Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 15

Environmental, Chemical, Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering

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  • 15
    Reliability Based Performance Evaluation of Stone Column Improved Soft Ground

    The present study considers the effect of variation of different geotechnical random variables in the design of stone column-foundation systems for assessing the bearing capacity and consolidation settlement of highly compressible soil. The soil and stone column properties, spacing, diameter and arrangement of stone columns are considered as the random variables. Probability of failure (Pf) is computed for a target degree of consolidation and a target safe load by Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS). The study shows that the variation in coefficient of radial consolidation (cr) and cohesion of soil (cs) are two most important factors influencing Pf. If the coefficient of variation (COV) of cr exceeds 20%, Pf exceeds 0.001, which is unsafe following the guidelines of US Army Corps of Engineers. The bearing capacity also exceeds its safe value for COV of cs > 30%. It is also observed that as the spacing between the stone column increases, the probability of reaching a target degree of consolidation decreases. Accordingly, design guidelines, considering both consolidation and bearing capacity of improved ground, are proposed for different spacing and diameter of stone columns and geotechnical random variables.

    Development and Control of Deep Seated Gravitational Slope Deformation: The Case of Colzate-Vertova Landslide, Bergamo, Northern Italy

    This paper presents the Colzate-Vertova landslide, a Deep Seated Gravitational Slope Deformation (DSGSD) located in the Seriana Valley, Northern Italy. The paper aims at describing the development as well as evaluating the factors that influence the evolution of the landslide. After defining the conceptual model of the landslide, numerical simulations were developed using a finite element numerical model, first with a two-dimensional domain, and later with a three-dimensional one. The results of the 2-D model showed a displacement field typical of a sackung, as a consequence of the erosion along the Seriana Valley. The analysis also showed that the groundwater flow could locally affect the slope stability, bringing about a reduction in the safety factor, but without reaching failure conditions. The sensitivity analysis carried out on the strength parameters pointed out that slope failures could be reached only for relevant reduction of the geotechnical characteristics. Such a result does not fit the real conditions observed on site, where a number of small failures often develop all along the hillslope. The 3-D model gave a more comprehensive analysis of the evolution of the DSGSD, also considering the border effects. The results showed that the convex profile of the slope favors the development of displacements along the lateral valley, with a relevant reduction in the safety factor, justifying the existing landslides.

    Design and Construction Validation of Pile Performance through High Strain Pile Dynamic Tests for both Contiguous Flight Auger and Drilled Displacement Piles

    Sydney’s booming real estate market has pushed property developers to invest in historically “no-go” areas, which were previously too expensive to develop. These areas are usually near rivers where the sites are underlain by deep alluvial and estuarine sediments. In these ground conditions, conventional bored pile techniques are often not competitive. Contiguous Flight Auger (CFA) and Drilled Displacement (DD) Piles techniques are on the other hand suitable for these ground conditions. This paper deals with the design and construction challenges encountered with these piling techniques for a series of high-rise towers in Sydney’s West. The advantages of DD over CFA piles such as reduced overall spoil with substantial cost savings and achievable rock sockets in medium strength bedrock are discussed. Design performances were assessed with PIGLET. Pile performances are validated in two stages, during constructions with the interpretation of real-time data from the piling rigs’ on-board computer data, and after construction with analyses of results from high strain pile dynamic testing (PDA). Results are then presented and discussed. High Strain testing data are presented as Case Pile Wave Analysis Program (CAPWAP) analyses.

