Most Popular Content of 2012

Sorry for the delay, I found some problems with my script that generates these statistics. Here are the most popular articles that were published during 2012. I have pro-rated the total number of hits based on how long they have been published. That might give a bit of an edge to articles published more recently, but the alternative would bias towards those articles published earlier in the year. At any rate, enjoy! P.S. – Sign up for the free monthly email newsletter in the next few days, and you’ll get the latest list of the top content of all time!

Top 100 Articles Published in 2012:

  1. DFI Announces the 2012 Outstanding Project Award Winner – The Route 9A Pedestrian Tunnel at the World Trade Center – Published Dec 10, 2012 (40.1 hits/day, 883 page impressions total)
  2. Sample Guide Specifications for Construction of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) – Published Nov 21, 2012 (35.8 hits/day, 1,476 page impressions total)
  3. Troubled Eastern NC Riverfront Convention Center Gets Lifeline from Hayward Baker and TerraThane™ Geotech Foam by NCFI Polyurethanes – Published Oct 4, 2012 (28.7 hits/day, 2,559 page impressions total)
  4. Study: Port of Anchorage replacement vulnerable to liquefaction in earthquake – Published Dec 19, 2012 (28.0 hits/day, 370 page impressions total)
  5. New Subsea Robotic Geotechnical Site Investigation Company Formed – Published Aug 17, 2012 (27.0 hits/day, 3,704 page impressions total)
  6. Solid Foundation for Grain Storage – Published Dec 13, 2012 (26.9 hits/day, 508 page impressions total)
  7. Nicholson and SolData Working on Six of the Ten Largest Tunneling Projects in North America – Published May 1, 2012 (22.9 hits/day, 5,608 page impressions total)
  8. ASTM Updates for August 2012 – Published Sep 18, 2012 (21.2 hits/day, 2,232 page impressions total)
  9. Huge struts used to prop London excavation – Published Nov 25, 2012 (20.5 hits/day, 754 page impressions total)
  10. 180 Miles of California Levees Declared Ineligible for Federal Rebuild Funds – Published Oct 18, 2012 (20.1 hits/day, 1,511 page impressions total)
  11. How to Find Existing Geotechnical Subsurface Information – Published Sep 26, 2012 (19.5 hits/day, 1,895 page impressions total)
  12. Digital Map Products to Discuss the New Rules for Communicating with Residents at the 2012 ICMA Conference – Published Oct 1, 2012 (18.9 hits/day, 1,738 page impressions total)
  13. The Making of the Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park near Vancouver – Published Nov 16, 2012 (18.6 hits/day, 858 page impressions total)
  14. Mortrench pitches in to pump out after Sandy – Published Nov 21, 2012 (18.5 hits/day, 761 page impressions total)
  15. Frozen debris flow threatens Trans-Alaskan Pipeline – Published Dec 5, 2012 (16.8 hits/day, 453 page impressions total)
  16. ASTM Updates for October 2012 – Published Nov 9, 2012 (16.8 hits/day, 888 page impressions total)
  17. Tensar’s HDPE Geogrids Complete NTPEP Audit – Published Aug 15, 2012 (16.5 hits/day, 2,295 page impressions total)
  18. URS purchase unlimited usage ESdat Licence – Published Dec 11, 2012 (16.1 hits/day, 340 page impressions total)
  19. Happy Karl Terzaghi’s Birthday 2012! Celebrate with 12 Terzaghi Tweets – Published Oct 2, 2012 (14.1 hits/day, 1,285 page impressions total)
  20. Ohio Sinkhole Devours Four Football Fields Of Land, Stretch Of State Highway 516 Near Dover – Published Dec 4, 2012 (14.0 hits/day, 386 page impressions total)
  21. 6 Free Sites for Geotechnical Webinars and Technical References – Published Nov 12, 2012 (13.0 hits/day, 650 page impressions total)
