The very process of exploring to characterize or define small-scale
properties of substrata at contaminated, disposal, or construction sites
is unique to geotechnics in general and environmental geotechnology
specifically. Unlike other engineering endeavors, where material
properties are specified during design, manipulation of the subsurface
must contend with preexisting - but undefined - conditions, and
exploration is necessary to estimate those unknown properties.
Quantitative methods are being developed for evaluating the
effectiveness of site characterization activities by investigating
variation in predicted performance with reduced variation in measured
site properties. Sources of uncertainty in site properties include
spatial variation, measurement noise, estimation error, and measurement
bias. Hypothetical changes in the measurement scheme are evaluated for
their effect on the variation and mean of predicted project performance.
This structured approach involves use of three-dimensional
geostatistics, separation of sources of property variation, as well as
analyses of project performance.
Related Publications by C.H. Dowding
"Geostatistical Guidance of Exploration in Roof Control - How Many Drill
Holes are Enough ?" (with C.T. Leduina) Proceedings of Fifth Conference
on Ground Control for Midwestern Coal Mines , Southern Illinois
"Fractures and Fracture Patterns," Encylopedia of Field and General
Geology, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1986.
"Comparison of Predicted and Encountered Geology for Seven Colorado
Tunnels," Proceedings of the Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference,
Feasibility of Horizontal Boring for Site Investigation in Soil,
Final Report DOT Contract DOT-FH-118526, 1976.
Environmental Geotechnics Home Page
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Civil and Environmental Engineering
For more information contact:
Dr. Charles H. Dowding