Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

Published by Springer Nature

Online ISSN: 1573-1529


Print ISSN: 0960-3182


Fig. 22 Variation of shear modulus reduction G/G max and damping ratio DT with shear strain amplitude c for the second stage of the resonant-column tests with the respective values of the confining pressure r 0 02 . The full symbols indicate results at re-testing after having reached the highest strain level in the particular test
Results of the two-stage resonant-column tests
Characteristic properties of the fibrous organic sandy silts
Discussion of the Paper “Shear Modulus and Damping Ratio of Organic Soils” by P. Kallioglou, Th. Tika, G. Koninis, St. Papadopoulos, K. Pitilakis: Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, DOI 10.1007/s10706-008-9224-1
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August 2008


251 Reads


In situ bioremediation of 1,2-dichloroethane under anaerobic conditions

December 2000


42 Reads

Historic spillages of chlorinated hydrocarbons at a vinyl chloride plant in the Rotterdam–Botlek area in The Netherlands has lead to deep-seated pollution of the underlying aquifer. The principal pollutant is 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA). As a temporary measure, the contamination is being contained using a pump and treat system. In the long term, in-situ bioremediation has been proposed using a biologically active zone where pollutants would be dechlorinated by microorganisms that simultaneously degrade other carbon sources. In order to investigate the suitability of this new technology, a programme of laboratory tests was carried out. The laboratory programme involved a series of anaerobic soil column tests, where the selection and delivery of different carbon substrates that stimulated 1,2-DCA dechlorination were investigated. The soil columns were prepared using soil and groundwater samples from boreholes. Groundwater was flushed through the columns under anaerobic conditions. A comparison was made between the transformation of 1,2-DCA without a carbon substrate and in the presence of sugars (molasses) and alcohol (methanol) respectively. In addition, different modes of delivery were investigated. In the case of molasses, the material was injected into the column as a plug to simulate grout injection in the field, whereas methanol was delivered as a constant flow dissolved in the influent. Both carbon substrates resulted in the biotransformation of 1,2-DCA. However, fermentation of molasses produced secondary effects that led to a drop in pH and an excessive production of carbon dioxide, which temporarily blocked the flow of groundwater.

The 14-Year Performance of a Compacted Clay Liner Used as Part of a Composite Liner System for a Leachate Lagoon

November 2005


744 Reads

The migration of contaminants through a 2.9 m thick compacted clay liner (CCL) for a landfill leachate lagoon is examined 14 years after construction. The clay liner formed the lower portion of the composite liner system but the geomembrane (GM) was found to have defects that had allowed leachate to migrate between the GM and CCL. Chloride, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium pore water profiles through the CCL are examined. It is shown that chloride migrated approximately 1.7 m into the CCL during the 14 years of the lagoon operation, sodium approximately 1.2 m, and potassium 0.7 m. Diffusion and sorption data from laboratory diffusion testing are utilized in combination with a finite layer contaminant transport model to predict field contaminant migration profiles through the composite liner system and to establish the time of ‘failure’ of the geomembrane at sometime between 0 and 6 years after installation. Relatively high sorptive uptake of potassium by the CCL soil is observed from batch testing and diffusion testing with field data suggesting an even larger amount of sorption. It is hypothesized that organic sludge matter at the base of the lagoon is responsible for potassium uptake from the leachate. This field case highlights the importance of the compacted clay liner as part of the composite liner system in acting as a diffusion barrier during the lifetime of the lagoon as well as using relatively non-conservative contaminants such as chloride and sodium to estimate geomembrane ‘failure’ times

Mine ventilation planning in the 1980s

October 1984


37 Reads

In this paper, the author has attempted to trace the development of mine ventilation planning from the traditional, manual and largely empirical methods of the past to the numerate computer-based techniques of the 1980s. The computer revolution has changed the face of many engineering disciplines, not least mine environmental engineering. Nevertheless, the mining industries of the world have not all been equally progressive in adapting to the flexibility, power and practical utilization of the new methodologies. It is, for example, incongruous that current textbooks on mine ventilation separate completely the topics of network analysis and ventilation planning with very little cross-referencing. Many of the current generation of mine ventilation engineers recognize the need to ‘know about computers’ but find difficulty in translating this into their daily work. The growing availability of self-teaching, friendly software for personal microcomputers, coupled with interactive graphics, will assist greatly in promoting uncomplicated but powerful usage of computers. Young engineers now graduating from universities and colleges have been brought up in a computer-oriented environment and are competent in interacting with these machines. Indeed, they wonder how the job was ever done without magnetic data bases and high-speed computation aid.

