GeoSynthetica was kind enough to track down an interesting case study in the use of geosynthetics at a new de-icing facility at Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport. Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol are commonly used de-icing chemicals. Most de-icing is done at the gate to avoid flight delays, but it also increases the chance of environmental contamination. In the design of a new dedicated de-icing facility at the airport, geosynthetic clay liners (GCL), Geocells, geotextiles and geocomposites were all used to handle chemical-laden runoff as well as regular runoff during the non-icy times of year. Also there is a problem with high water table and a resulting detrimental effect on the pavement subgrade. This is where the aggregate-filled geocells were used. Read on for the link. (Photo by Spiritwood Images)
By way of Geology.com, the Wall Street Journal reports on some interesting news related to GPS and even our beloved Google Maps / Google Earth. Apparently there are only two games in town when it comes to data providers for online and digital mapping products that are used by the aformentioned software as well as your GPS navigation system: Netherlands-based Tele Atlas NV, and Chicago-based Navteq Corp. (Photo by Websteria)
In October, Nokia bought Navteq for …wait for it… $8.1 billion. They plan to use the technology as the basis for a business model involving selling advertising tied to your phone’s location. A month later TomTom, a maker of GPS products, beat out rival Garmin and bought Tele Atlas for $4.2 billion. Were either of these companies really worth that much money? It doesn’t appear like it. Thus concern has been raised that the new owners of the technology might be in a position to hurt competitors by raising prices. We will have to see how things pan out.
[Update Jan 28, 2008] It appears as if the Port of Seattle is in some hot water for some alleged shady dealings with one of the contractors on the project. More at Seattle Times. [/Update]
Erosion Control magazine has an interesting article on MSE Walls. I think the tie-in of MSE Walls with erosion control is a little questionable (they did mention wall drainage a few times), but the article highlights several interesting projects, particularly the Seattle-Tacoma Airport or Sea-Tac Third Runway Project retaining walls. The West wall for that project is the tallest MSE Wall in North America, 130-ft at its highest point. More after the break. (Photo by Sea-Tac Airport)
The Utah Geologic Survey has released a "Landslide Susceptibility Map of Utah". They apparently relied quite heavily on GIS based thresholding of existing slope angles but only after they had statistically analyzed failure angles for particular geologic units. So it sounds like they throw the known landslides, the geologic map of Utah and a DEM into the GIS a blend it all up. Perhaps a slight oversimplification!
The City of Vancouver is suing a developer, excavation contractor and their consulting engineer for the costs of repairs, overtime for city employees and lost revenue from parking meters etc stemming from an apparent failure of a shoring system that formed a 30-meter sinkhole. No mention of the developer’s name or the engineer, but the contractor was Matcon Excavation and Shoring. The site will be the future home of high-rise condominiums…if the City lifts it’s stop work order.
The failure of the shoring caused a break inf a 20-cm water main ultimately flooding the site. It also necessitated the closure of the adjacent street. Of course this invites the whole chicken or the egg scenario. The defendants will probably argue that the water line failed first causing the failure of the shoring, but of course the City Engineer, Tom Timm was not shy about fingering the shoring as being deficient.
"It’s some kind of a failure of the shoring system . . . either a design issue or the way it was put in place."
The $14.8 billion project that has constructed a dizzying array of underground highways, bridges, ramps and tunnels in the middle of Boston has finally ended. The end of 2007 apparently was also the end of the Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff joint venture that designed and built the project. More… (Photo by brewrat)
Happy New Year to everyone! Most blogs this time of year publish a list of their most popular content from throughout the year. I thought it would be nice to do the same hear on GeoPrac. So, without further adieu…