This fall, TRB will release Rockfall: Characterization and Control, which will address rockfall hazard identification and evaluation, investigation process, mitigation options, and maintenance and management programs.
The 400 page publication will include a DVD with video clips of rockfall field tests and several historical movies documenting rockfall field activities.
Because of the expected high demand for this report, TRB is taking advance pre-publication orders. Shipping costs will be waived for all orders received prior to October 1, 2012. Click the link below for ordering info. [Source: TRB. Image: TRB]
Text from TRB: TRBâ€™s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 187: Seismic Design of Geosynthetic-Reinforced Soil Bridge Abutments with Modular Block Facing explores design methods and construction guidelines for using geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) systems in bridge abutments in seismically active regions. [Source: TRB. Image: TRB]
A new synthesis report by the NCHRP aims to identify the current state of the practice in site-specific earthquake design.
TRBâ€™s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 428: Practices and Procedures for Site-Specific Evaluations of Earthquake Ground Motions identifies and describes current practice and available methods for evaluating the influence of local ground conditions on earthquake design ground motions on a site-specific basis. The report focuses on evaluating the response of soil deposits to strong ground shaking.
A 2004 paper by J.P. Giroud and Jie Han provides a practical design method for geosynthetic-reinforced unpaved roads. The method outlined in the paper was very detailed, and the authors wanted to provide a summary for the benefit of practitioners who wish to use the method. Additionally, some equations in the paper are generic and some have been calibrated for specific geosynthetics (the Tensar BX1100 and BX1200 biaxial geogrids, with new work by another author applying to Tensar’s Triax geogrid) and some practitioners were not clear on this matter. Finally, the authors stress the need for calibration of the method when using other geosynthetics. These three issues were addressed by a 2-part series in Geosynthetics Magazine by Giroud and Han. You can read the first part and the second part at GeosyntheticsMagazine.com. [Image from Geosynthetics Magazine]
Here is a video about a nifty software product I came across at the trade show, xGEL LabMate. I enjoyed the chance to chat with Art Koenig, the president of GeoSmart Software about this software, and about all kinds of other things from daughters to careers, ASFE, running a business and much more.
xGEL LabMate software for geotechnical laboratories
ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association along with Terra Insurance company have released a model agreement for construction and materials testing services (CoMET). This document was created for use by ASFE member firms based on the organization's 40+ years of fulfilling their mission of helping 'geoprofessionals maximize their importance and value to the marketplace, achieve business excellence, and manage risk.' Make sure you have your own lawyer review the model agreement before using it. [Source: ASFE. Image: Gavel & Dorn Engineering]
Construction or maintenance personnel and a geotechnical engineer narrowly avoided being a victim of a new landslide at the site of a landslide cleanup. They were attempting to clean up a landslide on the State Highway 2 in the Waioeka Gorge, New Zealand when spotters noticed the area becoming unstable. The workers were pulled back and had to 'run for it', but one worker was swept away by the slide while still in his excavator and two other excavators were partially engulfed. The man was able to safely get out of the cab of the excavator. [Source: Otago Daily Times Online News. Image: NewstalkZB]
A new piece of equipment for deep ocean pile driving was recently used in 140m of water off the coast of Brazil. The StabFRAME is lowered to the sea floor and leveled to allow accurate driving of piles into the sea floor. See the video below for an example. More on the Brazil Project at the NCE link. [Source: Large Diameter Drill via NCE. Image: LDD]
Dr. Robert M. Koerner has recently published the 6th edition of his industry standard text, Designing With Geosynthetics. He changed to a small publishing company to bring down the price, and the result is a two volume set, each costing $35 for hardcover or $25 for soft cover. The eBook format is only $4 for each. Order through Xlibris. [Source: geosynthetica.net. Image: XLibris]
Here is another article on the lean of London's Big Ben clock tower. According to Professor John Burland of Imperial College, it would take 10,000 years for the tower to match the lean of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The tilt is very minor at 0.26 degrees from vertical , and has not changed since the initial announcement was made in October of 2011. [Source: BBC News. Image: BBC Illustration]
Young geotechnical engineers and geoengineering professionals in the first 5 years of their careers may be elligible for a $500 grant to attend the 2012 Geo-Congress conference in Oakland, California March 25-29. See the Geo-Institute link below for more information. Applications are due by February 25, 2012. [Source: Geo-Institute]
When sewer pipes crack and leak, the surrounding ground becomes saturated and soil can migrate into the pipe and leave behind a void. Eventually this void can expand until it undermines the pavement or other structures forming a sinkhole. The same ground penetrating radar technology being used by geophysicists to perform subsurface characterization and by the military to detect roadside bombs in being adapted to detect these voids before they reach the surface. Researchers at Louisiana Tech University are developing a robot to traverse sewer pipes and scan around the pipe for potential voids using the GPR. The research is being performed with $3M from NIST and $3.2M from Cues, Inc. a Louisiana sewer inspection company. Additional trials are slated to take place this month. [Source: NOLA.com. Image: AP File Photo/Mark Was via dailyreporter.com]