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Sinkhole Beneath National Corvette Museum Devours 8 Cars
It seems strange, (i) were sink holes not expected in and around the site o
DAT instruments Dataloggers for Geotechnical Construction
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Available Resources
FHWA Document: Hollow Bar Soil Nails Review of Corrosion Factors and Mitigation Practice PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 21 February 2011 08:02
FHWA CFL Hollow Bar Soil Nails - Review of Corrosion Factors and Mitigation Practice, August 2010

An August 2010 FHWA Central Federal Lands report on corrosion of hollow bar soil nails has recently been made available on the NCS Consultants, LLC website. The authors of the report are Naresh Samtani and Ed Nowatzki of NCS. From the abstract:

Hollow bar soil nails (HBSNs) have been used in the United States in earth retention systems for over 10 years. HBSNs are commonly used in place of solid bar soil nails (SBSNs) when the solid bar installation would require temporary casing of the hole. A state-of-the-practice document was prepared by FHWA in 2006 to identify (a) the various peculiarities of HBSNs in comparison with conventional SBSNs, and (b) areas of further research, evaluation and testing that would help agency personnel and design professionals understand the potential of HBSNs as a mainstream technology for permanent soil nail applications. This report concentrates on one of the specific areas of study identified in the 2006 report as related to development of corrosion mitigation guidance.

This report presents the results of an industry-wide survey including agencies, designers, consultants, manufacturers and contractors related to installation of HBSNs and practices with respect to corrosion aspects. Based on the responses it was found that a lack of guidance on corrosion protection is limiting the use of HBSNs for permanent applications in corrosive environments. There are numerous contributing factors that may lead to corrosion of HBSNs. These factors are identified in this report along with a review of the current corrosion mitigation guidance. Parameters to be evaluated in formal corrosion studies are outlined. Finally, recommendations for interim corrosion mitigation guidance and further studies are provided.
[Source: NCS Consultants, LLC. Image: FHWA]

New FHWA Document: Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System Interim Implementation Guide PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 15 February 2011 05:33
GRS Bridge Abutment

The FHWA Turner-Fairbanks Highway Research Center has issued a document to provide interim guidance on the implementation of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil or GRS Bridge Systems. From the foreward:

Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) technology consists of closely-spaced layers of geosynthetic reinforcement and compacted granular fill material. GRS has been used for a variety of earthwork applications since the U.S. Forest Service first used it to build walls for roads in steep mountain terrain in the 1970s. Since then, the technology has evolved into the GRS Integrated Bridge System (IBS), a fast, cost-effective method of bridge support that blends the roadway into the superstructure. GRS-IBS includes a reinforced soil foundation, a GRS abutment, and a GRS integrated approach. The application of IBS has several advantages. The system is easy to design and economically construct. It can be built in variable weather conditions with readily available labor, materials, and equipment and can easily be modified in the field. This method has significant value when employed for small, single span structures meeting the criteria described in this report.

As a result of the demonstrated performance of GRS-IBS, the technology was selected for the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Every Day Counts initiative, aimed at accelerating implementation of proven, market-ready technologies. This report is the second in a two-part series and provides the background and other supporting information to substantiate the design method of GRS-IBS. The first document is a manual covering the design and construction of GRS-IBS. This two-part document series designs GRS as a composite material with known and predictable performance and deformations. Both documents are a collaboration between many disciplines within FHWA: geotechnical, structural, hydraulic, maintenance, and pavement engineering.
[Source: FHWA via News. Image: FHWA]

Rudolph Glossop and the Rise of Geotechnology by Ronald E. Williams PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 13 February 2011 16:43
Rudolph Glossop (1902 - 1993)

A new book that may be of interest to folks. See the link for more info.

