Preserving the Past: Recovering the Destroyed Buddha Statues and Niches in Bamiyan Afghanistan
For millennia, civilizations have built monuments to honor their gods, leaders, or founding principles, and with time those monuments that still exist have become revered treasures. Take, for example,...

Instrumenting a National Landmark's Expansion: the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Art
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, located just north of the Lincoln Memorial on the Potomac River in Washington D.C., is currently undergoing expansion. Through a series of spaces that...

Glacier Skywalk: Foundations for a Canadian National Park Landmark
Jasper National Park, the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, is located in the Province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of Edmonton. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site...

Helicopter-Based Geophysical Reconnaissance of Levees: A Faster, Cost-Effective Tool for Assessing Their Risk
As with much of the nation's infrastructure, people are becoming more and more aware of the condition of levee systems in the United States. The media cast a spotlight on the New Orleans levee failures...

What's Hiding Between the Boreholes?
Often, geotechnical explorations consist of a few, strategically placed boreholes and considerable interpolation and extrapolation by the geotechnical engineer. The information between boreholes in most...

Dry Dams in the Desert: Chasing Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures with Geophysics
Homogenous embankment dam flood retention structures (FRSs) were built throughout central Arizona desert basins in the mid-twentieth century to protect mostly agricultural lands and military installations...

State of the Practice for Laboratory Testing of Soft Soils: It's All in the Details
As with all material testing, soils testing has undergone dramatic advances in technology because of computer automation. In the 1970s, laboratories were filled with dial gages, proving rings, mercury...

Design of the Future Mexico City Airport: Attaining Resilience in Soft Ground
The Lake Texcoco region to the east of Mexico City is famed for its deep lacustrine deposits of compressible clay, which amplify ground shaking during seismic events. The area is also gradually subsiding...

Avoiding Impacts of Collapsed Mines on Railways: A Multidisciplinary Geophysical Detective Approach
The presence of abandoned mine workings can pose a significant risk to the use and development of surface structures above them, including railway lines. Typically, the adverse and often sudden effects...

Using Geophysics to Assess Geohazards Before Construction: Increase Your Odds for Success!
Understanding subsurface conditions is the key to any successful construction project, including new construction, excavation, and drilling. The consideration and understanding of the subsurface geology...

A Good Cause for a Causeway: How Geotechnology and Project Delivery Restored a Roadway Embankment Crossing a Historically Challenging Soft Ground Site
As part of a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) design-build project, a causeway was constructed in 2017 to replace an aging bridge in the southwest metropolitan area of Minneapolis. The causeway...

Forensic Investigations Get to the Facts: East Side IHNC Flood Wall Breaches during Hurricane Katrina
East Side IHNC Flood Wall Breaches during Hurricane Katrina. I served as a geotechnical expert for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) supporting the defense of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)...

Compliance with the Standard of Care: Hurricane Katrina Canal Breaches in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward
Hurricane Katrina Canal Breaches in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. On August 29, 2005, more than 50 levees and flood walls failed to protect New Orleans, LA, during Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating...

Risky Business: Identifying an Acceptable Rockfall Standard
For many parts of the U.S. highway system, cut slopes in rock are as common as bridges and embankments. These cut slopes, as well as some natural ones, produce rockfalls that pose risks to highway conditions...

Stabilizing the Cliffs of Alcatraz Island: It My Be "The Rock," but it Still Needs Attention!
California's Alcatraz Island was described by some early explorers as an unusually lush rock sticking out of the sea. The rock on the island consists of shale and sandstone members of the late Mesozoic-aged...

Rock Glue Gets the Job Done: Reducing Rockfall Hazards along the G.W. Parkway
After a large rockfall damaged the road and disrupted traffic along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in 2002, the National Park Service was looking for solutions to stabilize the slope against additional...

Photogrammetry for Rock Engineering: A Snapshot of State-of-the-Art Rock Mapping
Generally speaking, photogrammetry is the science of turning photographs into 3D models. While flashy advertisements may convey the idea that it's as simple as pushing a button (e.g., on a drone remote)...

Borehole Geophysics: Tools to Characterize Rock Properties
Effective design and construction in rock requires characterization of the engineering properties of the rock mass, as well as any associated geological features such as joints, faults, and bedding planes....

Low-Gravity Experiments: Shear Testing Takes a Nose Dive
A major challenge to making celestial soil mechanics viable is to re-engineer the profession's toolkit to provide geotechnical solutions without the luxury of ex-situ and in-situ testing as we know them...

Eyes in the Heavens: Satellite Technologies in Remote Site Monitoring
Installation and maintenance of instrumentation to monitor geotechnical projects in remote locales is usually more challenging than sites in urban areas for both technical and logistical reasons. In most...

 

 

 

 

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