Soil Sampling at Sword Beach in Normandy, France, 1943: How Geotechnical Engineering Influenced the D-Day Invasion
When the World paused last summer to remember the 75th anniversary of D-Day, many of us were gripped by stories, both heroic and horrific, told about the Allied invasion of Normandy’s beaches. One of these...

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...

Solutions for Soft Soils
Because of highly permeable soils and high water tables, deep foundations and basements in southeast Florida have been virtually impossible, limiting the excavation depths in cities like Miami and leading...

Pipeline Partnership
Working together, two California agencies coordinated their water reuse efforts, facilitating the construction of a single transmission main, rather than the two that were originally planned. This coordination...

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...

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...

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...

A New Approach to Mitigate Subsidence Problems: A New Approach to Mitigate Subsidence Problems
Mexico City has a decades-old problem with severe consequences: its lacustrine zone is subsiding due to pumping of potable water from the main aquifer. The geotechnical team assigned to work on the problem...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

All About ISSMGE: An Interview with Leaders of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
This article summarizes key discussions from an interview of a select group of International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) leaders, conducted by a small group of students...

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...

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...

 

 

 

 

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