Integrating Engineering Geology Into Corridor
Earthworks to Improve Efficiency & Productivity
Greg O’Rourke, Executive Dir...
This presentation has been produced in
cooperation with 4DGeotechnics
This presentation will:
 Explain how using engineering geological
techniques will add value to any corridor
project
 Pro...
Engineering geology is the application of the
geologic sciences to engineering practice for
the purpose of assuring that t...
 The below track component of the railway
(earthworks) normally represents the most variable
component of the fixed infra...
Conditions of a site are the product of the
history of the site.
Therefore understanding the geology allows
early anticipa...
Typical Land Surface
 Anticipation of ground conditions leading
to:
– informed corridor selection
– Locking in value
– Less surprises
– Target...
Geological Knowledge
Framework
100%
50%
Desk Study Mapping
Ground
Breaking
Investigations
Supplementary
Ground
Breaking
In...
Alternative Often Typical Approach…
Designated by the Blue Line
100%
50%
Desk Study Mapping
Ground
Breaking
Investigations...
Recommended approach is:
 Introduce engineering geological principals
early
 Initially use available information for ini...
Total Geology Approach (Typical)
 Identification of
geohazards
 Route optimisation and
identification of
construction materials
 Corridor can be selecte...
 Develop reference conditions
 Apply the observational method
Total geology approach (continued)
An Example
Looking for the
line of least
resistance
The same alignment using published data
Same alignment with aerial photography
Same alignment with geological mapping
Cut through Rock
requires drill and
blast
Likely poor
foundation
conditions
Potenti...
Use this information to reduce risk and cost
Alignment moved to
avoid poor
foundations, reduce
drill and blast and take
ad...
Using Traditional method
 Select alignment based on topography
 When able to, approvals allowing, test pit or
drill
 De...
Lang Hancock Railway
Train
Loadout
Bridge
Site
Lang Hancock Railway
Bridge
replaced with
culverts at
design stage
Void below
surface
discovered
during
construction
 Once hard investigatory information is available corridor is
already locked in.
 If problems are only discovered when d...
Adopting total geology approach:
 Provides the right information at the right time
 Enables informed decision making (eg...
John Kennedy and Ian Lewis from 4DG
Acknowledgements
Greg O'Rourke - Engenium - Integrating engineering geology into corridor earthworks to improve efficiency and productivity
Greg O'Rourke - Engenium - Integrating engineering geology into corridor earthworks to improve efficiency and productivity
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Greg O'Rourke - Engenium - Integrating engineering geology into corridor earthworks to improve efficiency and productivity

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Greg O'Rourke delivered the presentation at the 2014 Heavy Haul Rail Conference.

The 2014 Heavy Haul Rail Conference had a focus on driving efficiency with smarter technology. Australasia’s only heavy haul rail event is the annual meeting place for professionals interested in the latest projects, technologies and innovation in this dynamic sector.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://bit.ly/hhroz14

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Greg O'Rourke - Engenium - Integrating engineering geology into corridor earthworks to improve efficiency and productivity

  1. 1. Integrating Engineering Geology Into Corridor Earthworks to Improve Efficiency & Productivity Greg O’Rourke, Executive Director - Rail
  2. 2. This presentation has been produced in cooperation with 4DGeotechnics
  3. 3. This presentation will:  Explain how using engineering geological techniques will add value to any corridor project  Provide examples of lost value opportunities  Explain why “hard information” often comes too late to impact positively on a project Introduction
  4. 4. Engineering geology is the application of the geologic sciences to engineering practice for the purpose of assuring that the geological factors affecting the location, design, construction, operation and maintenance of engineering works are recognised and adequately provided for. What is Engineering Geology?
  5. 5.  The below track component of the railway (earthworks) normally represents the most variable component of the fixed infrastructure.  It is normally built out of natural materials on and in a natural geological setting.  Because it is variable it often presents the most engineering risk.  Understanding the geology therefore allows us to predict likely issues and therefore manage this risk from an early stage of the project. Why is this important?
  6. 6. Conditions of a site are the product of the history of the site. Therefore understanding the geology allows early anticipation of site ground conditions and likely engineering performance. Total Geology Concepts
  7. 7. Typical Land Surface
  8. 8.  Anticipation of ground conditions leading to: – informed corridor selection – Locking in value – Less surprises – Targeted geotechnical investigation – Collected data on a corridor, not an alignment. What are the benefits of adopting this approach early?
  9. 9. Geological Knowledge Framework 100% 50% Desk Study Mapping Ground Breaking Investigations Supplementary Ground Breaking Investigations Construction Dependent on Approvals Biggest decisions on alignment are made before ground disturbance
  10. 10. Alternative Often Typical Approach… Designated by the Blue Line 100% 50% Desk Study Mapping Ground Breaking Investigations Supplementary Ground Breaking Investigations Construction Biggest decisions – little information Main information gathering commences here A lot of information gathering occurs here – Surprises!
  11. 11. Recommended approach is:  Introduce engineering geological principals early  Initially use available information for initial route selection  Then site inspection followed by detailed mapping Total Geology Approach (Typical)
  12. 12. Total Geology Approach (Typical)
  13. 13.  Identification of geohazards  Route optimisation and identification of construction materials  Corridor can be selected  Subsurface investigation Total Geology Approach (Typical)
  14. 14.  Develop reference conditions  Apply the observational method Total geology approach (continued)
  15. 15. An Example Looking for the line of least resistance
  16. 16. The same alignment using published data
  17. 17. Same alignment with aerial photography
  18. 18. Same alignment with geological mapping Cut through Rock requires drill and blast Likely poor foundation conditions Potential borrow areas Potential borrow areas
  19. 19. Use this information to reduce risk and cost Alignment moved to avoid poor foundations, reduce drill and blast and take advantage of an abundance of good borrow materials
  20. 20. Using Traditional method  Select alignment based on topography  When able to, approvals allowing, test pit or drill  Depending on where targets are chosen, may discover unfavourable conditions’  No real knowledge on where to move it. Findings
  21. 21. Lang Hancock Railway Train Loadout Bridge Site
  22. 22. Lang Hancock Railway Bridge replaced with culverts at design stage Void below surface discovered during construction
  23. 23.  Once hard investigatory information is available corridor is already locked in.  If problems are only discovered when drilling and testpitting occurs, often too late to do much about it.  Any changes are likely to require further investigation – expensive and time consuming – or gaps in information are presented to contractors, leading to potential latent conditions claims.  Generally more expensive than a total geology approach without really managing risk properly. Problems arising from not taking a total geology approach
  24. 24. Adopting total geology approach:  Provides the right information at the right time  Enables informed decision making (eg corridor selection)  Enables risk management to occur, including anticipation of geohazards and the like.  Provides information to enabling a cost effective site investigation to take place  Allows changes to be anticipated and modifications to be made with minimal disruption  Engineers and geologists working together to ensure beneficial outcomes for all. Conclusions
  25. 25. John Kennedy and Ian Lewis from 4DG Acknowledgements

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