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Email IBWC to CBP O-1 Thru O-3 border wall Modeling - 2010 - IBWC Says Solid Wall Due to Debris

Email IBWC to CBP O-1 Thru O-3 border wall Modeling - 2010 - IBWC Says Solid Wall Due to Debris

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Published by Scott Nicol
2010 emails stating that border walls in the Rio Grande floodpalin should be modeled as solid, not permeable. Includes a 2008 Baker Engineering white paper stating much higer obstruction percentages than they used to justify new border walls in 2011
2010 emails stating that border walls in the Rio Grande floodpalin should be modeled as solid, not permeable. Includes a 2008 Baker Engineering white paper stating much higer obstruction percentages than they used to justify new border walls in 2011

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Published by: Scott Nicol on Sep 03, 2012
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11/14/2012

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From:
 
Sent:
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 5:02 PM
To:
 
Cc:
 
Subject:
Re: FW: FW: O-1 thru O-3 Modeling White Paper??
Attachments:
Modeling Approach white paper 5-12-08.pdf
Page 1of 53/3/2011I agree. It is troubling how far apart we (USIBWC and Baker) are with regards to HEC-RASmodeling capabilities. I would hope they agree that HEC-RAS is a one-dimensional model, andtherefore is unable to evaluate transverse flows. (Reference "white paper", page 3, paragraphstarting with "While HEC-RAS offers ......" See attachment). Regards.>>> " 10/17/2010 10:18 AM >>>
Please see Baker's response to you e-mail.
 
Thanks
 
From:
 
Sent:
Friday, October 15, 2010 2:11 PM
To:
 
Subject:
Re: FW: O-1 thru O-3 Modeling White Paper??
There appears to be some confusion relative to our analysis and recommendations as we have neverrecommended that a two dimensional model be developed for the O-1, O-2 and O-3 segments for thereasons stated below.It appears that IBWC may have misunderstood the main point of the May 2008 white paper. Although wetouched on various applications/hydraulic models that could be used for this effort and the limitations ofusing HEC-RAS, we recommended that HEC-RAS be used for our analysis because we believe itprovided an accurate estimate of the impacts of the fence on the floodplain.As you know, the HEC-RAS model submitted with the May 2008 report uses the blockedobstruction/modified geometry approach as we recommended in the white paper. This approach takesinto consideration all the headlosses due to friction with the fence and also indirectly accounts fortransverse flows by allowing the water to flow back and forth across the fence in order to keep the watersurface elevation balanced on both side of the fence. This approach does not consider the headlosses
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due to the flow across the fence; however our analysis in the white paper (section 4) demonstrates that theseheadlosses are negligible. In addition, a real life event similar to what is being modeled took place in EaglePassduring the flooding that happened in July 6, 2010, validates the assumptions for the use of such approach.Attached are the pictures of this flooding showing the water surface elevation being the same on both sides of thefence while flooding. For the reasons stated above, we respectfully disagree with the opinion that HEC-RAS doesnot have the capability for evaluating transverse flows through the fence. It is also important to note that the May2008 analysis determined that all impacts due to the proposed fencing met IBWC’s threshold for water surfaceelevation impacts (we were not advised of the water deflection criteria until after the May 2008 study wascompleted).Despite our analysis and professional opinion that our May 2008 analysis accurately predicted the impacts of thefence, IBWC subsequently directed us to simulate the fence as a solid wall for all flow directions, which we did inthe November 2009 analysis using the split flow analysis.With regards to IBWC’s letter dated September 17th to the CBP Commissioner there also seems to be confusionwith respect to our August 2010 Summary Report conclusion. Our conclusion that the current “solid-wall”November 2009 model is “conservative” was based on the fact that although very minor, we are now predictingsome minor impacts to the floodplain that exceed IBWC’s thresholds whereas our April 2008 model that assumedtransverse flow through the fence met all of the threshold limits.In Summary, a two dimensional model was never recommended for this project because of our belief that theHEC RAS model is/was capable of accurately predicting the impacts of the proposed fencing on the floodplainand IBWC’s direction that the fence had to treated as a solid wall due to debris build-up. Since it now appearsIBWC is willing to consider transverse flows through the fence, our recommendation is to update the November2009 HEC RAS model by adding one of the features that could account for transversal flow through the fence. Ifthat is still unacceptable to IBWC, there may be some benefit in developing a 2D model however beforeembarking on this endeavor, which could be costly and time consuming, we strongly recommend that a meetingbe held with IBWC to agree on the specific model to use, the modeling approach and the different factors toinclude percent blockage that will be included as input into the model.Please send me any question or comments you may have concerning this email.Thanks
From
:
To
: 
Sent
: Tue Oct 05 12:48:26 2010
Subject
: Fw: FW: O-1 thru O-3 Modeling White Paper??
Sam
 
FYII think IBWC may have missed the main point of the "white paper". I also don't remember us ever discussing thepossible use of 2D modeling with you all or IBWC. Am I losing my mind??It's also very troubling how far apart we (Baker & IBWC) are with regards to HEC RAS modeling capabilities andthe fencing???. How can this be?? I'd appreciate you honest take.
 
