Integrated Geophysical Methods Applied to Geotechnical and Geohazard Engineering: From Qualitative to Quantitative Analysis and Interpretation
Thursday, 18 December 2014: 1:40 PM
The Near-Surface is a region of day-to-day human activity on the earth. It is exposed to the natural phenomena which sometimes cause disasters. This presentation covers a broad spectrum of the geotechnical and geohazard ways of mitigating disaster and conserving the natural environment using geophysical methods and emphasizes the contribution of geophysics to such issues. The presentation focusses on the usefulness of geophysical surveys in providing information to mitigate disasters, rather than the theoretical details of a particular technique. Several techniques are introduced at the level of concept and application. Topics include various geohazard and geoenvironmental applications, such as for earthquake disaster mitigation, preventing floods triggered by tremendous rain, for environmental conservation and studying the effect of global warming. Among the geophysical techniques, the active and passive surface wave, refraction and resistivity methods are mainly highlighted. Together with the geophysical techniques, several related issues, such as performance-based design, standardization or regularization, internet access and databases are also discussed. The presentation discusses the application of geophysical methods to engineering investigations from non-uniqueness point of view and introduces the concepts of integrated and quantitative. Most geophysical analyses are essentially non-unique and it is very difficult to obtain unique and reliable engineering solutions from only one geophysical method (Fig. 1). The only practical way to improve the reliability of investigation is the joint use of several geophysical and geotechnical investigation methods, an integrated approach to geophysics. The result of a geophysical method is generally vague, here is a high-velocity layer, it may be bed rock, this low resistivity section may contain clayey soils. Such vague, qualitative and subjective interpretation is not worthwhile on general engineering design works. Engineers need more quantitative information. In order to apply geophysical methods to engineering design works, quantitative interpretation is very important. The presentation introduces several case studies from different countries around the world (Fig. 2) from the integrated and quantitative points of view.