  22. Titanic now resting on million year old marine landslide – Published Apr 16, 2012 (13.0 hits/day, 3,371 page impressions total)
  23. Weekend CUP for End of March – Published Apr 16, 2012 (12.9 hits/day, 3,346 page impressions total)
  24. Pepsi Bottling Plant Uses TerraThane Geotechnical Polyurethane Foam by NCFI to Save Spillage and Lost Product – Published Jun 14, 2012 (12.7 hits/day, 2,561 page impressions total)
  25. Video: Hayward Baker’s Wet Soil Mixing at Community Memorial Hospital – Published Oct 10, 2012 (12.4 hits/day, 1,036 page impressions total)
  26. Coleman Named 2012 DFI Distinguished Service Award Recipient – Published Dec 10, 2012 (12.2 hits/day, 269 page impressions total)
  27. No earth pressures, please! – Published Dec 11, 2012 (12.2 hits/day, 258 page impressions total)
  28. New FEMA Document on Hydrologic Dam Safety – Published Oct 15, 2012 (12.0 hits/day, 940 page impressions total)
  29. Top Picks in AASHTO Photo Contest Have Geo-engineering Subjects – Published Nov 30, 2012 (12.0 hits/day, 385 page impressions total)
  30. TenCate receives patent for Geoport geotextile tube filling system – Published Oct 24, 2012 (11.7 hits/day, 812 page impressions total)
  31. Layne Christensen Company to Celebrate 130 Year Anniversary by Ringing The NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell – Published Aug 27, 2012 (11.6 hits/day, 1,482 page impressions total)
  32. VIDEO: Boaters film landslide furiously roaring down hill – Published Aug 27, 2012 (11.6 hits/day, 1,482 page impressions total)
  33. SuperGIS Engine 3.1 Beta Version Released – Published Dec 11, 2012 (11.5 hits/day, 244 page impressions total)
  34. Homeowners Can’t Nail Builder for Landslide – Published Oct 28, 2012 (11.4 hits/day, 734 page impressions total)
  35. DFI Presents Young Professor and Student Paper Competition Awards – Published Dec 10, 2012 (11.2 hits/day, 246 page impressions total)
  36. DFI Presents Inaugural Bermingham Innovation Award – Published Dec 10, 2012 (11.0 hits/day, 242 page impressions total)
  37. Introducing Google Earth 7 – Published Dec 5, 2012 (10.8 hits/day, 290 page impressions total)
  38. Bauer will construct foundations for 1-km tall Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia – Published Oct 11, 2012 (10.3 hits/day, 847 page impressions total)
  39. Savings from the soil: the value of AECOM’s geotechnical experts – Published Nov 12, 2012 (10.3 hits/day, 509 page impressions total)
  40. ‘Geotechnical Monument’ in St. Louis – Published Nov 29, 2012 (10.2 hits/day, 338 page impressions total)
  41. Maccaferri rockfall barrier passes 6500KJ test in Italy – Published Nov 21, 2012 (10.1 hits/day, 418 page impressions total)
  42. Posh Dallas Parking Center Saves Millions with TerraThane Geotechnical Polyurethane Foam by NCFI – Published Sep 27, 2012 (9.6 hits/day, 926 page impressions total)
  43. Geotechnical Activity Index – Published Nov 14, 2012 (9.5 hits/day, 451 page impressions total)
  44. Dramatic Image of WTC Ground Zero from Sandy Flooding – Published Nov 2, 2012 (9.4 hits/day, 564 page impressions total)
  45. Jury Returns Verdict for HDR in Lawsuit by Tampa Bay Water – Published Apr 13, 2012 (9.4 hits/day, 2,461 page impressions total)
  46. Ground Engineering’s iPad edition is now live – Published Jul 20, 2012 (9.2 hits/day, 1,519 page impressions total)
  47. ASTM Updates for September 2012 – Published Oct 10, 2012 (8.8 hits/day, 729 page impressions total)
  48. Dataforensics in development phase of the next version of PLog for iOS/Android/Windows 8 – Published Jul 9, 2012 (8.3 hits/day, 1,463 page impressions total)
