• A Framework for Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Road Salt Used in Winter Maintenance Operations

      Cui, Na; Xie, Ning; Shi, Xianming (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2016-12)
      It is important to assess from a holistic perspective the sustainability of road salt widely used in winter road maintenance (WRM) operations. The importance becomes increasingly apparent in light of competing priorities faced by roadway agencies, the need for collaborative decision-making, and growing concerns over the risks that road salt poses for motor vehicles, transportation infrastructure, and the natural environment. This project introduces the concept of Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), which combines Life Cycle Costing, Environmental Life Cycle Assessment, and Social Life Cycle Assessment. The combination captures the features of three pillars in sustainability: economic development, environmental preservation, and social progress. With this framework, it is possible to enable more informed and balanced decisions by considering the entire life cycle of road salt and accounting for the indirect impacts of applying road salt for snow and ice control. This project proposes a LCSA framework of road salt, which examines the three branches of LCSA, their relationships in the integrated framework, and the complexities and caveats in the LCSA. While this framework is a first step in the right direction, we envision that it will be improved and enriched by continued research and may serve as a template for the LCSA of other WRM products, technologies, and practices.
    • Freeze-Thaw Durability and Long-Term Performance Evaluation of Shotcrete in Cold Regions

      Qiao, Pizhong; Zhou, Zhidong (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2017-12-31)
      This study’s aim was to evaluate the freeze-thaw durability of shotcrete in cold regions and predict its long-term performance. One benchmark mix design from the WSDOT was chosen to prepare samples for performance evaluation. Shotcrete specimens were conditioned in accordance with ASTM C666. The long-term freeze-thaw performance after certain cycles was evaluated using the dynamic modulus of elasticity test (ASTM C215), fracture energy test (RILEM 50-FMC), and X-ray CT microstructure imaging analysis. Probabilistic damage analysis was conducted to establish the relation between the durability life and the damage parameter for different probabilities of reliability using the three-parameter Weibull distribution model. The fracture energy test was found to be a more sensitive test method than the dynamic modulus of elasticity for screening material deterioration over time and for capturing accumulative material damage caused by rapid freeze-thaw action, because of smaller durability factors (degradation ratios) obtained from the fracture energy test. X-ray CT imaging analysis is capable of detecting microcracks that form and pore evolution in the aggregate and interface transition zone of conditioned samples. Moreover, the continuum damage mechanic-based model shows potential in predicting long-term material degradation and the service life of shotcrete.
    • Froth flotation characterization and processing plant design for the platiniferous and auriferous marine sediments of Southwestern Alaska

      Bissue, Charles (2007-12)
      The purpose of this study was to characterize, and investigate the beneficiation of, the platiniferous and auriferous marine sediments of Southwestern Alaska, located near Platinum, Alaska. The majority of placer gold particles are contained in the 50 x 150 mesh size fraction, while the platinum is finer, residing in the 100 x 200 mesh size fraction. Liberated placer gold and placer platinum group metals (PGM) particles are visible to the naked eye and readily observed under a binocular microscope. Preliminary, qualitative microprobe analysis of PGM grains from the flotation concentrate showed grains of nearly pure iridium, isoferroplatinum and Pt-Rh-Ir-Fe-S-As mineralogy. Froth flotation showed that placer gold responded very well to all the collectors used, with gold recoveries of 82.7-99.8%. Flotation of platinum responded well to only potassium amyl xanthate, with a recovery of 80.4%. Results of low intensity magnetic separation showed that virtually all the liberated gold and platinum reported to the non magnetic product. A flowsheet, with estimated capital and operating costs, was developed to process 1500 tph of marine placer feed. Annualized costs per ton to process marine sediments were estimated to be $2.40 to $3.72 depending upon plant availability, 90% to 50%, respectively.
    • Frozen Soil Lateral Resistance for the Seismic Design of Highway Bridge Foundations

      Yang, Zhaohui “Joey”; Ge, Xiaoxuan; Still, Benjamin; Paris, Anthony (Alaska University Transportation Center, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, 2012)
    • Fuel Cell Power Plants in Rural Alaska

