Upstream fish passage in box culverts: how do fish and turbulence interplay?
 
by Hang WANG and Hubert CHANSON (h.chanson@uq.edu.au)
School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia
Presentation
Detailed photographs
References
Footnotes
Related links
Acknowledgments

Presentation

Culverts are covered channels designed to pass floodwaters beneath an embankment, typically a roadway or railroad. Figures 1 to 3 present a few examples of box culvert operation in Australia, for less than design flow conditions. Culverts may cost about 15% of total road construction costs (HEE 1969). Their designs are very diverse, using various shapes and construction materials determined by stream width, peak flows, stream gradient, and minimum cost (HENDERSON 1966, HEE 1969). While the key design parameters of a culvert are its design discharge and the maximum acceptable afflux (CHANSON 2004), the variability in culvert dimensions is closely linked to the various constraints of each site, resulting in a wide diversity in flow patterns.
  In recent decades, the ecological impact of culverts on natural streams and rivers led has been acknowledged. The culvert discharge capacity is basically based upon hydrological and hydraulic engineering considerations, which may result in large flow velocities creating some fish passage barrier. One primary ecological concern regarding culvert crossings is the potential velocity barrier to upstream fish passage resulting from the constriction of the channel as illustrated in Figures 1 to 3. Baffles may be installed along the invert to provide some fish-friendly alternative (CHORDA et al. 1995, OLSEN and TULLIS  2013, CHANSON and UYS 2016). At low flows, baffles decrease the flow velocity and increase the water depth to facilitate fish passage. For larger discharges, baffles would induce locally lower velocities and generate recirculation regions. Unfortunately, baffles can reduce drastically the culvert discharge capacity for a given afflux (LARINIER 2002).

On fish-turbulence interplay
The critical parameters of a culvert in terms of fish passage are the dimensions of the barrel, including its length and cross-sectional characteristics and the invert slope. The broad range of culvert designs results in a wide diversity in turbulent flow patterns observed in prototype culverts. There is no simple technical means for measuring the turbulence characteristics in fish passage with baffles, although it is understood that the flow turbulence plays a key role in fish behaviour (LIU et al. 2006, YASUDA 2011). Seminal studies argued that the most important parameters to assist fish passage include the turbulence intensity, Reynolds stress tensor, turbulent kinetic energy, vorticity, dissipation (HOTCHKISS 2002, NIKORA et al. 2003). The interactions between fish and turbulence are very complicated, and naive "turbulence metrics cannot explain all the swimming path lines or behaviors" (GOETTEL et al. 2013).
   First mentioned by LEONARDO DA VINCI, the interactions between swimming fish and vortical structures involve a broad range of relevant length scales (LUPANDIN 2005, WEBB and COTEL 2011). The turbulent flow patterns are one key element determining the capacity of the system to pass successfully targeted fish species. A seminal discussion argued for the role of secondary flow motion and: "the importance of performing three-dimensional turbulent flow measurements to precisely identify the effects of secondary flows on fish motion" (PAPANICOLAOU and TALEBBEYDOKHTI 20 002). Such a discussion was extended by recent contributions, suggesting that "a proper study of turbulence effects on fish behaviour should involve, in addition to turbulence energetics, consideration of fish dimensions in relation to the spectrum of turbulence scales" (NIKORA et al. 2003), and that large-scale "turbulent structures associated with wakes can be beneficial if fish are able to exploit them" (PLEW et al. 2007). While the literature on culvert fish passage focused mostly on fast-swimming fish species, recent studies acknowledged the needs for better guidelines for small-bodied fish including juveniles, in particular in eastern Australia.

