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A reconnaissance team documented the geotechnical and geological aspects in the epicentral region of the Mw (moment magnitude) 5.8 Mineral, Virginia (USA), earthquake of 23 August 2011. Tectonically and seismically induced ground deformations, evidence of liquefaction, rock slides, river bank slumps, ground subsidence, performance of earthen dams, damage to public infrastructure and lifelines, and other effects of the earthquake were documented. This moderate earthquake provided the rare opportunity to collect data to help assess current geoengineering practices in the region, as well as to assess seismic performance of the aging infrastructure in the region. Ground failures included two marginal liquefaction sites, a river bank slump, four minor rockfalls, and a ~4-m-wide, ~12-m-long, ~0.3-m-deep subsidence on a residential property. Damage to lifelines included subsidence of the approaches for a bridge and a water main break to a heavily corroded, 5-cm-diameter valve in Mineral, Virginia. Observed damage to dams, landfills, and public-use properties included a small, shallow slide in the temporary (“working”) clay cap of the county landfill, damage to two earthen dams (one in the epicentral region and one further away near Bedford, Virginia), and substantial structural damage to two public school buildings.

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