  49. Video: Ground Freezing and the Hetch Hetchy Water Supply Tunnel – Published Nov 6, 2012 (8.0 hits/day, 449 page impressions total)
  50. Assessing the Long-Term Performance of Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls – Published Oct 1, 2012 (7.9 hits/day, 733 page impressions total)
  51. Datgel’s CPT Tool 3 places advanced reporting capabilities directly in the hands of geotechnical engineers – Published Aug 21, 2012 (7.9 hits/day, 1,051 page impressions total)
  52. New paper: a historic landslide-induced tsunami in Lake Geneva – Published Nov 12, 2012 (7.8 hits/day, 388 page impressions total)
  53. Tensar Corporation’s Geopier Foundation Company Subsidiary Acquires Slope Reinforcement Technology – Published Aug 27, 2012 (7.8 hits/day, 990 page impressions total)
  54. Video: Plotting Strike & Dip Symbols in Google Earth using RockWorks – Published Jun 2, 2012 (7.6 hits/day, 1,614 page impressions total)
  55. Italian scientists convicted over earthquake warning – Published Oct 24, 2012 (7.4 hits/day, 509 page impressions total)
  56. Geotechnical construction methods to control contaminated soil and groundwater – Published Nov 29, 2012 (7.3 hits/day, 241 page impressions total)
  57. URETEK ICR restores concrete, but your golf game?!?! – Published Jun 14, 2012 (7.2 hits/day, 1,454 page impressions total)
  58. Geo-Institute announces 2013 Award Winners – Published Nov 16, 2012 (7.1 hits/day, 330 page impressions total)
  59. Video: Amazing Debris Flow Footage from Virgen, Austria – Published Aug 13, 2012 (7.1 hits/day, 994 page impressions total)
  60. Schnabel Opens New Office in New York – Published Nov 9, 2012 (7.0 hits/day, 375 page impressions total)
  61. Floods undermine pile foundations of building in Newcastle, UK – Published Oct 26, 2012 (6.8 hits/day, 456 page impressions total)
  62. AASHTO and ASTM International Agreement Benefits U.S. and Global Road Construction and Transportation – Published Nov 9, 2012 (6.7 hits/day, 352 page impressions total)
  63. Police use GPR to investigate possible Jimmy Hoffa burial under Detroit driveway – Published Nov 14, 2012 (6.6 hits/day, 315 page impressions total)
  64. Gregg Drilling offers Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) Webinars – Published Oct 26, 2012 (6.5 hits/day, 439 page impressions total)
  65. Barry J. Meyer, P.E. joins Dan Brown and Associates – Published Sep 24, 2012 (6.4 hits/day, 636 page impressions total)
  66. APE develops Helical Pile systems – Published Nov 9, 2012 (6.3 hits/day, 333 page impressions total)
  67. MSE walls going up for landmark Ohio highway project – Published Jun 3, 2012 (6.2 hits/day, 1,322 page impressions total)
  68. High Octane Solution Solves Raceway Dips – Published Jul 25, 2012 (6.2 hits/day, 992 page impressions total)
  69. $22M in Geotechnical Work complete for new Tappan Zee Bridge – Published Jul 30, 2012 (6.0 hits/day, 935 page impressions total)
  70. Hayward Baker’s Emergency Sinkhole Repair, US 24, Colorado – Published Aug 2, 2012 (6.0 hits/day, 915 page impressions total)
  71. Video: Geotechnical investigations in levee repairs – Published Jun 20, 2012 (6.0 hits/day, 1,166 page impressions total)
  72. Michigan Contractor sues Richmond, KY Utilities, engineering firm over geotechnical report – Published Jun 11, 2012 (6.0 hits/day, 1,212 page impressions total)
  73. SuperGIS Desktop 3.1a Beta 3 Now Available – Published Sep 7, 2012 (5.9 hits/day, 689 page impressions total)
  74. Analysis: Did Design-Build Fail on Route 20 in Oregon? – Published Aug 27, 2012 (5.8 hits/day, 744 page impressions total)