Theoretical and experimental considerations

Any experimental study must be based upon the basic concept and principles of similitude to ensure a reliable extrapolation of the results from the hydraulic model study to the prototype. The presentation of numerical results must have the most extensive validity, and dimensional analysis is the basic procedure to deliver dimensionless parameters. For any dimensional analysis of upstream fish passage in a box culvert, the relevant parameters include the fluid properties and physical constants, the fish characteristics, the fish motion characteristics, the channel geometry and initial flow conditions. It becomes
Equation (1)
where U is the Eulerian fish speed, u' is the fish speed fluctuation, V is the fluid velocity, v' is the fluid velocity fluctuation, Fr is the Froude number, Re is the Reynolds number, Mo is the Morton number... (WANG and CHANSON 2017,2018). The result emphasises a number of key parameters and variables relevant to upstream fish passage in turbulent open channel flows, including the ratio u'/v' of fish speed fluctuations to fluid velocity fluctuations, the ratio of fish response time to turbulent time scales, the ratios of fish dimension to turbulent length scale, and the fish species. To date, few studies provided quantitative and detailed characteristics of both fish motion and fluid flow (NIKORA et al. 2003, PLEW et al. 2007). Even fewer studies reported fish speed fluctuations and fluid velocity fluctuations, as well as fish response time and integral time scales (WANG et al. 2016). The fish swimming accelerations have also important implications in terms of energy expenditure required to swim against the current over a period of time.
   When a fish swims upstream in a culvert barrel, its motion provides critical information on locomotion dynamics that can be used to calculate energy expenditure, with significant implications for the understanding of energetics and biomechanics of aquatic propulsion. Assuming carangiform propulsion, the power or rate of work that the fish expends during swimming may be calculated as the product of the thrust times the relative fish speed. Neglecting efforts spent during lateral and upward motion, the mean rate of work by the fish may be expressed (WANG and CHANSON 2017):
Equation (2)
with P the instantaneous power spent by the fish to provide thrust and (Ux+Vx) is the local relative fish speed, at the fish location. This Equation expresses the rate of working by the fish, to counterbalance the effects of inertia, drag and gravity, albeit it does not take into account heat transfer nor any fish metabolism. It provides a deterministic means to quantify the power and energy expended by the moving fish, to counterbalance the drag, inertia and gravity forces. Importantly the work spent by the moving fish is proportional to the cube of the fluid velocity. Thus fish will minimise their energy consumption by swimming upstream in slow-velocity regions. For example, a reduction in 20% in fluid velocity is associated with a 60% reduction in power that the fish expends during swimming.
    Recent physical experiments were conducted in a 12 m long 0.5 m wide tilting flume at The University of Queensland, using a fish-friendly water reticulation system. Three main boundary conditions were tested: (a) a reference configuration with smooth boundaries, (b) a rough wall configuration with a very rough invert and rough left sidewall (Fig. 4), and (c) a baffle configuration with small triangular baffles in the left corner (Fig. 5). The latter configuration generated a combination of singular losses at each baffle superposed with basic skin friction losses. Observations showed the presence of recirculation cells behind each baffle. The rough wall configuration induced regular losses and almost no recirculation region. Visual observations of small-body mass fish propagation in the experimental channel showed a number of trends. In the smooth channel, the fish tended to swim next to the sidewalls and corners (WANG et al. 2016, CABONCE et al. 2017). There was no obvious preference between the left and right sidewalls. With the other two configurations, the fish swam against the current preferentially in the left corner of the flume, where the triangular baffles were located or at the connection between rough invert and left rough wall. The observations showed overall that the two special boundary conditions (rough wall & triangular baffles) facilitated substantially their upstream passage. Despite basic differences between the two configurations, it is believes that the enhancement was linked to the development of sizeable slow-velocity regions (CABONCE et al. 2017). In the smooth boundary channel, only 5-10% of the flow area experienced time-averaged longitudinal velocities less than 0.5×Vmean, where Vmean is the bulk velocity or cross-sectional averaged velocity. This relative surface area was considerably higher in the triangular baffle channel, with 10-25% of the flow area experiencing Vx < 0.5×Vmean, depending upon the flow rate and baffle configuration. With the rough sidewall and invert boundary conditions, the percentage of the flow area with time-averaged velocities less than 0.5×Vmean was 17%.