    Backward Erosion Piping through Vertically Layered Sands
    Backward erosion piping is an important failure mechanism for water-retaining structures, a phenomenon that results in the formation of shallow pipes at the interface of a sandy or silty foundation and a cohesive cover layer. This paper studies the effect of two soil types on backward erosion piping; both in case of a homogeneous sand layer, and in a vertically layered sand sample, where the pipe is forced to subsequently grow through the different layers. Two configurations with vertical sand layers are tested; they both result in wider pipes and higher critical gradients, thereby making this an interesting topic in research on measures to prevent backward erosion piping failures.
    Numerical Investigation on Performance of Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Block in Protecting Buried Lifeline Structures
    Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam is often used in below ground applications in geotechnical engineering. A most recent configuration system implemented in roadways to protect lifelines such as buried pipes, electrical cables and culvert systems could be consisted of two EPS geofoam blocks, “posts” placed on each side of the structure, an EPS block capping, “beam” put atop two posts, and soil cover on the beam. In this configuration, a rectangular void space will be built atop the lifeline. EPS blocks will stand all the imposed vertical forces due to their strength and deformability, thus the lifeline will experience no vertical stress. The present paper describes the results of a numerical study on the post and beam configuration subjected to the static loading. Three-dimensional finite element analysis using ABAQUS software is carried out to investigate the effect of different parameters such as beam thickness, soil thickness over the beam, post height to width ratio, EPS density, and free span between two posts, on the stress distribution and the deflection of the beam. The results show favorable performance of EPS geofoam for protecting sensitive infrastructures.
    Mathieu Stability of Offshore Buoyant Leg Storage and Regasification Platform
    Increasing demand for large-sized Floating, Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs) for oil and gas industries led to the development of novel geometric form of Buoyant Leg Storage and Regasification Platform (BLSRP). BLSRP consists of a circular deck supported by six buoyant legs placed symmetrically with respect to wave direction. Circular deck is connected to buoyant legs using hinged joints, which restrain transfer of rotational response from the legs to deck and vice-versa. Buoyant legs are connected to seabed using taut moored system with high initial pretension, enabling rigid body motion in vertical plane. Encountered environmental loads induce dynamic tether tension variations, which in turn affect stability of the platform. The present study investigates Mathieu stability of BLSRP under the postulated tether pullout cases by inducing additional tension in the tethers. From the numerical studies carried out, it is seen that postulated tether pullout on any one of the buoyant legs does not result in Mathieu type instability even under excessive tether tension. This is due to the presence of hinged joints, which are capable of dissipating the unbalanced loads to other legs. However, under tether pullout of consecutive buoyant legs, Mathieu-type instability is observed.
    Analysis of the Elastic Energy Released and Characterization of the Eruptive Episodes Intensity’s during 2014-2015 at El Reventador Volcano, Ecuador
    The elastic energy released through Strombolian explosions has been quite studied, detailing various processes, sources, and precursory events at several volcanoes. We realized an analysis based on the relative partitioning of the elastic energy radiated into the atmosphere and ground by Strombolian-type explosions recorded at El Reventador volcano, using infrasound and seismic signals at high and moderate seismicity episodes during intense eruptive stages of explosive and effusive activity. Our results show that considerable values of Volcano Acoustic-Seismic Ratio (VASR or η) are obtained at high seismicity stages. VASR is a physical diagnostic of explosive degassing that we used to compare eruption mechanisms at El Reventador volcano for two datasets of explosions recorded at a Broad-Band BB seismic and infrasonic station located at ~5 kilometers from the vent. We conclude that the acoustic energy EA released during explosive activity (VASR η = 0.47, standard deviation σ = 0.8) is higher than the EA released during effusive activity; therefore, producing the highest values of η. Furthermore, we realized the analysis and characterization of the eruptive intensity for two episodes at high seismicity, calculating a η three-time higher for an episode of effusive activity with an occasional explosive component (η = 0.32, and σ = 0.42), than a η for an episode of only effusive activity (η = 0.11, and σ = 0.18), but more energetic.
    Geotechnical Design of Bridge Foundations and Approaches in Hilly Granite Formation
    This paper presents a case study of geotechnical design of bridge foundations and approaches in hilly granite formation in northern New South Wales of Australia. Firstly, the geological formation and existing cut slope conditions which have high risks of rock fall will be described. The bridge has three spans to be constructed using balanced cantilever method with a middle span of 150 m. After concept design option engineering, it was decided to change from pile foundation to pad footing with ground anchor system to optimize the bridge foundation design. The geotechnical design parameters were derived after two staged site investigations. The foundation design was carried out to satisfy both serviceability limit state and ultimate limit state during construction and in operation. It was found that the pad footing design was governed by serviceability limit state design loading cases. The design of bridge foundation also considered presence of weak rock layer intrusion and a layer of “no core” to ensure foundation stability. The precast mass concrete block system was considered for the retaining walls for the bridge approaches to resolve the constructability issue over hilly terrain. The design considered the retaining wall block sliding stability, while the overturning and internal stabilities are satisfied.
    Study on Changes of Land Use impacting the Process of Urbanization, by Using Landsat Data in African Regions: A Case Study in Kigali, Rwanda
    Human activities on land use make the land-cover gradually change or transit. In this study, we examined the use of Landsat TM data to detect the land use change of Kigali between 1987 and 2009 using remote sensing techniques and analysis of data using ENVI and ArcGIS, a GIS software. Six different categories of land use were distinguished: bare soil, built up land, wetland, water, vegetation, and others. With remote sensing techniques, we analyzed land use data in 1987, 1999 and 2009, changed areas were found and a dynamic situation of land use in Kigali city was found during the 22 years studied. According to relevant Landsat data, the research focused on land use change in accordance with the role of remote sensing in the process of urbanization. The result of the work has shown the rapid increase of built up land between 1987 and 1999 and a big decrease of vegetation caused by the rebuild of the city after the 1994 genocide, while in the period of 1999 to 2009 there was a reduction in built up land and vegetation, after the authority of Kigali city established, a Master Plan where all constructions which were not in the range of the master Plan were destroyed. Rwanda's capital, Kigali City, through the expansion of the urban area, it is increasing the internal employment rate and attracts business investors and the service sector to improve their economy, which will increase the population growth and provide a better life. The overall planning of the city of Kigali considers the environment, land use, infrastructure, cultural and socio-economic factors, the economic development and population forecast, urban development, and constraints specification. To achieve the above purpose, the Government has set for the overall planning of city Kigali, different stages of the detailed description of the design, strategy and action plan that would guide Kigali planners and members of the public in the future to have more detailed regional plans and practical measures. Thus, land use change is significantly the performance of Kigali active human area, which plays an important role for the country to take certain decisions. Another area to take into account is the natural situation of Kigali city. Agriculture in the region does not occupy a dominant position, and with the population growth and socio-economic development, the construction area will gradually rise and speed up the process of urbanization. Thus, as a developing country, Rwanda's population continues to grow and there is low rate of utilization of land, where urbanization remains low. As mentioned earlier, the 1994 genocide massacres, population growth and urbanization processes, have been the factors driving the dramatic changes in land use. The focus on further research would be on analysis of Rwanda’s natural resources, social and economic factors that could be, the driving force of land use change.
    Experimental Simulation of Soil Boundary Condition for Dynamic Studies
    This paper studies the free-field response by adopting a flexible membrane container as soil boundary for experimental shaking table tests. The influence of the soil container boundary on the soil behaviour and the dynamic soil properties under seismic effect were examined. A flexible container with 1/50 scale factor was adopted in the experimental tests, including construction, instrumentation, and determination of the results of dynamic tests on a shaking table. Horizontal face displacements and accelerations were analysed to determine the influence of the container boundary on the performance of the soil. The outputs results show that the flexible boundary container allows more displacement and larger accelerations. The soil in a rigid wall container cannot deform as similar as the soil in the real field does. Therefore, the response of flexible container tested is believed to be more reliable for soil boundary than that in the rigid container.
    Mathematical Modeling of the Working Principle of Gravity Gradient Instrument
    Gravity field is of great significance in geoscience, national economy and national security, and gravitational gradient measurement has been extensively studied due to its higher accuracy than gravity measurement. Gravity gradient sensor, being one of core devices of the gravity gradient instrument, plays a key role in measuring accuracy. Therefore, this paper starts from analyzing the working principle of the gravity gradient sensor by Newton’s law, and then considers the relative motion between inertial and non-inertial systems to build a relatively adequate mathematical model, laying a foundation for the measurement error calibration, measurement accuracy improvement.
    Mineralogical Characterization and Petrographic Classification of the Soil of Casablanca City

