• The Limnology of Two Dissimilar Subarctic Streams and Implications of Resource Development

      LaPerriere, Jacqueline D.; Nyquist, David (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1973-03)
      Because of the relatively undeveloped condition of arctic and subarctic Alaska, an opportunity is presented to draw up water quality management plans before extensive perturbation. These plans cannot, unfortunately , be based upon those drawn up for more temperate regions where much is known about natural stream conditions, for in these Alaskan areas, little is known about the natural physical, chemical, and biological cycles of streams or about their ability to handle the stresses that will be exerted on them should development take place. The Chena River, in subarctic, interior Alaska, near the city of Fairbanks, has been studied to evaluate the impact of pending construction and operation of flood control structures (Frey, Mueller and Berry, 1970). This river however has already been developed, especially along its lower reaches where the city of Fairbanks is situated. The watersheds of the two streams chosen for this study roughly parallel each other, although the Chatanika River watershed is about twice as long as that of Goldstream Creek. In addition to the dissimilarity in size, these two streams also differ in regard to terrain, at least along the respective stretches that were studied. The Goldstream Creek study area runs through a bog and extensive muskeg. The Chatanika River, however, was for the most part sampled in the area of mountainous terrain. The intent of this study was to obtain comprehensive physical and chemical data, to survey the resident invertebrates, and to evaluate the assimilative capabilities of both streams.
    • Long term evaporation pan data to estimate potential evaporation during the warm season on the Alaskan North Slope: Imnavait Creek basin

      Mumm, John Paul; Kane, Douglas L.; Toniolo, Horacio; Schnabel, William (2017-12)
      Evapotranspiration plays a significant role in the hydrologic cycle of all basins, yet is only ccasionally measured in the Arctic. One simple index method to evaluate evapotranspiration is the evaporation pan. The energy environment surrounding the simple evaporation pan varies considerably from that of the natural environment. Yet, an evaporation pan is a sound way to determine and estimate the potential evapotranspiration, and actual evapotranspiration can be estimated from evaporation pan data by determining and employing a pan coefficient. An evaporation pan was initially installed in 1986 in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range on the North Slope of Alaska in Imnavait Creek Basin, collecting data for 22 years. The total summer maximum, average, minimum and standard deviation of pan evaporation were 34.9 cm, 29.9 cm, 19.7 cm and 9.3 cm, respectively from 1986 to 2008 (1989 missing). Both, the seasonal water balance and the Priestley-Taylor method for the 2.2 km² Imnavait Creek catchment were used to produce seasonal estimates of actual evapotranspiration. When used in conjunction with the evaporation pan measurements, an average pan coefficient of 0.58 was found in both cases, which was very similar to what was found in an earlier study on Imnavait Creek Basin. The evaporation pan results can also be correlated effectively with other measured variables (such as thawing degree days, air temperature, net radiation, vapor pressure deficit, precipitation, wind speed, and wind direction); this is a method that allows one to predict potential evapotranspiration in areas where it is not measured at broader spatial scales.
    • Long-term Stabilization of Disturbed Slopes Resulting from Construction Operations

      Perkins, Robert (Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates, 2018-03)
      Highway construction disturbs soil, which must be stabilized to prevent migration of soil particles into water bodies. Stabilization is enforced by law, regulation, and a permit system. Stabilization is most efficiently attained by reestablishment of vegetation, and permits sometimes specify this method of stabilization. Revegetation is difficult in northern Alaska, and seeded grasses often die in a year or two, while reestablishment with native vegetation takes several years. A literature search and interviews with experts indicates that simply extending this “establishment period” has many practical difficulties. Field investigations and interviews indicate that in northern Alaska little erosion occurs at slopes with failed vegetation, which implies that vegetation was not critical to reducing contamination and the expense of revegetation was unnecessary. However, when revegetation is specified in standard permit language, and contractor, owner, and regulator must close out projects, grasses are utilized. This research supports the recommendation that the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities work with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to develop special standards for projects north of the Brooks Range and between the Brooks and Alaska ranges, that recognize the low erosion potential of clean road fill – embankments.
    • Low Data Rate Digital Transmission Techniques for Alaskan Applications

      Roberts, Thomas; Merritt, Robert; Kokjer, Kenneth (1981-02)
    • Low salinity water alternate gas injection process for Alaskan viscous oil EOR