A personal account of the role played by Rudolph Glossop, one of the founders of geotechnical engineering in the UK. Based upon previously unpublished personal journals, diaries and letters including correspondence with Bjerrum, Skempton and Terzaghi.
[Source: Image: UK Geological Society]

DHS and ASDSO Launch New Interactive Website on Dam Security PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 10 February 2011 15:02
Possible results of a natural dam threat such as over-topping or structural failure of the dam

'Dams Sector facilities provide a host of benefits, from flood protection to crop irrigation; however, the potential for their failure also presents a source of great danger with disastrous consequences. To avoid failures, it is critical that we are aware of possible threats, observant in the protection of our infrastructure, and prepared to act if threat indicators are present.' [Source: ADSO. Image: ADSO]

NCHRP Report: Intelligent Soil Compaction Systems PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 05:23
NCHRP Report 676: Intelligent Soil Compaction Systems

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 676: Intelligent Soil Compaction Systems explores intelligent compaction, a new method of achieving and documenting compaction requirements. Intelligent compaction uses continuous compaction-roller vibration monitoring to assess mechanistic soil properties, continuous modification/adaptation of roller vibration amplitude and frequency to ensure optimum compaction, and full-time monitoring by an integrated global positioning system to provide a complete GPS-based record of the compacted area. [Source: TRB. Image: TRB]

Geo-Legend T. William Lambe PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 28 January 2011 05:45
T. William Lambe - Renowned Geotechnical Engineer, 'Geo-Legend'

In recent Geo-Strata magazines published by the ASCE's Geo-Institute, there is a new recurring feature called 'Geo-Legends' where a student interviews a well known person in the field of geotechnical engineering. The second in the series was written on T. William Lambe, among many other things, he was the co-author of two books with Bob Witman, Soil Testing and Soil Mechanics. Below is one of my favorite Q&A's from the article:

Q: Do engineers depend too much on technology today?
I think the fundamentals are by far the most important. Most of the problems and failures that I see are not from lack of sophisticated analysis, but from not understanding and using the fundamentals.

You can download a text version of the interview from the link below.

[Source: Geo-Institute. Image: NC State University]

Micropiles for Slope Stabilization PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 27 January 2011 04:59
Lateral resistance function for micropile in clay socketed into bedrock

In an August 2010 article in ADSC's Foundation Drilling Magazine, Eric Loehr and Dan Brown of Dan Brown and Associates summarized the key findings from a report they authored on the use of micropiles in landslide stabilization. The article and the report, which was submitted to the ADSC/DFI Micropile Comittee in January of 2008, are available for download from the Dan Brown and Associates website. [Source: Dan Brown and Associates. Image: DBA]

EarthObserver App released on iTunes (it's free for a limited time) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 14:53

An iPhone and iPad App put together by Columbia University. From the iTunes Description:

Explore your planet as never before with the mobility of EarthObserver. Use your fingertips to travel through terrestrial landscapes and across the ocean floor. Visit frozen icecaps, study geological maps, scout mountains to climb and trips on coastal waters and exploit a rich atlas of other earth and environmental imagery.

Simulate forest fires with ForeFire and Google Earth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 17 January 2011 14:40
Forrest fire simulator

This is a great example of a tremendously useful tool built on Google Earth. Of course it's still in the research stage, but you can still get your pyromania on on the Mediterranean island of Corsica! [Source: Google Earth Blog. Image: Google Earth Blog]

Microscope Attachment for iPhone and other Smartphones PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 09 January 2011 16:31
Microscope attachment for iPhone

For the hard core geologists and gemologists, why carry a hand lens in the field when you can snap a photo with your phone? Reviewer is a gemologist, but could potentially have other applications as well. [Source: GIA Insider via Image: GIS Insider]

Roctest launches the world's smallest piezometer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 19 December 2010 14:26
World's smallest piezometer.

At only 4.8-mm in diameter and 54-mm long, it's about as long as a finger, and thinner than a pencil! I'm guessing their claims of being the world's smallest are probably valid. The small size opens up additional possibilities for the location of piezometers such as small diameter stand pipes, or even attached to geosynthetics. The accuracy is reported to be as good or better than vibrating wire piezometers because it uses a micro optical mechanical system (MOMS). It sounds like it is a fiber optic system, so you would need a special fiber optic data logger. [Source: RoctestGroup. Image: RockTest]

Fugro UK offers Free Courses to Consultants and Engineers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 12 December 2010 17:17
Fugro aerial geophysics and CPT testing

Fugro is offering free 1, 2 and 3-day classes on water investigation techniques, cone penetration testing, and engineering and environmental geophysics at several UK locations in the coming months. The water services course had it's 1st offering this past October, the other two courses have been around longer. The next time you can catch all three appears to be in February, 2011 in Wallingford, Oxon with other offerings in Glasgow in January and Leeds in May. [Source: Fugro Water Services via New Civil Engineer. Image: Fugro and NCE]

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