Corps honors Flynn for geotech work

Source: Corps honors Flynn for geotech work EDWARDSVILLE — Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering (SOE) alumnus Stefan Flynn has been recognized as the 2021 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Early Career Geoprofessional of the Year. “While simply being nominated for this award meant a lot to me, I was humbled to have been selected,” said Flynn. “It was equally exciting to see an award created for early career professionals. This award is a testament to the leadership of the Geotechnical, Geology and Materials Community of Practice and their efforts to support, involve and recognize our employees at all professional levels.” “For those organizations that are not already doing so, I highly encourage you to consider ways to recognize your younger/early career professionals,” said Flynn. “I am both proud and grateful to work for such a dedicated and impactful organization as the USACE with our great teams across the nation, within the Mississippi Valley Division, and at home in the Rock Island District.” In 2014, while pursuing a bachelor’s in civil engineering at SIUE, Flynn began working with the USACE as a student intern at the St. Louis District. Upon graduation in 2015, he was offered a full-time job with the Rock Island District. He currently serves as a senior geotechnical engineer and conducts design, construction and inspection of dams, levees and navigation structures. The Early Career Geoprofessional of the Year award recognizes Flynn for exhibiting professionalism and commitment to excellence through: • Enhanced regional and/or national projects, • Achievements and innovations in geotechnical engineering, geology or materials engineering, • Contributions to professional/technical societies, • Enhanced relationships with peers, partners and contractors, and • Demonstrated exemplary levels of trust and integrity. During his time at SIUE, Flynn served as a research assistant and conducted research for the Illinois [...]

Concrete Dam Safety Inspection with Ground Penetrating Radar GPR

Source: Concrete Dam Safety Inspection with Ground Penetrating Radar GPR | For Construction Pros A non-destructive with ground-penetrating radar inspection could save time and money during investigations of this critical element in concrete infrastructure. GSSI using the Structure Scan™ Mini XT to refine the dam survey area. Geophysical Survey Systems As the world struggles to improve its critical infrastructure, many are seeking out non-destructive testing (NDT) methods that can help to accurately determine what can be repaired and what needs to be replaced. In the field of dam safety, NDT methods are seen as a way to cut down on the actual work that has to be done, while making sure that condition data is most accurate. Engineers, facility managers, and dam operators need accurate information on the structural health of their facility to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic incidents. Earthquake monitoring systems can assist decision-making by providing predictive data before an earthquake and evaluating the structural integrity of the dam or levee before and immediately after an earthquake (Dam Safety Group,  Ground-Penetrating Radar for Dam Investigative Applications, 2021) Among the available NDT methods, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is growing in importance for dam evaluation applications. Increasingly, both public- and privately-funded dam owners are looking to GPR technology to inspect the dam infrastructure and surrounding areas. GPR can be cost-effectively integrated with other types of ground surveys to build a visual understanding of the overall subsurface of the site. The technology can be rapidly deployed, provides an effective means to evaluate subsurface information, and contributes to continuous monitoring and condition assessment throughout a structure’s life. In response to the need for the best possible NDT methods, several industry experts founded the Dam Safety Group, which provides a wide range of geophysical and seismic techniques and technologies to address non-invasive [...]

New Estimate Makes Groundwater Earth’s Largest Water Reservoir on Land

Source: New Estimate Makes Groundwater – Not Ice Sheets – Earth’s Largest Water Reservoir on Land – Leak Herald Hot springs, which can source deep groundwater, are one of the places on the surface where there is evidence of rainwater circulating to depths of two kilometers and deeper. In the states, the top places for finding groundwater are Mississippi, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. New research doubles volume of salty water two to 10 kilometers beneath the surface that could store waste fluids, sequester carbon, and direct our search for extraterrestrial life. New research more than doubles the estimated volume of ancient, salty groundwater stored deep within Earth’s crust. Around 24 million cubic kilometers (5.8 cubic miles) of groundwater reside within the top two kilometers (1.2 miles) of Earth’s crust. This shallow groundwater is what we use for drinking and irrigation, and it’s mostly freshwater. But below that are vast reservoirs of brine, some of it hundreds of millions to more than a billion years old, locked away in the rocks. The question was: How much is there? A new study estimates there are around 20 million cubic kilometers of deep groundwater, or enough to fill around 4,800 Grand Canyons. Combined with previous estimates of shallower groundwater, the new research finds underground water is the largest reservoir of water on land, measuring 44 million cubic kilometers and surpassing the volume of Earth’s ice sheets. “This estimate expands our conceptual and practical understanding of the amount of water that Earth holds, and it adds a whole different dimension to the hydrologic cycle,” said Grant Ferguson, a hydrogeologist at the University of Saskatchewan who was lead author of the new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters, which publishes high-impact, short-format reports with immediate implications spanning all Earth and space sciences. [...]

