Geopractitioner approaches to working with antisocial melanges
Geopractitioner approaches to working with antisocial melanges (in Melanges; processes of formation and societal significance, John Wakabayashi (editor) and Yildirim Dilek (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (August 2011) 480: 261-277
Although melanges are exciting, puzzling, and controversial to geologists, it is geopractitioners and contractors who must work with them to engineer the constructed works of Society. Geopractitioners include geotechnical engineers, geological engineers, engineering geologists, and rock engineers. Melanges are the most intractable bimrocks (block-in-matrix rocks), complex geological mixtures composed of hard blocks of rocks surrounded by weaker matrix, and are famously exemplified by those within the Franciscan Complex of Northern California. Bimrocks also include olistostromes, weathered rocks, fault rocks, and lahars. The conventional characterization, design, and construction procedures used by geopractitioners for well-behaved stratified rocks and soils are not well suited to melanges. The considerable engineering and construction difficulties related to melanges burden society to the extent that they can be considered "antisocial." Case histories exemplify a recommended systematic procedure for characterization, design, and construction with melanges. Geopractitioner approaches to characterizing California's chaotic Franciscan melanges are applicable to geologists and geopractitioners working in fault zones, weathered rocks, lahars, and other bimrocks, and suggestions are offered for collaborative research between geologists and geopractitioners.