Subscribe to the Monthly Newsletter at GeoPrac.net, powered by Constant Contact.
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.
The 1964 Alaska Earthquake was 9.2 in magnitude and caused dramatic destruction and dramatic examples of surface rupture, subsidence, and liquefaction. New paleoseismic evidence points to a previously unknown earthquake that happened on the same fault segment approximately 500 years ago. This new evidence would change the recurrence interval for the earthquakes on the Alaskan megathrust fault, which would affect seismic hazard in Alaska, but could also increase the tsunami hazard in places as far away as California and Hawaii. [Source: EARTH Magazine via AEG Insider. Image: Wikipedia]
The latest issue of Pile Buck Magazine has a cover story on the Panama Canal Construction. Talk about a mega project! There are actually two articles, the first includes a very nice summary of the overall project. Both discuss the construction of a huge cofferdam to separate Miraflores Lake from the construction area for the new Pacific Access Channel. This channel will link the third set of locks to Culebra Cut. The cofferdam consisted of 58 circular cells comprised of 17,000 tons of straight and z-section sheet piling. [Source: Read the article for free in Pile Buck Magazine. Image: Pile Buck]
The cover story in the latest issue of LIDAR Magazine is titled Unearthing Landslides. It describes the work done by a company called Quantum Spatial in the immediate aftermath of the Oso Landslide. They were also involved in scanning the recent landslide in Grand Mesa, Colorado. Quantum Spatial has developed a landslide tool that identifies areas of landslide risk based on different aspects of the LiDAR based topography. [Source: Read the article from LiDAR News. Image: LIDAR Magazine]
It's October 2 again, and today would have been Karl Terzaghi's 131st birthday. As I was reflecting on Terzaghi and some of his quotes, I was reading a passage from Professor's Goodman's biography1 that described a talk that he gave in 1924 entitled "The Way to Happiness." I thought this would be a nice change of pace from some of his more famous quotes and topics. Here are some selections from Goodman's description of the presentation.
...This stems from application of the law of selection, which "leads to the survival of the most clever, most reckless, and most hypocritical. There seems to be no fox hole left for the freedom of will... The validity of the fundamental laws provides that the fear of perishing and the desire to succeed dominate all other instincts."
"The very moment you overcome fear and desire you leave the domain governed by the law and you become free." In this spirit Terzaghi left his hearers with three rules to promote internal happiness, all of which contradict the laws pointing toward external success: 1) do not avoid suffering but welcome it as a way to augment your strength, 2) disregard market conditions and give your best effor no matter what and never produce something that is worthless even if the market says to do so, and 3) try to combine "the inflexible firmness of the man of action with the sensitivity and spontaneity of the artistic mind."
Happy KTB 2014! -Randy
1. Goodman, Richard E. (1999). Karl Terzaghi - The Engineer as Artist. ASCE Press, Reston, Virginia.
Geological software developer RockWare announced last month that their free update for RockWorks 16 contains over 75 changes since the previous update. And if anyone is counting, that's 672 changes since the initial release of RockWorks 16. They seem very receptive to user feedback, and very proactive with their new releases. I wish more geo-software companies were like that! [Source: The RockWare Blog. Image: RockWare Blog]
A seismologist at the University of Tokyo believes that the monstrous tsunami that was responsible for so much damage and loss of life during the 2011 Fukushima earthquake may have been a result of a submarine landslide the size of Paris. The researchers reached their conclusion by back-analyzing the wave motion measurements from buoys on the day of the earthquake. After modeling the size and approximate location of the landslide, other team members were able to compare bathymetry data from before and after the earthquake to locate the slide. [Source: Read more at Science/AAAS. Image: The Science Show]
Hayward Baker will construct their Vibro Piers(TM) foundation system at the new stadium to house the Atlanta Falcons and a new MLS team. Their holes will be 2.5 feet in diameter and 27 feet deep and filled with vibro compacted No. 57 stone. The project is anticipated to take 5 weeks, operating 6 days a week to keep the project schedule on track. Hayward Baker is a sponsor of GeoPrac.net. [Source: Hayward Baker. Image: Hayward Baker]
ENR's annual ranking of the Top 200 Environmental Firms has been released. Their survey ranks firms based on revenue, and the results of their survey show a growth of 4% from 2013 to 2014 to $53.7 billion which reverses the trend observed in last year's survey. [Source: Check out ENR: Engineering News Record to see the full top 200 list. Image: ENR]
The Arizona DOT and their contractor have begun blasting and earthwork to realign a portion of US 89 in northern Arizona near Page that was cut off by a large landslide in February of 2013. The massive blasting and excavation operation to push back the slope above the road will generate around 1 million cubic yards of material which will be used to construct a massive buttress at the toe of the slide. Check out the video below. [Source: ADOT YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]
Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA used their Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) technology to collect repeat measurements of the Napa Valley area to accurately map ground deformations from the August 24, 2014 earthquake. The special autopilot developed by NASA allows the C-20A aircraft to fly within 30 feet of its previous flight line surveys to collect high-resolution radar data. The data can be processed using interferrometric techniques to generate INSAR images that will tell geologists, engineers, seismologists, and planners how much movement occurred, including in soft sediment areas near the North Bay Aqueduct. [Source: NASA. Image: NASA Armstrong]
Providing geotechnical drilling parameters such as thrust, rotation, rate of penetration, and flush pressure will soon be incorporated into European Standard EN22574-15 and is already in BS5930. Having these parameters available gives geotechnical engineers another tool in the toolbox to characterize the subsurface. But I am not familiar with any drilling companies here in the US that can record and report this type of data. Does anyone use this technology in their practice? What kind of equipment is required on the drill rig to collect this data? Leave a comment, or tweet @geoprac. [Source: New Civil Engineer Ground Engineering news via Geotechnical Data Hub on LinkedIn. Image: ocarc.ca]