GEOTECHNICAL NVESTIGATIONS IN KARST

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1 GEOTECHNICAL NVESTIGATIONS IN KARST Michael J. Byle, D. GE, F. ASCE Tetra Tech CES Langhorne, PA

2 OUTLINE Karst investigations and uncertainty Interpretation and Verification Repair Strategies

3 KARST The condition and features resulting from the effects of dissolution of carbonate rock These consist of: Enlarged joints enhanced permeability Voids and Caves openings in the rock and overlying soil Pinnacles spires of rock left from dissolution of adjacent rock Sinkholes Settlement or collapse of soils into karst voids Boulders (Floaters) - unconnected rock masses left from dissolution of surrounding rock

4 Waltham and Fookes (2003)

5 SINKHOLES Waltham and Fookes (2003)

6 DEFINING CONDITIONS

7 DEFINING CONDITIONS

8

9

10

11

12

13 EXPLORATION OF SINKHOLES

14 TEST PITS Expose soil conditions for visual observation Can see contrast of intact and collapsed soil Where rock is shallow, can identify opening in rock related to surface feature Repair can be effected in the excavation Pinpoints location for grout injection

15 Soil Voids in rock are often obscured by collapsed soil Rock Soil Collapse Material Rock

16 Soil Rock The opening in rock is not always directly below the surface feature Soil Rock

17

18

19 INVESTIGATION TO CHARACTERIZE KARST Define purpose of investigation Locate features Verify support Determine geohydrology Forensic Focus on the invisible Anticipate conditions Be prepared to modify approach Cannot be a canned investigation

20 STEPS IN INVESTIGATION PLANNING 1. Data Review a) Geologic Maps b) Geologic Hazard Maps c) Topographical Maps d) Historical Records a) Maintenance records b) Newspaper Articles e) Aerial Photographs f) Soil Survey Maps

21 STEPS IN INVESTIGATION PLANNING 1. Data Review (cont d) e) Aerial Photographs f) Previous Geotechnical Studies g) Soil Survey Maps h) Interviews

22 DATA REVIEW GEOLOGIC MAPS

23 DATA REVIEW GEOLOGIC MAPS

24

25

26

27 FLORIDA KARST TAYLOR, FL Approx. 50 miles SE of Tallahassee

28

29 PENNSYLVANIA KARST

30 GEOPHYSICAL METHODS

31 GEOPHYSICAL INVESTIGATION METHODS The measurement of physical properties of the earth Theoretical analysis of real measured data.to present the data in a useful form Analysis and interpretation of physical data to assess conditions in the ground Sometimes infer one property from another These methods use electrical, gravitational, magnetic, and elastic properties of the ground to identify features and properties of the subsurface

32 GEOPHYSICS IS NOT MAGIC Many things are undetectable by many geophysical methods All methods are looking for contrast in some property. Make sure that there is the contrast you are looking for in the ground and that there are not other conditions that would have greater contrast and obliterate the contrast you are seeking Electrical Stiffness Magnetic Gravitational Geophysics are best used in pairs of methods to complement each other, since no one method can resolve everything True integrated analysis of results of multiple methods will give the best picture. Fight the tendency to throw out the poorer data set All data gives insight

33 METHOD SELECTION Choose based on anticipated conditions and method limitations: Outside influences that can interfere with execution and interpretation Electrical Vibrations Water flow Metallic or magnetic objects Irregular ground surface Structures Underground pipes, tanks, utilities Pavement Soil and rock conditions for which it is effective Influence of Groundwater Layering effects

34 TERRAIN CONDUCTIVITY Spacing between coils indicates depth of measurement Results are plotted and contoured Anomalies are indicated by areas of low or high conductivity Interpretation can be difficult Sensitive to: Stray currents Buried metal Metal objects on surface (fences, parked cars, scrap, etc.) Utilities overhead and underground Low resolution, good for shallow conditions Low Cost

35 GPR Sends and electromagnetic (RADAR) pulse into the ground from a transmitter Detects reflected pulse through an antenna Penetration is controlled by Electrical properties of the soil Antenna center band frequency Lower frequency deeper penetration Higher frequency higher resolution Power output of antenna Resolution is controlled by Antenna properties, Attenuation of the soil Noise

36 GPR Pros Low cost Good shallow resolution in granular soils Voids are high contrast objects for GPR and show up well Cons Limited depth Most soils - several feet Optimal conditions feet Will not work in high attenuation soils Clay Micaceous soils and rock