A focus on the September 1985 Michoacan earthquakes

January 1989


10 Reads

The severity of damage to Mexico City as a result of the 19 September 1985 Michoacan earthquake was unusual given the city's distance (350 km) from the zone of seismic energy release. To explain the damage many authors have suggested that unusual source or transmission path characteristics contributed to enhanced ground motion in Mexico City. The purpose of this paper is to present a summary of results obtained from data recorded during the earthquake related to possible anomalous source characteristics. It is concluded that although the Michoacan earthquake was a large earthquake indeed, in terms of energy output, spectral content, geometry and source mechanics it was not remarkable or anomalous relative to other subduction zone earthquakes in Mexico or elsewhere. In fact the future may well see a larger earthquake generated along the Guerrero seismic gap which is significantly closer to Mexico City.

Analysis of soil effects and distribution of damage from the Pyrgos 1993 (Greece) earthquake

May 1996


43 Reads

On 26 March, 1993, a moderate magnitude earthquake (M s=5.5) occurred at 3 km epicentral distance from the town of Pyrgos, in Southern Greece, causing extensive damage to masonry houses. To explain the variability of seismic intensity over the town and to propose measures against future seismic activity, a microzonation study was undertaken which combined geological, geophysical and geotechnical investigations, site specific analyses of seismic ground response and detailed recording of structural damage. The analytical predictions of ground response are correlated to soil conditions and then used to identify (micro-)zones of sites with similar seismic response. Furthermore, they are compared to quantitative estimates of damage distribution over the town. It is concluded that the peak ground acceleration, normalized against the input peak seismic acceleration, is a function of the local soil conditions as well as the seismic excitation characteristics. Hence, it cannot be defined uniquely at a site, without reference to the seismic excitation. However, the normalized peak ground velocity and the acceleration response spectra are mainly functions of the soil conditions and can be used as criteria for the practical definition of (micro-)zones. The distribution of damage in various parts of the town is at least partially attributable to local soil effects. The small epicentral distance of the earthquake, connected with the direction of the fault rupture, as well as the quality and techniques of construction, are additional factors that may have influenced the extent and distribution of damage.

Liquefaction during the June 27, 1998 Adana-Ceyhan (Turkey) Earthquake

September 2000


57 Reads

On June 27, 1998, a moderate earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale struck the alluvial plains of Cukurova in the Adana-Ceyhan region of Turkey. The earthquake resulted in 145 deaths, about a thousand injuries and significant damage to more than ten thousand structures. The coincidence of the projected location of the release of energy along the earthquake fault with a very vulnerable geological surface formation (the thick alluvial deposits of Ceyhan River containing loose sand layers) resulted in liquefied sediments of substantial thickness and extensive areal distribution. Liquefaction associated ground deformations such as lateral spreading, flow failures, ground fissures and subsidence, sand boils, and slope failures were observed. This paper presents and analyses the geotechnical aspects of this earthquake with the main emphasis on the observed liquefaction and associated ground deformations, together with the earthquake characteristics. The observed liquefaction mechanisms provide valuable information on the seismic response of the alluvial soils covering most of the Cukurova plains, an area of industrial and agricultural importance with more than 2 million inhabitants. The observations from this earthquake also provide us with an opportunity to further improve our understanding of the observed phenomena and their effects that can be expected during other future earthquake events around the world.

Failures Associated with the 2004 Mindulle Typhoon in Taiwan

February 2008


549 Reads

On July 2, 2004, a 2000-km southwest air current following the Mindulle Typhoon caused serious damages to infrastructures in Taiwan. The disaster resulted in extensive geological and structural failures, mainly as a result of debris flow. Some of the sites were subjected to types of repeated failures compared to previous typhoons. Some structural failures were attributed to geotechnical failures. It is decided to document and identify causes for some of these major failures triggered by typhoons. The case history showed significant implications to future disaster prevention and management works. New challenges were posed in geotechnical engineering design in encountering rainfall-induced failures.

