salt water or water affected by any pollutant and to dispose of such water by injection or otherwise; to operate injection wells to create freshwater barriers against salt water intrusion or the intrusion of any other pollutant; and to control pumping rates by users in any area threatened by intrusion of saltwater or other form of pollutant.

The District has explored options to address saltwater intrusion in the “2,000-ft” sand, which is used by both industry and public supply. Installation of a saltwater scavenger well system is the preferred course of action. Problems in finding a location for the first exploratory well have caused delays in choosing a driller and have pushed the project back.

Jeffrey S. Hanor (Department of Geology and Geophysics, LSU, United States)
Fresh and brackish groundwaters of the Louisiana continental shelf – do they exist?

ABSTRACT. It is known that the use of fresh (TDS <1 g/L) to brackish (TDS <5 g/L) waters significantly improves the efficiency of the secondary recovery of hydrocarbons by waterflooding. It has been shown recently that groundwaters of such salinities exist in a number of passive margin continental shelf sediments in proximity to hydrocarbon producing facilities. These waters were introduced during times of lowering of sea level during the Pleistocene.

Do similarly low salinity waters exist in sediments of the Louisiana continental shelf, which is home to a large number of hydrocarbon production facilities? Two formation water dip sections of the Louisiana continental shelf were constructed as part of an earlier LSU study. The western section runs N-S from the coastline to the edge of the shelf through the Vermillion offshore areas. The eastern section runs N-S through the South Pelto and South Timbalier areas. Pore water salinities, temperatures, and pressures were calculated from spontaneous potential – resistivity logs in each transect. The Pleistocene to Upper Miocene sediments encountered in these transects were deposited in fluvial, deltaic, and open marine environments and hence contained waters of fresh to brackish to normal marine salinities, <1 to 35 g/L, at the time of their deposition. Most of these sediments, however, now contain hypersaline fluids having salinities as high as 170 g/L or more. Exceptions exist in localized areas of shallow Upper Pleistocene sediments that now contain fluids less saline than sea water, even though these sediments are now overlain by seawater. The minimum salinity observed was 15 g/L in the Vermillion and 8 g/L in the Timbalier transect. These shallow brackish fluids probably represent the remnants of fresh or brackish waters introduced during the last low-stand of sea level. The lack of true freshwater in the two transects may reflect: 1) retardation of down-dip freshwater penetration by dense formation waters formed by the subsurface dissolution of salt, subsequent salinization of freshwater lenses, and/or the fact that some of the logged intervals started at a significant depth below the seafloor. However, it is probable based on current onshore groundwater maps that sub-seafloor fresh waters exist in portions of the extreme eastern Louisiana and southeastern state of Mississippi continental shelf areas. Both areas lie to the east of the South Louisiana salt dome province.

Doug Daigle (Louisiana Hypoxia Working Group, United States)
Intersection of Policy and Trends - Climate, Hypoxia, and Louisiana's Coast
SPEAKER: Doug Daigle

ABSTRACT. Louisiana is at the nexus of large natural systems, primarily the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico, and the convergence of a number of trends such as sea-level rise, hydrological cycle intensity, and habitat loss. There are also key policy efforts underway, such as the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan and Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, which are attempting to achieve their goals on timelines that will be impacted by environmental trends and other factors such as fiscal limitations and legislative changes.

This presentation will examine the intersection of the trends and policy efforts underway, specifically the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan target of achieving a 20% reduction in nutrient loading (of nitrogen and phosphorus) to the Gulf of Mexico by 2025, the Coastal Master Plan's timelines, and changes in national climate policy, in light of current assessments of trends in river levels and sea-level rise, and also lay out the key legislative processes impacting policy, such as the Farm Bill, Water Resources Development Act, and others.

13:15-16:15 Session 4C: Posters
Frank Tsai (Louisiana State University, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, United States)
Location: Rotunda
Kaiyu Chen (Louisiana State Univesity, United States)
Hongliang Zhang (Louisiana State Univesity, United States)
Impacts of wildfire emission to water bodies in US
SPEAKER: Kaiyu Chen

ABSTRACT. Wildfire is a worldwide concern because of its significant impacts on air pollution, climate changes and also its pollutant deposition to water bodies. Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) model and Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model are applied in this study to simulate potential pollutant deposition due to wildfire in US 2011. Potential deposition of PM, nitride, sulfide and Ozone would be simulated. Contribution of pollutants deposition due to wildfire from modeling results provide for calculation on how water quality would be affected. Information of water bodies are extracted from Geographic Information System (GIS). Results of this study provide information for simulating effects of wildfire to pollutant deposition and help to improve wildfire and pollution deposition controlling managements.

