Geotechnical Analysis in Karst: The Interaction Between Engineers and Hydrogeologists

Bachus, R.C., "Geotechnical Analysis in Karst:The Interaction Between Engineers and Hydrogeologists, "Keynote Lecturer, Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impact of Karst, ASCE, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 144, San Antonio, Texas, 2005.pp 3-9.

Geotechnical engineers and hydrogeologists often interact to resolve common problems, particularly on projects in areas underlain by karst. In these cases, the geotechnical engineer needs the hydrogeologist to help in the characterization of the karst features so that specific geotechnical analyses can be performed. The hydrogeologist, in turn, needs the geotechnical engineer to clearly explain the specific geologic and hydrogeologic characteristics that are needed for the analyses. Unfortunately, engineers and hydrogeologists are trained to approach and address problems differently and, therefore, the interaction can be a source of frustration for both. The purpose of this paper is to briefly identify some of the reasons for the frustrations and to propose recommendations for the project interactions that will hopefully aid both the geotechnical engineer and hydrogeologist in future interactions. The paper will consider several projects where the geotechnical engineer needs to perform specific geotechnical stability analyses and identifies specific data needs that can be provided by the hydrogeologist.

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