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Water, water everywhere, and Silas Mariner may have been right
Date:12/10/2012

his lab that enables researchers to study phenomena related to the movement of water, sediment, and pollutants through wetlands and waterways. The lab also provides the means for modeling the behavior of stream flow during floods, simulating ecological aspects of channel flows, and developing measures to control scour around bridge foundations and other structures.

The uniqueness of this university laboratory can provide Diplas and his colleagues a strong competitive advantage when applying for research project funding. For example, he currently is an investigator on several projects, including: two National Cooperative Highway Research program grants ($600,000 and $500,000 respectively); two National Science Foundation awards ($380,000 and $74,000 respectively); a $210,000 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program investigation; a $247,000 Army Research Office project; and a $258,000 Virginia Uranium, Inc. study. These projects support work on bridge foundation scour, design of in-stream structures, movement of contaminants through a riverine system, role of turbulent flow on particle movement, and dam decommissioning.

Why so many different types of grants? As Diplas explained, the impact of flow in such areas as streams, rivers, floodplains, and in the vicinity of infrastructure, such as bridge crossings, has broad-reaching implications. It can "influence the hydrosphere, the pedosphere (the outer most layer of the earth composed of soil), the biosphere, and the atmosphere in profound ways," he said.

An overview of Diplas' expertise that garnered him the Einstein Award can be found in a book chapter he authored with Clinton Dancey, a faculty member and collaborator from the mechanical engineering department. The book, Coherent Flow Structures at the Earth's Surface, to be published in 2013, contains their chapter "Initiation of motion, sediment transport, and mor
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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