  75. Two November Webinars from Maccaferri: Advancing Geosynthetics and Hydraulic Applications – Published Nov 5, 2012 (5.8 hits/day, 330 page impressions total)
  76. Ground penetrating radar being used to detect potential sinkholes around sewer pipes – Published Jan 6, 2012 (5.8 hits/day, 2,078 page impressions total)
  77. Cool 4D Video Simulation of Groundwater Contamination Plume Migration – Published May 10, 2012 (5.7 hits/day, 1,358 page impressions total)
  78. Pile Foundations for Huge Ferris Wheel on Seattle Waterfront – Published Feb 27, 2012 (5.6 hits/day, 1,739 page impressions total)
  79. Launch Pit Retaining Walls Completed for SR 99 Tunnel in Seattle – Published Aug 6, 2012 (5.6 hits/day, 828 page impressions total)
  80. Geoprofessional Services Are Not Commodities – Published Aug 6, 2012 (5.6 hits/day, 822 page impressions total)
  81. Italian Court Action Likely to Harm Efforts to Mitigate Earthquake Losses – Published Oct 27, 2012 (5.4 hits/day, 351 page impressions total)
  82. Devil’s Slide Tunnel video from a renegade bicyclist – Published May 22, 2012 (5.3 hits/day, 1,196 page impressions total)
  83. DipAnalyst – Free software package for kinematic analysis of rock slope stability – Published May 4, 2012 (5.3 hits/day, 1,279 page impressions total)
  84. Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, with Largest Piles Ever Driven, is Giant Leap in Construction Innovation, and US-Chinese Trade – Published Jan 19, 2012 (5.3 hits/day, 1,828 page impressions total)
  85. Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore nears end of big dig – Published Aug 22, 2012 (5.2 hits/day, 694 page impressions total)
  86. Geosynthetic Institute issues new white paper on MSE landfill berms – Published Sep 27, 2012 (5.2 hits/day, 500 page impressions total)
  87. New York MTA Project Updates – Published May 28, 2012 (5.2 hits/day, 1,131 page impressions total)
  88. Blasting for NY subway construction showers street with debris – Published Sep 7, 2012 (5.2 hits/day, 603 page impressions total)
  89. Solar-Powered "Stone Spray"™ 3D Printer Robot Creates Entire Buildings From Sand! – Published Sep 7, 2012 (5.2 hits/day, 602 page impressions total)
  90. Kansas City Historic Landmark the American Royal Saves Millions by Using New Technology for Void Filling, Concrete Lifting and Leveling – Published Feb 9, 2012 (5.2 hits/day, 1,690 page impressions total)
  91. 32-Person Hot Tub Gets Lift – Published Apr 24, 2012 (5.0 hits/day, 1,273 page impressions total)
  92. Podcast on Geotechnical Consultant Agreement – ConsensusDocs 246 – Published Aug 27, 2012 (5.0 hits/day, 634 page impressions total)
  93. London Underground trains hit "bulge" in tunnel lining under River Thames – Published May 17, 2012 (5.0 hits/day, 1,136 page impressions total)
  94. Maccaferri wins International Ground Engineering Award – Published Jul 18, 2012 (4.9 hits/day, 814 page impressions total)
  95. Online Geological Map of Arizona – Published Aug 13, 2012 (4.8 hits/day, 679 page impressions total)
  96. ASTM Updates for April 2012 – Published May 9, 2012 (4.8 hits/day, 1,135 page impressions total)
  97. Crux acquired by Quanta Services – Published Apr 29, 2012 (4.8 hits/day, 1,176 page impressions total)
  98. Massive Sinkhole in Louisiana’s Bayou Corne – Published Sep 7, 2012 (4.8 hits/day, 553 page impressions total)
  99. Giant sinkhole threatens to swallow house, forces family (and its pets) to flee – Published May 8, 2012 (4.6 hits/day, 1,102 page impressions total)
  100. California unveils $24 billion, 40-year water tunnel plan – Published Sep 26, 2012 (4.6 hits/day, 440 page impressions total)
Read More