Breakwaters aim to halt ongoing erosion at coastal refuge

Source: Breakwaters aim to halt ongoing erosion at coastal refuge | ASCE Although the new breakwaters were primarily intended to stop erosion, sediment is already building up behind the barriers as a side benefit. (Courtesy of CPRA) A series of breakwaters to protect a coastal wildlife refuge in southwestern Louisiana incorporated an innovative, lightweight design. Despite extremely poor soils and ongoing erosion that kept changing the shoreline throughout the project, the breakwaters are already showing dramatic results. The Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Louisiana, which borders the Gulf of Mexico for 26.5 mi, is disappearing at an increasingly rapid rate. The Gulf of Mexico has shores on Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. When it was created in 1920, the refuge originally encompassed 86,000 acres of biologically diverse coastal wetlands in Cameron and Vermillion Parishes. But over time, ongoing coastal erosion has reduced the refuge to 71,000 acres. Twenty years or so ago, a key 9.2 mi stretch of the refuge was losing about 50 ft of land per year, notes Phillip “Scooter” Trosclair III, a biologist program manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which manages the refuge. The rate of loss in that region increased to around 70 ft a year, then 100 ft, and then by 2016 surveys indicated that more than 300 ft of land had disappeared in a single year, Trosclair says. People worried that “if we keep getting hit with this pattern, we’re not going to have any land left,” Trosclair recalls. But even as the refuge seemed in greater danger, a solution was already in the works. When erosion losses started to accelerate around 2000, the Rockefeller Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project was taking shape. Implemented by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the National Marine Fisheries Service [...]

UNF first in Florida to conduct large-scale lab testing on sinkholes

Source: UNF first in Florida to conduct large-scale l | EurekAlert! Jacksonville, Fla. – University of North Florida researchers will be the first in Florida to conduct large-scale laboratory testing of sinkhole mechanics. Dr. Ryan Shamet, civil engineering assistant professor, was recently awarded a Florida Department of Transportation project grant for “Validation and Update of the Sinkhole Index,” a project that will aim to better understand the potential of sinkhole formation prior to any collapse at the surface. This joint project between UNF and University of Central Florida includes $90,259 for UNF and new equipment coming to UNF labs. The new equipment consists of a large-scale soil box that will allow UNF researchers to recreate and monitor the geotechnical and hydraulic mechanics of sinkholes forming in north and central Florida. The researchers at UNF and UCF will collect data from active sinkhole sites throughout the state and then refine and update analysis techniques for varying geologic conditions or regions based on their data. This analysis technique will allow engineers to quantify a location’s relative vulnerability of conditions favorable to sinkhole collapse when raveling conditions are encountered using an investigation test called the Cone Penetration Test (CPT). CPTs are a common subsurface investigation tool used by geotechnical engineers to identify soil layers and measure the strength of the soil within a project location. Through quantifying the raveling phenomenon, local engineers can better discern which mitigation techniques, such as compaction grouting or road closure, should be performed to lower the associated risk of sinkhole collapse. 

Construction Vibrations

Source: Construction Vibrations -NEW (7004IW2022) INSTRUCTOR:  Antonios Vytiniotis, Ph.D., P.E Participants will have access to the virtual workshop video archives and materials for 60 days from the start day of the workshop. Virtual Workshop Brief The workshop will cover a variety of issues regarding construction vibrations. It will start by describing the sources of construction vibrations, the propagation of vibrations with a soil and scatter effects. Then it will cover the effects of such vibrations in: 1) structures; 2) human perception; and 3) indirect effects of such vibrations. The workshop will cover examples of construction vibration effects in various structures and will show how conditions in structures can be evaluated to understand whether they are caused by vibrations. The workshop will show how construction vibrations can be monitored effectively by state-of-the-art equipment. Finally, this workshop will show how to analyze the data from monitoring to generate valuable insights about their effects on structures. A greater understanding of construction vibrations will help in mitigation of their damaging effects. Benefits and Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, you will be able to: Explain sources of construction vibrations Explain effects of construction vibrations Explain causation of damage potentially associated with construction vibrations Monitor construction vibrations Mitigate construction vibrations Avoid costly adjacent construction litigation Assessment of Learning Outcomes Achievement of the learning outcomes by attendees will be assessed through online discussion and case studies. A short post-assessment (true-false, multiple choice and fill in the blank questions) will also be administered. Who Should Attend Geotechnical Engineers Structural Engineers Civil Design Engineers Owners Construction City Planners Workshop Outline Day 1 Construction Vibration Sources Vibration Propagation and Energy Dissipation Discussion about Literature Data Interactive discussion and quiz about sources, propagation and state of the practice Human Perception of Vibrations Direct Effects of Vibrations Interactive discussion about effects [...]

