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Wednesday, 05 July 2017

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The May/June issue of Deep Foundations Magazine is now available online [2017-07-05 07:55:40]  recommend  recommend this post  (31 visits) info
The May/June issue of Deep Foundations Magazine by the DFI features a special look at Dewatering and Groundwater Control. One of the articles is by Gregory Landry, the Chief Dewatering Engineer at GeoPrac sponsor, Moretrench. I love the anecdote at the beginning of the article, that Moretrench defined dewatering as that aspect of the project that when left out produced the lowest bidder! These kinds of free resources are a great way to keep up to date on what's going on in the industry [...]

Massive Landslide in Xinmo, Sichuan Province [2017-07-05 07:49:20]  recommend  recommend this post  (25 visits) info
There was a huge rockslide in Sichuan Province of China on June 24th that buried the town of Xinmo early in the morning. Early figures were that 118 people were missing and 15 victims had already been recovered. It's hard to believe there is a village somewhere under all of that debris. The local geological survey indicated that the volume of rock was estimated at 8 million cubic meters. [Source: The Landslide Blog. Image: Xinhua/Xue Yubin]

Bentley launches a gINT Special Interest Group [2017-06-27 15:39:11]  recommend  recommend this post  (9 visits) info
Bentley Systems is pleased to announce that earlier this year, they began a gINT Special Interest Group (SIG). What is a SIG you ask? It is a Bentley-hosted, one-hour virtual meeting that enables users with similar interests to learn and connect on-line. Meetings are structured to inform and engage users on current topics of importance through technical presentations and interactive Q&A via a chat window. Participants will learn new skills, productivity-enhancing best practices, and [...]

Autodesk Geotechnical Module 2018 Released - Webinar [2017-06-21 16:16:38]  recommend  recommend this post  (9 visits) info
The latest version of Autodesk’s Geotechnical Module will help engineering companies streamline the production of geotechnical drawings and models. Licensed by Keynetix to Autodesk, the update of the free add-on to AutoCAD Civil 3D includes a new Fence Diagram command, enabling users to create two-dimensional cross-sections and add them to 3D models quickly and easily. 'Along with the new Geotechnical Property feature and Geotechnical Export command, the module makes it simple to [...]

Two Important Legal Resources Updated [2017-06-21 16:04:50]  recommend  recommend this post  (10 visits) info
The GBA has been helping geoprofessional firms deal with the legal realities of our business for nearly 50 years. They have recently updated two important resource documents that address this topic: Limitation-of-Liability Case Index and Economic-Loss-Doctrine Case Index. Both of these documents were written without legalese making them easier for non-lawyer professionals to digest and they are available free of charge for GBA members. Not a member? Are you sure? Most geoprofessionals [...]

USBR Best Practices and Risk Methodology for Dams [2017-06-21 15:54:08]  recommend  recommend this post  (5 visits) info
I was recently made aware of an excellent reference from the US Bureau of Reclamation regarding best practices and risk methodology for assessing dams. This is a reference manual to accompany a course offering, but may still serve as a a good stand along reference. From the USBR: The Bureau of Reclamation has been using risk analysis as the primary support for dam safety decision-making for about 15 years, and has developed procedures to analyze risks for a multitude of potential failure [...]

Unique workshop helps you handle complex soil sequences [2017-06-07 05:54:45]  recommend  recommend this post  (60 visits) info
Ask anyone about what lies beneath their feet and they’ll say it’s a mystery.  Understanding how ancient sediments were deposited are challenging enough, but taking the mystery out of the subsurface for environmental and engineering work can be daunting….even for professionals. On Sept 12 & 13, geologists, engineers and environmental scientists will be traveling to Exton, PA for an interactive, educational workshop to learn how take the mystery out of the surface. Bentley Systems [...]

GeoPrac welcomes new sponsor - Gintegro! [2017-05-30 15:04:02]  recommend  recommend this post  (2 visits) info
GeoPrac is pleased to announce our newest sponsor, Gintegro!  Please check them out and the powerful geotechnical software they distribute, GEO5.  Be sure to let them know how you heard about them! Gintegro is a geotechnical engineering software and services company. They offer GEO5, a user-friendly,modular geotechnical software suite that originates from the birthplace of Karl Terzaghi, the "father of soil mechanics". For over 20 years GEO5 has been beloved worldwide, by geotechnical [...]

Ensuring consistency in geotechnical laboratory operations [2017-05-30 14:53:41]  recommend  recommend this post  (2 visits) info
Laboratory accreditation has become a ‘ticket to the game’ and most geotechnical laboratories will have, or are working towards, accreditation. The key thing an accreditation body is looking for is consistency; in workflows, sample handling, testing processes, calculations and reporting. While many geotechnical laboratory managers choose Excel as their laboratory information management system (LIMS), its limitations can lead to problems for meeting client requirements, quality assurance [...]

Big Sur Landslide Being Called The Biggest In State History [2017-05-30 07:39:34]  recommend  recommend this post  (53 visits) info
A massive landslide covered California's famous Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in 35 to 45 feet of soil and rock over a distance of 1,500 feet. Caltrans is calling the landslide 'one of a kind' and one of the biggest in the State's recorded history, and ' far the worst we have ever seen'. Wired Magazine has a great before and after picture to view the magnitude of this massive landslide. The slide is also being called the Mud Creek slide. It cuts off the southern route into the popular [...]