      Malosh, J. B. (1983-04)
      On the basis of fuel efficiency alone, the methanol fueled phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) is a very attractive replacement for the diesel electric generator, especially in the bush regions of Alaska. However, because of the transportation costs for liquid fuel to the bush combined with the lower heating value of methanol, the PAFC looses this advantage and produces electricity that in some instances is more costly than the diesel generator. Although the PAFC is at the highest state of development of all fuel cell power plants, it is still not a commercially mature technology. The present cost of a PAFC power plant is on the order of ten times the price of an equivalent diesel electric generator. There is also no large body of published, long term data on fuel cells of any type larger than 1 kw from which an accurate assessment of reliability, maintenance and operating costs can be made. Considering this and the lack of electrical production cost advantage, the evaluation of the methanol fueled PAFC for buch applications should be suspended until more operational data is made public and units are commercially available.
    • Fuel penetration rates in frozen and unfrozen soils: Bethel, Alaska

      McCauley, Craig Alan (2000-05)
      Alaska fuel-storage facilities are required by law to provide secondary containment for their largest tank-volume. Secondary containment commonly includes berms, catchment basins and ditches. Fuel-penetration rates on site soils are needed to predict potential fuel-penetration depths. Field and lab tests quantified fuel-penetration rates for three site soils in Bethel, Alaska. In-situ tests following ASTM D 5093-90 allowed measurement of fuel infiltration rates using a falling-head permeameter allowed quantification of hydraulic conductivities, permeabilities and infiltration rates in frozen and unfrozen soils prepared at various moisture contents. Unfrozen samples were tested at room temperature, 19.8-24.0C̊ (67.6-75.2F̊). Fuel-penetration rates were similar regardless of moisture contents. Tests for frozen samples occurred at -4C̊ (25F̊). Fuel-penetration rates decreased as ice-saturation increased. The permeant used for each test was a Diesel #2/Jet A-50 fuel mixture (heating fuel) consisting of predominately Jet A-50.
    • Furnace Efficiency Testing

      Durrenberger, Joe (1983-08)
    • Gaseous emissions from herding agent-mediated in-situ burning for Arctic oil spills

      Sartz, Patrik Pettersson; Aggarwal, Srijan; Barnes, David; Schnabel, William (2017-05)
      If a crude oil spill were to occur in partially ice-covered waters, many of the response tactics typically utilized in either open water or completely ice-covered conditions would become inefficient. In such situations, in-situ burning (ISB) can prove to be an efficient response tool; herding agent application is one available approach to thicken an oil slick. This study assessed the impacts on air quality following ISB tests on crude oil, in combination with herding agents, in partially ice-infested waters. The research focused on measuring downwind concentrations of respirable particulate matter (PM₂.₅) and seven different combustion gasses (CO, CO₂, NO, NO₂, NOx, SO₂, and VOCs) during five ISB events, with sampling instruments placed in-plume and 6-12 m away from the source area. The study also investigated if the utilized herding agent was detectable in the airborne plume. Findings include: 1) Concentrations of particulate matter (<2.5μm in diameter), SO₂, and CO were found to significantly (P <0.01) exceed various exposure limits and air quality standards, while the remaining compounds measured were significantly (P <0.01) below established exposure limits. Also, downwind, in the smoke plume, measured concentrations of SO₂, NOx, and total VOCs were higher than found in previous studies. It should be noted that instrument and methods not specifically approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health were utilized during this study; 2) GC/MS analysis of aerosol samples collected utilizing a flow meter and carbon sorbent tubes in the smoke plume; the Siltech OP-40 silicone based functional group of the applied herding agent was not detected in the collected samples analyzed using GC/MS. Future research should include additional scalability studies where the concentrations of particulate matter and various combustion gasses are compared to modeled concentrations using computer software. Additional research is also needed to find a cost-effective method to decrease the amount of particulate matter during an in-situ burn. It is also recommended that guidance specific for conducting in-situ burns of crude oil or refined petroleum products in the Arctic is written and published by regulatory agencies, so the industry can rapidly make plans and propose such tactics if an incident did occur where mechanical or other non-mechanical response tactics are not feasible.
    • Geochemical-geophysical investigations, Fairbanks district