Wenye Deng (Xiinjiang Academy of Environmental Protection Science, China)
Yan Cheng (Xiinjiang Academy of Environmental Protection Sciences, China)
Honglaing Zhang (Louisiana State University, China)
Water and Salt Characteristic Changes of Ulungur Lake and the Corresponding Reason Analysis
SPEAKER: Wenye Deng

ABSTRACT. Based on the annual continuous Water level and salinity information systems (1958-2010) of Ulungur Lake obtained by multi-ways, the longer interannual and space changes of Water level and salinity are analyzed. The Results show that the water resource and salinity of Brenda lake and Jily lake have experienced three typical phases since 1958, synchrotron atrophy period(1958-1970), Sync atrophy period(19701-1986) and water-salt relations disorders period(1978-nowdays).The whole trends of Ulungur Lake ecologic include Brenda lake salinity further homogenizes, the fresh water ecological system of Jily lake is changing to the brackish system, and the overall ecologic condition of lake has the deterioration trend. The basic reasons, which have caused lake water and salinity systems changing and disordering , are excessive water use of lake watershed for a long time and unscientific scheduling and management of water resources, under the premise of water resources congenital deficiency in Ulungur Lake basin.

Hao Guo (Louisiana State University, United States)
Hongliang Zhang (Louisiana State University, United States)
Effects of climate change and emission scenarios on nitrate and sulfur deposition to surface water in Louisiana

ABSTRACT. With the potential growth of industries and population in Louisiana, increase of air pollutants emissions is expected and will result in high pollution deposition levels in future in addition to climate change. This study investigates the effects of emission and climate change on nitrate and sulfur deposition to surface water body in 2050 using the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. The current meteorology will be generated using Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.7.1 and the future meteorology will be generated using the same model under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5 emission scenario. The future emission scenarios will be developed based on the projection of US emission inventory in 2011 with proper factors to reflect the growth of industry and population and control strategies. The difference in spatial and temporal variations of nitrate and sulfur deposition between 2011 and 2050 will be analyzed and the contributions of emission change and climate change will be quantified.

Fenglin Han (Louisiana State University, United States)
Hongliang Zhang (Louisiana State University, United States)
Deposition of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to China water bodies
SPEAKER: Fenglin Han

ABSTRACT. Dry and wet deposition of atmospheric pollutants is a dominant pathway for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to aquatic ecosystems. As a group of ubiquitous semi-volatile organic compounds (SOCs), PAHs are of great environmental concern and seven of the sixteen unsaturated PAHs are probable human carcinogens and are designated as priority pollutants by the U.S. EPA. China is representing the largest PAHs emission in the world and has abundant water resources. The averaged annual water supply is approximately 600 billion cubic meter and most of them are from inner land water bodies. However, very few studies have been conducted to quantify the contribution of atmospheric deposition to PAH levels. This study uses a source-oriented CMAQ model to simulate emission, formation, transport, and deposition of PAHs species in China. WRF is used to generate the meteorological inputs and Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) was applied with MEGAN generating biogenic emissions and FINN for wildfire emissions. PAH emissions of 16 priority PAH species directly associated with health risks were generated from the global high-resolution PKU-FUEL-2007 inventory. The forms and quantities of PAHs deposition from wet and dry processes in China will be discovered. The spatial and temporal variations of deposition fluxes will be quantified and contributions of major source sectors or source regions will be quantified.

Pengfei Wang (LSU, United States)
Hongliang Zhang (Louisiana State University, United States)
Sources of CO2 over the Gulf Coast and US using the CMAQ model during 2012
SPEAKER: Pengfei Wang

ABSTRACT. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission comes from two ways, natural source, and human source. Over the past centuries, human activities have greatly influenced the exchange of carbon between the land, atmosphere, freshwater bodies, coastal areas and the open ocean (i.e., fossil fuel emission, land use changes). It is essential to understand the sources of CO2 to the coastal area so that the effects can be understood and controlled in future. In this study, the air CO2 is simulated using the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model during the year of 2012 over the Gulf Coast and the whole US. Model performance will be validated by comparing with the data collected by the Central Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System (CenGOOS) station CenGOOS-01 at the Coastal Mississippi Buoy (30°N, 88.6°W). The spatial distribution will be compared with OCO-2 level 2 data. The quantitative information about the sources of CO2 to the coastal area would help understand the sources and regulate the carbon chemistry in the coastal ocean and reduce uncertainty global carbon budget.

