Abstract

Earthen levee damage from storm surge overtopping in the New Orleans area was observed and documented after Hurricane Katrina. Some levee reaches were undamaged and some were slightly eroded, while other portions were completely breached. The in situ jet index test method was applied along selected post-storm reconstructed levee reaches to assess levee fill erodibility. Jet index testing was also conducted at three undamaged (un-eroded) levee surface locations. Pre-storm levee profiles (elevations) were compared to post-storm modeled stormwater elevations to estimate overtopping depths at the test sites. Also, pre-storm levee profiles were compared to post-storm profiles to estimate erosion depths at the test sites. The jet index test results were integrated with pre-storm soil boring data (i.e., stratigraphy and soil classification), post-storm erosion depths, and overtopping depths to investigate soil surface erodibility relationships. The results showed the validity of using the jet index test method for levee soil erodibility assessments.

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