“Munitions Mobility and Burial: Current State and New Directions for Environments, Modeling, and Live-Site Demonstration?” by Dr. Carter DuVal (SERDP Project MR21-1227)
A thorough understanding of the fate of Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC) is required for the detection, classification, monitoring, and mitigation of MEC at underwater Munitions Response Sites (MRS). Several SERDP projects are investigating the dynamics governing the mobility and burial of MEC in a variety of underwater environments and conditions. The primary objective of these field and laboratory studies was to provide observational data for SERDP-supported numerical and probabilistic models under development as tools for MRS management. This presentation covered the progress to-date of SERDP munitions mobility and burial projects from laboratory, field, and modeling efforts, as well as discuss the future direction of the field through the lens of new SERDP studies. To this end, Dr. Duval highlighted a new SERDP project to study the mobility and burial of MEC in muddy, estuarine and riverine environments, building on previous SERDP studies that were based in coastal, sandy settings. In addition, Dr. Duval discussed a process for utilizing real-time observations and operational modeling to predict potential MEC mobility and burial in riverine environments that can be used with probabilistic MEC mobility and burial models. The long-term goal of munitions response projects is to reduce the amount of independent field observations and model parameters required to effectively operate models used for MRS site management.
Dr. Carter DuVal is an oceanographer with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. His research focuses on the interactions between anthropogenic objects and seabed morphodynamics, with specific interest in MEC, ripple bedform dynamics, and storm events. Dr. DuVal has participated in several MEC research projects, including the “Hawaii Undersea Munitions Mapping Assessment (HUMMA)” and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management study titled “MEC Survey Methodology and In-field Testing for Wind Energy Areas on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.” As a graduate student, he served as co-principal investigator on the SERDP study “UXO Characterization and Detection in Muddy Estuarine Environments.” He was also the co-principal investigator of the 2021 SERDP Project of the Year “Further Examining the Role of Cohesive Sediments in Munitions Mobility through Additional Infield Deployment of Smart Munitions and Application of a SERDP-developed Penetrometer.” His research fuses in-field experimentation, geophysical surveying, time series analysis, morphodynamic modeling, and GIS data analysis and management. Dr. DuVal earned his doctoral degree in oceanography from the University of Delaware.