Jina Yin (Louisiana state university, United States)
Frank Tsai (Louisiana state university, United States)
Investigation of saltwater intrusion mitigation strategies for Baton Rouge multi-aquifer system

ABSTRACT. Due to excessive groundwater withdrawals, many water wells in Baton Rouge, Louisiana experience undesirable chloride concentration because of saltwater intrusion. The study goal is to develop a management framework that takes advantage of the Baton Rouge multi-aquifer system to mitigate saltwater encroachment. Several hydraulic control techniques are being utilized in this management framework and their remediation effectiveness are assessed through the developed solute transport model of the Baton Rouge aquifer system. A connector well EB-1293 has been installed to draw native groundwater from the “800-foot” sand and recharge into the saltwater-intruded “1,500-foot”sand. A scavenging well EB-1424 has been in operation in 2014 to extract saltwater in the “1,500-foot” sand. Besides, it is necessary to predict other potential saltwater intrusion areas, such as the “1,200-foot” sand, “2,000-foot sand”, “2,400-foot sand”, and investigate the feasibility of several innovative mitigation techniques, such as freshwater injection from neighboring aquifers, relocation of pumping wells. Further, using the horizontal scavenger wells can be most attractive for the remediation but they have not been tested in the Baton Rouge aquifer system yet. This management framework serves as a scientific tool to assist policy makers to solve the urgent saltwater encroachment issue in the Baton Rouge area. The research results will help water companies as well as industries in East Baton Rouge Parish and neighboring parishes by reducing their saltwater intrusion threats, which would in turn sustain Capital Area economic development.

14:40-15:40 Session 5A: Professional Ethics
Douglas Carlson (Louisiana Geological Survey, Louisiana State University, United States)
Location: Dalton Woods Auditorium
John Johnston (Louisiana Geological Survey, United States)
Professional Ethics
SPEAKER: John Johnston

ABSTRACT. This is a professional ethics lecture that satisfies the ethics requirements for both geologists and engineers (it is LAPELS approved). It covers: professional obligations; required educations; philosophical requirements; keeping current; proper representation; licensing and/or certification requirements; obligations to avoid professional wrongdoing and to follow professional codes of ethics; obligations to use logic and caution; the obligation to be duly diligent; the obligation to never make a false statement; the obligation to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest; and the obligation to always be professional and professionally honest.

14:40-16:20 Session 5B: Water chemistry
Timothy Duex (University of Louisiana Lafayette, United States)
Location: Conference Room
Timothy Duex (Department of Geology University of Louisiana Lafayette, United States)
Ben Lissard (Department of Geology University of Louisiana Lafayette, United States)
Steve Sinitiere (Kourco Environmental Services, United States)
Field Observations of Soil-Water Tension throughout a Capillary Fringe in New Iberia, Louisiana
SPEAKER: Timothy Duex

ABSTRACT. The need for an expedient and economical field method for identifying the upper boundary of the capillary fringe (CF) led to an investigation of the clay-rich surficial units of two sites in New Iberia, Louisiana. Tension-sensing instruments capable of indirectly measuring water content were installed to monitor changing subsurface conditions throughout the vadose zone in response to water table fluctuation and rainfall. Tension measurements of 10 kPa and 33 kPa, correlated with the agricultural concept of field capacity by previous studies, functioned as indicators of two possible upper capillary fringe surfaces. Interpreted tension boundaries were plotted at depth to outline temporal changes in capillary fringe thicknesses, which ranged from approximately 1-5 ft depending on rainfall rates.

A comparison of gravimetric water content profiles with interpreted tension boundaries suggested that CF thickness was heavily influenced by the presence and composition of surficial fill, root systems, and the depth of the shallow water table. Collected tension and water content measurements were plotted as water retention points onto a series of estimated soil water retention curves (SWRCs). The hysteretic nature of soil-water retention relationships of the clay-rich media, evidenced by several examples of near equivalent water contents corresponding to vastly different tension measurements, and vice versa, illustrated the potential errors in basing capillary fringe thickness solely on tension measurements. While tension measurements did prove useful in recording variable conditions in the vadose zone, further research into accounting for hysteresis is required before tension boundaries can be employed in capillary fringe surface identification.

R. Eugene Turner (Louisiana State University, United States)
The Belowground Intersection of Nutrients and Buoyancy in a Freshwater Marsh

ABSTRACT. An ogliotrophic coastal freshwater marsh converted to open water within months after receiving partially-treated sewage water in fall 2006. Rafts of the upper 50 to 60 cm of marsh soil were found throughout the area within two years, as parts of the 1,100 year-old marsh were re-distributed in the open water. We examined the marsh soils from 2009 to 2012 to determine some of the cause-and-effect consequences of their decomposition to the formation of these floating mats. There was a lack of herbivory damage in April 2009 where the outer boundary of the soil profile was weakened at 60 cm depth, and eventually converted to open water. A 2012 storm event flooded the area by 1.5 m, resulting in new marsh mat ‘pop-ups’ whose bottom underside was coincidental with the layer of maximum decline in soil strength in the sewage treated area. We conclude that the addition of partially-treated sewage weakened the soil structure during this high water event and others to allow for the vertical separation of the marsh as the buoyancy forces exceeded the marsh’s anchor strength, thereby exposing the softer older peats to decomposition, and smothering marsh underneath the mat’s new location. A chronic effect of eutrophication on these marshes was, therefore, revealed in a dramatic flooding event. A bottom up (nutrient addition), not top-down stress (herbivory) contributed to wetland loss in the area, and is a potentially significant chronic stressor for other eutrophied marshes with significant aboveground flooding.

