The importance of Engineering Geology interpretation in creating ground and geotechnical models

A Case Study of a site on the Swan River

Alex Petty

Using engineering geology knowledge to create ground and geotechnical models is paramount to fully understanding the potential risks associated with a given site and proposed development.

Undertaking a geotechnical investigation and establishing a ground model alone, without the supporting broader engineering geological inputs can lead to potential errors or incorrect/variable interpretations.

This presentation details a case study of a geotechnical assessment of a site on the Swan River that identified the potential for a complex ground model involving a palaeochannel slump. This complexity was not specifically identified using the geotechnical investigation data alone. Two ground models are presented. One based solely on the geotechnical investigation data and the second using engineering geological interpretation. The second model has the potential for significant implications for the pile design and construction, which are also briefly discussed.

About the speaker

Alex Petty Geotechnical Services Lead WA/NT

Alex has nearly 20 years professional experience working as a Geotechnical Engineer across the UK, Australia, South America and New Zealand. He is a chartered engineer with Engineers Australia (CPEng) and is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of London (FGS) and has been a Committee Member of the Australian Geomechanics Society.

Alex has a significant level of experience in a wide range of geotechnical applications, including geological mapping, geotechnical investigations, soil and rock slope stability assessments, tailing and earthworks construction. He is currently appointed as the Qualified Individual (QI) responsible for the independent review of all inspection and design projects relating to soil and rock slopes across  RTIO’s Pilbara rail network.

Alex has a keen interest in progressing the geotechncial field and in mentoring and knowledge sharing.

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