• Preliminary studies of frozen gravel properties related to underground mining

      Skudrzyk, F.J., Barker, C.R., and Mazurkiewicz, M. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1982-04)
      This report describes research conducted by Drs. Frank J. Skudrzyk, Clark R. Barker and Marian Mazurkiewicz over a period of time from February 15 to April 15, 1982 for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The scope of the project, established through discussions with Dr. Chris Lambert, representing the UA, was to conduct pilot studies of frozen gravel properties related to underground mining in permafrost: high pressure water jet cutting characteristics and uniaxial compressive test (uniaxial compressive strength and Young's modulus measurement). It has been agreed that the tests would be conducted on an artificial material simulating the frozen gravel.
    • Preliminary studies of the effectiveness of water jet cutting on frozen ground

      Skudrzyk, F.J. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1983-08)
      Cutting of artificially frozen gravel and ice was performed under laboratory conditions at pressures ranging from 3000 to 15000 psi (20.7 to 103.5 MPa) and flow rates below 4 gpm (0.24 L/s). During the second stage of this preliminary study additional cutting and "drilling" were conducted in the permafrost tunnel at Fox, at pressures ranging from 2000 to 4400 psi (13.8 to 30.4 MPa) and flow rate up to 40 gpm (2.4 L/s). The erodability of the material (energy required to remove a unit volume of material) was calculated and used as a basis for finding the optimum conditions for frozen gravel disintegration. Recommendations for further studies are also included.
    • Preliminary Study on Snowplow Survivability of Guardrail Terminals

      Ma, Zhongguo (John); Mattingly, Steven P. (2000-08-01)
      FHWA has asked Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) to fix damaged longitudinal and end sections of guardrail throughout Alaska's road system. The proposed research evaluates W-beam guardrail end terminals (GET) which are installed along roads in heavy-snow areas of Alaska. Primarily, it is important for DOT&PF to determine how well GET withstand loads generated during snow plowing and blowing operations. Based on this preliminary study, the following conclusions are made (1) Anecdotal evidence indicates that the newly installed SRT-350s are not very forgiving (because they are designed to be crash-friendly), and relatively minor contact between the snow removal equipment and the terminal may result in terminal failure and at least some damage. (2) There are two types of damage to the newly installed SRT-350s; (a) damage due to contact between the snow removal equipment and the terminal; and (b) damage resulting from the pressure of the snow (snow-only contact). The first type is the most likely damage observed in field visits. The damage due to snow-only contact can occur in heavy snow area. (3) Except in heavy snow area, the average replacement rate for newly installed SRT-350s can be reduced to about the same level as the traditional BCTs if the snowplow operator learn to respect the new terminals more and provide them with a wide berth. To achieve this, it is very important to mark the end of the terminal as well as the beginning of the flare of the terminal. With both locations marked, an operator can carefully avoid the entire length of the terminal. (4) Further research is needed to investigate guardrail end terminals which are more durable or are easily repaired.
    • Pretreatment of aqueous phase of mine plant tailings for submarine disposal

      Choudhury, Abhishek; Bandopadhyay, Sukumar; Lin, Steve; Schiewer, Silke; Ganguli, Rajive; Wilson, Terril E. (2005-12)
      Submarine disposal of mine tailings is a relatively recent technology that holds the promise of solving the recurring problems that the mining industry has had with tailings disposal. The system has been successfully implemented in many mines around the world. Before implementation, however, a decision needs to be made whether the biogeochemical characteristics of the area selected for submarine disposal and characteristics of the tailings are conducive to implement submarine disposal of tailings. While an expert system can decide the feasibility of submarine tailings disposal (STD) based on its database of information and decision loops for the critical factors, tailings cannot be disposed of under water without pretreatment, which is the focus of this thesis. Bioremediation, freeze concentration and reverse osmosis were examined as possible alternatives for treatment. Laboratory tests were performed for all the methods, and in the case of bioremediation, pilot scale tests were also performed. It was concluded that all the three methods remove dissolved metals from mine water to varying degrees. Reverse osmosis was found to be the most efficient method, while freeze concentration was the least efficient method.
    • Procedure for estimating tourism benefits

      Solie, R.J. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1973)
      Mineral Industry Research laboratory Report No. 29, "Optimum Transportation Systems to Serve the Mineral Industry North of the Yukon Basin in Alaska", considers the transportation needs of the area north of the Yukon. The only industries that can be established there within the foreseeable future are minerals production, recreation, reindeer husbandry, and trapping. The present paper, M.I. R. L. Report No. 29A was originally written as an appendix to Report No. 29. After some consideration, if was decided that al though it is. too detai Ied an analysis of tourism tobe included in M.I.R.L. Report No. 29, it also is too valuable a contribution to not be published at all. Therefore, it has been published in its present form as a separate report. It is recommended that M. I. R. L. Report No. 29 be consulted, especially Chapter 6.
    • Processes controlling thermokarst lake expansion rates on the Arctic coastal plain of Northern Alaska

