Brownfield Britain – Recent Experiences With Contaminated Sites in the UK

Over the last few years, the UK has seen some very significant changes in environmental legislation. In particular, this has affected the manner in which contaminated land assessment is undertaken and, consequently, the type of remediation approach that gains acceptance. Concepts such as suitability for use and harm now drive the assessment process in the …more

Slope Stability Forum

Speakers include: Dr Peter Mitchell, Dr Tony Meyers, Dr Ahmed Soliman, Richard Cavagnaro, Richard Herraman When you are confronted with a slope stability problem do you have difficulty in determining degree of slope hazard and failure mechanism? Even when you’ve got a handle on these, you’ve still got to work out the best method for …more

Collapsing Cones, Slippery Slopes, Hot Ground, Titanic Topples, Dams and Development: Engineering Geological Challenges and Models for the Active New Zealand Environment

New Zealand is a highly varied landmass with many different terrains displaying defective and difficult rock and soil masses crafted by a collection of hazardous geologic processes. This presents a unique challenge to engineering development. This talk offers a personal view of the contribution engineering geology has made to our understanding of this active New …more

Ground Improvement Techniques

Various geotechnical methods have been employed to alter the properties of soils in order to provide enhanced capacity to support “structures”, as an aid to excavation or for other purposes such as reducing water flows. These methods include vibro compaction, vibro replacement, dynamic compaction, explosive compaction, soil mixing, grouting, pre loading, sand or wick drains …more

Annual Field Trip: Port River Expressway

Construction of Stage 1 of the Port River Expressway is underway. When complete this project will contribute to South Australia’s economic development by providing new road, rail and bridge connections across the Port River, linking our export enterprises and industrial areas with key transport routes and facilities. It will also contribute to the ongoing development …more

Visitors Night: History of Waterfall Gully, Annual Visitors Night and AGM

Each year, the last meeting is devoted to a social event where members and others are encouraged to bring along their wives and partners for a fine and inexpensive meal. The evening includes a non-technical presentation of general interest. This meeting is a great way to socialise with fellow members of the Australian Geomechanics Society …more

The Lawrence Hargrave Drive Project, NSW

Lawrence Hargrave Drive, a coastal road north of Wollongong, is one of the most scenic roads in New South Wales and a major tourist attraction. A section of the road has been judged to have the highest slope risk in the state with a long history of rock falls, debris flows, embankment failures and road …more

Improving the Reliability and Effectiveness of Site Investigations

Several studies have been published over the last 30 years or so that clearly demonstrate that, in civil engineering and building projects, the largest element of financial and technical risk usually lies in the ground. Indeed, structural foundation failure, construction over-runs and delays can often be attributed to inadequate and/or inappropriate site investigations. Unfortunately, geotechnical …more

The Maryland Reactive Soil Field Site

Dr Stephen Fityus is a lecturer in geotechnical engineering at the University of Newcastle. He has a background in engineering geology and geotechnical engineering, from undergraduate studies in engineering and geology at the University of Newcastle. He worked for 4 years, mostly in the local geotechnical industry, before returning to the University of Newcastle to …more

Site Visit: Upgrading the Happy Valley Dam

Speakers include: Van Kennewell, Andy Parsons, Peter Russell, Peter Miller, Paul Gunson, Alan Moon Construction works are being carried out on the Happy Valley Dam as part of SA Water’s program of dam safety upgrades for their portfolio of major dams. The site visit provides an excellent opportunity to see the works first hand and …more

Tunnels and Excavations: Ground Movements and the Construction Process

Infrastructure development invariably involves construction of excavations in the ground. These may be long and horizontal – tunnels – or short, often wide and vertical – basement excavations or cut-and cover tunnels. The excavations need to be formed safely, so stability can be an issue, and increasingly there are major concerns about the assessment and …more


The AGS committee organised a picnic event for members and guests of the SA Chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society to bring their families and meet in a social atmosphere. Thornden Park Reserve was picked for its amenities and its historical flavour as an old water reservoir (for the geotechnical minded). Richard Cavagnaro was involved …more

Soil Characterisation: The Importance of Structure and Anisotropy

The design process in geotechnical engineering was reviewed to identify the role played by soil characterisation. Taking three soil types, soft clays, stiff clays and sands, the importance in practice of structure, anisotropy and natural variability are explored. Results of a numerical study and a case history were presented to illustrate the shortcomings of current …more