      Heiner, L.E.; Beistline, E.H.; Moody, D.W.; Thomas, B.I.; Wallis, J.E.; Loperfido, J.C.; Peterson, R.J.; Wolff, E.N. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1967)
      Trace element distribution in a subarctic valley in the Cleary Hill area of the Fairbanks gold district has been studied. Zinc and arsenic have been found excellent pathfinder elements for auriferous deposits. Methods of analysis for copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, silver and arsenic as well as heavy metals are discussed. The University of Alaska method #2 has been improved, Terrain, slope, and frozen ground have little effect upon the distribution of trace elements associated with the Cleary H i l l vein. A new method for the determination of zinc using dilute acid is proposed. Analysis of geochemical data by trend surface procedures proved effective for localization of anomalies.
    • Geodatabase development and GIS based analysis for resource assessment of placer platinum in the offshore region of Goodnews Bay, Alaska

      Oommen, Thomas (2006-12)
      Goodnews Bay, southwest Alaska, is known for extensive Pt reserves that have their source in the neighboring Red Mountain. The reserves potentially extend offshore into the Bering Sea. This study aims at developing a geodatabase to integrate all offshore platinum related data collected by researchers and agencies in the past, with the intent to identify data gaps. Based on these data gaps 49 new areas were sampled for Pt and geophysical data were collected in summer 2005. Spatial distribution map for offshore Pt was created using a new Multiple Regression Pattern Recognition Technique (MRPRT) that gave an R²=0.76, a significant improvement from standard GIS based geospatial techniques. Four potential Pt exploration areas were delineated, including one area where drowned ultramafics and buried alluvial channels co-occur. Coastal currents influenced the surficial platinum accumulations, and no clear relation between Pt distribution and sand bars in the far offshore could be established.
    • A geohydrologic analysis of an upland-bedrock aquifer system: applications to interior Alaska

      Youcha, Emily K. (2003-05)
      Ester Dome, an upland-dome bedrock aquifer system, located nearby Fairbanks, Alaska, was studied to identify important geohydrologic processes occurring in Interior upland aquifer systems. The ground-water dynamics at Ester Dome are complex due to the fractured nature of the aquifer system. The geology at Ester Dome consists of metamorphic and igneous rocks. Valley bottom deposits include gravels and loess. The flow pattern of the dome aquifer system is radial. Ground-water flows from a central high elevation recharge area and discharges into lakes, streams, and wetlands in the valley bottoms. The primary form of recharge to the bedrock aquifer is from spring snowmelt. Snow water equivalent and snow depth increases with elevation. Ground-water levels were observed at fifty sites on Ester Dome for two years. Water levels in wells at high elevations or locations with no silt or permafrost coverage show seasonal fluctuations. However, ground-water levels in the valley bottoms show little seasonal fluctuations, except wells that penetrate gravel deposits and have no overburden. A ground-water flow model was developed to aid in the understanding of these geohydrologic processes. The ground-water flow model shows recharge and bedrock hydraulic conductivity as the most sensitive parameters.
    • Geologic description and reservoir modeling of a Jurassic aged, low permeability, light oil reservoir, northern coastal plain, Alaska

      Newell, Jack Robert (2001-05)
      The objectives of the study include the analysis of the geologic description and reservoir modeling of a Jurassic aged, low permeability, light oil reservoir on the northern coastal plain of Alaska. The methodology of the study was to use a reservoir simulation model to evaluate the performance and cumulative recovery of the reservoir under primary depletion and a water injection process. Results of the simulation showed a primary recovery of 15.9 %OOIP of oil by solution gas drive. The results of thee simulation by a water displacement process showed that 41.9 %OOIP oil could be recovered with a production of 38.5 %HCPV of the injected water. This study has an application in determining estimates of the design paramaters for surface facilities required for the development of the field.
    • Geological modeling and reservoir simulation of Umiat: a large shallow oil accumulation