      Bondurant, Allen C.; Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Daanen, Ronald P.; Shur, Yuri L. (2017-08)
      Thermokarst lakes are a dominant factor of landscape scale processes and permafrost dynamics in the otherwise continuous permafrost region of the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of northern Alaska. Lakes cover greater than 20% of the landscape on the ACP and drained lake basins cover an additional 50 to 60% of the landscape. The formation, expansion, drainage, and reformation of thermokarst lakes has been described by some researchers as part of a natural cycle, the thaw lake cycle, that has reworked the ACP landscape during the course of the Holocene. Yet the factors and processes controlling contemporary thermokarst lake expansion remain poorly described. This thesis focuses on the factors controlling variation in extant thermokarst lake expansion rates in three ACP regions that vary with respect to landscape history, ground-ice content, and lake characteristics (i.e. size and depth). Through the use of historical aerial imagery, satellite imagery, and field-based data collection, this study identifies the controlling factors at multiple spatial and temporal scales to better understand the processes relating to thermokarst lake expansion. Comparison of 35 lakes across the ACP shows regional differences in expansion rate related to permafrost ice content ranging from an average expansion rate of 0.62 m/yr on the Younger Outer Coastal Plain where ice content is highest to 0.16 m/yr on the Inner Coastal Plain where ice content is lowest. Within each region, lakes vary in their expansion rates due to factors such as lake size, lake depth, and winter ice regime. On an individual level, lakes vary due to shoreline characteristics such as local bathymetry and bluff height. Predicting how thermokarst lakes will behave locally and on a landscape scale is increasingly important for managing habitat and water resources and informing models of land-climate interactions in the Arctic.
    • Product Evaluation: Presto Roadbase Sand Confinement Grid

      Coetzee, Nicolaas F. (1983-06)
      The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is continuously looking for methods of using marginal soils for roadway and airport embankments. In areas such as the Western coast of Alaska, where quality materials must be imported and therefore are prohibitively expensive, the use of native soils represents a significant cost savings to the State. The Army Corps of Engineer Experimental Waterways Station has developed a method of stabilizing sand using a plastic grid system. This report analyzes the system for use in Western Alaska using a finite element analysis and the Chev5L computer program. These analysis indicate that the grid system is at least equal to 6 inches of crushed aggregate. The bearing capacity of the sand is greatly enhanced since lateral displacement is eliminated. Although additional work is still required, it is expected that the sand grid system discussed in this report will ultimately result in a significant cost savings in embankment construction in Western Alaska
    • Production modeling and economic evaluation of a potential gas hydrate pilot production program on the North Slope of Alaska

      Howe, Stephen John; Patil, Shirish L.; Reynolds, Douglas B.; Ogbe, David O.; Chukwu, Godwin A. (2004-05)
      Methane hydrates consist of a water ice lattice with methane gas molecules contained in the lattice cavities. When dissociated into its constituent water and methane, one volume of hydrate contains approximately 138 volumes of methane gas. On the North Slope area of Alaska, it is estimated that accumulations containing between 300 and 5000 trillion cubic feet of gas. The feasibility of a pilot production project was computed to determine the production potential of the hydrate accumulation and its economic return. The production of gas from a 1 mile by 4 mile reservoir block containing hydrate underlain by an accumulation of free gas was simulated and the resulting production profile inputted into an economic model. As the mechanism for the production of hydrates differs from conventional hydrocarbons, an existing thermal hydrocarbon computer simulation program was adapted. Results of the simulations indicate that depressurization of the free gas zone reduces the pressure at the gas-hydrate interface below that necessary for hydrate stability and causes the hydrate to dissociate into methane gas and water. Analysis found that, in most situations, a development project would be profitable, though the results are highly leveraged to the transportation cost and gas sales price.
    • Production optimization and forecasting of shale gas wells using simulation models and decline curve analysis

