Geologic map of Southern Florida

How to Find Existing Geotechnical Subsurface Information

Geologic map of Southern Florida

So, you’ve landed a job as a Geotechnical Engineer. What now? We all know that before performing any site investigation it is prudent to gather as much information that you can about the project site. There are so many resources out there that can help us get an idea of what the subsurface conditions are so that we can select the appropriate subsurface exploration techniques.

Below is a list of extremely useful sites that can help you gain some indication as to what the subsurface conditions are before planning the subsurface exploration program.

[Editor] Click through for the rest of this contributed article from Rey Villa. [/Editor]


American Society of Testing Materials Logo - ASTM
Standards and Codes

ASTM Updates October 2010

American Society of Testing Materials Logo - ASTMTime again for a summary of changes to ASTM standards that may be of interest to geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists and those in geoconstruction and even lab testing or CQA. This month there is a new standard for a new type of geomembrane, revisions to standards relating to ultrasonic testing and general nondestructive testing terminology, evaluation of particle shape in aggregates, and re-approval of standards relating to non-asbestos fiber-cement based products. Click through for more.


Geologic Hazards

City of Chilliwack, British Columbia to Pay $18M for Up to 42 Homes On Landslide

chilliwack_bc_landslide_neighborhood The Chilliwack Times reports that the City of Chilliwack will pay 80% of the assessed home value for up to 42 homes in an Eastern Hillside subdivision that are located on a slow moving landslide. The issue was first noticed in 2001 and several homes have had significant damage, but most are currently undamaged. The City denies any responsibility, but it’s legal counsel recommended a settlement. (Photo by Paul J. Henderson, Chilliwack Times)

Normally the geotechnical engineer for the subdivision would be held accountable. But apparently the slip surface is located 30-m below grade, much deeper than borings for a typical investigation for a subdivision. I wonder if there were any geologists consulted? Click through for a Google map view of the area and you can do your own armchair photogeology quarterbacking! Your heart does go out to the people losing their homes, they had no idea. But it could be worse, they could be in La Jolla and be getting squat.


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Available Resources

Google Earth for Geotechnical Engineers and Geologists

Google Earth - Logo copyright Google Inc.Google Earth is a software application that uses satellite and aerial photo imagery, terrain, maps, 3D buildings and Google Search data to view information in our world in two and three dimensions in real time. I’m curious how other geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists are using Google Earth in their practice. Read on for some GE related resources I’ve found useful or interesting, and then post a comment on how you use Google Earth in your practice and for fun! (Logo copyright Google Inc.)