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)...

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...

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...

Difficult-Access Rockfall Mitigation: Design and Construction Way Up High!
Rockfall mitigation projects frequently require work at elevated positions. This is not something that comes naturally for many engineers and geologists. Palms sweat, knees knock, and voices may start...

Remote Mapping in Alaska's Wilderness: Accessing Resources in the Last Frontier
The rich, natural resources of Alaska have long been the focus of many pioneers seeking fortune in the Last Frontier. As captured in historical images of dedicated Klondike Gold Rush miners seeking their...

What's New in Geo? The Future of Numerical Geo-Modeling: Is 3D Here to Stay?!
Application of soil mechanics in engineering practice has undergone remarkable changes over the past 50 years as a result of developments in computer technology. Each improvement in computing capability,...

Railroad Tunnel Clearance Improvement and Linear Replacement: What Happens with Unexpected Ground Conditions during Tunnel Construction?
To increase the capacity and efficiency of transporting waste by rail to an existing landfill, Enviro Solutions Inc., the landfill owner, and CSX Transportation (CSXT), the rail line owner, sought the...

What Does the Crystal Ball Say? Energy and Water Issues Are Too Great to Ignore!
Over the past 15 years, the Geoprofessional Business Association's (GBA) Emerging Issues and Trends Committee has held a series of Crystal Ball Workshops (Workshops) to identify long-term emerging issues...

The Wait Is Over…DIGGS Is Here!
The roll-out of Data Interchange for Geotechnical and GeoEnvironmental Specialists (DIGGS) has started, and the Ohio DOT (ODOT) has already announced that it will be required beginning January 2018. This...

Restoring Steinbeck's Carmel River: The Removal of San Clemente Dam
If you've read John Steinbeck's 1945 classic "Cannery Row," then you're already familiar with the Carmel River, which he described as "…a lovely little river. It isn't very long, but in its course it has...

Whose "Fault" Is This? Overcoming Faulting and Ancient Landslides in a Dam Abutment
The Calaveras Dam Replacement Project (CDRP) is the largest project in the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's (SFPUC) $4.8 billion, multi-year Water System Improvement Program (WSIP). The program...

The Case for Tolerable Risk Guidelines to Manage Flood Risk: Nature Bats Last
Since ancient times, people have used levees to reduce flood risk. We have built over 30,000 miles of levees in the U.S., largely on the belief that levies will unconditionally protect people who live...

NSF Workshop on Geotechnical Fundamentals: How Researchers Can Contribute to Today's Real-World Challenges
A 2 ½ day National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Workshop (Award No. CMMI-1248053) was held in July 2016 at the NSF headquarters in Arlington, VA. The Workshop focused on fundamental principles that...

 

 

 

 

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