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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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Scot Litke Named 2014 DFI Distinguished Service Award Recipient
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:32

S. Scot Litke - Winner of DFI's Distinguished Service AwardHawthorne, NJ (August 21, 2014): S. Scot Litke, D.GE (Hon.) is the recipient of DFI’s highest award to an individual, the Distinguished Service Award. He is the 34th recipient of the award, honoring individuals chosen by their peers for exceptionally valuable contributions to the advancement of the deep foundations industry. The award will be presented on October 23, 2014, during DFI’s 39th Annual Conference in Atlanta.

Since 1982, Litke has been the editor of the ADSC’s (International Association of Foundation Drilling) Foundation Drilling magazine. He also held the position of Executive Director of the ADSC from 1982 to 2009. During this time, Litke managed over 25 drilled foundation and anchored earth retention research projects funded by the ADSC and FHWA. Litke was inducted into ADSC’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release from DFI [/Editor]

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:34
 
Hayward Baker Breaks Ground on Recently Awarded K-10 South Lawrence Trafficway Ground Improvement Project in Lawrence, Kansas
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:26

Hayward Baker is performing stone column work at two main sites for the Kansas Department of Transportation’s K-10 South Lawrence Trafficway project in Lawrence, Kan., with over 6,800 thirty-six-inch diameter stone columns to depths up to 62 feet.Hayward Baker (HB) recently began work on a $9.1 million ground improvement contract for the K-10 South Lawrence Trafficway (SLT) Project located in Lawrence, Kan. as a subcontractor to Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc. The project provides a significantly improved transportation infrastructure for the state, making it a top priority for the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

Current construction will complete the southern K-10 bypass from its intersection with US 59 to the existing K-10 east of Lawrence. Construction affects 58 acres of wetlands. However, mitigation agreements between KDOT, local government agencies, and the public will create and restore 317 acres of wetlands as well as restore, preserve, and create over 50 acres of habitats.

[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release from GeoPrac sponsor Hayward Baker. [/Editor]

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:35
 
Dataforensics Rapid CPT Software Receives Major Update
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:18

Norcross, GA – August, 2014 – Dataforensics proud to announce a major update to its Rapid CPT Software.

The new version of Rapid CPT (version 4.2) drastically improves performance. Depending on the dataset, the processing time is typically reduced by 80-95%. This is particularly important for customers with large datasets consisting of a hundred or more soundings where processing time previously took 3-4 hours which has been reduced to 10-15 minutes. Additionally, a new Cloud based licensing process eliminates the previous dongle based licensing which not only helps improve performance but makes it easier to deploy RAPID CPT across an organization. Lastly, Dataforensics has added an importer to support the Stratigraphics CPT format. This provides users who obtain data in the Stratigraphics format a simple single step import (like all other RAPID CPT importers) instead of manually manipulating the Stratigraphics Excel format to get it loaded into the system.

“Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) provides engineers with large amounts of data for analysis. Converting the raw data (usually a text file) to something useful that can be analyzed and reported is a tedious and cumbersome process. It requires significant amounts of manual data manipulation (moving, copying and pasting) and is prone to human error. Furthermore, the engineer must then manually calculate numerous parameters and correlations for follow-on design and analysis. Dataforensics CPT interpretation software, Rapid CPT, eliminates all manual data manipulation, providing a more complete and accurate interpretation of results, faster and easier than ever before.”

About Dataforensics

Dataforensics is a leader in deploying software applications that serve as core components for data and personnel management within geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. Our solutions enable efficient, timely and accurate assessments. The resulting assessments are used to support analysis and design activities by the engineering and construction industries, as well as federal, state and local government organizations. For more information, please visit www.dataforensics.net

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 06:36
 
Port of Oakland Soil Stabilization
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 25 August 2014 23:30

The giant straddle cranes that load and unload cargo from the container ships at the Port of Oakland apply a fairly concentrated load along their wheel path. Over time, the wheel path area has settled, creating a hazard to crane operators, cargo, and all port workers. URETEK ICR and their affiliate EagleLIFT were called in to use their patented geopolymer technology to stabilize and lift the subgrade, restoring the wheel path to it's original elevation. Check out the video! URETEK ICR is a sponsor of GeoPrac.

[Source: URETEK ICR YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 06:39
 
List of Top Geotechnical Engineering Schools
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 25 August 2014 23:28
Top Geotechnical Engineering Programs in the US

What are the top geotechnical engineering schools in the United States? I don't know how accurate or scientific this list is, but a quick glance tells me they definitely got many of the most well-known programs. Their list was based on the top Civil Engineering Programs (according to US News and World Report) that also offer geotechnical engineering programs. I doubt the person who compiled this knows much about geotech. But if you are a student researching where to go get a MS in geotech, this list is a good place to start. Anyone care to comment? [Source: Read the List of Top Geotechnical Engineeering Programs at Education Portal via @URETEKHoldings. Image: University of Wyoming (not on the list, sorry Cowboys)]

 
Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake in Napa, California
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 24 August 2014 23:12
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near Napa, California on August 24, 2014.

Early Sunday morning, a 6.0 Magnitude earthquake struck near Napa California lasting 10 to 20 seconds, sending 120 people to the hospital and damaging buildings, breaking water mains, disrupting power distribution, and breaking gas lines and causing fires. The earthquake was the largest to strike the Bay Area since the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. I will provide more info relevant to geoengineers in the coming days. If you find any interesting info, leave a comment, or email or tweet it to me (@geoprac). [Source: Read more at the LA Times. Image: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times]

 
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
 
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