      Saxena, Kushagra; Ahmadi, Mohabbat; Patil, Shirish; Dandekar, Abhijit; Brugman, Robert; Zhang, Yin (2017-05)
      Carbon dioxide has excellent oil swelling and viscosity reducing characteristics. CO₂ injection alternated with water has shown substantial incremental recovery over waterflood for the Alaska North Slope (ANS) viscous oil reservoirs. However, for any project, the ultimate CO₂ slug size is finite and once the apportioned solvent volume is used up, the reservoir oil rates gradually revert to the low waterflood rates during the later life of a field. Low salinity waterflooding (LSWF) has also shown some promise based on corefloods and single well tracer tests in North Slope light oil reservoirs. However, two challenges impede its implementation as a standalone enhanced oil recovery (EOR) option on the North Slope: 1) slow response; the delay prolonged with increasing oil viscosity and 2) large upfront investments for the processing and transport of source water. This study proposes a hybrid EOR scheme, the low salinity water alternate gas (LSWAG) process, for the viscous fields of the ANS. The process was modeled by coupling geochemical and ion exchange reactions to a CO₂-WAG type pattern model of the Schrader Bluff O sand. The Schrader Bluff reservoir has been classified suitable for low salinity EOR based on its permeability, temperature, clay content, and oil and formation water properties. Oil recovery through wettability alteration was modeled through ion exchange at the clay sites. Multiphase compositional flow simulation was run using numerical dispersion control. LSWAG forecast for 50 years following 36 years of high salinity waterflood recovered 15% OOIP more oil over high salinity waterflood and 4% incremental over high salinity WAG. This translates to an improvement of 58% and 11% over waterflood and conventional WAG respectively. Higher oil rates were observed during later life due to increased oil relative permeability caused by the low salinity mechanism. Furthermore, very low solvent utilization values were seen for LSWAG which can be tied to the higher ultimate oil recovery potential of using low salinity water over conventional waterflood. In summary, LSWAG outperformed LSWF and conventional WAG by synthesizing the oil swelling and viscosity reduction advantages of CO₂ with lower residual oil benefits of LSWF, while overcoming the challenges of the late response of LSWF and low waterflood oil rates during later life in a conventional WAG flood.

      Connor, Billy (Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium, 2018-08-30)
      Remote Weather Information Systems (RWIS) are an important part of deciding maintenance activities and scheduling. However, the cost of RWIS limits the number of systems that can be deployed. Because of the lack of power and the high power budget of commonly used systems, some locations are not suitable for RWIS even though the information would be of great value. This project focuses on the development of a low-cost, low-power RWIS that is suitable for remote locations and allows for a higher density of RWIS. The system produced under this study uses less than 10 watts of power and costs less than $10,000 for the basic system. The system has performed well in Fairbanks, Alaska, over two winters. In addition, the system has been fully integrated into the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities RWIS network.
    • Low-rank high-volatile matter sub-bituminous coal grinding versus power plant performance

      Malav, Dinesh Kumar; Bandopadhyay, Sukumar; Wilson, Terril (Ted); Ganguli, Rajive (2005-08)
      The objective of this project was to determine if the power plant performance, characterized by megawatt and steam generation, is reduced when particle size distribution (PSD) of pulverized-coal fed into the burners is made slightly coarser. Tests were conducted in two phases at a Golden Valley Electric Association power plant. During the first phase, two tests were conducted at significantly different PSDs. Results indicated that coarser distribution did not hurt plant performance. Later, the second phase was carried out to test the repeatability of the observed combustion behavior as well as to test hypotheses on mill power consumption, emissions and unburned carbon. Unfortunately, the three tests in this phase did not result in statistically different PSD's, precluding any conclusions on the main objective. Therefore, further tests are needed to establish the effect of coarser PSD on power plant performance, emissions, unburned carbon and mill power consumption.
    • Magnetometer and direct-current resistivity studies in Alaska

      Joesting, Henry R. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1941)
      During the past year and a half, the territorial Department of Mines in Alaska has conducted a modest experimental program for the purpose of determining the extent to which magnetic and resistivity methods can be used in interior Alaska in connection with prospecting, mining and geological studies. Since little information is available concerning previous work, and since conditions differ considerably from those in most other regions, it was considered advisable to make a general study of the possibilities and limitation[s] of the two methods, rather than a detailed study of any single problem.
    • Major impediments to a feasibility study in the case of Smith Bay development

      Hullavarad, Nilima V.; Perkins, Robert A.; Hulsey, J. Leroy; Connor, Billy G. (2017-05)
      The State of Alaska is one of the energy-producing states which rely on revenue from energy extraction, but faces several challenges, especially significant fluctuations in revenue generated by taxes. In the past, oil production from established oil fields on state land yielded sufficient tax revenue. For new sources of oil, oil company owners must make a decision about developing the prospects based on a feasibility study which produces preliminary design, cost estimates, project schedule, including many permits and other uncertainties, financing, and tax credits. When this study is done, the decision can be made to begin development. This paper considers the feasibility studies on main obstacles in the development path of Smith Bay. The evaluation of major tasks needed for a feasibility study, uncertainty and obstacles, combined with our estimation of the time period required for the oil fields to produce oil, led to an estimate of the time before tax money will be provided to the state.
    • Managing Dust on Unpaved Roads and Airports

