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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.

Content
Settle3D 3.0 by Rockscience Adds New Features
GeoNews - Software Updates
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 23:27

Rockscience Settle3D geotechnical software for analyzing settlement and consolidation

Rockscience has been busy soliciting feedback from their user base on news features for their settlement analysis software program, Settle3D. After receiving all of the feedback in the beta program, many of the user suggestions have been implemented by Rockscience in the Version 3.0 release of Settle3D. Some of these improvements include the ability to model non-horizontal soil layers, user interface improvements, new options for defining water level, enhanced graphing capabilities, and 64-bit parallel processing. [Source: Read more from Rockscience via Rockscience's Settle3D page.. Image: Rockscience]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 06:33
 
Bertha TBM Won't Resume Drilling Until March 2015
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 21 April 2014 23:52
Bertha repair plan calls for excavating a shaft in front of the TBM.

Seattle Tunnel Partners released a new schedule this week for the repair of the damaged seals on the Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine. This revised schedule shows that the TBM won't be digging again until March of 2015. The excavation of the pit to access the TBM will begin at the end of May, a delay caused by additional archaeological work. By October they hope to have the cutterhead removed to conduct the repairs, and the machine will undergo testing in February of 2015 with tunneling resuming in March of 2015. [Source: WSDOT. Image: WSDOT]

 
Repair of Earthquake Damaged Concrete Bridge Piers with PileMedic
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 21 April 2014 23:49

[Source: YouTube. Image: YouTube]

 
Two Geoprofessional Among 2014 Recipients of Grade of Distinguished Member of ASCE
GeoNews - Comings and Goings
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 21 April 2014 23:34
Jean-Louis Briaud

Two well-known geoprofessionals were among the eleven given ASCE's highest honor this year, the title of Distinguished Member. Jean-Louis Briaud and Thomas D. O'Rourke were both in this year's class. There is a link to their bios in the ASCE blog post. Congratulations to both gentlemen, very well deserved. [Source: ASCE Roundup. Image: Texas A&M]

 
Conceptual Plan for Excavation to Repair Bertha TBM
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 23:28

Seattle Tunnel Partners has released a conceptual plan showing what the excavation of the pit will look like to repair the damaged Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine. See below.

STP conceptual repair plan for Bertha.

A pit 120 feet deep and 83 feet in diameter will be excavated so that the TBM can be driven into the pit and the cutterhead removed. Crews will then repair the seal system around the main bearing. [Source: WSDOT, Image Credit: Seattle Tunnel Partners and Brierly Associates by way of WSDOT]

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:34
 
Developer To Pay Building Owner $3.2 Million For Damage Related to Shoring
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 23:12
The developers 17-story apartment building is near completion

A developer will pay $3.2 million in damages plus $3.9 million in legal fees and expenses to the owner of a property that sustained structural damage related to the shoring of the developer's adjacent 17 story apartment building in Bethesda, Maryland. Apparently the developer settled with the owner regarding the damages 4 days before trial in December of 2013. The details of the settlement were released in a court order last week that was associated with a hard-fought battle over the legal fees. There are undoubtedly other legal and insurance issues happening behind the scenes. The article indicates that the foundation and shoring subcontractor on the project claims the damage was caused by the August 2011 earthquake felt throughout the D.C. region. Regardless of what the geotechnical engineering issues are with the shoring system, it's clear this has become quite a legal mess. [Source: BethesdaNow. Image: BethesdaNow]

 
Foundation Drilling Starts for Deck to Be Built Over NY Rail Yard
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 22:56

Plan view of the Hudson Yards Development

I love how the Atlantic Cities article starts, they use the phrase "only in New York", which is very appropriate in this case! Foundation drilling has commenced for a project that will create 26 acres of developable space by creating a deck over the top of a Long Island Rail Yard serving America's busiest train station, Penn Station. Over 300 drilled shafts extending 90 feet down to bedrock will be constructed to support a continuous concrete deck that will span over the entire rail yard (check out the photo and video below!). High-rise buildings and other structures will be built over this deck to form the neighborhood that the developers are calling Hudson Yards. The area of the track where the 30 LIRR tracks converge into 4 lines that enter Penn Station will have a steel truss bridge with about 150 ft span length.