Welcome Newest Sponsor–TerraThane™ / NCFI Polyurethanes!

TerraThane geotechnical polyurethanes by NCFI PolyurethanesNCFI is a U.S. polyurethane manufacturing leader in the supply of high performance polyurethane systems since 1964. Their line of TerraThane™ geotechnical polyurethanes are ideally suited for concrete lifting and leveling, soil stabilization, void fill and erosion control. TerraThane™ is used as a standalone solution to repair sunken concrete slabs, filling voids, stabilizing soils, and in combination with other soil modification techniques. Please join me in thanking them for their support of GeoPrac by reading more about their products and services on their websites – or !  Find more contact info for NCFI on the Our Sponsors page on GeoPrac.

Happy Karl Terzaghi’s Birthday 2012! Celebrate with 12 Terzaghi Tweets

Karl Terzaghi at age 23 (1907) - Credit ASCE PressFirst off, I am truly ashamed.  I had a copy of Karl Terzaghi’s biography by Richard Goodman loaned to me for probably the last year and have yet to read it.  Before I write any more of this blog post, I want to ask my readers to hold me accountable…I will read this book before his next birthday (which will be a nice round 130 years).  Feel free to tweet, email, call or otherwise harass me by next September…just keep it within reason (I’m talking to you, internet nut-jobs).

I am hardly alone in celebrating the anniversary of THE giant in our profession, the father of soil mechanics and in some respects the father of all of us that practice geotechnical engineering.  For the past few years, I’ve felt like I’ve been going back and forth with my friend Robert Thompson at Dan Brown and Associates, not to mention, the G-I and others, trying to not get beat to the punch with the Happy Birthday KT blog post.  I decided to do things a little differently this year, not to try and upstage anyone, but to mix things up and to try to follow through on a promise I made in my last monthly newsletter – to do a better job of engaging my fellow geo-professionals in more of a dialogue on this website, and through social media.

So I have prepared 12 tweets (follow @geoprac) containing miscellaneous facts about Karl Terzaghi, or quotes from him that I found while (hanging head) thumbing through Professor Goodman’s book.  The tweets have already been scheduled to be posted throughout the day to avoid spamming my followers all at once, and to keep you on the edge of your seats!  I knew a few things about him, but I was completely blown away by the extent of his travels, and the brushes he had with history and with famous/infamous people.  I am also continually amazed at how he managed to bring to bear his skills in engineering geology, theory, and his amazing observation on some enormously complicated geotechnical projects.

So I hope you will join me in celebrating a great day for all of us in geo-engineering.  Make sure you follow me @geoprac and share you’re favorite 140 character Terzaghi quotes or info using the hashtag #Terzaghi.  You can also see the Terzaghi Tweets on the Facebook page where you are welcome to share as well.

P.S. – I see Robert has beat me to it again…darn time zone difference.  Well played my friend, well played.

Calling Geoprofessionals: Survey on Professional Development

I am participating in ASFE The Geoprofessional Business Association’s Fundamentals of Professional Practice course.  A component of the course is a research project and report, and my topic is the assessment of Golder Associate’s technical training and professional development programs.  A component of the report is to compare programs at Golder with those at other firms.

I have prepared a short survey (< 5 minutes) for members of Geoprofessional firms (other than Golder of course).  I am interested in getting responses from all experience levels, from staff engineers to Principals and V.P.s.  All responses will be kept confidential.  An analysis of aggregated responses will also be discussed in a post here on   Fill out this form by 11:59pm on Sunday, December 18, 2011 and you will be entered into a drawing for a $30 gift card.  Thank you so much for your help! And thanks to all who participate!