      Oraki Kohshour, Iman; Dandekar, Abhijit; Hanks, Catherine; Ahmadi, Mohabbat; Dandekar, Abhijit (2013-05)
      Current high oil price and availability of new technologies allow re-evaluation of oil resources previously considered uneconomic. Umiat oil field is one such resource: a unique, shallow (275-1055 feet), low-pressure (200-400 psi) reservoir within the permafrost zone located north of the Arctic Circle, 80 miles west of Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) with an estimated 1.5 billion barrel of oil-in-place. This thesis presents a reservoir model that incorporates recently identified permeability anisotropy patterns within the Cretaceous Nanushuk sandstone reservoir to evaluate various potential mechanisms such as horizontal wells and immiscible gas injections. The simulation model focuses on the Lower Grandstand which is identified as a better reservoir rock. The reservoir temperature is assumed at 26 OF and gas is injected at the same temperature to maintain equilibrium with the permafrost and prevent any well integrity problems. An optimum horizontal well length of 1500 ft was found and applied for all simulation cases. The simulation results show that with 50 years of lean gas injection, recovery factors for the base case and case of 600 psi injection pressures are 12% and 15%, respectively, keeping all other parameters constant.
    • Geology and Geochemistry of the Ship Creek and Monashka Creek reservoirs, Southcentral Alaska

      Hawkins, Daniel B.; Nelson, Gordon L. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1976-01)
      Graywacke from the Ship Creek watershed, dissolves incongruently in distilled water. The dissolution appears to follow a first-order rate law which in integrated form is: k = -2.303/t log No-Q/No where No is the concentration in ppm of Ca, Mg, Na or K in the graywacke, Q is the total quantity of these ions leached in time t(days), k is the rate constant in days-1. Experimentally derived rate constants for the dissolution of graywacke in distilled water at 5oC are log k+2CA, -4.128 day-1; log k+2Mg, -6.174 day-1; log k+Na, -5.800 day-1; and log k+K, -5.249 day-1. The above constants are for 40 to +100 mesh graywacke. A surface area correction term must be inserted in the above equation if it is applied to a different size fraction. Using the above equation and rate constants, the chemical composition of a water in contact with graywacke was calculated. With the exception of magnesium, the agreement between the calculated composition and that of Ship Creek water was good. Assuming that the groundwater in the Ship Creek watershed contacts about 1.5X104cm2 graywacke per liter, 120 to 360 days are required at 5oC to produce the concentration of ions observed in Ship Creek. Release of exchangeable H+ from the soil mat to the reservoir water will not significant1y lower the pH of the water. Leaching of heavy metals from sulfides contained in the bedrock of the two watersheds does not pose a water quality hazard. Lineaments in the bedrock at Monashka Creek may provide channels through which water may seep from the reservoir. These are not expected to pose a problem in retaining water in the reservoir, but they may result in small, new springs down grade from the reservoir.
    • Geology of a subarctic, tin-bearing batholith - Circle Hot Springs, Alaska

      Wilkinson, Kathy (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1987)
      A small batholith (56mi2) outcrops approximately 94 miles northeast of Fairbanks. It occurs in a historically rich area for placer gold. Additionally, placer tin has been recorded in the creeks that flow through or adjacent to the batholith.
    • Geophysical and Biological Reconnaissance of Rock Habitats in Western Camden Bay, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

      Dunton, K. H.; Schonberg, S. V.; Schell, Donald M. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1983-05)
      This report presents the results of a 10-day geophysical and biological survey in western Camden Bay, in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. The primary objective of this survey was to confirm the existence of boulders and cobbles on the seafloor as reported by Barnes (1981, 1982). The survey area extended from the eastern edge of the Canning River (mud flat area) to Kangigivik Point and seaward to the 14m contour line (Fig. 1). A solid boundary of pack ice prevented any survey work seaward of the 14m contour. We had proposed to examine the seabed to the 18m contour.
    • Geophysical Applications for Arctic/Subarctic Transportation Planning

