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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.

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Professor Chuck Ladd passed away on August 4th
GeoNews - In Memoriam
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 10 August 2014 00:37
Charles C. Ladd

MIT Emeritus Professor Charles C. (Chuck) Ladd passed away on August 4 according to a post on the ASCE Geotechnical Engineering Group. Professor Ladd was a legend in the geotechnical engineering community, and among his many awards were the prestigious Croes Medal, the Norman Medal, and the Terzaghi Lecture Award. He was also a member of the National Academy of Engineering. You can find Professor Ladd's obituary at the Boston Globe. [Source: LinkedIn - ASCE Geotechnical Engineering Group. Image: ASCE News Article on his 2012 OPAL Lifetime Achievement Award]

 
Update on Access Pit for Repairing Bertha TBM
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 04 August 2014 23:33

Malcolm Drilling's clamshell bucket taking a scoop out while excavating the access pitThere hasn’t been much to report recently for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel Project in Seattle. As you probably know, Bertha has not advanced since about December of 2013 after drilling through an abandoned steel well casing left over from engineering studies. Whether it was the casing or boulders, or something else that damaged the seals around the giant TBM’s cutterhead, they have some major repair planned.  If you like, feel free to read more about what happened with Bertha.

WSDOT and Seattle Tunnel Partners JV (STP) announced a conceptual repair plan back in April. It involves creating a vertical access shaft approximately 80 feet in diameter, and 120 feet deep. STP member Malcolm Drilling is currently working on constructing I believe 5-ft diameter secant shafts to form the perimeter of the access shaft. The work is progressing a little slower than expected. The initial schedule issued by STP had the secant shaft wall complete at the end of July. It is now supposed to be the end of August, although they have said this won’t affect the overall repair schedule. You can watch a time lapse video of the access pit construction…pretty cool.

Another interesting item I found recently is a discussion of the cranes that will be needed to repair the bertha cutterhead. If you read my post on the tour I took of Bertha at her launch pit, you might have noticed a huge gantry crane in my photos that lifted components of the TBM into the launch pit for assembly. They will be constructing something similar at the repair site. However, first they need to assemble a 300-ton crawler crane beginning in September. The 300-ton crane will help assemble a 600-ton crawler crane. The 600-ton crawler crane will then help assemble the 2,000-ton modular lift tower (what looks like a gantry crane to my untrained eye). Talk about a heavy equipment ballet!

Last Updated on Monday, 04 August 2014 23:35
 
Catch Up Post (CUP) for August 4, 2014
GeoNews - Weekend CUP
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 04 August 2014 22:46

Here are a few articles I didn't get a chance to blog or tweet about. Enjoy!

 
USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 04 August 2014 15:41
Example historical USGS topo map of Highlands, TX from 1912

Esri announced earlier this summer that they were making over 175,000 historical maps from the USGS available online. The maps are available to anyone to view online using their web map viewer. Or ArcGIS online subscribers can have access to high-resolution geo-referenced raster images for use in their ArcGIS projects and web mapping projects. Very cool! [Source: View the Historical Topo Map Explorer at ArcGIS.com via Or read more about the tool and find additional information at the Esri Blogs. Image: Esri]

 
Oso landslide: differences of opinion about the landslide mechanisms
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 00:32
Two-fold failure event evident in the seismic data

Professor Petley, the author of the Landslide Blog, has an interesting discussion about a controversy in the geoengineering / geology community regarding the Oso landslide in Washington State. The Geotechnical Engineering Extreme Events Reconaissance (or GEER) report was recently issued for the OSO landslide. But USGS scientists have a different theory about the event. Both the GEER committee and the USGS agree that the Oso landslide was a two-fold failure event. But the difference in interpretation is the relative sizes of the two events and the mechanism they took. I won't try and explain the controversy here as the post at the Landslide Blog does a great job of that. [Source: The Landslide Blog. Image: Landslide Blog]

 
Crazy Rock Slide in China (Video)
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 00:16

According to the Landslide Blog, this rockfall video was taken in Maoxian County in Sichuan Province of China on or around July 17, 2014. It shows a very dangerous rockfall event with people running from their cars. In one scene you can even see someone being struck by a rock and knocked over. The person is later able to walk away with assistance. Towards the end of the video, even the windshield of the videographer is struck by a smaller rock and cracked. Very dramatic and very scary video!

Crazy Rockfall Video from China

[Source: YouTube via Landslide Blog. Image: YouTube]

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 July 2014 07:19
 
Liebherr Creates Foundation Drill Rig Simulator
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 25 July 2014 04:55
Liebherr's foundation drill rig equipment simulator in action

Equipment manufacturer Liebherr has created a new simulator to allow operators to train on foundation drilling equipment virtually. The simulator is based on other simulators created by Liebherr, and includes things like a real construction site with neighboring buildings and structures, uneven ground, varying soil conditions, etc. [Source: Read more at GE Innovation News | New Civil Engineer via @GE_magazine. Image: NCE / GE Innovation News]

 
Hayward Baker Constructs Temporary Emergency Earth Retention for Landslide Repairs Near Train Tracks in Baltimore
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 00:28
View of failed Baltimore retaining wall before soldier pile wall construction

Hayward Baker was among the contractors called in for emergency repairs to a failed retaining wall in Baltimore that destabilized a slope, causing a landslide that enveloped cars and threatened a railroad track below. The final episode of the slope failure was caught on video and showed several cars being swallowed. GeoPrac sponsor, Hayward Baker is currently on-site installing a temporary soldier pile lagging wall with tiebacks to facilitate the construction of a permanent wall. They are anticipating to have the temporary wall complete in August. [Source: Read more about the project at Haywardbaker.com. Image: Hayward Baker]

 
ASFE Changes Its Name to Geoprofessional Business Association
GeoNews - Comings and Goings
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 00:21

ASFE has been a fixture in the geoprofession since its inception in 1969. They are officially changing their name to the Geoprofessional Business Association to more accurately reflect what their role and mission is. [Source: Read more about the name change on the Geoprofessional Business Association site]

 
Crux Subsurface Wins Two 2014 DFI Awards
GeoNews - Miscellaneous
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 11 July 2014 00:38
Micropile foundations with Crux' patented steel micropile cap design for the Sunrise Powerlink Project

Congratulations to Crux Subsurface, Inc. on winning the Deep Foundation Institute's (DFI) 2014 Outstanding Project Award (OPA) and the 2014 C. William Bermingham Innovation Award for their Sunrise Powerlink Project in California. The project involved the installation of over 3,700 micropiles for the foundations of new steel lattice towers for a 117 mile transmission line running from Imperial Valley to San Diego. All of the micopiles were installed using rigs and equipment mobilized by helicopter in the difficult terrain. The project was the first to use Crux' patented steel micropile cap, which is what they were awarded the Bermingham Innovation Award for. Crux credits the steel cap design for reducing the on-site construction time by 64%. [Source: Read more about the awards from the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI). Image: Crux Subsurface, Inc.]

 
Time Lapse Video of Foundation Drilling for Dubai Residential High-Rise
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 11 July 2014 00:33

[Source: YouTube. Image: YouTube]

 
Geotechnical work underway on new section of Historic Highway
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 11 July 2014 00:22

Access Road Construction for Geotechnical Investigation

Geotechnical work has commenced for a project involving reconstructing the Historic Columbia River Highway in Hood River County as a segment of Oregon's Historic Highway State Trail. The geotechnical scope consists of 48 test pits, 58 boreholes, and constructing 4,000 linear feet of temporary access roads. [Source: Hood River News. Image: Hood River News]

Last Updated on Monday, 04 August 2014 22:52
 
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