The New Lightweight Contender: Ultra-lightweight Foamed Glass Aggregate Finds the U.S. Market
Geotechnical engineers are often confronted with sites where the existing soil is prone to settlement or where there are subsurface utilities sensitive to additional load. If relocation or realignment...

Lightweight Alternatives for Embankments on Soft Ground: A Focus on Railway Systems
Lightweight material for civil engineering application is primarily used for accelerated roadway and bridge approach construction, settlement mitigation, utility and tunnel abandonment, reduction of static...

Properties of Biochar-Amended Highway Soils: Biochar – An Eco-friendly Geomaterial
Historically, geotechnical engineers have designed or modified soils and sediments to achieve particular strength, volume change, or flow characteristics. For example, lime and fly ash have been used to...

What to Do about an Awakened Ancient Landslide: Solving a 75-Year-Old Problem along America’s First Super Highway
In school, we all learned that several factors can contribute to cause a mass of earth to landslide. But with more experience, it becomes clear that these factors must work together to mobilize a landslide....

Oroville Dam Spillway Incident: Putting Community Safety First While Investigating the Cause
The Oroville Dam, and its associated reservoir and hydropower plant facility, is located on the Feather River in Northern California and is owned and operated by the State of California, Department of...

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...

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)...

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)...

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...

A Sunken Submarine Full of Mercury: Safe, Controlled Construction of a Counter Fill for Seabed Slope Stabilization at about 155 to 177 Meters
On December 5, 1944, with World War II still raging and peace in Europe still six months away, the German submarine U-864 set out on her maiden voyage on a secret mission to deliver strategic war supplies...

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,...

Fire in the Hole: Emergency Repairs to the Robinson Creek Tunnel
On the eve of April 26, 2014, an arsonist set fire to the CSX Transportation (CSXT) Robinson Creek tunnel. The tunnel is located about 120 mi. southeast of Lexington, near Pikeville, KY. The 742-ft-long...

When Old Meets New: Railway Geotechnics and Remote Sensing
Railroad track, like any other built structure, relies on a foundation of geomaterials for support. In its most basal form, the railway track is quite simple: steel load-bearing members (rails) supported...

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...

 

 

 

 

Return to search