    The treatment of the geotechnical database of the region of Casablanca was difficult to achieve due to the heterogeneity of the nomenclature of the lithological formations composing its soil. It appears necessary to harmonize the nomenclature of the facies and to produce cartographic documents useful for construction projects and studies before any investment program. To achieve this, more than 600 surveys made by the Public Laboratory for Testing and Studies (LPEE) in the agglomeration of Casablanca, were studied. Moreover, some local observations were made in different places of the metropolis. Each survey was the subject of a sheet containing lithological succession, macro and microscopic description of petrographic facies with photographic illustration, as well as measurements of geomechanical tests. In addition, an X-ray diffraction analysis was made in order to characterize the surficial formations of the region.

    Heavy Metals Estimation in Coastal Areas Using Remote Sensing, Field Sampling and Classical and Robust Statistic

    Sediments are an important source of accumulation of toxic contaminants within the aquatic environment. Bioassays are a powerful tool for the study of sediments in relation to their toxicity, but they can be expensive. This article presents a methodology to estimate the main physical property of intertidal sediments in coastal zones: heavy metals concentration. This study, which was developed in the Bay of Santander (Spain), applies classical and robust statistic to CASI-2 hyperspectral images to estimate heavy metals presence and ecotoxicity (TOC). Simultaneous fieldwork (radiometric and chemical sampling) allowed an appropriate atmospheric correction to CASI-2 images.

    Calibration of the Radical Installation Limit Error of the Accelerometer in the Gravity Gradient Instrument
    Gravity gradient instrument (GGI) is the core of the gravity gradiometer, so the structural error of the sensor has a great impact on the measurement results. In order not to affect the aimed measurement accuracy, limit error is required in the installation of the accelerometer. In this paper, based on the established measuring principle model, the radial installation limit error is calibrated, which is taken as an example to provide a method to calculate the other limit error of the installation under the premise of ensuring the accuracy of the measurement result. This method provides the idea for deriving the limit error of the geometry structure of the sensor, laying the foundation for the mechanical precision design and physical design.
    Discrete Element Modeling of the Effect of Particle Shape on Creep Behavior of Rockfills

    Rockfills are widely used in civil engineering, such as dams, railways, and airport foundations in mountain areas. A significant long-term post-construction settlement may affect the serviceability or even the safety of rockfill infrastructures. The creep behavior of rockfills is influenced by a number of factors, such as particle size, strength and shape, water condition and stress level. However, the effect of particle shape on rockfill creep still remains poorly understood, which deserves a careful investigation. Particle-based discrete element method (DEM) was used to simulate the creep behavior of rockfills under different boundary conditions. Both angular and rounded particles were considered in this numerical study, in order to investigate the influence of particle shape. The preliminary results showed that angular particles experience more breakages and larger creep strains under one-dimensional compression than rounded particles. On the contrary, larger creep strains were observed in he rounded specimens in the direct shear test. The mechanism responsible for this difference is that the possibility of the existence of key particle in rounded particles is higher than that in angular particles. The above simulations demonstrate that the influence of particle shape on the creep behavior of rockfills can be simulated by DEM properly. The method of DEM simulation may facilitate our understanding of deformation properties of rockfill materials.