37 MAGNETICS Utilize Magnetometers and Gradiometer to measure changes in the earth s magnetic field The magnetic field intensity is measured on a grid, plotted and contoured Anomalies indicated by steep gradients or closed contours Interpretation can be difficult Same sensitivities as Terrain Conductivity

38 RESISTIVITY (+) (-)

39 MICRO-GRAVITY Measures the strength of the earth s gravitational field at discrete points Plots results to identify areas of low gravity that imply deeper rock, or voids Test is sensitive to vibration Requires corrections for terrain Good for resolving large voids or areas of voids in otherwise sound rock Relatively high cost; readings are slow

40 SEISMIC Refraction Reflection

41 SEISMIC DATA INTERPRETATION Refraction from Groundwater Reflection Ground Roll

42 SEISMIC REFRACTION Pros Reasonable cost Good resolution in most materials Wave speed is directly related to soil/rock stiffness Easier to interpret (Voids are always low velocity zones) Cons Cannot detect soft layers beneath stiff layers Difficult to interpret if highly irregular surface (pinnacles can lead to pulse inversion) Resolution decreases with depth Small voids in high velocity material may be invisible Traffic and construction produce noise that can limit quality of results

43 SEISMIC REFLECTION Pros Good resolution in most materials Wave speed is directly related to soil/rock stiffness Easier to interpret (Voids are always low velocity zones) Effective at greater depth than refraction Can detect soft layers beneath stiff layers Cons Cost requires large number of data points Difficult to interpret if highly irregular surface (pinnacles can lead to pulse inversion) Resolution decreases with depth Small voids in high velocity material may be invisible

44 BOREHOLE METHODS Virtually all of the methods discussed can be done in and between boreholes Vertically within boreholes (borehole logging methods) Diagonally from ground surface to borehole (up-hole or down-hole methods) Horizontally between boreholes (cross-hole methods) Many limitations of methods can be overcome by adjusting spacing or depth of boreholes Borehole drilling and sampling gives a true answer at each borehole that can be used to calibrate the geophysical data

45 CROSSHOLE TOMOGRAPHY

46 CROSSHOLE TOMOGRAPHY

47 WAVE SPEED VS. PATH LENGTH time

48 MULTICHANNEL ANALYSIS OF SURFACE WAVES (MASW) Measures surface wave propagation with a string of geophones Deduces shear wave velocity conditions that produce the observed behavior Results are plotted to generate a 2-D profile

49 MASW Pros Can obtain refraction and MASW data simultaneously Less susceptible to noise. Surface waves are high energy Better resolution in noisy areas than refraction or reflection Frequency based, not first arrival based. Easier more direct processing Cons Data reduction is intensive Relatively new method. Not all practictioners understand it

50 TOMOGRAPHY A process of imaging based on wave phenomenon. (similar to a CAT Scan) A graphical numerical model is created to produce the same result as the data collected This requires a large amount of data A forward model is used to assess the likelihood of success A model of expected conditions is created The ability of the system to detect the conditions is tested by simulation The resulting information is used to select the appropriate methods and arrangement for the field test.

51 RESISTIVITY TOMOGRAPHY

52 SEISMIC TOMOGRAPHY

53

54

55

56

57 This image cannot currently be displayed. This image cannot currently be displayed. Rotated View: -165º, Velocity = 900, Project: Gannett-Fleming PENNDOT 1000 Date: 11/26/2002

58 WHAT MAKES KARST DIFFICULT Rock is often overlain by clays resulting from weathering of limestone Water tables fluctuate Areas of interest are what is not there voids, weakened soils, and are relatively small Features are often not linear or planar making them difficult to find Depth to structures of interest can exceed the effective depth of surface geophysics Borehole methods are always more costly due to cost of drilling and casing boreholes. Frequency of features can be random. A large statistical sample is necessary for any predictive assessment

59 GROUND TRUTH Directly verifying the results indicated by indirect geophysical methods Test Excavations Boreholes Rock cores Probes Ground truthing is essential to every geophysical investigation Never believe geophysical data that has not been verified with some sort of field check Anomalies can be due to a number of causes and can be easily missinterpretted Since geophysical methods all have limitations and are based on certain basic assumptions field verification is necessary to demonstrate the validity of the data and the interpretation of the results.

60 APPROACHES TO SINKHOLE REPAIR Fill it Plug it Cover it Bypass it Span it Grouting can be used with any of these approaches

61 End of Module 2 GEOTECHNICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN KARST

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