Published:January 01, 2019
The late third century Roman fort at Lympne in Kent, one of a series known as the Saxon Shore forts, is one of the earliest substantial stone-built fortifications in SE England. It was sited on the lower slopes of an escarpment, the remnant of a former coastal slope, eroded principally into Early Cretaceous clays capped with sandy limestones. At this location, the escarpment rises to c. 100 m above sea-level. Several episodes of landslip damage during the 17 centuries since its construction can be distinguished, based on evidence of various kinds: notably, the reconstruction of its original layout; the results of both geotechnical and archaeological site investigations; historical evidence; and analogy with sites and experience in adjacent lengths of the escarpment. The landslip damage manifests itself through the toppling and displacement of the curtain wall and projecting towers or bastions of the fort. The specific engineering geological interest arising from discoveries on site is the attribution of the damage to a small number of episodes of major movement rather than to creep; the magnitude of the movements associated with each episode; and the evidence as to their nature and date.
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Military Aspects of Geology: Fortification, Excavation and Terrain Evaluation
This book complements the Geological Society’s Special Publication 362: Military Aspects of Hydrogeology. Generated under the auspices of the Society’s History of Geology and Engineering Groups, it contains papers from authors in the UK, USA, Germany and Austria. Substantial papers describe some innovative engineering activities, influenced by geology, undertaken by the armed forces of the opposing nations in World War I. These activities were reactivated and developed in World War II. Examples include trenching from World War I, tunnelling and quarrying from both wars, and the use of geologists to aid German coastal fortification and Allied aerial photographic interpretation in World War II. The extensive introduction and other chapters reveal that ‘military geology’ has a longer history. These chapters relate to pre-twentieth century coastal fortification in the UK and the USA; conflict in the American Civil War; long-term ‘going’ assessments for German forces; tunnel repair after wartime route denial in Hong Kong; and tunnel detection after recent insurgent improvisation in Iraq.