Summary

Standard box culverts may constitute barriers to the upstream passage of weak swimming fish, with adverse impact on the upstream and downstream catchment bio-diversity. It is believed that fish-turbulence interplay may facilitate upstream migration, albeit an optimum design must be based upon a careful characterisation of both hydrodynamics and fish kinematics. Basic dimensional considerations highlight a number of key parameters relevant to upstream fish passage, including the ratio of fish speed fluctuations to fluid velocity fluctuations, the ratio of fish response time to turbulent time scales, the ratios of fish dimension to turbulent length scale, and the fish species. The latter may be possibly a most important variable, since design guidelines developed for one species might be inadequate for another species. The application of the equation of conservation of momentum provides a deterministic method to quantify the fish thrust and instantaneous power expended by the fish to provide thrust. The power and work required to deliver thrust is proportional to the cube of the local fluid velocity. Fish can minimise their energy consumption by swimming upstream in slow-velocity regions. Visual observations in a relatively large channel showed that small-body mass fish tended to swim next to the sidewall and corners, and favoured naturally slow-velocity regions.

Footnotes

(1) Froude Number
    The Froude number is proportional to the square root of the ratio of the inertial forces over the weight of fluid. The Froude number is used generally for scaling free surface flows, open channels and hydraulic structures. Although the dimensionless number was named after William Froude, several French researchers used it before. DUPUIT (1848) and BRESSE (1860) highlighted the significance of the number to differentiate the open channel flow regimes. BAZIN (1865) confirmed experimentally the findings. Ferdinand Reech introduced the dimensionless number for testing ships and propellers in 1852. The number is called the Reech-Froude number in France (CHANSON 1999, pp. 39-46). In rectangular channels, the Froude number is commonly defined as the ratio of the flow velocity to the square root of the product of g times d, where d is the flow depth and g is the gravity acceleration (g = 9.794 m/s2 in Brisbane).

(2) Reynolds number
   The Reynolds number is a dimensionless number proportional to the ratio of the inertial force over the viscous force. It is named after the British physicist and mathematician Osborne Reynolds (1842–1912).
 

Detailed photographs

Photo No. 1 : Culvert outlet operation in Norman Creek on 30 March 2017
Photo No. 2 : Culvert outlet on Whitton Creek on 30 March 2017
Photo No. 3 : Culvert inlet along  Caswell Creek on 31 March 2017
Photo No. 4 : Juvenile Silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) swimming upstream in a 12 m long 0.5 m wide rectangular channel equipped with very rough invert and left sidewall
Photo No. 5 : Juvenile Silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) swimming in the stagnation zone upstream of a small triangular baffle in a 12 m long 0.5 m wide rectangular channel

Related links

{http://www.uq.edu.au/~e2hchans/civ3140.html}
UQ subject CIVL3140 Introduction of Open Channel Flow
{http://www.uq.edu.au/~e2hchans/photo.html}
Gallery of photographs in hydraulic engineering and environmental fluid mechanics
{http://staff.civil.uq.edu.au/h.chanson/photo.html#Culverts} Photographs of culvert structures including culvert operations
{http://staff.civil.uq.edu.au/h.chanson/mel_culv.html} Hydraulics of Minimum Energy Loss (MEL) culverts and bridge waterways
{http://www.civil.uq.edu.au/icarus/fish-passage-culverts-hydrodynamic-investigation} 2016 Icarus project on Fish passage in culverts: hydrodynamic investigation

Video movie on YouTube

Fish-friendly waterways and culverts - Integration of hydrodynamics and fish turbulence interplay & interaction - {https://youtu.be/GGWTWDOmoSQ}

Internet resources
Weather forecast BoM {http://www.bom.gov.au/}
Queensland weather forecast {http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/qld/forecasts.shtml}
Photographs of rivers in Australia {http://www.uq.edu.au/~e2hchans/photo.html#riv_australia}
Chanson (1999), Butterworth-Heinemann

