An Unknown-Unknown Does In An Overpass: A Soil Stockpile on Soft Clay Is Too Much for a Bridge in Canada
Like most structures, bridges are designed for an array of loading conditions. Some loads are known or can be reasonably estimated with confidence (i.e., known-knowns, such as structure dead and vehicular...

Geotechnical Aspects Of Coastal Impacts During Hurricanes Harvey And Irma: Logistical and Technical Challenges During Reconnaissance
As designers and managers for society’s infrastructure, civil engineers, including the geotechnical community, must understand and predict the most severe expected loadings from physical or environmental...

Design Criteria and Land - Use Practices: Is it Time to Consider Geo-Impacts of Wildfires?
Wildfires are extreme events with impacts that are notorious because of smartphone videos followed by news reports that feature sensational infrastructure damage and human suffering. The geo-impacts shown...

Landslides Driven by Extreme Events: Can We Learn More from More of Them?
Extreme events, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or major storms, typically cause thousands of landslides in mountainous topography over the course of minutes to hours. In the last few years alone, we’ve...

Geo-Resilience By Soil Improvement: Contrasting the Performance of Two Embankments during a Megathrust Mw 7.8 Earthquake
The west coast of Ecuador forms the eastern side of the Pacific "ring of fire" along the Nazca tectonic plate boundary (Figure 1). The epicenter of the Ecuador earthquake on April 16, 2016 (Mw 7.8), was...

The New Paradigm Of Post-Disaster Reconnaissance: Using Virtual Methods to Enhance Systematic In-Field Data Collection
Virtual reconnaissance is the act of gathering information after an extreme event through virtual means. This information could be data on damaged regions, cultural data for an impacted region, and previous...

Basements On The Beach: Overcoming South Florida's Shoreline Excavation Challenges
The South Florida beachfront is awash with an ever-increasing number of high-rise condominiums. As land becomes scarcer and increasingly expensive, and building regulations change to require above-grade...

The State of Soil Improvement in China: The G-I Soil Improvement Committee’s China Scan Tour
During the last four decades, China has made significant improvement in various sectors of its infrastructure, including high-speed railways, long-span and cross-sea bridges, large dams, long- and large-diameter...

A Combo Foundation Does the Job: Piled-Raft Foundation Design for a Supertall Skyscraper
Lotte World Tower is a 123-story, 555-m supertall skyscraper with a 6-level basement for retail and car parking located at Jamsil-dong in Seoul, South Korea. (Editor’s Note: For additional information,...

Drones: An Engineering Reconnaissance Tool of Tomorrow, but Here Today!
About six years ago, I began researching geotechnical engineering applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones. My initial efforts were encouraged by most of my colleagues, but were criticized...

Learning to Live in Living Order: Adapting Infrastructure to a Changing Climate

Lava Tubes as Resilient Extraterrestrial Habitats: An Option For A Permanent Human Settlement Beyond Earth
The design, construction, and maintenance of safe and comfortable habitations are some of humankind’s oldest and most important activities. Millennia of experimentation and planning have led to earthly...

Failures Inspire Progress: Protecting Sensitive Buildings from Tunnelling
Tunnelling in urban areas is always a challenge, and it’s especially so when construction is proximate to densely populated districts. Such was the case on January 25, 2005, when a 10-m length of a Barcelona...

We Struck Water! Discovery of Artesian Groundwater Solves A 50-Year-Old Landslide Puzzle
Some unstable slopes fail dramatically, but most can be characterized by gradual, if not monotonously slow, movements. Yet these latter situations can pose a dilemma when a temporary repair is much simpler...

Under-Slab Utility Installation with Aggregate Piers: It's All About Planning
Aggregate pier ground improvement is commonly used in North America to support buildings. The technology has expanded in the last decade thanks to refinement and introduction of new techniques, more rigorous...

A Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Build a Wall: How a Simple Highway Widening Led to a Patent
When first opened in 1940, and as segments were later added to it, the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Turnpike) was principally a four-lane highway with two eastbound and two westbound lanes. As traffic volume...

Geotechnics of the Suez Canal Construction: 150 Years Old, but Nearly Four Millennia in the Making
Construction of the Suez Canal created one of the most important waterways in the world, connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Its construction from 1854 to 1869 created three cities, Port-Said, Ismailia,...

Immortal and Ethereal Beauty in Stone: The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, probably one of the most beautiful structures in the world, has withstood the vagaries of history and the environment. Lengthy tomes have been written on its beauty and the details of the...

What Lurks Below: The Geotechnical Intrigue of Boston’s Back Bay
In 1858, the great filling of Back Bay began. Completed in about 20 years, it led to nearly 100 city blocks of iconic 4- and 5-story brick rowhouses. In the past 60 years, about 50 high-rise buildings...

Connecting Continents: Challenges of the Eurasia Tunnel in Istanbul
The Eurasia Tunnel, the first bored tunnel crossing of the Istanbul Strait (Bosphorus) in Istanbul, Turkey, is a site that presents many unique challenges, including very poor ground conditions, unusually...

 

 

 

 

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