Analysis of the mechanisms of slope failures triggered by the 2007 Chuetsu Oki earthquake

September 2011


700 Reads

The 2007 Chuetsu Oki earthquake (MJMA=6.6) triggered more than one hundred slope failures in the northwest part of Niigata prefecture, Japan. A reconnaissance survey conducted by the authors revealed that although most of the failures were only a few meters deep, they still caused significant damage to roads, railways, and houses. It was also found that a vast number of shallow slides were concentrated along the coastal line of the Japan Sea, while only few, but relatively larger failures occurred in a mountainous part of the study area, which is located in a considerable distance from the earthquake’s epicenter. This paper summarizes the reconnaissance observations, describes the geologic characteristics of the area covered by landslides, provides characterization of major types of the landslides, and examines the causes and mechanisms of typical failures. In addition, this paper seeks to investigate the mechanism of the Ohzumi landslide, the largest slide triggered by the Chuetsu Oki earthquake. For this purpose, a comprehensive analysis that included field investigation and laboratory testing of soils samples was performed. Results of field investigation suggested that the failure plane of the Ohzumi landslide formed in a saturated layer of sandy soil near a boundary with bedrock. Data from undrained cyclic loading triaxial compression tests indicated that the sandy material was highly susceptible to generation of high excess pore-water pressures during earthquake loading. On the basis of the obtained results and the outcome of seismic response and slope stability analyses, the authors posited an explanation on the mechanism of the Ohzumi landslide.

2D Numerical Simulations of Soil Nail Walls

July 2010


7,863 Reads

In practice, numerical simulations of soil nail walls are often carried out to assess the performance and stability. In the present study, implications of the use of advanced soil models, such as hardening soil model and hardening soil with small-strain stiffness model to simulate the behavior of in situ soil on the overall response of simulated soil nail wall have been studied, and compared with respect to the analysis using conventional and most prevalently used Mohr-Coulomb soil model. Further, influence of the consideration of bending stiffness of soil nails on the simulation results has been examined. Results of the simulations indicated that the use of advanced models is desirable for cases of soil nail walls constructed in soft soils and when lateral wall displacements are critical to the adjoining structures. Incorporation of bending stiffness of nails is found important from the consideration of facing failure modes of soil nail walls. KeywordsSoil nailing-Finite element-Numerical simulation-Material models-Bending stiffness

Induced stress and microseismicity in the 3000 Orebody, Mount Isa

September 1997


22 Reads

The 3000 Orebody is one of two orebodies in the Deep Copper Mine at Mount Isa, Australia. Owing to concerns about potential shaft pillar instabilities, an integrated seismic system was introduced to monitor seismic activity associated with pillar and country rock deformation. Coupled with numerical modelling of the stress regime, the system may assist in the characterization of rock mass damage resulting from mining, and perhaps the identification of near- and far-field geological structures that affect stope performance. A study was undertaken to quantify the seismicity and to determine potential applications of the seismic technology. The relation between geological structure and seismicity is strong, suggesting good prospects for the use of the system in the ground-control activities noted above. The induction of seismicity, which involves small magnitude events, is associated with reduction of normal stress on planes of weakness, suggesting that stress path may be an important factor in the level of seismicity observed in hard rock mines.

3D GIS Supporting Underground Urbanisation in the City of Turin (Italy)

August 2009


157 Reads

This paper introduces a 3D geological and geotechnical model of the subsoil of the city of Turin managed by means of a Geographical Information System (GIS). The 3D GIS of the subsoil of Turin represents a useful decision-support tool in the underground management for engineering purposes and it’s here proposed as base geological elaborate to support future underground work in the city. In the final part of the paper, an application of the information coming from the 3D model is shown to define the characteristics of the optimal excavation machines (the type and disposition of tools on the head and the necessary engine power) for the future developments of the Underground Metro System.

Studies on Construction Pre-control of a Connection Aisle Between Two Neighbouring Tunnels in Shanghai by Means of 3D FEM, Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic

February 2009


75 Reads

The ground freezing construction technique is one of the most effective and widely applied site construction methods in soft soil areas, like Shanghai. Some elevation-inclined refrigeration pipes are arranged for the artificial freezing excavation of the Pudong-side first-storey connection aisle, which is designed to connect two adjacent tunnel lanes of Shanghai East-Fuxing-Road tunnel project. No advanced research results could be found for computing the temperature field of tunnels and aisles frozen with inclined refrigeration pipes. Anyhow the computation of the relevant temperature field is of high importance for the safe and economical excavation of the above-mentioned aisle. In this paper, a method for computing the aisle temperature field using 3D FEM is given, and the computation accuracy is verified by contrasting the computed and site measured results. The back propagation neural networks are also applied to the temperature prediction using self-developed Neural Network-Expert System software, the predicted results are also very satisfactory. The mechanism during freezing and aisle excavation will be discussed on the basis of 3D FEM simulation. The authors believe that studying the parameter-sensitivity of temperature field is very important for the optimum selection of parameter values. So, in this paper, the parameter-sensitivity of temperature field is also discussed. In order to obtain the optimum frozen wall thickness, the relation between the frozen wall thickness and the initial freezing brine temperature is studied. At the end, an excavation pre-control plan is proposed by means of fuzzy logic theory for improving the excavation safety. The research result of the current paper is very helpful for projects that will be excavated by freezing construction technique.

