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Uncategorized Giveaways: Official Rules giveaways: official rules No purchase required to enter or win Eligibility: Giveaways (the “Giveaways”) are open only to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including the District of […]

American Society of Testing Materials Logo - ASTM
Standards and Codes

ASTM Standards November Update

American Society of Testing Materials Logo - ASTMNovember was a big month for updates to ASTM Standards…84 updates to be more specific. Several that caught my attention were D4546 One-Dimensional Swell or Settlement Potential, D7383 – Standard Test Methods for Axial Compressive Force Pulse (Rapid) Testing of Deep Foundations (a new standard), several standards that might affect shotcrete design and a large number of water testing standards. Read on for the list.


Sinkhole in Karst Topography being used as a drainage structure
Journal Article Reviews

Mitigation of Karst and Sinkholes for New Hospital Structure

Sinkhole in Karst Topography being used as a drainage structureThe site for the new Harrison County Hospital, approximately 25-miles west of Louisville, Kentucky had 15 sinkholes formed by limestone dissolution, a geomorphologic process referred to as Karst topography.  There were a number of geotechnical engineering and geological engineering challenges associated with the characterization, excavation, backfilling, foundation engineering and other mitigation measures as described by Peggy Hagerty Duffy, P.E. in her article entitled “Karst and Complications” in the August 2008 issue of Civil Engineering Magazine (Duffy, 2008b).

Mitigation measures for the sinkholes included use of graded filters with geotextiles, careful inspection of rock socket foundations along with pilot holes and careful geotechnical inspection throughout the construction process. One particularly interesting aspect of the project is that several of the sinkholes were used as drainage facilities to receive surface water runoff. Read on for a summary of this interesting article. (Photo of sinkhole in Karst Topography being used as a drainage feature, from Duffy (2008b), Civil Engineering Magazine)


Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository Schematic Drawing by US Nuclear Regulatory Comission
Project Related

Yucca Mountain Solution for Nevada’s Budget Deficit?

Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository Schematic Drawing by US Nuclear Regulatory ComissionThe Center for Yucca Facts has presented a letter to the chairman of the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (SAGE) of the State of Nevada recommending that an objective look at the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository might show that it provides a solution to Nevada’s budgetary dilemmas. More after the break.


hydraulic fracuturing for natural gas extraction

Fracking Chemicals in Your Water

The good folks at have pointed out a very interesting and alarming article on hazardous chemicals that may be used in the Hydrofrac process of natural gas extraction and their impact on groundwater. The […]

Geologic Hazards

What Would a Large Earthquake Do to Downtown L.A.?

USGS LogoFrom the USGS Newsroom:

USGS scientist Ken Hudnut fills us in on how science created the theoretical magnitude 7.8 earthquake behind the Great Southern California ShakeOut—the largest earthquake preparedness drill in U.S. history, coming Nov. 13—and what such an earthquake would do to downtown Los Angeles.

Seems like they did it right wiith this study. They had multiple teams independenlty come up with the ground shaking model, then had different structural engineers who are experts in seismic design of large buildings review the tall buildings in the L.A. area for the design earthquake. They say that buildings would likely come down in the 7.8 magnitude event. Click through to watch the video interview from the USGS.



Mill Creek Dam near Walla Walla Washington

Mill Creek Dam near Walla Walla, WA Leaking, Receives Corps Worst Rating

Mill Creek Dam near Walla Walla WashingtonThe Mill Creek Dam near Walla Walla, Washington has served its purpose admirably for over 67 years but according to a recent report by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the dam received a Dam Safety Action Category (DSAC) rating of 1 out of 5 which means that the risk to public safety is too great when Bennington lake which is formed by the dam is more than 17% full for an extended period of time. More after the break. (Photo by USACOE)


Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, Owego, NY
Press Releases

GEI Consultants Completes Site at Proposed New Nuclear Plant for AREVA and UniStar Nuclear Energy

Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, Owego, NYUniStar Submitted NRC License Application September 30 for Potential New Reactor in New York

BOSTON, Mass. – GEI Consultants, Inc., a leading national geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firm, announced today it has completed the geotechnical and hydrogeological investigations for UniStar Nuclear Energy’s proposed new nuclear reactor adjacent to Constellation Energy’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station near Oswego, New York. These investigations were required to develop the final design of the planned reactor and to support UniStar’s September 2008 submission of a Combined License Application (COLA) to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). [Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release. (Photo of the existing Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station. (Photo from Contingency Management Associates, Inc.) [/Editor]


Peridotite, possible means of carbon sequestration

Carbon Sequestration as Hard Rock

Most carbon sequestration approaches focus on injecting CO2 underground for storage in porous aquifers and hoping the gas doesn’t escape. There are other problems with this approach as well, including chemical reactions that create Carbonic […]