Naveen Adusumilli (LSU AgCenter, United States)
Characteristics of voluntary programs addressing nonpoint source pollution

ABSTRACT. Nutrient and sediment runoff from agricultural lands is addressed across the nation mostly through voluntary programs while some states are moving toward other mechanisms such as nutrient trading, taxes and subsidies, enforcement, etc. Although the players in nonpoint pollution accept that voluntary practices along with other mechanisms are necessary to address water quality issues, there is still lack of information on programs that provide financial, educational, and research tools to achieve the environmental objectives. Environmental Quality Incentives Program is one such example of a targeted program to address water quality through a concentrated conservation effort. Knowledge gap can hinder the adoption of measures that can achieve progress on water quality improvements at local and regional scale. The current project is aimed to provide an assessment of programs and practices that addresses the need for necessary information to producers that ensures adoption of cost-effective management strategies and allows control over their production and pollution-control decisions.

15:40-16:05 Session 6: Climate Change Impact on Water Chemistry
Douglas Carlson (Louisiana Geological Survey, Louisiana State University, United States)
Location: Dalton Woods Auditorium
Xue Qiao (Sichuan University, China)
Hongliang Zhang (Louisiana State University, United States)
Ya Tang (Sichuan University, China)
Qi Ying (Texas A&M University, United States)
Stefano Lugli (Modena University, Italy)
Jie Du (Jiuzhaigou Administrative Bureau, China)
Contributions of air pollution and climate warming to tufa wetland degradation in Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve, eastern rim of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

ABSTRACT. Massive deposition of calcium carbonate in ambient temperature waters forms magnificent tufa wetlands, many of which are designated as protected areas and are popular tourist destinations. There is a tufa wetland belt along the Eastern Rim of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (ERQTP), and many of them are experiencing degradation, such as nutrient enrichment and tufa degradation. Meanwhile, there is also an air pollution belt in the ERQTP. This study was made to understand the correlation of tufa wetland degradation with climate change and air pollution for Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve (hereafter Jiuzhaigou). Atmospheric changes were first studied. The results show that annual mean air temperature increased by 1.2oC from 1951 to 2014. Anthropogenic emissions contributed to over 90% annual wet deposition fluxes of reactive sulfur and nitrogen and caused acid rain (pH<5.60). Wet deposition fluxes of reactive sulfur and nitrogen (including SO42-, NH4+, and NO3-) were mostly from inter-regional transport of air pollutants. Then, the impacts of air pollution and climate warming on tufa wetlands were further investigated. We found that precipitation was calcite-unsaturated so it could dissolve exposed tufa and considerably reduce tufa deposition rate and even cause tufa dissolution in shallow waters. These effects enhanced as precipitation pH decreased. Annual volume-weighted mean concentration of reactive nitrogen in wet deposition and runoff were 26.1 and 14.8 µmol L-1, respectively, both exceeding China’s national standard of total nitrogen in runoff for nature reserves (14.3 µmol L-1) and this suggested a nitrogen fertilization effect of wet deposition on green algae. As water temperature is the limiting factor of algal growth in Jiuzhaigou and temperature in the top layer (0-5 cm) of runoff (with a depth<1 m, no canopy coverage of trees and shrubs) was significantly higher at the sites with increased biomass of green algae (p<0.05), climate warming would favor the growth of green algae. In summary, this study suggests that climate warming and inter-regional transport of air pollutants have contributed to tufa wetland degradation in Jiuzhaigou, but in order to better quantify the contributions, further studies are needed, as many other anthropogenic and natural processes also influence tufa wetland evolution.

16:45-17:15 Session : Tour at LSU Center for River Studies

Address: 100 Terrace Ave., Baton Rouge, LA, 70802 (Next to CPRA Building)

Way to get there: You need drive to the CRS parking lot yourself before 4:45 pm.

Contact: Clinton S. Willson (, Director, Center for River Studies, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University

17:30-18:00 Session : Tour at The Water Institute of The Gulf

Address: 1110 River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Way to get there: You may drive to the TWI parking lot or walk from the CRS to the TWI.

Contact: Alyssa Dausman (, Vice President for Science, The Water Institute of The Gulf