      Ikewun, Peter O.; Kamel, Ahmed; Hanks, Catherine; Ahmadi, Mohabbat (2012-08)
      Production data from the Eagle Ford shale (an analogue to the Shublik shale of Alaska) was compiled from three neighboring counties and analyzed using decline curve analysis (DCA) to correlate production performance with completion method (horizontal leg/stages of fracture) and length of horizontal leg. Generic simulation models were built and run using a realistic range of properties. Simulation results provided a better understanding of interplay between static properties and dynamic behavior. Results from the DCA of 24 producing wells with production histories of 9-57 months showed, for most cases, an increase in reserves with more fracture stages. However, the DCA generated different forecasts depending on which part of the data were used. This clearly indicated the need for running simulations. Simulation runs can generate more reliable production forecast of which the decline part can be used to evaluate the capability of DCA to reproduce the production profiles. A combination of simulation models and DCA was used to optimize production and forecasting. Simulation models were used to optimize production for a range of different reservoir and completion parameters. The ability for DCA to reproduce simulated results (built with similar data from the Eagle Ford) for wells with different production periods was also analyzed. This results in better and more reliable production forecasts for the Eagle Ford and other young producing shale reservoirs possessing short production history. Modeling of the complex reservoir geometry and fracture networks of these types of reservoirs would give an extensive understanding of the flow mechanics.
    • A Program for the Collection, Storage, and Analysis of Baseline Environmental Data for Cook Inlet, Alaska

      Wagner, David G.; Murphy, R. Sage; Behlke, Charles E. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1968)
      The scope of this report is to provide a general, yet comprehensive, description of the Cook Inlet System which will serve as a basis for understanding the interrelated natural and man-made factors governing its future; to present a program of field research studies for the estuarine environment that will describe the existing state of the Inlet with respect to the water quality and biota; to provide a framework whereby the program of studies can be evaluated and redirected in light of the preliminary results; and, to provide a method of storing and analyzing the data from the investigations so that it can be made available to interested parties in the most efficient manner possible.
    • Project to demonstrate feasibility of gas production with sensitivities on production schemes on Sterling B4 sands formation

      Yeager, Ronald J.; Patil, Shirish; Ning, Samson; Khataniar, Santanu (2018-04)
      The Sterling B4 reservoir is a low-relief anticline structure underlain by a weak aquifer located on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. This dry gas-on-water reservoir, holding approximately 13.9 BCF, has experienced challenges since its first development in the 1960s. The gas-water contact is very mobile and easily influenced upward by gas production. All four wells, largely producing in succession of one another, have experienced excessive water production which killed gas production. Faulty drilling and completion work exacerbated the challenges associated with bringing the gas to market. This project covers an effort to develop the Sterling B4 and determine feasible alternatives for commercialization. Those alternatives include infill drilling, variable production, and co-production. Co-production is a method by which gas is produced from a single upper perforation and water is produced from a lower perforation; each of the streams are produced independently by mechanical means which utilize packers and tubing. The only feasible alternative found by this study is co-production. Of the two coproduction methods analyzed, the highest ultimate recovery includes the utilization of an existing vertical well perforating the upper portion of the reservoir for gas production and a new lower horizontal well perforating the water zone to control the gas-water contact. Modeled production schemes proved the gas-water contact was able to be controlled from upward mobility by maintaining a threshold pressure delta between the bottom-hole pressures of the two producing wells. Utilizing co-production in this manner yielded incremental benefit of over 2 BCF until shut-in limits were triggered. Economic analysis of the project has proved bringing the gas to sales presents a significant prize able to support production and able to support facility operational expense despite no other revenue streams. Should other nearby formations demonstrate sufficient targets the economic case would be enhanced and present an even greater prize.
    • Projecting physical objects into a virtual space using the Kinect and Oculus Rift

      Bond, Shaun P.; Lawlor, Orion; Chappell, Glenn; Genetti, Jon (2015-04)
      Virtualized Reality as a field of research has been increasing over the last couple of decades. Initially, it required large camera arrays, expensive equipment, and custom software to implement a virtualized reality system. With the release of the Kinect and the Oculus Rift development kits, however, the average person now has the potential to acquire the hardware and software needed to implement a virtualized reality system. This project explores the possibility of using the Kinect and Oculus Rift together to display geometry based on real-world objects in a virtual environment.

      Wang, Yinhai; Jiang, Ying; Gottsacker, Christopher; Zeng, Ziqiang (2019-06)
      Traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of death among all people in the United States, but the rates among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) populations are significantly higher than other groups. In fact, rural areas in general are disadvantaged from a traffic safety perspective due to the lack of funding and challenges in safety improvement decisions. This may contribute to the much higher fatality rate on rural roadways than on urban roadways. Additionally, there is a known issue of underreporting of fatal crashes of tribal members. Thus, an increased focus on rural, isolated, tribal, and indigenous (RITI) community traffic safety is necessary in order to progress towards zero fatalities. The need for quality data is recognized, and even included in many tribal transportation plans, but implementation and collection of the data varies. Quality data enables better safety analysis and enables greater support for traffic safety improvements. An easy-to-use and multisource database would enable tribes throughout the state and other rural communities to more readily manage data and apply for improvement funding. In order to reach this point, it is necessary to have agreements with tribes on crash data collection and usage, and understand local customs, needs, and current practices. This research aimed to form trusting and lasting relationships with tribal leaders in Washington State in order to facilitate crash database management and traffic safety analysis in their communities. The outreach activities included meetings with local tribal leaders, interviews, and attendance and presentations at tribal conferences. Ultimately a formal research agreement was signed with one tribe in Washington State granting access to the fatal and serious injury crash data they had collected.
    • Properties and performance evaluation of syntroleum synthetic diesel fuels

