With an estimated cost of more than NZ $700m (including maintenance over 25 years), the 18km Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway extension includes a road corridor that cuts through steep hills and valleys, and the creation of seven bridges including three viaducts. Combine this with the cutting of 7 million cubic metres of earth (and the filling of 5 million), and the challenge of soft alluvial sediments – and it’s easy to see why a project wide ground model is essential as a basis for geotechnical design, and to mitigate project risk.
The objective of any ground investigation is to mitigate project risk.
Embarking on a massive infrastructure project through an area of complex geology, including volcanoes, requires a very clear assessment of the ground conditions. This demanding task fell on the shoulders of global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, Aurecon. Any unforeseen delays could significantly impact the success of the high profile project, which cuts through the densely populated area of Auckland and is the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand.
To help attain and communicate this detailed technical analysis, Aurecon used Seequent’s 3D geological modelling solution, Leapfrog Works, a tool specifically designed for the Civil Engineering and Environmental industries.
“The issues that swirl around data, from openness to ethics, and innovation to automation, are vast and varied. We see many different attitudes towards it in the industries we serve.”
How will the smarter use of data transform the Civil Engineering and Environmental sectors in the next few years?
It’s an issue we’ve set out to explore in the latest edition of Unearthed, the technology and innovation report produced by the Seequent team behind Leapfrog Works – our 3D geological modelling software.
You can download the report with all the new features here.
Before you start one of the largest bored excavation projects in the world, you need to be very sure of the ground beneath your feet.
In preparation for the massive West Gate Tunnel project in Melbourne, Australia, it fell to geotechnical services firm Golder Associates to undertake a comprehensive investigation of the geological risk before work could begin.
Faced with a complex and often deceptive geology they employed the ground engineering 3D implicit modelling solution offered by Leapfrog Works to deliver an exhaustive assessment, then communicate its findings to a variety of stakeholders from a wide range of disciplines. What Leapfrog Works uncovered was to have a direct impact on the route the tunnels took, and the success of the contractors who used its data to shape their plans.
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
― Abraham H. Maslow
For years the geologists working on civil engineering and environmental projects have grappled with the challenge of building ground models using tools designed for drafting engineering designs.
Traditional engineering design started by drawing 2D sections, plans and elevations to define a 3D structure, which isn’t practical for natural geological structures which are almost never straight and aligned. Geology is a science rather than an engineering discipline because it models the real world instead of designing man-made structures within it. Geology doesn’t come in boxes, triangles, straight lines or even sophisticated Bezier curves. All of these are simply ways of representing the geology on a computer.
We’d like to share this article by Louie Human and Ben Jupp, Principal and Senior Consultants at SRK. The article gives some great advice on best practice approaches to Data Collection as the first step towards minimising uncertainty and input into the advanced technical assessment and design of a caving operation. The article goes on to stress the importance of using 3D visualisation tools such as Leapfrog in engineering, to make the understanding of the data in a spatial context possible.
The authors outline why combining robust data collection with software toolsets that visualise, interrogate and develop geotechnical models is so important and how these ultimately feed into the mine design and decision making process and impact on the safety and economics of recovery.
The article first featured in AusIMM Bulletin in August this year: http://bit.ly/2dPsZa9