Video Rendering of Hudson Yards Construction

[Source: The Atlantic Cities via National Driller. Image: Related Companies via The Atlantic Cities]

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:36
 
Oso Landslide Update
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:36

Oso Landslide (Wikimedia)The Oso Landslide death toll is now up to 29. This is one of the worst natural hazard disasters I can remember in recent times. First and foremost I think should be the memories of the victims. There are so many heart-wrenching stories of the people that lost their lives in this giant landslide. I think those stories underscore the importance of the jobs of geologists and engineers.

We have a responsibility to protect life and property in the work that we do. I'm not saying this landslide or the loss of life could have necessarily been prevented, but I personally take tragic events like this as a reminder of the sacred charge of our profession and use it as motivation in my daily practice of geological and geotechnical engineering. With regards to the geology and engineering aspects of the Oso Landslide, below are several links that I found interesting or informative.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 April 2014 07:11
 
8.2 Magnitude Earthquake off Coast of Chile, Triggers Tsunami Warnings
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 23:25
April 1, 2014 Chilean Earthquake Location

A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile late Tuesday. The damage estimates will probably begin rolling in today, but early indications are that it could have been much worse. Some 5 people have been killed in the early figures. There have been reports of landslides and disruption of communication facilities. A tsunami warning was triggered, and there are warnings of high water levels and strong currents impacting Hawaii, but so far no reports of a major tsunami along the Chilean coast. [Source: CNN.com. Image: Ontario-geofish]

 
Tragic mudslide in Washington kills at least 8
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 24 March 2014 00:25
Highway 530 Mudslide east of Arlington on Sunday March 23, 2014

A massive mudslide occurred on Saturday in Snohomish County, about 30 miles north northeast of Seattle, east of Arlington in the town of Oso. It has killed 8 people and at least 12 are still missing. 30 homes were destroyed and a mile long stretch of HIghway 530 is buried under approximately 20 feet of mud and debris. Rescuers initially heard voices of survivors, but have not heard any voices since Saturday night. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. We will have more details as they become available. [Source: See the full story along with photos and video at The Seattle Times. Image: DAVE NORMAN / WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES via Seattle Times]

 
Hayward Baker working on sinkhole problem at Corvette Museum
GeoNews - Geologic Hazards
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 14:45
Birds-eye view of Corvette Sinkhole

I heard that Hayward Baker was working on the Corvette Museum sinkhole at GeoCongress, but I finally got official confirmation via this Civil Engineering Magazine article. It's a great article if you are interested in the engineering that's been going on since the sinkhole collapsed and swallowed 8 Corvettes. So far, Hayward Baker has installed 23 micropiles around the structure to depths of 75 to 220 feet depth according to the article. They are still trying to recover the remaining cars before a plan is formulated for shoring up the museum. They might use more micropiles, or they could go another way and fill up the sinkhole with low mobility grout. Whatever they decide to do, you can bet I will report on it! [Source: Read the article in ASCE's Civil Engineering Magazine. Image: Corvette Museum via ASCE]

 
Plan for Bertha Repair Submitted, Archaeological Surveys Underway
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 14:20

Seattle Tunnel Partners and WSDOT are moving forward with the plans to excavate a 120 foot deep shaft to repair the Bertha Tunnel Boring Machine. Unfortunately, there are archaeological issues since the project team did not clear the area where the shaft will be excavated. A series of 4-inch boreholes 20 to 40 feet deep (I wonder what drilling method, sonic?) will be performed under the supervision of the archaeologists to look for culturally significant items. The top of Bertha sits approximately 60 feet below grade at this point, below the historical fill used to fill in the waterfront. [Source: More info at WSDOT. Image: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Illustrated Reference]

 
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