      Sastry, Kanthikiran (2005-12)
      Synthetic fuels derived from natural gas or coal have been proposed as a replacement for the diminishing stock of fuels distilled from crude oil, and in addition offer significant environmental benefits. Fuels of this type are currently being produced and tested for their compatibility with existing diesel engines. This study examines the physical properties of the Syntroleum synthetic fuel produced by Syntroleum Corporation of Tulsa, OK, and its performance and energy balance in a Detroit Diesel series 50 engine generator. This is a high cetane fuel that contains predominately paraffins, and is essentially free of sulfur, olefins, metals, aromatics or alcohols. This work includes measuring physical properties: lubricity, density, cloud point, and heating value. Also discussed is the thermodynamic energy flow in a diesel generator system to determine what effect the new fuel has on electrical and heat production. In addition to the investigation of synthetic fuel, a similar kind of study was also performed on bio-diesel produced from fish oil.
    • Protecting family drinking water in rural Alaska: improved water management in homes without running water

      Laderach, Shawna R. (2006-12)
      The objective of this study was to investigate and make recommendations for improved in-home water management in an underserved rural Alaskan community without piped water. The main focus of the study is point-of-use disinfection. A model was developed based on experiments to predict the chlorine decay over time and the necessary chlorine dosage for waters used in the pilot community so that sufficient chlorine residual would remain during storage. TOC concentration, initial chlorination level, reduced iron and temperature were major factors impacting the chlorine consumption. Safe free chlorine levels of between 0.2 mg/L and 4.0 mg/L could be achieved in a reasonable time and maintained for typical storage times, while avoiding unpleasant taste. A taste test in the community showed that levels of 1 mg/L or less could not be distinguished by most people and were acceptable for drinking. Storage and hand washing are likely major components of preventing microbial contamination. It was determined that closed containers do not slow the loss of disinfectant from evaporation. Thorough hand washing for at least one minute using soap and running water is recommended, since this was the most effective method to remove coliform bacteria from hands.
    • Prudhoe Bay West End gas lift supply optimization

      Chou, Irwin; Dandekar, Abhijit; Ning, Samson; Zhang, Yin (2019-12)
      The western extension of Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, known collectively as Eileen West End (EWE), operates under a gas lift pressure supply constraint. This constraint is largely contributed by two factors: the extensively long gas lift supply line that stretches across the western field and the large number of production wells offtaking gas lift to stay online or enhance production. The gas lift supply line is approximately 18.5 miles long and provides gas lift to 200+ production wells. This results in a pressure drop severe enough to start hindering production on the western most side of the field as low gas lift supply pressure can cause unstable production, reduced production rate, or stop production altogether. Theory suggests that boosting the system's gas lift supply pressure will improve production from the field. In order to quantify the benefit of boosting the gas lift supply pressure and determine the most optimal way to do so, an industry proven physics based multiphase flow simulator was used to construct two models, a production system and a gas lift system. This dual integrated model approach enabled the ability to capture and predict production effects caused by changes in gas lift supply pressure and determine if boosting the pressure will be beneficial from an operator standpoint. The objective of this project is to describe how building an integrated production model can capture and quantify changes in production for a very large and complex interconnected system. Applying these types of models can help steer important operational and economic decisions to minimize risk and expense as an operator. Using the models, several scenarios were evaluated to determine and quantify the most optimal approach to address the low gas lift supply in EWE. It was determined that shutting in the least competitive wells to boost the gas lift supply pressure was the best scenario to implement for several reasons: the scenario still yielded a high production benefit, it did not have any investment requirement, and the actions could be reversed if a negative impact was realized.
    • Quarterly Report 1: Progress on Evaluation of WTC7 Collapse

      Hulsey, J. Leroy; Xiao, Feng; Quan, Zhili (2015-10)
    • Quarterly Report 2: Progress on Evaluation of WTC7 Collapse

      Hulsey, J. Leroy; Xiao, Feng; Quan, Zhili (2016-03)
    • Quarterly Report 3: Progress on Evaluation of WTC7 Collapse

      Hulsey, J. Leroy; Xiao, Feng; Quan, Zhili (2016-11)