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About GeoPrac.net

GeoPrac.net is a community of practitioners of geotechnical engineering, geological engineering, engineering geology, geophysics, hydrogeology and related disciplines. We offer members and visitors the foremost collection of geo-related articles, news, and online resources to keep those geo-professionals in practice at the forefront of their respective fields.

Content
The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 02 August 2015 14:04
The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent.

This is a fantastic article by Kathryn Schulz for New Yorker Magazine on the seismic and tsunami hazards associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Pacific Northwest. Ms. Schulz paints a very vivid picture of what the devestation will look like based on input from many people who know what they are talking about, geologists, seismologists, FEMA officials, and State and Local disaster planning folks. This article was so effective, that NPR reported a run on survival kit supplies in Northwest U.S. The article also does a nice job explaining the interesting geologic detective work to connect the dots on the last major earthquake and Tsunami to strike that area in January of 1700. Highly recommended reading. What did you think of the article? Leave a comment below. [Source: The New Yorker via AEG Insider. Image: ILLUSTRATION BY CHRISTOPH NIEMANN; MAP BY ZIGGYMAJ / GETTY - New Yorker.com]

 
The World's Longest (and Scariest) Glass Pedestrian Bridge
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 31 July 2015 01:15
Proposed glass bridge in China's Zhangjiajie National Forest

Check out this proposed bridge in China's Zhangjiajie National Forest. It has a span of 1,200 feet and is over 1,300 feet off the ground. The majestic landscape was reportedly the inspiration for the Halleluja Mountains of James Cameron's movie Avatar. The bridge architect that designed it initially refused saying the landscape was too beautiful to put a bridge there. But agreed only if they could design a bridge that would 'disappear'. The 20 foot wide platform is slated to host fashion shows, and the center of the structure will be used for bungee jumping! [Source: Wired. Image: Wired]

 
GroundProbe Releases New In Pit Radar
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 31 July 2015 01:14
GroundProve releases new SSR-FX in-pit radar

GroundProbe has released a new slope stability monitoring radar for use in pit. The SSR-FX is designed to aid in increasing safety and productivity in mines. According to GroundProbe CEO John Beevers:

"The SSR-FX is the first product in our range of broad area monitoring solutions; it uses new antenna technology not yet seen in the mining industry, to scan 180 degrees every two minutes with sub millimeter precision, over long periods,"
rn [Source: Mining Australia. Image: Australian Mining]

 
Controversy and Finger Pointing in 2014 Landslide in North Salt Lake
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 31 July 2015 00:24
August 2014 Landslide in North Salt

The couple owning a house up-slope from a massive 2014 landslide is accused of overwatering their lawn, leading to the landslide in a lawsuit filed by the developer. The developer also blames a natural gas company, and some other nearby construction, but had denied any responsibility for the slide. In a countersuit, the two homeowners say they are being scapegoated and blame a natural gas company that owns and operates two pipelines near the slide, two geotech firms that studied the land prior to further development and the local tennis club for expanding a parking lot at the base of the hill. This sounds like a completely tangled up mess! [Source: Daily Mail Online. Image: Associated Press via The Daily Mail]

 
Federal Highway Administration Launches New National Tunnel Inspection Program
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 July 2015 01:00
United States of America Department of Transportation New Initiative Modeled After Longstanding Bridge Program

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today published the final rule for national tunnel inspection standards that will serve as the foundation of the nation’s first standardized tunnel inspection program. It will be modeled after the FHWA’s successful bridge program established nearly a half-century ago to ensure the safety of the nation’s bridges.

“This important step to keep our nation’s tunnels safe for the traveling public is unprecedented,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Establishing national standards will help us maintain a high level of quality and uniformity in tunnel inspections nationwide.”

[Editor] Read on for the rest of this press release from the US DOT. [/Editor]

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 July 2015 08:19
 
Geocomp to Provide Engineering Services for Fukushima Ice Wall
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 July 2015 01:00

Ice wall to prevent migration of radioactive ground water at Fukushima Nuclear FacilityAfter the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, the reactors at TEPCO's nuclear facility began leaking radioactive groundwater. The plan to contain the contamination is to use ground freezing to construct an "ice wall" to cutoff the flow. Acton, Massachusetts based Geocomp has been contracted by TEPCO to provide engineering services for the ground freezing. Geocomp has subcontracted specialty geotechnical contractor and GeoPrac sponsor Moretrench to provide their specialty ground freezing expertise as well. Moretrench is a world leader in the design and construction of ground freezing projects. The Geocomp newsletter (from a few months ago) noted that the report deliverables will need to be provided in English and Japanese.

