Ground Treatment at Kooragang Island

The Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG), a consortium of Hunter Valley mining companies, is building Stage 1 of a third Coal Export Terminal (CET3) on Kooragang Island, Newcastle, NSW. The project (~$1bil Capital Value) encompasses the construction of coal export facilities which includes a new 4.3km railway loop (with coal unloading station) that then delivers …more

Landslide Risk Management

The AGS (2000) “Landslide Risk Management Concepts and Guidelines” provided a significant change from AGS Sydney Group “Geotechnical Risk Associated with Hillside development” (Walker et al. 1985). AGS (2000) established a uniform terminology and a general framework for landslide risk management (LRM). Guidance was given on methods which should be used for landslide risk analysis …more

Soft Soil Engineering

Vacuum consolidation ground treatment has been used to facilitate timely construction of a road embankment on a 25m thick deposit of soft to firm estuarine clay. This was the first application of the vacuum consolidation technique in Australia. The vacuum consolidation technique is presented, a summary of its construction is provided and data during construction, …more

Palmers Road Landslide: Investigation, Analysis & Remediation

Slope instability is a relatively common occurrence in the Gosford – Lake Macquarie – Newcastle area. The occurrence of landslides and their mechanisms are determined by the geology and hydro-geology of the various regions and care must be taken to understand this regional context when investigating and designing engineering works. In June 2008 a routine …more

50th Rankine Lecture: Stiffness at Small Strain- Research and Practice

The rapid development of computing power and of numerical modelling software over the past forty years has made sophisticated analysis of geotechnical problems accessible to most practising engineers. Typically computer packages now offer a wide range of constitutive models, which the design engineer needs to choose between, and then obtain parameters for. For those structures …more

Young Geotechnical Professional’s Night

Ana Heitor: Characterisation of Compacted Soil Using Shear Wave Velocity Field compaction testing is widely undertaken using nuclear density meters. Due to its localized nature however, the method is limited in assessment over larger depths and wider surface areas. Only a few studies have evaluated compacted soil behaviour under unsaturated conditions using alternative non-destructive testing, namely …more

Next Generation of Unsealed Roads

Low volume rural roads are typically unsealed roads and numerous Australian and international studies have been carried out to improve their durability and reduce dust. New products and equipment have been produced and tested, and unfortunately many of these new products are typical promoted by the so called ‘snake oil’ salesman. The goal of the …more

Concepts & Parameters Related to Ground Improvement Illustrated by Case Histories

The International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) Technical Committee on Ground Improvement, has proposed a classification system of ground improvement techniques according to the general nature of the soil, (frictional or cohesive) and the inclusion or not of added material ( This classification system has been detailed in the state of the …more

Ipswich Motorway Upgrade, Dinmore to Goodna: Remediation of Abandoned Coalmines

At $2bn the Ipswich Motorway, D2G Upgrade southwest of Brisbane is the largest federally funded project in QLD. The 8km section of road, Queensland’s busiest, crosses three abandoned coal mines worked at various times between the late 1800s and the 1980s. Following investigation and analysis of the stability of each of the mines the decision …more

A Practical Guide to Abandoned Mine Subsidence Assessment and Mitigation

Mine subsidence can take the form of sinkholes or troughs depending on mining and geologic conditions. Examples of the geology, mining, and subsidence features encountered in core and on the surface from US Bituminous Coal fields, particularly in the widely mined Pittsburgh Coal Seam; the Anthracite Coal field of north-eastern Pennsylvania; and the Sydney Basin, …more

The NSW Research Award: Advanced research in Geotechnical Engineering

Ali Ghandeharioon: Analytical and Numerical Studying of Disturbance and Pore Pressure in Soft Cohesive Soils Associated with the Installation of Mandrel-driven Prefabricated Vertical Drains This research investigates the installation of mandrel-driven PVDs and the associated disturbance in cohesive soils using a novel elliptical cavity expansion theory validated by laboratory experiments and numerical modelling. The pattern of …more

E.H. Davis Memorial Lecture: Recent Advances in the Application of Vertical Drains and Vacuum Preloading in Soft Soil Stabilization

Over the past 15 years, Prof. Buddhima Indraratna and his co-workers have developed numerous experimental, analytical and numerical approaches that simulate the mechanics of prefabricated vertical drains (PVD) and vacuum preloading including both two-dimensional and three-dimensional analyses and more comprehensive design methods. This lecture presents an overview of the theoretical and practical developments and salient …more

The 2010 Poulos Lecture : Modelling of Erosion

Following the discovery of sinkholes in the WAC Bennett Dam, British Columbia, in 1996, investigations showed that there had apparently been movement of fine material out of the core of the dam. The internal erosion (suffusion) is caused by continuing slow seepage but the concern is for the long term mechanical consequences. In order to …more

Life on a Commune

Between the middle of 1995 and the middle of 1996, approximately 300 000 m3 of sediment was dredged from the Patawalonga Basin. The sediment was deposited in ponds along Tapleys Hill Road and the water drained from it. In July 1996 accelerated drainage measures were instituted which allowed the material to be removed from the …more

Landslide Risk Assessment

Landslide hazard and risk assessments have been carried out by private practitioners and public bodies for many years. Recently there have been attempts to set up a more formal framework of risk assessment and management. Alan will explain the principles of landslide risk assessment and some of the common terms. He will illustrate the principles …more

Adelaide AirportRunway Extension

This project involved the diversion of Tapley’s Hill Rd and the extension of the main runway of Adelaide airport to allow fully loaded 747 jets to take off and land. Discussed were: the site investigation techniques used and the test results obtained with particular emphasis on the very soft soils encountered in the bed of …more