Chapter 10 Engineering design and construction
Published:January 01, 2012
P. C. Dauncey, A. D. Bates, A. B. Poole, Engineering Group Working Party, 2012. "Chapter 10 Engineering design and construction", Hot Deserts: Engineering, Geology and Geomorphology Engineering Group Working Party Report, M. J. Walker
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The desert can provide a harsh environment for engineering construction. Potential hazards are discussed in earlier Chapters, particularly Chapters 2 and 3, and include extreme temperature and humidity fluctuations, aggressive ground and groundwater conditions, wind-blown sand and dust, and flash floods.
The major influence that water has on the behaviour of the ground and the performance of engineering structures in hot deserts is often not appreciated or is underestimated. Rainstorms, although infrequent, can be of high intensity. It may not rain for months and then the annual average may fall in 1 day, leading to flows in normally dry wadis, flash floods and the filling of ephemeral lakes. In addition to water from rainstorms and runoff, construction and urbanization may introduce infiltration of water into soils that are normally dry. This can lead to changes in strength or volume that would not have occurred naturally.
The response of normally dry soils to wetting, and the identification and assessment of ‘collapsible’ and ‘expansive’ soils, is discussed in Chapter 8. Approaches to mitigating the effect of volume changes associated with wetting on the performance of engineering structures are discussed in this Chapter (Sections 10.2.3, 10.2.4 & 10.6).
Groundwater allows the movement of salts within the ground and, particularly where it occurs within a few metres of the ground surface, this can give rise to salt damage to structures and adversely affect roads and earthworks. The factors affecting salt accumulation, leading to aggressive ground and groundwater conditions, are described in
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Hot Deserts: Engineering, Geology and Geomorphology Engineering Group Working Party Report
This volume provides an authoritative and comprehensive state-of-the-art review of hot desert terrains in all parts of the world, their geomaterials and influence on civil engineering site investigation, design and construction. It primarily covers conditions and materials in modern hot deserts, but there is also coverage of unmodified ancient desert soils that exhibit engineering behaviour similar to modern desert materials. Thorough and up-to-date guidance on modern field evaluation and ground investigation techniques in hot arid areas is provided, including reference to a new approach to the desert model and detailed specialized assessments of the latest methods for materials characterization and testing.
The volume is based on world-wide experience in hot desert terrain and draws upon the knowledge and expertise of the members of a Geological Society Engineering Group Working Party comprising practising geologists, geomorphologists and civil engineers with a wealth of varied, but complementary experience of working in hot deserts.
This is an essential reference book for professionals, as well as a valuable textbook for students. It is written in a style that is accessible to the non-specialist. A comprehensive glossary is also included.