References

CABONCE, J., FERNANDO, R., WANG, H., and CHANSON, H. (2017). "Using Triangular Baffles to Facilitate Upstream Fish Passage in Box Culverts: Physical Modelling." Hydraulic Model Report No. CH107/17, School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 130 pages (ISBN 978-1-74272-186-6). (PDF file at UQeSpace)
CHANSON, H. (1999). "The Hydraulics of Open Channel Flow : An Introduction." Butterworth-Heinemann, 1st edition, London, UK, 512 pages (ISBN 0 340 74067 1).
CHANSON, H. (2004). "The Hydraulics of Open Channel Flow : An Introduction." Butterworth-Heinemann, 2nd edition, Oxford, UK, 630 pages (ISBN 978 0 7506 5978 9). Order form
CHANSON, H., and UYS, W. (2016)."Baffle Designs to Facilitate Fish Passage in Box Culverts: A Preliminary Study." Proceedings of 6th IAHR International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures, Hydraulic Structures and Water System Management, B. CROOKSTON & B. TULLIS Editors, 27-30 June, Portland OR, USA, pp. 295-304 (DOI: 10.15142/T300628160828) (ISBN 978-1-884575-75-4). (PDF file) (Link at USU) (ISHS2016 proceedings) (Reprint at UQeSpace)
CHORDA, J., LARINIER, M., and FONT, S. (1995). "Le Franchissement par les Poissons Migrateurs des Buses et Autres Ouvrages de Rétablissement des Ecoulements Naturels lors des Aménagements Routiers et Autoroutes. Etude Expérimentale." Rapport HYDRE n°159 - GHAAPPE n°95-03, Groupe d'Hydraulique Appliquée aux Aménagements Piscicoles et à la Protection de l'Environnement, Service d'Etudes Techniques des Routes et Autoroutes, Toulouse, France, 116 pages (in French).
GOETTEL, M.T., ATKINSON, J.F., and BENNETT, S.J. (2015). "Behavior of western blacknose dace in a turbulence modified flow field." Ecological Engineering, Vol. 74, pp. 230-240.
HEE, M. (1969). "Hydraulics of Culvert Design Including Constant Energy Concept." Proc. 20th Conf. of Local Authority Engineers, Dept. of Local Govt, Queensland, Australia, paper 9, pp. 1-27.
HENDERSON, F.M. (1966). "Open Channel Flow." MacMillan Company, New York, USA.
HOTCHKISS, R. (2002). "Turbulence investigation and reproduction for assisting downstream migrating juvenile salmonids, Part I." BPA Report DOE/BP-00004633-I, Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon, 138 pages.
LARINIER, M. (2002). "Fish Passage through Culverts, Rock Weirs and Estuarine Obstructions." Bulletin Français de Pêche et Pisciculture, Vol. 364, No. 18, pp. 119-134.
LIU, M.M., RAJARATNAM, N., and ZHU, D.Z. (2006). "Mean flow and turbulence structure in vertical slot fishways." Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 139, No. 4, pp. 424-432.
LUPANDIN, A.I. (2005). "Effect of flow turbulence on swimming speed of fish." Biology Bulletin, Vol. 32, No. 5, pp. 461-466.
NIKORA, V.I., ABERLE, J., BIGGS, B.J.F., JOWETT, I.G., and SYKES, J.R.E. (2003). "Effects of Fish Size, Time-to-Fatigue and Turbulence on Swimming Performance: a Case Study of Galaxias Maculatus." Journal of Fish Biology, Vol. 63, pp. 1365-1382.
OLSEN, A. and TULLIS, B. (2013). "Laboratory Study of Fish Passage and Discharge Capacity in Slip-Lined, Baffled Culverts." Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 139, No. 4, pp. 424–432.
PAPANICOLAOU, A.N., and TALEBBEYDOKHTI, N. (2002). Discussion of "Turbulent open-channel flow in circular corrugated culverts." Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 128, No. 5, pp. 548–549.
PLEW, D.R., NIKORA, V.I., LARNE, S.T., SYKES, J.R.E., and COOPER, G.G. (2007). "Fish swimming speed variability at constant flow: Galaxias maculatus." New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, Vol. 41, pp. 185-195 (DOI: 0028-8330/07/4102-0185).
WANG, H., and CHANSON, H. (2017). "Baffle Systems to Facilitate Upstream Fish Passage in Standard Box Culverts: How About Fish-Turbulence Interplay?" Proceedings of 37th IAHR World Congress, IAHR & USAINS Holding Sdn. Bhd. Publ., Editors Aminuddin Ab. Ghani, Ngai Weng Chan, Junaidah Ariffin, Ahmad Khairi Abd Wahab, Sobri Harun, Amir Hashim Mohamad Kassim and Othman Karim, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13-18 August, Vol. 3, Theme 3.1, pp. 2586-2595 (ISSN 2521-7127 (USB); ISSN 2521-716X (Online)). (PDF file) (Postprint at UQeSpace)
WANG, H., and CHANSON, H. (2018). "Modelling Upstream Fish Passage in Standard Box Culverts: Interplay between Turbulence, Fish Kinematics, and Energetics." River Research and Applications, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp.244-252 (DOI: 10.1002/rra.3245) (ISSN 1535-1467). (PDF file) (Preprint at UQeSpace)
WANG, H., CHANSON, H., KERN, P., and FRANKLIN, C. (2016). "Culvert Hydrodynamics to enhance Upstream Fish Passage: Fish Response to Turbulence." Proceedings of 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society, G. IVEY, T. ZHOU, N. JONES, S. DRAPER Editors, Perth WA, Australia, 5-8 December, Paper 682, 4 pages (ISBN 978 2 74052 377 6). (PDF file) (Preprint at UQeSpace)
WEBB, P.W., and COTEL, A.J. (2011). "Stability and Turbulence." in "Encyclopedia of Fish Physiology: from Genome to Environment", Academic Press, Dan Diego, USA, Vol. 1-3, pp. 581-586 (DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374553-8.00221-5).
YASUDA, Y. (2011). "Guideline for Fish Passages for Engineers - based on Flow Conditions and Structure of Fish Passages." Corona Publishing, NPO Society for Fishway in Hokkaido, Tokyo, Japan, 144 pages (ISBN: 978-4-339-05233-6).