Martin McDermott, P.G. Joins Moretrench [2017-05-18 15:40:09]  recommend  recommend this post  (5 visits) info
Specialty geotechnical contractor Moretrench is pleased to welcome Martin McDermott, P.G., who joins us as a Division Manager for our Geotechnical Group. Mr. McDermott has more than 30 years of geotechnical construction experience, with a particular area of expertise in the field of drilled shaft construction. He holds a Masters degree in Engineering Geology from Drexel, a B.A in Geology from LaSalle, and is a licensed Pennsylvania Professional Geologist. He is a seasoned, goal-oriented and [...]

Large Rockslide in Hawkins County, Tennessee [2017-05-18 08:25:41]  recommend  recommend this post  (18 visits) info
As Dr. Petley noted in his blog post, this looks like a classic planar rock slide where the rock mass failed parallel to the dominant planar discontinuity set. The slide occurred on Highway 70 between SR 94 and Clinch Valley Road. It will take the better part of a week to clear the debris according to TDOT. [Source: The Landslide Blog - AGU Blogosphere. Image: Photo by Jay Herring via Amanda Ketchledge]

Geo-companies in ENR's 2017 Top 500 Design Firms [2017-05-12 17:39:44]  recommend  recommend this post  (14 visits) info
ENR's annual top 500 design firms list for 2017 is out. These rankings are based on revenue for design services in the previous calendar year. Last year I extracted a subset of the list to see rankings of firms that are strong in geotechnical / geological related services, so I decided to do it again this year. I included firms that self-identified as geotechnical firms, as well as engineering firms that I know to have a strong geo emphasis. I'm sure there are some that I missed. I also [...]

Tunnel collapses at Hanford nuclear waste site [2017-05-12 08:37:41]  recommend  recommend this post  (8 visits) info
A 20 foot section of a tunnel collapsed at the PUREX facility at the Department of Energy's Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State. The PUREX facility was used to extract plutonium for weapons from spent nuclear fuel but has been inactive since 1980. Cleanup activities have been on-going since 1989. The shallow, earth-covered tunnels were used by remote-operated trains to carry the spent fuel from a reactor to the PUREX facility. According to a 2015 report, the tunnels may still have the [...]

Video: SQUID Device for Drilled Shaft Bottom QC [2017-05-12 08:36:47]  recommend  recommend this post  (7 visits) info
I saw this device (well, a model of it and a presentation) at a recent geotechnical conference and I was very impressed. One of the challenges with the QC of drilled shafts is that you don't always know the condition of the bottom of the shaft. The Shaft Quantitative Inspection Device (SQUID) measures the thickness of the debris layer above the bearing strata and the strength of the bearing layer itself. The results are presented on output in numerical and graphical format in real time. [...]

Video of Highway 101 Landslide in California [2017-05-01 07:32:46]  recommend  recommend this post  (27 visits) info
A secondary landslide on Highway 101 north of Legget, California was captured on video at the end of April. The original slide closed the highway and after Caltrans was able to clear it and reopen the highway for several hours, a stuck motorist took this video. What strikes me is how overconfident the (presumably) Caltrans employees are. If you see the slope shedding rocks like that, you better get back in a hurry! [Source: Facebook Video from Wendy K. via Image: [...]

ISRM Online Lectures on Rock Mechanics Topics [2017-05-01 07:16:41]  recommend  recommend this post  (9 visits) info
The International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) has some great lectures posted online. The latest one posted in April is 'Why Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering?' by Professor Emeritus Charles Fairhurst of the University of Minnesota and the Itasca Consulting Group. [Source: Watch the lectures for free from ISRM. Image: Itasca]

Kansas City Company Uses US Product, TerraThane, to Keep Natural Gas Flowing in Nation’s Ninth Largest Gas Reserve [2017-04-14 17:21:54]  recommend  recommend this post  (8 visits) info
FORT LUPTON, CO—An unfortunate inlet line break at one of Anadarko Petroleum's hydraulic fracturing stations in Weld County, Colorado just north of Denver, allowed injection fluid to wash out the end of the pumping station and get beneath the concrete slab foundation causing erosion. The voids created beneath the slabs were from three inches to five inches and left the slab floor uneven. The general contractor for the station, Open Range Services, initially thought to use the legacy method [...]

Breakthrough! Bertha TBM Completes Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel in Seattle [2017-04-05 07:29:14]  recommend  recommend this post  (40 visits) info
After tunneling 9,270 feet under downtown Seattle, the Bertha tunnel boring machine finally broke through at the north portal yesterday. The breakthrough marks a major milestone in the project to replace the seismically deficient SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct. The 57.5 foot diameter machine started tunneling in July of 2013, and I was fortunate enough to take a tour of it shortly after that. The Seattle Tunnel Partners team ran into some major problems in January of 2014 when they encountered an [...]

Uncovering the Hidden Benefits of Buying New Software [2017-04-04 08:38:54]  recommend  recommend this post  (12 visits) info
A good way to begin building a business case for investing in new software and systems is to evaluate the time and cost in carrying out a typical task, such as producing site plans and geological profiles. Byrne Looby Partners have done just this and reaped significant benefits from using HoleBASE SI and the AutoCAD Civil 3D extension on The Irish Water projects. As Andy Wilkins says, ‘Everything we do now goes into HoleBASE SI and the Civil 3D extension as it is saving us and our [...] | Impressum