Estimation of rock mass strength and deformability in 3-D for a 30 m cube at a depth of 485 m at Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory

September 2004


160 Reads

The rock fracture data provided by Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company were used to develop a 3-D stochastic fracture network model for a 30 m cube of Äspö diorite located at a depth of 485 m at Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden. This fracture network model was validated. A new procedure is developed to estimate rock block strength and deformability in three-dimensions allowing for the anisotropy and incorporating the inherently statistical fracture geometry for the selected cube. The mean rock mass strength was found to be 47% of the mean intact rock strength of 297 MPa at 485 m depth. The mean rock mass modulus was found to be 51% of the intact rock Young's modulus of 73 GPa. The rock mass Poisson's ratio was found to be 21% higher than the intact rock Poisson's ratio of 0.28. These percentages indicate the level of weakening of the rock mass due to the presence of fractures. The ratio of mean major principal rock mass strength/mean minor principal rock mass strength turned out to be 1.28. The ratio of mean major principal rock mass modulus/mean minor principal rock mass modulus turned out to be 1.21.

Geotechnical, Geological, and Hydrologic Characterization of a 52 km Electrical Power Transmission Line Alignment Route in Southeastern Nigeria

November 2010


113 Reads

A 132 kVA electrical transmission line has been proposed to connect the towns of Eket and Ikot Abasi in the eastern Niger delta in Nigeria. A geotechnical and hydrological study was performed to geotechnically characterize the route alignment and to provide data for design of the foundations for the transmission towers. In this paper, we introduce the study location and its geological, topographical and physiological characteristics, present the hydrological and geotechnical investigations and their results, and make recomendations for the design of the transmission tower foundations. Hydrological inspection of the power line alignment revealed that the route is traversed by numerous tributaries of the Qua-Iboe and Imo Rivers, the two major rivers that control the drainage of the study area. In-situ geotechnical tests consisted of cone penetration tests (CPTs), vane shear tests, test pit sampling (0–2.0m depth) and lithologic boreholes (20 and 50m deep). Laboratory tests included grain size analysis, pH determination and Atterberg Limits. Based on the CPT log pattern, no of stratum, and refusal depths, the soils along the transmission alignment were classified into twelve structural domains having common geotechnical properties. Because of the elevated water levels, and the nature of the soils, deep pile foundations were recommended for the towers. Software from the Louisiana Transportation Research Center, was employed to estimate skin friction, end bearing, and ultimate bearing capacities for assumed 225mm square shaped reinforced concrete pile in each of the different zones of the alignment. KeywordsCPT-Correlation-Highly stratified-Quaternary-Vane shear values

Analysis of sinkhole occurrences over abandoned mines using fuzzy reasoning: A case study

October 2006


53 Reads

In Korea most of the old mine workings were worked with room and pillar method or sublevel caving method and today they possess great possibility of surface subsidence especially for shallow depth mines. In most of the cases, mine roadways, rooms and pillars are irregular in shape and information about the local geology is uncertain. For these reasons, it is difficult to standardize the estimating method of subsidence especially sinkhole type over abandoned mine area. This paper describes the application procedure for the fuzzy reasoning techniques to analyze the possibility of sinkhole occurrences over abandoned mines. This technique is implemented in software which can simplify the analysis procedure and present the possibility of sinkhole subsidence without having precise information about local geological/mining conditions. This technique has been applied to forecast sinkhole possibilities at Bonghwa site where a massive sinkhole has already been occurred.

Prediction of hollows in abandoned underground workings at shallow depth

March 2000


39 Reads

Composite statistical analysis of the lithological composition of the rock mass above underground workings in coal seams and experimental work (laboratory mechanical tests and boring for the determination of hollows) in Donetsk city (Ukraine) have been used to develop a method for predicting the presence of hollows. The empirical criteria K1–K2>0 and K32.5 which relate to the physical characteristics of the overlying strata were found to predict the existence of such hollows in abandoned underground workings at shallow depth. The values of K1–K2 and K3 depend on the thicknesses of the different rock layers and the uniaxial compressive strength of the immediate roof over underground openings. The different layers e.g. sandstones, argillites, aleurolites and alluvium in the rock mass are shown to influence the existence of hollows in abandoned workings. Large thicknesses of sandstones in the rock mass or relatively high uniaxial compressive strength rock in the immediate roof contribute to the existence of hollows in abandoned workings. On the other hand, sandstones of small thickness, weak alluvium, argillites and aleurolites only give additional weight on immediate roof of the opening and allow collapse of the rock mass. The method of prediction for hollows was developed from the back-analysis of data from 41 boreholes which were drilled from the ground surface above underground openings.