Video movie on YouTube
Fish-friendly waterways and culverts - Integration of hydrodynamics and fish turbulence interplay & interaction - {https://youtu.be/GGWTWDOmoSQ}

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Acknowledgments

The writers acknowledges the help of numerous civil engineering students involved in this research work, the helpful discussions with Dr Pippa Kern, Dr Rebecca Cramp, Dr Matthew Gordos, Marcus Riches, and the financial support through the Australian Research Council, NSW Fisheries, NSW Road and Maritime Services and the University of Queensland.

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Hang Wang is an early-career academic at the University of Queensland. His research interest is in the fields of Hydraulic Engineering, Experimental Fluid Mechanics, Environmental Open Channel Flows, Hydraulic Structure Design, and Turbulent Multiphase Flows. He is the winner of 49th Lorenz G. Straub Award, a 50-year-history, world-wide recognised award presented annually by the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAF) of University of Minnesota (USA) to the author of the most meritorious dissertation throughout the world in the area of Hydraulic Engineering. He was granted in 2004 The University of Queensland Dean’s Award for Outstanding Higher Research Degree Theses, which is presented to less than 10% of the graduates based on recommendation of independent thesis examiners, and in 2016 the Dr T. Johnson’s Award, which is a joint prize sponsored by Dr Trevor Johnson (Cardno, Australia) and the University of Queensland, presented to selected postdoctoral research fellow in water-related areas with associated research funding for his/her excellence in research and teaching. Up to April 2017, he has published 16 journal articles in world-leading journals, including 3 invited special-issue papers, 14 international conference papers and 6 peer-reviewed technical reports, with a total citation of 108 times in 4 years (Google Scholar). He lectured two undergraduate courses (CIVL3140 Catchment hydraulics: open channel flow & design, CIVL4160 Advanced fluid mechanics) and is co-supervising several postgraduate students on different research topics.

