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About 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.

CRWV Airport Authority, Triad Answer Yeager Airport Landslide Complaint
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 05:44
March 2015 Yeager Landslide and MSE Structure Failure

Plaintiffs whose homes were destroyed by the Yeager Airport Landslide in March of 2015 filed a suit naming Central Regional West Virginia Airport Authority and Triad Engineering as well as several others. The CRWVAA and Triad have filed answers to the complaint, and two other plaintiff have filed motions to dismiss themselves from the lawsuit according the the West Virginia Record. Apparently Triad was monitoring the mechanically stabilized earth retention structure as far back as 2013 when cracks were observed. In July of 2014, 28 monitoring points were installed. According to the complaint, every one of the 28 indicated movement between July and August of 2014. That strikes me as odd. Why no mention of movement after that point? Maybe there is more in the actual complaint, but having done that type of monitoring before, I wonder if there were survey issues? I think one take-away here for me is to put some monitoring points outside the potential zone of movement so you can verify that your measurements are accurate. At any rate, the article describes what Triad and the Airport Authority Board knew or didn't know. This is interesting to me, but there is a lot of legal jargon in the article. So if you have any additional interpretations of what it says, let me know with a comment below! [Source: Read more in the West Virginia Record. Image: West Virginia Record]

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On: Center for Geotechnical Modeling Facilitates Seismic Research
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 05:15
Geotechnical centrifuge at the UC Davis Center for Geotechnical Modeling

How would you feel if you were subjected to 75Gs of centrifugal force? Well, at least you would know what the soil feels like in some of the cutting edge geotechnical modeling being done at the UC Davis Center for Geotechnical Modeling (CGM). This article is a fascinating overview of the history of the lab, and the types of geotechnical experiments they can run using the 9 meter radius centrifuge. It can spin a 5-ton payload at 90 revolutions per minute! No other lab in the world can boast those numbers. [Source: Read the full blog post from the College of Engineering at UC Davis. Image: UC Davis]

Video of DeWind One Pass Trenching MT2000 Trencher Installing Soil Bentonite Cutoff Wall
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 04 August 2015 00:20

Modified from the YouTube description: Video of a DeWind One-Pass Trencher installing a Soil-Bentonite Wall 55' deep. This is a mix in place technology capable of installations up to 125' feet deep. The soils are evenly homogenized with the additives from top to bottom and from start to finish. An Average of 300 LF installed per day. No messy mixing ponds, open excavations, very little spoils, One piece of equipment and only 4 men are required for this 5000 LF installation reducing safety exposure.

[Source: YouTube. Image: YouTube]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 August 2015 07:23
The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 02 August 2015 14:04
The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent.

This is a fantastic article by Kathryn Schulz for New Yorker Magazine on the seismic and tsunami hazards associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Pacific Northwest. Ms. Schulz paints a very vivid picture of what the devestation will look like based on input from many people who know what they are talking about, geologists, seismologists, FEMA officials, and State and Local disaster planning folks. This article was so effective, that NPR reported a run on survival kit supplies in Northwest U.S. The article also does a nice job explaining the interesting geologic detective work to connect the dots on the last major earthquake and Tsunami to strike that area in January of 1700. Highly recommended reading. What did you think of the article? Leave a comment below. [Source: The New Yorker via AEG Insider. Image: ILLUSTRATION BY CHRISTOPH NIEMANN; MAP BY ZIGGYMAJ / GETTY - New]

The World's Longest (and Scariest) Glass Pedestrian Bridge
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 31 July 2015 01:15
Proposed glass bridge in China's Zhangjiajie National Forest

Check out this proposed bridge in China's Zhangjiajie National Forest. It has a span of 1,200 feet and is over 1,300 feet off the ground. The majestic landscape was reportedly the inspiration for the Halleluja Mountains of James Cameron's movie Avatar. The bridge architect that designed it initially refused saying the landscape was too beautiful to put a bridge there. But agreed only if they could design a bridge that would 'disappear'. The 20 foot wide platform is slated to host fashion shows, and the center of the structure will be used for bungee jumping! [Source: Wired. Image: Wired]

GroundProbe Releases New In Pit Radar
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 31 July 2015 01:14
GroundProve releases new SSR-FX in-pit radar