Image Source: wordlessTech

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 July 2015 07:49
 
Selected IFCEE 2015 Articles Free for Limited Time
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 July 2015 01:00

IFCEE 2015 LogoThe 2015 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo was held in San Antonio back in March of this year.  The proceedings from IFCEE 2015 are now available online and for purchase at the ASCE Library.  However, they are offering a selection of papers for free for a limited time, you just need to be registered with ASCE Library. You can register for free to get access if you haven’t already.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 July 2015 07:47
 
Site Characterization Services: Step 1 Data Mining
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 16 July 2015 23:33

A nice video from Terracon on the first step for a geotechnical engineering investigation. [Source: Terracon YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

Last Updated on Friday, 17 July 2015 06:34
 
Winners of the First Annual Golder Foundation Awards
GeoNews - Comings and Goings
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 16 July 2015 23:15

Golder Foundation Infographic

The Golder Foundation presented the first annual awards to six students in the fields of Ground Engineering and Contaminant Site Assessment and Cleanup. The cash awards, totaling $40,000 USD, are meant to encourage and recognize technical excellence in some of the areas that Golder practices in.

 

The Golder Foundation was created in 2013 and aims to further knowledge and learning by opening the technical archives of our founders and some senior staff; through sharing Golder's distinct ownership model and business legacy; and by granting these annual awards.

 

[Disclosure] I am a full time employee of Golder Associates Inc. but GeoPrac.net is run on my own time, and with no involvement from Golder. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. [/Disclosure] [Source: Read about the Winners from the Golder Foundation. Image: Golder Foundation]

Last Updated on Friday, 17 July 2015 06:20
 
New DeWind One-Pass Trencher–World’s Largest!
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 13 July 2015 06:31

This slide courtesy of DeWind pretty much says it all!

dewind-mt3500-largest-deep-onepass-trencher-in-the-world-1-638

Last Updated on Monday, 13 July 2015 06:32
 
Historic Brewery Restored With Help of Geopolymer
Articles - Ground Improvement
Written by Ty Taylor   
Monday, 13 July 2015 06:24

Historic Pearl Brewery in downtown San AntonioTurning a 119 year old brewhouse into a four-star boutique hotel is no easy task. For the project to be a success, the structure had to literally be raised from it’s grave.

Pearl Brewery operated from 1883 until 2001 in their downtown San Antonio, Texas location. It was once the largest brewery in Texas, and even kept afloat during the Prohibition era. Today the 22- acre Pearl site grounds has become a culinary gathering place where you can eat, live, learn, and play on the banks of the San Antonio River.

Renovating the original building would be no easy task for the developer. The building had settled approximately 5 inches.  URETEK ICR successfully used their patented URETEK Method® to lift and stabilize the foundation with geopolymer.

[Editor] Read on for the rest of the contributed article from Ty Taylor of GeoPrac.net sponsor, URETEK ICR [/Editor]

Last Updated on Monday, 13 July 2015 06:38
 
Hatch Mott MacDonald Wins ACEC Grand Award for Niagara Tunnel Project
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:24
The world's largest hard rock TBM breaks through on the Niagara Tunnel Project

Hatch Mott MacDonald received the prestigious ACEC Grand Award at the 2015 Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on April 21. ACEC had this project description in their program:

More than six miles long and 43 feet in diameter, the new Niagara Tunnel is the largest renewable energy project in the world. Providing much-needed power for the city of Niagara Falls, it is located deep beneath the city and is more than one and a half times wider than the English Channel Tunnel.

I blogged about this project a bit a number of years back, often pointing to the entertaining posts of a blogger and former insider in the Ontario tunneling and power industry who didn't have too many flattering things to say about the project! But it is clearly a remarkable project and deserving of the ACEC award. [Source: Tunnel Business Magazine. Image: Tunnel Business Online]

 
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