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GeoPrac.net is a community of practitioners of geotechnical engineering, geological engineering, engineering geology, geophysics, hydrogeology and related disciplines. We offer members and visitors the foremost collection of geo-related articles, news, and online resources to keep those geo-professionals in practice at the forefront of their respective fields.

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Kansas City Company Uses US Product, TerraThane, to Keep Natural Gas Flowing in Nation’s Ninth Largest Gas Reserve
GeoNews - Press Releases
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 14 April 2017 08:21

TerraThane geotechnical polyurethane saves slab at hydraulic fracturing stationFORT LUPTON, CO—An unfortunate inlet line break at one of Anadarko Petroleum's hydraulic fracturing stations in Weld County, Colorado just north of Denver, allowed injection fluid to wash out the end of the pumping station and get beneath the concrete slab foundation causing erosion. The voids created beneath the slabs were from three inches to five inches and left the slab floor uneven. The general contractor for the station, Open Range Services, initially thought to use the legacy method of mudjacking, or pressure grouting: pouring a thick grout of mixed concrete and other aggregates into the void, or backfill, but the "mud" is heavy which can affect the surrounding soil, time consuming, and difficult to apply and clean, and backfilling would have required the costly process of ripping out the slab and replacing it. Instead, they contacted Pro Foundation Technology, based in Kansas City, MO, to learn more about a contemporary technology called "foamjacking" or "polyjacking," which uses lighter weightgeotechnical polyurethane foam instead of grout.

[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release from GeoPrac.net sponsor, NCFI Polyurethanes! [/Editor]

 
Breakthrough! Bertha TBM Completes Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel in Seattle
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 22:29
Seattle Tunnel Partner workers roosting in the spokes of the Bertha TBM after the breakthrough

After tunneling 9,270 feet under downtown Seattle, the Bertha tunnel boring machine finally broke through at the north portal yesterday. The breakthrough marks a major milestone in the project to replace the seismically deficient SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct. The 57.5 foot diameter machine started tunneling in July of 2013, and I was fortunate enough to take a tour of it shortly after that. The Seattle Tunnel Partners team ran into some major problems in January of 2014 when they encountered an 8 inch well casing which damaged a seal inside the cutterhead which ultimately required the creation of an access pit and the replacement of the entire cutterhead.

Although the tunnel drive took two years longer than anticipated, and some significant cost overruns, this remains one of the most amazing engineering achievements of our lifetime! I highly encourage you to check out the article I wrote about the tunneling project and all of the interesting geotechnical features that go along with it after my tour of the project site. And you can check out my photos from the tour at the GeoPrac.net Facebook page. While you are there, give us a like! [Source: Read the full blog post from WSDOT. Image: GeekWire / Kevin Lisota]

 
Uncovering the Hidden Benefits of Buying New Software
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 03 April 2017 23:38
Example of a geological profile generated with HoleBaseSI and the Civil3d Extension

A good way to begin building a business case for investing in new software and systems is to evaluate the time and cost in carrying out a typical task, such as producing site plans and geological profiles. Byrne Looby Partners have done just this and reaped significant benefits from using HoleBASE SI and the AutoCAD Civil 3D extension on The Irish Water projects.

As Andy Wilkins says, ‘Everything we do now goes into HoleBASE SI and the Civil 3D extension as it is saving us and our clients a huge amount of time and money. Just by speeding up the generation of geological profiles, we are saving about a week on moderate sized projects. If we are also doing earthworks design we can save another week or two, and if you also add inroad alignments and earthworks quantities, we're saving at least one to two additional weeks as this information literally falls out of the Civil 3D extension. We literally haven't drawn geological profiles for years because we've been using Keynetix software and the Civil 3D extension. It is clear to us that we (and our clients) are saving a lot of time and money.’

Keynetix has developed a Geotechnical CAD Cost Calculator to help companies review their own projects and to quickly work out the costs and potential savings that could be made and to evaluate if there is a business case to change. The calculator can show whether this a good short or medium term investment and of course indicates where process efficiencies can be made.

[Editor] Keynetix is a sponsor of GeoPrac.net [/Editor] [Source: Read the full article here and download the calculator to find out what you could save by investing in new software. Image: Keynetix]

 
Bentley Webinar - Data Transfer in gINT, April 5, 2017
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 03 April 2017 23:38
Bentley gINT

Bentley will be hosting a webinar at two different times on April 5, at 9 a.m. EDT and 5 p.m. EDT for the new gINT Special Interest Group (SIG). They will focus on a current hot topic, Data Transfer. We've all been there. You need to move your data from one project to another, or maybe to another application. So mark your calendar, and invite your colleagues, to learn how to take your gINT usage to the next level. Discussion, demonstration, and Q&A will include:

  • Practical applications for transferring data into and out of gINT
  • Tools in gINT to make this transfer easier and repeatable
  • Tips and tricks to simplify the use of gINT's data transfer tools

One Professional Development Hour (PDH) will be applied to each user's Bentley Transcript for self-reporting. Bentley is a GeoPrac.net sponsor. [Source: Go and register for gINT SIG Webinar with Bentley. Image: Bentley]