GroundProbe has released a new slope stability monitoring radar for use in pit. The SSR-FX is designed to aid in increasing safety and productivity in mines. According to GroundProbe CEO John Beevers:

"The SSR-FX is the first product in our range of broad area monitoring solutions; it uses new antenna technology not yet seen in the mining industry, to scan 180 degrees every two minutes with sub millimeter precision, over long periods,"
rn [Source: Mining Australia. Image: Australian Mining]

Controversy and Finger Pointing in 2014 Landslide in North Salt Lake
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 31 July 2015 00:24
August 2014 Landslide in North Salt

The couple owning a house up-slope from a massive 2014 landslide is accused of overwatering their lawn, leading to the landslide in a lawsuit filed by the developer. The developer also blames a natural gas company, and some other nearby construction, but had denied any responsibility for the slide. In a countersuit, the two homeowners say they are being scapegoated and blame a natural gas company that owns and operates two pipelines near the slide, two geotech firms that studied the land prior to further development and the local tennis club for expanding a parking lot at the base of the hill. This sounds like a completely tangled up mess! [Source: Daily Mail Online. Image: Associated Press via The Daily Mail]

Federal Highway Administration Launches New National Tunnel Inspection Program
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 July 2015 01:00
United States of America Department of Transportation New Initiative Modeled After Longstanding Bridge Program

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today published the final rule for national tunnel inspection standards that will serve as the foundation of the nation’s first standardized tunnel inspection program. It will be modeled after the FHWA’s successful bridge program established nearly a half-century ago to ensure the safety of the nation’s bridges.

“This important step to keep our nation’s tunnels safe for the traveling public is unprecedented,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Establishing national standards will help us maintain a high level of quality and uniformity in tunnel inspections nationwide.”

[Editor] Read on for the rest of this press release from the US DOT. [/Editor]

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 July 2015 08:19
Geocomp to Provide Engineering Services for Fukushima Ice Wall
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 July 2015 01:00

Ice wall to prevent migration of radioactive ground water at Fukushima Nuclear FacilityAfter the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, the reactors at TEPCO's nuclear facility began leaking radioactive groundwater. The plan to contain the contamination is to use ground freezing to construct an "ice wall" to cutoff the flow. Acton, Massachusetts based Geocomp has been contracted by TEPCO to provide engineering services for the ground freezing. Geocomp has subcontracted specialty geotechnical contractor and GeoPrac sponsor Moretrench to provide their specialty ground freezing expertise as well. Moretrench is a world leader in the design and construction of ground freezing projects. The Geocomp newsletter (from a few months ago) noted that the report deliverables will need to be provided in English and Japanese.

Image Source: wordlessTech

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 July 2015 07:49
Selected IFCEE 2015 Articles Free for Limited Time
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 July 2015 01:00

IFCEE 2015 LogoThe 2015 International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo was held in San Antonio back in March of this year.  The proceedings from IFCEE 2015 are now available online and for purchase at the ASCE Library.  However, they are offering a selection of papers for free for a limited time, you just need to be registered with ASCE Library. You can register for free to get access if you haven’t already.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 July 2015 07:47
Site Characterization Services: Step 1 Data Mining
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 16 July 2015 23:33

A nice video from Terracon on the first step for a geotechnical engineering investigation. [Source: Terracon YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

Last Updated on Friday, 17 July 2015 06:34
Winners of the First Annual Golder Foundation Awards
GeoNews - Comings and Goings
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 16 July 2015 23:15

Golder Foundation Infographic

The Golder Foundation presented the first annual awards to six students in the fields of Ground Engineering and Contaminant Site Assessment and Cleanup. The cash awards, totaling $40,000 USD, are meant to encourage and recognize technical excellence in some of the areas that Golder practices in.


The Golder Foundation was created in 2013 and aims to further knowledge and learning by opening the technical archives of our founders and some senior staff; through sharing Golder's distinct ownership model and business legacy; and by granting these annual awards.


[Disclosure] I am a full time employee of Golder Associates Inc. but is run on my own time, and with no involvement from Golder. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. [/Disclosure] [Source: Read about the Winners from the Golder Foundation. Image: Golder Foundation]

Last Updated on Friday, 17 July 2015 06:20
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