Take the survey (powered by Google Docs) –

Sustainability in Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical sustainability framework

As the authors of the above-titled report note, the ecosystem and the built environment are inextricably linked, and understanding the interdependence of the two is the key to sustainability in geotechnical engineering, and all civil engineering. Although I am curious how they came to this conclusion, they state that geotechnical engineering is "the most resource intensive of all the civil engineering disciplines." Assuming they are correct, this is a sobering thought for all of us as designers.

Aditi Misra and Dipanjan Basu of the University of Connecticut Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have published this report where they review the philosophies and definitions of sustainability an interpret them in the context of geotechnical engineering. That in and of itself would be useful to practitioners in this day and age of environmental stewardship, but they also propose a "sustainability assessment framework" that can be adopted for geotechnical engineering projects during the planning and design stages of geotechnical projects.

This quantitative framework combines life cycle assessment, environmental impact assessment and cost benefit analysis, and can be used to assess the relative sustainability of different design choices in geotechnical engineering.

 We as geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists are used to evaluating alternatives on the basis of safety, constructability and economy. But I believe the time is coming where you will see the sustainability criteria added to this list on a more routine basis. This document is not for the faint of heart, and not something that one can implement without some serious thought and effort. I anticipate there will be much more published on this topic in the coming years. I can almost see sustainability becoming a specialized sub-discipline within our industry. But this report excites me because everyone loves the idea of sustainability on their projects, but this framework gives people a starting point for how you could go about implementing it. [Source: University of Connecticut. Image: UCONN Digital Commons]

Read More

UK geotechnical engineer to participate in Rickshaw Dash for charity

Andy and Laura and their Rickshaw

Geotechnical engineer Andy Simpson and his girlfriend, Laura Sims, a structural engineer, will be participating in a bizarre 1,300 mile race across India on a 500cc rickshaw. The money they raise will be split between the race charity Frank Water Projects, which funds safe drinking water schemes, and their own chosen charity, Cancer Research UK. They need company sponsors and individual donations to reach their goal. Find out more info and support them if you can at their website. Good luck Andy and Laura! [Source: This is Bath. Image: This is Bath, credit: Lloyd Ellington]

GeoPrac Welcomes Newest Sponsor, Novo Tech Software, Ltd.!

Novo Tech Logo

 Novo Tech Software, Ltd. is a geotechnical software company based in Vancouver, BC, Canada.  They have an impressive and always expanding collection of geotechnical software products that include:

Thank you to my friends at Novo Tech for your support, and I look forward to a long and successful partnership!


GeoVoices: Education and Training of Geologists; Is Field Camp Still Relevant?

The author in Castle Valley, UT near Moab during his geology fieldcamp in 1998

An article in the Winter 2011 AGI GeoSpectrum magazine caught my attention. It was a summary of a discussion on the AIPG LinkedIn group about the importance of a geology fieldcamp in your education. I can’t say I was surprised, but one comment caused me a little dissappointment:

Field camp separates us from the engineers.

I think I understand where the comment is coming from, I would probably agree that most civil geotechnical engineers don’t have any kind of field geology course, or any kind of field investigation course. But there are many geological engineers out there like me that do have some field background, and it is a tremendous advantage in engineering analysis and design to be trained to look at a site with a more critical eye and try to puzzle out the history and deposition…But I digress. Check out the article for more info. It was nice to see some very passionate comments from my old structural geology professor at the U of A (and one of my favorite all-time professors), George Davis (yep, the George Davis from the Davis and Reynolds Structural Geology textbook). If the direct link below doesn’t take you there, scroll down to page 22. [Source: AGI GeoSpectrum January 2011 Issue, Page 22 via Arizona Geology Blog. Image: Randy Post]