2017 Victoria Symposium

Reactive clays and light structures

The Victorian chapter of the Australian Geomechanics Society invited academics and practitioners in the field of geotechnical and ground engineering to attend the 2017 Australian Geomechanics Society Victorian Symposium on ‘Reactive clays and light structures’ held on 25 October 2017.

The reactive soils of the Melbourne region form a large portion of its complex and variable geology. In particular, the basaltic volcanics situated to the north and west of Melbourne, which cover some 40% of the Melbourne region present numerous geotechnical challenges, particularly for lightly loaded structures. The geotechnical design and behaviour of lightly loaded structures on reactive soils is one aspect of geotechnical engineering where the public tend to have greater awareness, which is often not the case for the variety of soil and rock mechanics problems geotechnical engineers deal with. This is often borne out through their experience with their own residence, and rightly or wrongly, this contributes greatly to the public’s perception of the geotechnical profession.

The 2017 Australian Geomechanics Society Victorian Symposium covered a variety of geotechnical challenges associated with reactive soils including residential slabs and footings, roads, pavements and other sensitive infrastructure that interact with reactive soils. The Symposium brought together practitioners from consulting, construction and academia to share and discuss their experiences on the topic of reactive soils and their related geotechnical applications.