Advances in Geologic Data Collection and 3D Geologic Modeling for Site Characterization and Safety Studies for Dams and Levees: On-Demand

This course will address a variety of geologic issues in dam and levee design and safety engineering, with emphasis on the application of 3D geologic modeling and other technologies to enhance communication between the project geoscientists and the project engineers, regulators, and other stakeholders.

Takeaways from this course:

•    The critical nature of the interaction between as-built dam and levee structures and natural geology and how this interaction has led to major dam failures and incidents.
•    The challenges of effective communication between geoscientists, whose worlds consist of incomplete data, uncertainties, and assumptions, and engineers, whose worlds consist of precise calculations, known materials, and design handbooks.
•    The value of a 3D geologic model that integrates available information to enhance and improve knowledge transfer from the geoscientists to project engineers, regulators, and other stakeholders.
•    The exciting new technologies and tools available to geoscientists to increase efficiency and enhance the process of collecting, sharing, analyzing, visualizing, and digitally storing geologic data. 

Robert P. Cannon, PG

Principal/Sr.Vice President, Schnabel Engineering

Robert Cannon is a registered Professional Geologist and a Principal with Schnabel Engineering. Robert brings more than 40 years of experience nationally and internationally in geologic site characterization, geologic hazard assessments, and forensic and remedial investigations for major dams, tunnels and other critical infrastructure projects. Robert currently serves on the Board of Directors for USSD and has also served on the expert Board of Consultants for several high-profile projects, including for the Mosul Dam in Iraq which suffers from rapid and continuous foundation dissolution due to gypsum and carbonate geology.

Gary D. Rogers, PG

Senior Associate, Schnabel Engineering

Gary Rogers is a registered Professional Geologist and a Senior Associate Scientist at Schnabel Engineering. Gary has over 30 years of technical and managerial experience in engineering geology, hydrogeology, and site characterization with a focus on dams, tunnels, and large infrastructure projects. He has led site exploration and characterization programs for numerous new and existing earthen and concrete dams throughout the continental US and Alaska, and continued his involvement on many of these projects through design and construction. Much of his focus is on effectively communicating geologic and subsurface conditions to design engineers and owners.

Frederic Snider, PG

Associate, Schnabel Engineering

Frederic Snider is a registered Professional Geologist and an Associate Scientist at Schnabel Engineering. Fred brings more than 40 years of experience in geology, geophysics, hydrogeology, site safety assessments, site characterization, and fault investigations for dams and other large engineering projects. Over his career, he has worked on large and complex dam projects throughout the US and overseas. Fred currently leads the 3D Geologic Modeling team within Schnabel’s Dam Engineering Group, focusing on the application of 3D modeling to address dam safety issues, potential failure modes, and risk assessments.

Guy-Justin Nuyda, GISP

Senior Staff Scientist

Guy-Justin Nuyda is a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional, and leads the GIS Systems team for Schnabel Engineering’s Dam Engineering Group. Guy has a PhD in Geography Cognitive Science. He is responsible for applying GIS tools to all aspects of dam engineering, including support of Schnabel’s 3D Geologic Modeling Projects. Guy is also responsible for integrating GIS with our existing 3-D CAD system to merge geospatial and engineering drawings into a true 3-D project information system.

Why is Geology Important on Dam and Levee Projects?
  • Prevention of Failures, Near-Failures, and Incidences
  • Ensuring Adequate Design
  • Limiting Construction Changes
  • Minimizing Uncertainties during Construction and for the Future
Examples of Dam and Levee Failures due to Geologic Conditions
  • Teton Dam
  • St. Francis Dam
  • Vajont Dam, Italy Landslide 
  • Willard Bay Levee 
Site Characterization for New Dam and Levee Projects, Upgrades, and Remedial Actions
  • Roles and Responsibilities of the Geoscientist
  • Roles and Responsibilities of the Engineer
  • The Critical Need for Effective Communications and Collaboration
3D Geologic Modeling as an Effective Communication and Collaboration Tool
  • What is a 3D Geologic Model? –Real Examples
  • Value of a 3D Geologic Model - Why go to the trouble of creating one?
  • Components of a Good 3D Geologic Model
  • Constructing the 3D Model
  • Hints, Tips and Pitfalls
Technologies and Tools for Geologic Data Collection and 3D Geologic Modeling
  • LiDAR, Drones, Laser Scanners, GPS
  • Mobile Technologies – Smart Phones and Tablets
  • Advances in 3D CAD and GIS
  • All-in-one Apps and Software Tools for 3D Geologic Modeling


On-Demand Webinar
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Post Survey
5 Questions
5 Questions Post Survey
Completion Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  6/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  6/10 points to pass
Completion Certificate
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available