GSI Webinar: MSE Wall Back Drainage Design

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The Geosynthetic Institute will host its next GSI Webinar on 25 October 2017. The topic is MSE Wall Back Drainage Design. GSI Webinars are 80-minute sessions (with Q&A time added to the end) on the second Wednesday of every month at 11:30 am (EDT). Participants may be eligible to receive 1.5 professional development hours (PDHs) with completion of a 10-question multiple choice test following t... »

MSE Wall Failures vis-à-vis the Lack of Geotechnical Filters

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By Dr. Robert M. Koerner – Since 2001, the Geosynthetic Institute has accumulated data on failures of geosynthetic-reinforced mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls. Our MSE wall failures database presently has 301 cases, of which 191 (63%) have been caused in whole or part by water within, or adjacent to, the reinforced soil zone. We sincerely hope that our past writings and webinars... »

A Primer on Soil and Geotextile Filter Design for MSE Walls

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Drs. Robert and George Koerner of the Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) are no strangers to tackling challenging topics—subjects which are either difficult to motivate discussion on (e.g., failures) or difficult to document (e.g., developing and monitoring long-term studies). One of the information-sharing vehicles they’ve utilized over the years to keep information flowing has been to release influent... »

Revisiting the Fundão Tailings Dam Failure One Year Later

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On 5 November 2015, a catastrophic tailings dam failure occurred at an iron ore mine in Brazil. The reported  death toll from the event was 17 and 200 homes in the Bento Rodrigues are of Mariana were destroyed. The tailings dam breach caused a flood of 60 million cubic meters of waste to flow across the area and into the Doce River. A little over two weeks later, the polluted water reached the Atl... »

Live and On-Demand Engineering Webinars in December

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As the calendar year winds down, professional development opportunities such as engineering webinars are utilized more. For some, these sessions provide needed PDHs. For others, it is simply the best time of the year for them to take time for the education. In December, multiple live and on-demand sessions are available. GEO-U ENGINEERING WEBINARS The Geosynthetic Institute’s Dr. Robert Koerner ha... »

Avoiding Whales in Anaerobic Digesters

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By Ian D. Peggs, P.E. – In 2014, shortly after being placed in service, one of two geomembrane-lined and covered anaerobic digesters generated extensive whales—“bubbles” in the lining system. Attempts to remove the apparent gas from under the cover were made unsuccessfully until it was realized that the cover was being uplifted by gas under the liner. Within two or three days, there were whales se... »

October 12 Webinar: MSE Wall Back Drainage Design

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The Geosynthetic Institute will host its next GSI Webinar on 12 October 2016. The topic is MSE Wall Back Drainage Design.  GSI offers these 75-minute sessions (with Q&A time added to the end) on the second Wednesday of every month at 11:30 am (EDT). Participants may be eligible to receive 1.5 professional development hours (PDHs) with completion of a 10-question multiple choice test following ... »

The Geosynthetics CQA Pyramid of Success

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In his latest Uncontained posting, geosynthetics CQA expert Glen Toepfer writes on the ways in which project partners work together. He writes about achievement in the field as a project and CQA pyramid, with layers of support and involvement bringing projects to their highest point of success. He writes: When you stop and think about the advancements in the waste containment/geosynthetics industr... »

5 Ways Today to Improve Civil Engineering Tomorrow

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In his latest post from the Uncontained series, construction quality assurance (CQA) expert Glen Toepfer writes on 5 things we in the geosynthetics and affiliated geotechnical and civil engineering fields can do to improve our practices. Toepfer’s columns come for a unique place of experience. He has been at the forefront of the “zero leaks” approach to CQA with geosynthetic cont... »

VIDEO: CQA and Extrusion Separation of Geomembranes

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CQA Solutions’ Glen Toepfer has made a name in the field through elevating construction quality assurance not just on site but in conference discussions and in publications. On Uncontained, a column and video-driven content site produced as an offshoot of his main CQA Solutions company website, he takes up a wide range of issues, such as extrusion separation of welded geomembranes. Of extrusion se... »

Live and On-Demand Professional Development

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As the calendar year winds down, professional development opportunities such as engineering webinars are utilized more. For some, these sessions provide needed PDHs. For others, it is simply the best time of the year for them to take time for the education. In December, multiple live and on-demand sessions are available. Live and pre-recorded webinar-based and online education tools have expanded ... »

New Mining Risks at Mount Polley and Samarco

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The mining disasters at the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia, Canada and at the Samarco Mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil were both dramatic examples of containment failures. Each caused significant environmental damage. The tailings dam failure in Brazil caused multiple fatalities. Mount Polley’s failure occured in August 2014; Samarco’s in November 2015. While Mount Polley’s op... »

Catastrophic Failure of Tailings Dam in Brazil

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A catastrophic tailings dam failure at an iron-ore mine in Brazil has led to multiple fatalities and injuries, according to multiple news outlets. Some agencies have reported as high as 17 deaths, though most outlets have generally revised downward now and indicated that many more may be affected. Access to Bento Rodrigues, a village adjacent to the Samarco mine operation, which is owned by BHP Bi... »

Looking Back: The Geosynthetics Risk Management Program

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In 2004, Geosynthetica’s Director Elizabeth Peggs, Lara Costa, and founder Dr. Ian D. Peggs, P.E. (I-CORP International) created a white paper that proposed a Geosynthetics Risk Management and Loss Control Program (GRMP). Targeting insurers of construction projects, the program aimed to establish the need for expert design review to prevent costly failures that might result from improper use... »

Slope Reinforcement and Road Rebuild after Typhoon

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By ACE Geosynthetics – In 2009, Typhoon Morakot hit central and southern Taiwan with torrential rain. The storm set a rainfall record and was responsible for numerous disasters, such as landslides and dike failures. More than 100 bridges were damaged and mountain roads collapsed. Failure of Route Kao 132 Route Kao 132 in Kaohsiung is an important tourism and commercial road. It is the only a... »

Slideshow of Whales in Geomembrane Lining Systems

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A slideshow of whales in geomembrane lining systems. When gas gets under a geomembrane, bubbles–or, “whales”–can form. A number of reasons may be responsible, such as installation damage, poor seaming, or a lack of appropriate construction quality assurance (CQA) measures like liner integrity surveys. Whales can impact wastewater facilities, manure lagoons, effluent ponds, ... »

Geo-U Launches with 14 Lectures from Koerner and Peggs

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Live and pre-recorded webinar-based and online education tools have expanded rapidly in engineering circles. The launch of Geo-U (www.geo-u.com) adds to this movement the insight of some of the world’s foremost experts on geosynthetics. Geo-U has debuted with 12 lectures from Dr. Robert Koerner of the Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) and two from Dr. Ian D. Peggs (I-CORP INTERNATIONAL). The lectures a... »

“Koerner’s Korner” on MSE Wall Failures

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“Koerner’s Korner” returns! Dr. Robert Koerner of the Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) shares updates on and insight from GSI’s work. In this installment, he discusses MSE wall failures and the new GSI webinar series–the first four sessions of which address MSE wall design and performance issues. – Geosynthetica ** It is generally known that there have been a number... »