ThanksCustoms and Border ProtectionFacilities Management & EngineeringTactical Infrastructure PMOSent from my Blackberry w/o the benefit of spell check
Page 2of 53/3/2011
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From
:
To
:
Cc
:
Sent
: Tue Oct 05 12:44:24 2010
Subject
: Re: FW: O-1 thru O-3 Modeling White Paper??
This
 
is
 
in
 
response
 
to
 
your
 
e
mail
 
of 
 
September
 
30,
 
2010
 
to
 
The
 
white
 
paper
 
that
 
you
 
have
 
mentioned
 
below
 
is
 
the
 
same
 
white
 
paper
 
that
 
we
 
talked
 
about
 
at
 
our
 
meeting
 
of 
 
September
 
29,
 
2010.
 
The
 
point
 
that
 
we
 
made
 
at
 
that
 
meeting,
 
and
 
that
 
we
 
had
 
made
 
to
 
MBaker
 
at
 
a
 
previous
 
meeting
 
held
 
well
 
before
 
the
 
issuance
 
of 
 
the
 
white
 
paper,
 
was
 
that
 
HEC
RAS
 
is
 
a
 
one
dimensional
 
model,
 
capable
 
of 
 
evaluating
 
flows
 
only
 
in
 
the
 
longitudinal
 
direction
 
of 
 
the
 
flow,
 
that
 
is,
 
it
 
does
 
not
 
have
 
the
 
capability
 
for
 
evaluating
 
transverse
 
flows.
 
The
 
second
 
paragraph
 
in
 
page
 
3
 
of 
 
the
 
white
 
paper
 
fully
 
agrees
 
with
 
our
 
assessment.
 
Moreover,
 
we
 
note
 
that,
 
further
 
down
 
in
 
page
 
3,
 
the
 
white
 
paper
 
states
 
that
 
multi
dimensional
 
models
 
are
 
time,
 
labor,
 
and
 
cost
 
intensive,
 
but
 
under
 
certain
 
circumstances
 
they
 
are
 
 judged
 
to
 
be
 
a
 
good
 
value.
 
This
 
appears
 
to
 
be
 
a
 
way
 
in
 
which
 
the
 
white
 
paper
 
conditionally
 
recommends
 
their
 
use.
 
As
 
clarification
 
to
 
statements
 
in
 
the
 
second
 
paragraph
 
of 
 
your
 
e
mail,
 
we
 
offer
 
the
 
following:
 
The
 
requirement
 
to
 
model
 
the
 
fence
 
as
 
a
 
solid
 
wall
 
is
 
due
 
only
 
to
 
the
 
use
 
of 
 
HEC
RAS
 
for
 
modeling
 
your
 
O
1
 
through
 
O
3
 
projects.
 
Given
 
the
 
layout
 
of 
 
the
 
fence
 
in
 
these
 
projects,
 
it
 
can
 
be
 
expected
 
that
 
there
 
would
 
be
 
flows
 
across
 
the
 
fence
 
with
 
a
 
transverse
 
component.
 
As
 
stated
 
above,
 
HEC
RAS
 
does
 
not
 
have
 
the
 
capability
 
to
 
evaluate
 
these
 
transverse
 
flows.
 
Use
 
of 
 
HEC
RAS
 
then
 
requires
 
elimination
 
of 
 
flows
 
across
 
the
 
fence,
 
which
 
is
 
achieved
 
only
 
if 
 
the
 
fence
 
is
 
considered
 
as
 
a
 
solid
 
wall.
 
As
 
for
 
your
 
concern
 
on
 
the
 
value
 
that
 
a
 
two
dimensional
 
model
 
would
 
provide,
 
“b/c
 
there
 
would
 
be
 
no
 
flow
 
perpendicular
 
to
 
the
 
fence”,
 
we
 
note
 
that
 
this
 
type
 
of 
 
model
 
would
 
have
 
the
 
capability
 
to
 
evaluate
 
transverse
 
flow
 
across
 
the
 
fence,
 
and
 
thus
 
would
 
not
 
require
 
considering
 
the
 
fence
 
as
 
a
 
solid
 
wall.
 
If 
 
you
 
have
 
any
 
question,
 
please
 
contact
 
me.
 
Regards.
 
U.S. Section, IBWC 
 
>>> 9/30/2010 3:52 PM >>>
Gentlemen
 
The only white paper we can find relative to O-1 thru O-3 fence segments was prepared in 2008 and is attached.As describes in his e-mail below, it focused on the pros/cons of several HEC-RASmethodologies/assumptions and included a recommendation that you all did not concur with. While it referencesthe existence of 2 and 3 dimension hydraulic models in one paragraph, it does not recommend their use.
Page 3of 53/3/2011
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