Hubert Chanson is a Professor in Civil Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering and Environmental Fluid Mechanics at the University of Queensland, Australia. His research interests include design of hydraulic structures, experimental investigations of two-phase flows, applied hydrodynamics, hydraulic engineering, water quality modelling, environmental fluid mechanics, estuarine processes and natural resources. He has been an active consultant for both governmental agencies and private organisations. His publication record includes over 850 international refereed papers and his work was cited over 4,300 times (WoS) to 15,500 times (Google Scholar) since 1990. His h-index is 35 (WoS), 38 (Scopus) and 62 (Google Scholar), and he is ranked among the 150 most cited researchers in civil engineering in Shanghai’s Global Ranking of Academics. Hubert Chanson is the author of twenty books, including "Hydraulic Design of Stepped Cascades, Channels, Weirs and Spillways" (Pergamon, 1995), "Air Bubble Entrainment in Free-Surface Turbulent Shear Flows" (Academic Press, 1997), "The Hydraulics of Open Channel Flow : An Introduction" (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1st edition 1999, 2nd editon 2004), "The Hydraulics of Stepped Chutes and Spillways" (Balkema, 2001), "Environmental Hydraulics of Open Channel Flows" (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004), "Tidal Bores, Aegir, Eagre, Mascaret, Pororoca: Theory And Observations" (World Scientific, 2011) and "Applied Hydrodynamics: an Introduction" (CRC Press, 2014). He co-authored two further books "Fluid Mechanics for Ecologists" (IPC Press, 2002) and "Fluid Mechanics for Ecologists. Student Edition" (IPC, 2006). His textbook "The Hydraulics of Open Channel Flows : An Introduction" has already been translated into Spanish (McGraw-Hill Interamericana) and Chinese (Hydrology Bureau of Yellow River Conservancy Committee), and the second edition was published in 2004. In 2003, the IAHR presented him with the 13th Arthur Ippen Award for outstanding achievements in hydraulic engineering. The American Society of Civil Engineers, Environmental and Water Resources Institute (ASCE-EWRI) presented him with the 2004 award for the Best Practice paper in the Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering ("Energy Dissipation and Air Entrainment in Stepped Storm Waterway" by Chanson and Toombes 2002) and the 2018 Honorable Mention Paper Award for  "Minimum Specific Energy and Transcritical Flow in Unsteady Open-Channel Flow" by Castro-Orgaz and Chanson (2016) in the ASCE Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. The Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) presented him the 2017 Baker. Medal. Hubert Chanson edited further several books : "Fluvial, Environmental and Coastal Developments in Hydraulic Engineering" (Mossa, Yasuda & Chanson 2004, Balkema), "Hydraulics. The Next Wave" (Chanson & Macintosh 2004, Engineers Australia), "Hydraulic Structures: a Challenge to Engineers and Researchers" (Matos & Chanson 2006, The University of Queensland), "Experiences and Challenges in Sewers: Measurements and Hydrodynamics" (Larrate & Chanson 2008, The University of Queensland), "Hydraulic Structures: Useful Water Harvesting Systems or Relics?" (Janssen & Chanson 2010, The University of Queensland), "Balance and Uncertainty: Water in a Changing World" (Valentine et al. 2011, Engineers Australia), "Hydraulic Structures and Society – Engineering Challenges and Extremes" (Chanson and Toombes 2014, University of Queensland), "Energy Dissipation in Hydraulic Structures" (Chanson 2015, IAHR Monograph, CRC Press). He chaired the Organisation of the 34th IAHR World Congress held in Brisbane, Australia between 26 June and 1 July 2011. He chaired the Scientific Committee of the 5th IAHR International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures held in Brisbane in June 2014. He chairs the Organisation of the 22nd Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference in Brisbane, Australia on 6-10 December 2020.
His Internet home page is http://www.uq.edu.au/~e2hchans. He also developed a gallery of photographs website {http://www.uq.edu.au/~e2hchans/photo.html} that received more than 2,000 hits per month since inception.

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Energy Dissipation in Hydraulic Structures Tidal bores  Applied HydrodynamicsEnvironmental hydraulics of open channel flowHydraulics of open channel flow (2nd edition)The Hydraulics of Stepped Chutes and Spillways The Hydraulics of Open Channel Flow: an IntroductionAir bubble entrainment in turbulent shear flowsHydraulic design of stepped cascades, channels, weirs and spillways
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