Why Embankments Crack and How to Fix Them
Includes a Live Event on 11/13/2018 at 12:00 PM (EST)
This course is based on 50 years of NRCS experience with investigating and remediating cracked earth embankments. The presentation consists of two main sections, covering: 1) the nature of soil cracking and the associated internal erosion failure modes; and 2) how to remediate cracked earth embankments. In the first section, general information is presented on which soils are most susceptible to cracking and which pose the greatest risk for failure by internal erosion. The most common causes of cracking are identified, along with descriptions of the associated cracking mechanisms and patterns. In the second section, the two main approaches to repairing cracked embankments are presented: the “cutoff” approach and the “filter” approach. Real life examples of each are presented. The use of geotextiles in repairing cracked embankments is discussed, including several case histories and an analytical procedure to design geotextiles to span open cracks. Finally, the issue of cracking of granular filters is discussed in terms of its incidence, risk, and prevention.
Benjamin C. Doerge
NRCS, Geotechnical Engineer
Benjamin Doerge is a registered professional engineer in Geotechnical, Agricultural, and Environmental Engineering and retired in 2018 from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He has 39 years of professional experience in the design, construction, and rehabilitation of dams and hydraulic structures. His most recent position was Geotechnical Engineer at the NRCS National Design, Construction, and Soil Mechanics Center in Fort Worth, Texas. He has been active in several professional organizations, including ASDSO and ASTM.