Big Steps for Mankind: Extraterrestrial Sampling and Exploration 50 Years after Apollo 11
Between June 1966 and January 1968, four Surveyor missions successfully landed on the Moon, collecting invaluable scientific data required to support the coming manned Apollo missions. Central to the goals...

Best Practices For Geotechnical Site Characterization: Have We Regressed from Decades Past?
The objective of a geotechnical site-characterization program is to determine soil and rock stratigraphy, in-situ pore water pressure conditions, and soil and rock properties for analysis and design of...

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...

Advances In Geosynthetic Solutions For Sustainable Landfill Design: Geosynthetics Really Do Last!
Even though geosynthetics are now a well-established discipline within geotechnical engineering, ingenuity continues to play a significant role in projects involving their use. This is because it’s possible...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Appraisal of Lightweight Moorings for Deep Water
This paper outlines the potential advantages of using lightweight fiber ropes for mooring floating production platforms. The influence of tether properties on mooring system response is discussed. It is...

Open Pit Geotechnics: Designing Slopes for a Very Deep Hole
For most hard rock surface mining operations, the development of an open pit is required to extract the ore resource. In designing an open pit, the challenge is to develop the most cost-effective pit slopes...

Redevelopment of Aggregate and Rock Quarries: No Longer Just a Hole in the Ground
Redevelopment of former sand and gravel (aggregate) and rock quarries can be challenging, often requiring developers, quarry operators, planners, and engineers to work in tandem. As urban and suburban...

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)...

Military Geotechnics in the Ancient World: Geo-Innovating the Hard Way
The technical expertise that is now part of geotechnical engineering was of paramount importance in the ancient worlds. This is because before, but also after, the invention of siege equipment, nearly...

Cracking the Nuclear Code: Finding an Alternative to the Nuclear Density Gauge
Two of the most basic quality control tests made in the field during soil construction are the soil’s moisture content and density. The establishment of a uniform procedure to compare the performance of...

Translating the Language of Soils: Developing a Soil Classification System for International Engineering Projects
Soil classification systems are used to help predict soil behavior and provide information to farmers, engineers, builders, agricultural extension agents, homeowners, community planners, and government...

 

 

 

 

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