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.
A 10 inch hollow stem auger grazed a packed subway car on the NY MTA's F line last week scratching the side of the train and breaking windows. Fortunately there were no injuries. I think the pictures say it all! The auger belonged to a contractor installing dewatering wells. But as one MTA source quoted in the Post put it: 'Somebody made a mistake; maybe a surveyor or a field engineer... They drilled into the street but didnâ€™t realize they were right over the F train tunnel. They werenâ€™t supposed to be in that spot.' Ironically, the dewatering well was associated with the East Side Access project...an MTA project. [Source: NY Post via Mashable. Image: NY Daily News]
Dr. Jesus E. Gomez has joined GEI Consultants as a vice president and will lead their geotechnical and geostructural practice in the Philadelphia region. Dr. Gomez has over 30 years of experience, and was previously a principal with Schnabel Engineering. He is well known in the geotechnical community for his work on various FHWA/ADSC publications on soil nails and micropiles, among others. [Source: Read the full press release from GEI Consultants. Image: GEI Consultants]
Underground metal mines can have extremely high temperatures, making it hazardous for employees to work there for more than a few minutes at a time. Researchers from my alma mater, the University of Arizona, are studying the possibility of using a common mining waste product, tailings, as aggregate in shotcrete with good insulation properties that will be used to coat rock surfaces that readily conduct heat. [Source: Arizona Engineer. Image: Arizona Engineer]
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]