      Barnes, David; Connor, Billy (Alaska University Transportation Center, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, 2014)
    • Managing Dust on Unpaved Roads and Airports

      Barnes, David; Connor, Billy (Alaska University Transportation Center, 2014-10)
      Fugitive dust emanating from vehicle traffic on unpaved roads and runways can have significant impacts on safety, health, quality of life, and the cost of maintenance. Managing dust provides a means of reducing these impacts. Shearing forces created at the interface between the surface and vehicle tires produce dust on unpaved surfaces. The dust produced becomes airborne as a result of turbulence created by moving vehicles. Once airborne, different monitoring techniques can be used to assess the amount of fugitive dust produced and to measure the effectiveness of dust management strategies. Communities can manage dust by properly constructing and maintaining the unpaved surface, reducing vehicle speed on roads, and with the proper use of dust palliatives. The proper gradation of aggregate, the right profile, and good drainage are all necessary for reducing fugitive dust from unpaved roads and runways. Moreover, reducing vehicle speed on unpaved roads can dramatically reduce the amount of fugitive dust and result in longer periods between maintenance events. Several different types of palliatives are available for both managing dust on unpaved roads and runways. The choice of palliative is dependent on aggregate gradation, traffic amounts, climate, and location (remote or accessible).
    • Managing Water Resources for Alaska's Development: Proceedings

      Aldrich, James W. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1983-11)
    • Mapping and predicting the ionospheric effects to communication systems in northern aurora areas using the global positioning system

      Wang, Lingyun (2002-08)
      This thesis focuses on mapping and predicting ionospheric effects to communication systems in northern high latitude areas using GPS (Global Positioning System). The monitoring of ionospheric scintillation and TEC (Total Electron Content) over Fairbanks, Alaska has been achieved by using the GSV4004 GPS Ionospheric Scintillation and TEC Monitor (GISTM), which has been installed on the roof of Duckering Building at UAF since September 2001. The algorithm of acquiring equivalent vertical TEC above Fairbanks from various satellite measurements is given in detail. Both an empirical ionosphere model, IRI, and a physics-based ionosphere model, PIM, are used to verify the TEC real field measurement. Another signal estimation method, BP neural network, is used to forecast the TEC short-term variation, which can give better performance than the other two. The relationships among TEC, amplitude scintillation and phase scintillation are analyzed. Multipath effects and the impact to GPS performance from ionospheric scintillation are discussed. Lastly the TEC and scintillation index mapping around Fairbanks is presented.
    • Mapping the Wolverine Way: Identifying Conservation Corridors and Transboundary Linkages in the Canadian Crown of the Continent Region

      Clevenger, Anthony P. (2019-09-13)
      The Canadian Crown of the Continent (CCoC) is one of three zones where wolverines can move between Canada and the US, providing the last links for recruitment and ultimately gene flow to the highly fragmented population in the US Rocky Mountains. However, a combination of rapidly expanding logging, energy development and motorized recreation, along with a growing road network, threatens to fragment and diminish connections in this critical transboundary linkage between the US and Canada. This report summarizes a project to complete a 3-year sampling effort in the CCoC, which in turn completed a larger 6-year effort over a vast area of the central and southern Canadian Rockies. In 2016, the research team surveyed the last unsampled portion of the Alberta Rockies (south of Kananaskis Country to Highway 3) in addition to a substantial portion of the East Kootenay region of the British Columbia Rockies (BC; >9000 km2). This follow-up effort allowed the team to complete an entire ecoregion-wide wolverine survey in the Canadian Rockies ecoregion, from the US-Canadian border north to Banff and Yoho National Parks. From this data, researchers created density estimates and occupancy models of wolverine distribution and its multiple landscape stressors across an extensive and complex region of the Great Northern Landscape. The report summarizes research findings and makes recommendations regarding management strategies.
    • The market for insulation in Alaska and feasibility of the regional manufacture of insulating materials

      Haring, R.C.; Beasley, C.A. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1965)
      This investigation was undertaken jointly by the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory and the Institute of Business, Economic and Government Research at the University of Alaska. It is one of a continuing series of studies concerning the market and utilization rate for selected structural materials within Alaska. The overall objective of these studies is to identify opportunities for the regional manufacture of selected building products. In this manner, this limited study of insulation markets complements more extensive previous studies concerning Alaskan cement and clay products, markets and manufacturing feasibility.
    • The market potential for Alaskan clay products