Behaviour of abandoned room and pillar mines in Illinois

December 1989


30 Reads

Little comprehensive information has been reported on the behaviour of room-and-pillar mines. The objective of this paper is to present case data on mine failures in the Illinois basin for use in practice. Presented are results of an ongoing study and details on the site characteristics of cases where sags have developed on the surface. Site data are reported to show the geologic, mining, and sag conditions that existed. Sags mainly develop from pillar, floor, or pillar-floor failure. The character of the sags depends upon the type of mine failure as well as the overburden response. Preliminary results show that the statistical no-risk tributary pressure decreases over 300% as the mine age increases from about 2 to 100 years at a long-term value of approximately 300 psi (2070 kPa). As more information is collected and more analysis is done, the allowable tributary pressure can be determined for different site conditions. A plot is also reported that depicts the relationship of the maximum subsidence to site conditions. It was found that the modified subsidence factor was heavily dependent upon the overburden rock thickness.

Assessment of abrasive wear resistance potential in rock excavation machinery

January 1986


94 Reads

It is apparent that there is no single index that can provide a comprehensive measure of abrasiveness of rock material, but the range of tests described in the paper can provide an assessment of the overall abrasiveness of rock in conjunction with other physical properties. However, it is necessary to devise specific tests to suit a particular mode of excavation taking all these factors into account. Some subjective judgement is also necessary. These investigations can prevent costly mistakes in equipment selection and possibly assist in identifying alternative excavation systems.

Development of Specimen Curing Procedures that Account for the Influence of Effective Stress During Curing on the Strength of Cemented Mine Backfill

September 2011


122 Reads

Paste backfill used to provide ground support in underground mining is generated from full-stream tailings and is almost always placed underground with cement. For the backfill, both the rate of strength development and the final strength are important considerations for design, particularly when the backfill is subsequently exposed in the stope-mining sequence. There is strong evidence that strengths measured on specimens obtained from coring the in situ cemented backfill are much greater than laboratory-cured specimens with the same cement content. The paper reviews some of the experimental evidence showing that one of the major reasons for the different strength is the difference in effective stress acting on the backfill during curing. Laboratory specimens are (almost) always cured under zero total stress, so no effective stress develops. In contrast, backfill in a stope may cure under high effective stress, which develops due to either “conventional” consolidation in free-draining backfills, or to the so-called “self-desiccation” mechanism in fine-grained fills. Evidence is presented showing how the final strength is affected by applying stress to specimens at different stages of curing and at different rates. It is shown that a fully-coupled analysis of the filling behaviour is required to determine the appropriate effective stress regime to apply in curing laboratory specimens, where “fully-coupled” in this context means taking account of the interaction of consolidation/drainage rate, filling rate and cement hydration rate. Curing protocols for laboratory specimens are proposed, which would ensure that the strengths obtained are representative of in situ conditions. KeywordsPaste backfill–Mine backfill–Consolidation–Self desiccation–Barricade stress–Curing stress

Evaluating accuracy for two empirical methods in predicting settlement of drilled shafts

June 2004


2,315 Reads

Several theoretical, empirical and semi-empirical methods are available in the literature to predict settlement of drilled shafts in sandy soils. In the Arabian Gulf countries, specifically in the United Arab Emirates, equations and procedure from the rest of the world are being used in analysis and design of drilled shafts without proper validation. It is the aim of this study to assess the applicability and evaluate the accuracy of two well known, and commonly used methods for pile prediction in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), namely Vesic (1977) and Poulos (1979), via comparison with data from field pile load tests conducted on shafts drilled in the region. Some of these tests were conducted for the purpose of this study, while others were made available through the courtesy of International Piling Contractors who are active in the region (e.g. Bauer International and Swiss Borings). Pile load test data were analyzed to back-calculate the model parameters related to settlement under different loading stages. Geological data and soil properties were obtained from studies conducted at the relevant sites. An effort is made to correlate soil properties with the prediction models. Statistical analysis is conducted to assess the accuracy of the results obtained from the two methods at different stages of loading via those obtained from pile load tests. Moreover, a detailed parametric study is conducted to assess the effect of the related parameters on the predicted pile settlement and the estimated settlement at different stages of loading. The study concluded with a recommendation of the most appropriate models and procedures to be followed for predicting the settlement of drilled shafts in the UAE, together with useful charts and correlation relations. Results showed that settlement values predicted by Vesic (1977) and Poulos (1979) overestimates the true values.

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