 
Norway may build the world's first tunnel for ships
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 23:04
Rendering of proposed ship tunnel in Norway

If Norway's Stad Ship Tunnel gets approved, it would be located on the Stadhavet Sea, an area known for heavy winds and hurricanes. Stormy weather makes it almost impossible for ships to travel in the area. Vessels often wait for hours or even days before it becomes safe enough to cross. A study has been performed by the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA), and their findings are scheduled to be released this May. If approved by the Norway Department of Transport, construction could begin as early as 2019. [Source: View more info at Business Insider via AGC SmartBrief. Image: Norwegian Coastal Administration via Business Insider]

 
Geo-Institute 2016-2017 Awards Video
GeoNews - Comings and Goings
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 23:03

The Geo-Institute's Geo-Frontiers conference was held recently in Orlando Florida. On March 14, 2017, they presented their awards, including the prestigious Karl Terzaghi Award, the Ralph Peck Award and others. This video was shown at the awards banquet. It's a nice video,rn but they need to instruct their voice actor how to say geotechnical...it's not 'Geo Technical'! [Source: Watch the video at the Geo-Institute YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

 
AASHTO Materials and Lab Specs in Print No More
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 23:02
AASHTO Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing

Maybe I missed this when it first happened, but I recently saw that AASHTO's Standard Specifications for Transportation Materials and Methods of Sampling and Testing is no longer being offered as a printed book but now is a web-based publication with a single year subscription fee. It can get pretty pricey for multi-user license. I'm sure it's convenient, but if you are running an AASHTO accredited lab, you probably just have to bite the bullet. I wonder if all of their publications are going this way in the future? [Source: Check out the licensing options at the AASHTO Bookstore. Image: IPP Books]

 
[Updated] Watch the 57th Rankine Lecture from March 15
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 04:43

[Update March 16, 2017] If any of you tried to watch the lecture live on YouTube, I understand there were some technical difficulties.  The BGA even issued an appology via email.  But you can still watch the recorded version.  See below. [/Update]

Prof. Eduardo Alonso from UPC in Barcelona will be presenting this year's Ranking Lecture awarded by the British Geotechnical Association. You can live stream the lecture on YouTube starting at 1:25pm Eastern on Wednesday, March 15. Prof. Alonso will be presenting on the topic: Triggering and Motion of Landslides. [Source: Watch the lecture at the British Geotechnical Association YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 March 2017 01:03
 
Free Online Soil USCS Calculator
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 22:49
Free Online USCS Soil Classification Calculator

The folks at Logiteasy.com have created a great little free online tool that will calculate a USCS soil classification (ASTM D 2487 / ASTM D 2488) based on the percentage of your components and fines type. It's drop dead simple to use with sliders and buttons. [Source: Use the tool for free at LogItEasy.com. Image: Logiteasy.com]

 
Underneath Seattle: Working Under Pressure to Keep Bertha Moving
GeoNews - Project Related
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 22:48

Every tunneling machine needs its cutting tools replaced every now and then. But the challenge is keeping a giant machine sharp while a wall of waterlogged earth looms in front. Welcome to the world of hyperbaric interventions, where crews used compressed air to stabilize the ground and safely complete this high pressure work. This video takes you 200 feet underground for a rare look at hyperbaric work inside Seattle’s SR 99 tunneling machine, Bertha. [Source: WSDOT YouTube Channel. Image: YouTube]

 
5 Steps to Maximize your gINT and HoleBASE SI Geotechnical Data Archive
GeoNews - Available Resources
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 February 2017 22:44
HAGDMS Screenshot

How do you get the most out of the geotechnical data your company or agency spent so much money to obtain? GeoPrac sponsor Keynetix is an expert at answering just that question, and their latest blog post has 5 great tips on how to maximize the use of your data. This is some very actionable stuff for geotechnical engineers, and a must read for anyone who works with subsurface data in gINT, HoleBase or other geotechnical software. [Source: View this interesting article from Keynetix. Image: Keynetix]

 
California Narrowly Averts Disaster at Oroville Dam
GeoNews - Failures
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 27 February 2017 22:43
February 12, 2017 image of water flowing over emergency spillway at Oroville Dam in California

Earlier in February severe rain caused the Oroville Dam in Sacramento to reach capacity. The dam is an earth fill dam approximately 770 feet high, making it one of the tallest dams of this type in the Country. On February 11, water began flowing over the emergency spillway, which prior to that point had never been used, and caused erosion at the base of the weir, threatening to undermine the wall at the top of the spillway and potentially cause a catastrophic failure of the dam. Local police officials ordered a massive evacuation of residents downstream of the dam. The dam didn't fail and this week flow across the main spillway was stopped to allow officials time to evaluate the damage. The LA Times article linked below has a good summary of many of the issues that led to this crisis. And this article discusses the most recent developments with the shutting off of the flow at the spillway to evaluate damage. [Source: Read more about the Oroville Dam at LA Times. Image: USA Today]

 
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