UD researchers study climate change impacts on soils at military installations

Source: The Ground Underfoot - Civil and Environmental Engineering UD researchers study climate change impacts on soils at military installations We walk over it, drive over it and build on it. Yet, it is probably safe to say, most of us rarely think about the ground beneath our feet. Underneath the grass, concrete, asphalt and other materials in our built environment, however, soil provides structure and stability for what lies above. The United States military wants to understand the role that climate impacts, such as flooding, storm surge or sea level rise, will have on soils at its coastal military bases and facilities, which are critical to national security. Soil conditions can affect the integrity of the ground underpinning buildings, roads, bridges and more. For example, if a soil’s pH were to rise significantly, due to increased salt content-containing ions such as sodium from storm surge, it could create saline conditions that could hamper the ground’s ability to support this necessary infrastructure. Understanding these threats will enable faster and more accurate routing and maneuverability for U.S. forces. The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) is collaborating with the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana State University to understand how vulnerable military installations along coasts may be affected by soil changes due to sea level rise and coastal flooding. DENIN has received $3.79 million in first- and second-year funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to start this work, and is eligible for an additional $3.82 million in continued funding over the following two years. Led by DENIN Director Don Sparks, Unidel S. Hallock du Pont Chair of Soil and Environmental Chemistry in UD’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, the UD effort includes interdisciplinary collaboration with Yan Jin, Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor [...]

Parameters Variation Model Customization and Sensitivity Analyses

Source: Parameters Variation: Model Customization and Sensitivity Analyses Parameters Variation Model Customization and Sensitivity Analyses A well-known engineering challenge in the framework of finite element (FE) analysis-based design is the large number of input factors involved in geotechnical computational models. There is always a significant amount of uncertainties associated with the properties of geomaterials, being naturally highly heterogeneous materials. In the context of model calibration and validation, conducting a sensitivity analysis is very important. This can determine the key factors which govern the system and efficiently characterize the geotechnical variability for any considered design problem.   Powerful mechanisms for the consideration of parameter variation are also very interesting for speeding up FE model creation and automating results in post-processing. These are also quite useful in reducing model definition for specific types of engineering problems (excavation wall of a specific type under simple ground conditions, simple tunnel shape in uniform rock mass, etc.) to a limited number of parameters that can be inputted in a text file or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet without expert knowledge of the PLAXIS user interface and different modeling techniques and FE know-how. The sensitivity analysis and parameter variation tool in PLAXIS A sensitivity analysis determines how different values of an independent variable affect a particular dependent variable under a given set of assumptions. In other words, sensitivity analyses study how various sources of uncertainty in a mathematical model contribute to the model's overall uncertainty. The Sensitivity Analysis and Parameter Variation tool (see Figure 1) can be used to evaluate the influence of model parameters on calculation results for any particular PLAXIS FE model: The Select Parameters tab sheet will first provide information about all the parameters that can be changed to perform the sensitivity analysis. Available parameters include most model parameters of the data sets for soil and [...]

A Climate Change-Induced Disaster in Denali National Park

Source: A Climate Change-Induced Disaster in Denali National Park | Time The Times has recently showcased an article on the current rockslide situation in Denali National Park. The effects of climate change have been dramatic with the current melting of the permafrost. The National Parks Service has recently upped through gravel removal of the Pretty Rocks Landslide in an effort to keep up as the rapidly thawing permafrost picks up pace. Alaska is right now recognized as the country’s fastest-warming state. The landslide hit unprecedented speed 4 weeks ago causing the team to close the back half of the park weeks earlier than anticipated. This only signals bad news as reservations are canceled in the short term and the long term implications are yet unknown. “This is the canary in the coal mine for infrastructure disruption in Alaska,” says the Camp Denali lodge owner Simon Hamm. “If things continue on the path they’re on, it’s not going to just be Pretty Rock—it’s going to be half of the Alaskan highway system.” Rapid deterioration Denali National Park is one of the U.S.’s largest national parks at 6 million acres, and sits about four hours north of Anchorage. While the entrance to the park is certainly beautiful, many people prefer to hop on buses to access the park’s marquee attractions deep down its single 92-mile road: views of Mt. Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), the highest peak in North America at 20,000 feet; the gleaming Wonder Lake; rolling mountainsides that contain an abundance of wildlife, including grizzly bears, moose, caribou and bighorn sheep. About halfway along the road lies the Pretty Rocks Landslide, a slowly sliding section of earth that acts more like a glacier than a rockfall. Since the 1960s, permafrost deep below the earth’s surface has thawed, causing the soil and [...]

Geotechnical Instrumentation and Monitoring Consumption Market Size to Witness Huge Growth by 2027 | By Top Leading Vendors – Keller, Fugro, Nova Metrix, Geokon, Geocomp, Sisgeo, Cowi – The Daily Chronicle

Source: Geotechnical Instrumentation and Monitoring Consumption Market Size to Witness Huge Growth by 2027 | By Top Leading Vendors – Keller, Fugro, Nova Metrix, Geokon, Geocomp, Sisgeo, Cowi – The Daily Chronicle

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