      Schnabel, William E.; Fortier, Richard; Kanevskiy, Mikhail; Munk, Jens; Shur, Yuri; Trochim, Erin (Alaska University Transportation Center, 2014-07)
      This report describes a series of geophysical surveys conducted in conjunction with geotechnical investigations carried out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the value of and potential uses for data collected via geophysical techniques with respect to ongoing investigations related to linear infrastructure. One or more techniques, including direct-current resistivity, capacitive-coupled resistivity, and ground-penetrating radar, were evaluated at sites in continuous and discontinuous permafrost zones. Results revealed that resistivity techniques adequately differentiate between frozen and unfrozen ground, and in some instances, were able to identify individual ice wedges in a frozen heterogeneous matrix. Capacitive-coupled resistivity was found to be extremely promising due to its relative mobility as compared with direct-current resistivity. Ground-penetrating radar was shown to be useful for evaluating the factors leading to subsidence in an existing road. Taken as a whole, the study results indicate that supplemental geophysical surveys may add to the quality of a geotechnical investigation by helping to optimize the placement of boreholes. Moreover, such surveys may reduce the overall investigation costs by reducing the number of boreholes required to characterize the subsurface.
    • GeoTechnical Investigations for the Dalton Highway Innovation Project As A Case Study of the Ice-Rich Syngenetic Permafrost

      Shur, Yuri; Kanevskiy, Mikhail; Dillon, Matthew; Stephani, Eva; O’Donnell, Jonathan (Alaska University Transportation Center, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, 2010)
    • Gis-Based Approaches To Slope Stability Analysis And Earthquake -Induced Landslide Hazard Zonation

      Luo, Huayang; Zhou, Wendy (2006)
      This dissertation presents newly developed GIS-based deterministic and probabilistic approaches for slope stability analysis and earthquake-induced landslide hazard zonation. The described approaches combine numerical slope stability analysis with GIS spatial analysis to evaluate earthquake-induced slope failures, both shallow and deep-seated. The study has four major research components. The first component is a GIS-based procedure which was developed based on one-, two-, and three-dimensional (1D, 2D, and 3D) deterministic approaches to slope stability analysis and landslide hazard zonation. Slope stability methods in the GIS-based procedure included the infinite slope model, the block sliding model, the ordinary method of slices, the Bishop simplified method, and the Hovland's column method. The second component focuses on causative factors analysis of earthquake-induced landslide hazards. This component also discusses the determination of peak ground acceleration for slope stability analysis. The third component consists of an evaluation of the topographic effect of ground motion and the seismic response in the Balsamo Ridge area in Nueva San Salvador. The fourth component is concerned with the regional and site-specific landslide hazard zonation, using newly developed models for landslide hazard assessment in Nueva San Salvador. The slope stability and landslide susceptibility were mapped in terms of slope stability index (factor of safety, critical acceleration, Newmark displacement, failure probability, and reliability index). The landslides triggered by an earthquake on January 13, 2001 in El Salvador provide a setting for the calibration of results from GIS-based approaches. The procedures developed in this research proved to be feasible and cost-effective for slope stability analysis and earthquake-induced landslide hazard zonation.
    • Glacial Processes and Their Relationship to Streamflow Flute Glacier, Alaska

      Long, William E. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-01)
      Flute Glacier is located at the head of the South Fork of Eagle River, Alaska, about twenty air-miles east northeast of Anchorage. It is a small north-facing glacier, approximately two miles long and half a mile wide, situated in a deep glacial valley (see Figure 1). Elevations on the glacier range from 3,500 feet at the terminous to 5,800 feet at the top of the accumulation area. Water from Flute Glacier becomes the South Fork of Eagle River, draining about 32 square miles of area compared to a 192 square mile drainage basin for Eagle River. Limited discharge measurements made during October 1968 suggest that the South Fork contributes about 20% of the water flowing down Eagle River. Glacial meltwater forms an important percentage of the waters of the Eagle River system. Glaciers feeding the main Eagle River are large, complex and difficult to study. Flute Glacier, relatively small and of simple plan, was selected for study because of its small size and proximity to the metropolitan area of Anchorage. Water from the Eagle River system is presently included in the plans for future water supply for Anchorage. The Eagle River valley up to the 500 ft contour is a federal power reserve. The climate of the area surrounding Flute Glacier is alpine with cool temperatures and higher than average precipitation for the area. All the glacier is above treeline so no plant life is obvious. Mountain sheep inhabit the sharp alpine peaks surrounding the glacier.