Investigation of Failures

by Gerald A. Leonards, (F.ASCE), Prof.; School of Civ. Engrg., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, Ind. 47907,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 2, Pg. 187-246

Document Type: Journal Paper


The problems associated with determining what actually happended after an unexpected instability has occurred are illustrated by case records. Examples are taken from failures of cut slopes in, and embankments on, soft clays and from the failure of a large pile foundation during proof loading. It is then shown how more information can be gleaned from post-failure investigations than has generally been the case up to now, and the important lessons learned are highlighted. It is proposed that a National Center for Investigating Civil Engineering Failures can be created to build up concentrated expertise and to develop rewarding methodologies for investigation of failures, to make the lessons learned cumulative and accessible to the profession, and to provide focal points for rewarding research to reduce significantly the frequency of unexpected failures.

Subject Headings: Forensic engineering | Failure analysis | Pile foundations | Slopes | Clays | Soft soils | Failure loads | Load tests

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search