      Beasley, C.A. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory (MIRL), 1965)
      This study was originally proposed to the Alaska Department of Economic Development and Planning as part of a continuing effort by the Mineral Industry Research Lab of the University of Alaska to strengthen and diversity the mineral industry of the state.
    • Mass transfer study on CO₂ penetration through methane hydrates using CO₂ vapor and a CO₂ nucleated micro-emulsion

      White, Aaron N. (2003-12)
      Gas hydrates are solid inclusion compounds that are made up of ice and large amounts of guest gas molecules. Due to their abundance in nature and the ability to entrap large amounts of natural gas, progress towards tapping this energy resource is on the forefront of research. Much research on the kinetics of formation and decomposition needs to be completed. This study was comprised of the identification of CH₄ and CO₂ through their characteristic Peak Raman shifts, the determination of the mass transfer rates of CO₂ through pre-formed methane hydrate, and an experimental injectant using a dissociated CO₂ micro-emulsion to help destabilize the CH₄ hydrate zone. Identification experiments showed that characteristic peak locations were instrument dependent and that O-H stretch analysis could help in the determination of the phase gas was in. Mass transfer rates were obtained for CO₂ penetration through methane hydrates by a headspace swap in an associated free gas zone. Experimental temperatures of the hydrate zone were 0, 2.5, and 4.5°C. Results indicate that CO₂ can penetrate into CH₄ hydrate zone by dissociating the CH4 from a hydrate phase and stabilizing the mixed CO₂-CH₄ hydrates. The process is slow in the magnitude of 10⁻⁸ meters per second.
    • Material characterization of Alaskan asphalt mixtures containing reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP)

      Kemp, Beaux M.; Liu, Jenny; Saboundjian, Steve; Schnabel, William (2016-12)
      Recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) material has been combined with hot-mix asphalt (HMA) paving for several decades to reduce construction costs and environmental impacts. In Alaska, the HMA specification allows up to 15% RAP for Type-II A mixes (typically used in wearing courses) and 25% for Type II-B mixes (used in wearing or base courses). Highway construction projects statewide are expected to see an increase in the use of RAP in future mix designs. Pavement engineers use mechanistic procedures (e.g. Alaska Flexible Pavement Design software and Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide) to develop flexible pavement design alternatives. These procedures require material engineering properties as an input source. Consequently, it is essential to properly establish the engineering properties of HMA mixtures containing RAP. In order to characterize Alaskan HMA materials containing RAP, this study evaluated 11 HMA mixtures comprised of three typical Alaskan asphalt binders (PG 52-28, PG 58-34 and PG 52-40) containing 0%, 25% and 35% RAP that were either produced in the lab or a hot-plant (i.e. collected from actual paving projects in Alaska). Various binder and mix properties were determined including; true high binder grades, complex shear modulus (G*) and phase angle (delta) at high performance temperatures, as well as asphalt mixture performance tests (AMPT); dynamic modulus (E*) and flow number (FN). The original (h-based) and the modified (G*-based) Witczak (E*) predictive models were evaluated for these mixtures based on job mix formulae availability for use in mechanistic design procedures. It was found that the incorporation of RAP into Alaskan HMA increased E* and FN of the mixtures, which indicates that the addition of RAP increased the stiffness and rutting resistance of the mixtures tested. A local calibration of the Witczak predictive models may be required for increased accuracy of E* predictions. For Alaskan conditions, a savings of $13.60/ton of mix was estimated for a 25% RAP mix. For an 18-feet wide one lane-mile of HMA mat, it is estimated to have a 21% savings in the 25% RAP mix compared to the conventional virgin (no RAP) mix.
    • Maximum weight lifting prediction considering dynamic joint strength

      Rana, G M Rahid uz zaman; Xiang, Yujiang; Chen, Cheng-fu; Peterson, Rorik (2018-05)
      This thesis describes an efficient optimization method for predicting the maximum lifting weight considering dynamic joint strength in symmetric box lifting using a skeletal model. Dynamic joint strength is modeled as a three-dimensional function of joint angle and joint angular velocity based on experimentally obtained joint strength data. The function is further formulated as the joint torque limit constraint in an inverse dynamics optimization formulation to predict the lifting motion. In the proposed optimization formulation, external load is treated as design variables along with joint angle profiles, which are represented by control points of B-spline curves. By using this new formulation, dynamic lifting motion and strategy can be predicted for a symmetric maximum weight box lifting task with given initial and final box locations. Results show that incorporating dynamic strength is critical in predicting the lifting motion in extreme lifting conditions. The prediction outputs in joint space are incorporated in OpenSim software to find out muscles force and activity during the movement. Electromyography data are collected for a regular weight lifting to validate the integration process between the predictive model (joint model) and OpenSim model (muscle model). The proposed algorithm and analysis method based on motion prediction and OpenSim can be further developed as a useful ergonomic tool to protect workers from injury in manual material handling.