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Tuesday, 06 October 2015

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Protestors Cause Geotechnical Work to Shutdown for Sydney WestConnex Project [2015-10-06 08:34:38]  recommend  recommend this post  (12 visits) info

Police were called out to one geotechnical investigation site in metro Sydney, Australia last week after residents unhappy with the proposed WestConnex project entered the work site. The crew abandoned drilling tools and equipment on the site, an apartment complex. WestConnex geotechnical contractors canceled another planned investigation as well based on the public reaction. Residents of the apartments were notified in advance of the work, and WestConnex indicated that the proper permission [...]

Site Characterization Services: Step 3 Field Exploration [2015-10-06 08:32:19]  recommend  recommend this post  (12 visits) info
Another in the series of excellent videos by Terracon. This video addresses the field exploration techniques they use. [Source: Terracon YouTube Channel. Image:

Terzaghi's Birthday 2015 and Growing Pains of a New Profession [2015-10-02 14:44:44]  recommend  recommend this post  (35 visits) info

Today is the anniversary of Karl Terzaghi's birthday. I have a tradition of marking the anniversary by sharing a quote or some other piece of info I've learned about the man we commonly refer to as the father of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering. This year I marked the occasion a day early by arranging for geotechnical engineers in my office of Golder Associates to watch a video over our lunch hour by The GBA from 1988 of a presentation given by Ralph Peck entitled "Growing Pains [...]

Dewind Remediates Seepage at Dam in Tyler, Texas [2015-09-24 07:52:53]  recommend  recommend this post  (21 visits) info

Dewind One Pass was involved in constructing a cut-off wall to address seepage issues at Tyler Dam in Tyler, Texas. The earthen dam was constructed of clay, but the foundation soil consisted of a very permeable silty sand material. The remediation involved a mixed-in-place soil, cement, and bentonite cutoff wall on the downstream face of the dam, about halfway between the crest and the toe. Dewind won the job, and the City's consulting geotechnical engineer narrates this video explaining [...]

Moretrench Remediates Dangerous Seepage Problem at Dam in Catskill Mountains [2015-09-24 07:09:59]  recommend  recommend this post  (19 visits) info

Moretrench was contacted by NYCDEP after turbid water was noticed seeping from the toe of their Cannonsville Reservoir Dam, in the Catskill Mountains. The problem was determined to be related to an exploratory borehole conducted for a hydroelectric plant project that intercepted an artesian aquifer in the underlying glacial till. Moretrench first installed a series of wells to dewater the artesian unit using the Sonic drilling method. Once the artesian aquifer was depressurized, the owner [...]

Texas Regulator Clears Oil And Gas Company Of Causing Quakes [2015-09-18 06:54:37]  recommend  recommend this post  (25 visits) info

 Ordovician; US,CA
The Texas Railroad Commission issued preliminary findings saying that the hydraulic fracturing wastewater injection well operated by an Exxon Mobil subsidiary was not to blame for earthquakes that shook Reno, Texas in 2013 and 2014. From the article:Commission investigators concluded that a well where Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy pumps millions of gallons of the wastewater likely didn't cause the quakes, but also said there wasn't enough evidence to demonstrate the [...]

USBR Selects 23 Projects Totaling $5.2 Million to Build Drought Resiliency in Nine States [2015-09-18 06:52:55]  recommend  recommend this post  (23 visits) info

From the USBR Press Release:Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López has announced the selection of 23 projects to receive grants totaling $5.2 million for proactive drought planning and other efforts to build long-term drought resiliency in nine states in the West."The western United States has faced an unprecedented drought this year and will face many more water challenges in the future," Commissioner López said. "This funding will help the selected communities prepare for [...]

Site Characterization Services: Step 2 Methods Consulting [2015-09-14 08:01:50]  recommend  recommend this post  (18 visits) info
The second in a series of videos by Terracon on the various steps of site characterization. If you are someone new to geotechnical engineering, these videos are a great overview of what we do! [Source: Terracon YouTube Channel. Image:

GPR Used to Locate Possible 'Superhenge' Near Stonehenge [2015-09-14 08:01:04]  recommend  recommend this post  (22 visits) info

Archaeologists using high-resolution ground penetrating radar (GPR) have located a massive collection of stones less than 3 km from the well-known Stonehenge site. This grouping of 90 stones, up to 4.5 meters tall (14.7 feet) have apparently been pushed over and buried. Renderings of the site have been created showing what the row of stones would have looked like. The exact purpose and how this site relates to Stonehenge is still a mystery. [Source: Read the source article at CNN. Image: [...]

Final three pieces of tunneling machine safely in the access pit [2015-09-14 08:00:31]  recommend  recommend this post  (20 visits) info

The repaired cutterhead has been in the pit several weeks now, and the final three pieces of shielding for the Bertha TBM have been lowered into the access pit. Seattle Tunnel Partners team members will complete the reassembly of the machine, and manufacturer Hitachi Zosen will conduct a series of tests to make sure the TBM is fit to resume tunneling. The most recent STP schedule indicates they expect to resume tunnel boring in the later part of November. [Source: Alaskan Way Viaduct WSDOT. [...]

Tunneling machine's front end bolted in place [2015-08-31 08:25:12]  recommend  recommend this post  (30 visits) info

The troubled Alaska Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel TBM known as Bertha has reached a milestone in its repair. The front cutterhead has been repaired, and has been lowered back into the access shaft to be re-attached to the TBM. The time-lapse video below shows the cutterhead being lowered down into the access shaft. What caught my eye was the number of steel cables on the crane blocks...that's a heavy lift! Time Lapse Video [Source: WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct Project Page. Image:

Florida Pool Pushed Out Of Ground After Heavy Rains [2015-08-31 08:24:33]  recommend  recommend this post  (29 visits) info

The source website is calling this some kind of 'reverse sinkhole', which is definitely not the case. The article says there was a period of very heavy rain for about 11 days before this happened, with some areas seeing rainfall intensity up to 6.7 inches in 12 hours. It sounds like the water table rose to very close to the surface and buoyant forces pushed the pool out. The building inspector called it a 'popped pool'. [Source: Go see a video of this poor homeowners's pool at [...]

CRWV Airport Authority, Triad Answer Yeager Airport Landslide Complaint [2015-08-18 14:44:35]  recommend  recommend this post  (27 visits) info

Plaintiffs whose homes were destroyed by the Yeager Airport Landslide in March of 2015 filed a suit naming Central Regional West Virginia Airport Authority and Triad Engineering as well as several others. The CRWVAA and Triad have filed answers to the complaint, and two other plaintiff have filed motions to dismiss themselves from the lawsuit according the the West Virginia Record. Apparently Triad was monitoring the mechanically stabilized earth retention structure as far back as 2013 when [...]

A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On: Center for Geotechnical Modeling Facilitates Seismic Research [2015-08-18 14:15:55]  recommend  recommend this post  (27 visits) info

How would you feel if you were subjected to 75Gs of centrifugal force? Well, at least you would know what the soil feels like in some of the cutting edge geotechnical modeling being done at the UC Davis Center for Geotechnical Modeling (CGM). This article is a fascinating overview of the history of the lab, and the types of geotechnical experiments they can run using the 9 meter radius centrifuge. It can spin a 5-ton payload at 90 revolutions per minute! No other lab in the world can boast [...]

Video of DeWind One Pass Trenching MT2000 Trencher Installing Soil Bentonite Cutoff Wall [2015-08-04 09:20:29]  recommend  recommend this post  (37 visits) info
Modified from the YouTube description: Video of a DeWind One-Pass Trencher installing a Soil-Bentonite Wall 55' deep. This is a mix in place technology capable of installations up to 125' feet deep. The soils are evenly homogenized with the additives from top to bottom and from start to finish. An Average of 300 LF installed per day. No messy mixing ponds, open excavations, very little spoils, One piece of equipment and only 4 men are required for this 5000 LF installation reducing safety [...]

The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle [2015-08-02 23:04:32]  recommend  recommend this post  (37 visits) info
This is a fantastic article by Kathryn Schulz for New Yorker Magazine on the seismic and tsunami hazards associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Pacific Northwest. Ms. Schulz paints a very vivid picture of what the devestation will look like based on input from many people who know what they are talking about, geologists, seismologists, FEMA officials, and State and Local disaster planning folks. This article was so effective, that NPR reported a run on survival kit supplies in [...]

The World's Longest (and Scariest) Glass Pedestrian Bridge [2015-07-31 10:15:27]  recommend  recommend this post  (34 visits) info

Check out this proposed bridge in China's Zhangjiajie National Forest. It has a span of 1,200 feet and is over 1,300 feet off the ground. The majestic landscape was reportedly the inspiration for the Halleluja Mountains of James Cameron's movie Avatar. The bridge architect that designed it initially refused saying the landscape was too beautiful to put a bridge there. But agreed only if they could design a bridge that would 'disappear'. The 20 foot wide platform is slated to host fashion [...]

GroundProbe Releases New In Pit Radar [2015-07-31 10:14:40]  recommend  recommend this post  (27 visits) info

GroundProbe has released a new slope stability monitoring radar for use in pit. The SSR-FX is designed to aid in increasing safety and productivity in mines. According to GroundProbe CEO John Beevers:"The SSR-FX is the first product in our range of broad area monitoring solutions; it uses new antenna technology not yet seen in the mining industry, to scan 180 degrees every two minutes with sub millimeter precision, over long periods,"rn [Source: Mining Australia. Image: Australian

Controversy and Finger Pointing in 2014 Landslide in North Salt Lake [2015-07-31 09:24:41]  recommend  recommend this post  (40 visits) info

The couple owning a house up-slope from a massive 2014 landslide is accused of overwatering their lawn, leading to the landslide in a lawsuit filed by the developer. The developer also blames a natural gas company, and some other nearby construction, but had denied any responsibility for the slide. In a countersuit, the two homeowners say they are being scapegoated and blame a natural gas company that owns and operates two pipelines near the slide, two geotech firms that studied the land [...]

Federal Highway Administration Launches New National Tunnel Inspection Program [2015-07-27 10:00:05]  recommend  recommend this post  (41 visits) info

New Initiative Modeled After Longstanding Bridge Program WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today published the final rule for national tunnel inspection standards that will serve as the foundation of the nation’s first standardized tunnel inspection program. It will be modeled after the FHWA’s successful bridge program established nearly a half-century ago to ensure the safety of the nation’s bridges. [...] | Impressum