A Field Trip for Civil Engineering Students to Demonstrate the Importance of Engineering Geology
Every, and each year since 1992, a major field trip is conducted in the Alps by Professor Paul G. Marinos of the National Technical University of Athens. The field trip is presented to the students of the School of Civil Engineering with the scope to improve awareness and demonstrate the importance of Engineering Geology.
This field trip constitute an important addition to the course of engineering geology, offering to the students the real scale of geological features and events together with the real scale of engineering structures.
As failures are always excellent in terms of lessons learned, the main characteristic of the trip is the visit of important and dramatic failures, well known world wide. The cause of most of them was particular geological conditions or geological details that were not recognized or neglected or their role in stability underestimated.
Dams are among the civil engineering structures with the greater interaction with the ground and environment. Particular attention is given to the Malpasset arch dam failure in 1959 in South France and the Vajont world’s most disastrous failure at an engineered dam in northern Italy in 1963. The students are organized in working groups and spend in these 2 sites a full day.
230 students participate under the guidance of Prof. Paul Marinos and Assoc. Prof. George Tsiambaos and the valuable assistance of Sofoklis Maronikolakis and Dr. Vassilis Marinos. The students when back home they prepare a report and give group presentations.
Some logistics: 230 students, 12 days with one day break in Geneva, 4 coaches, 1 emergency coach, a doctor, special insurance, nice hotels and a cost of 780 euros per student greatly covered by University funds (2009 price, including almost all expenses). Every year professors from other universities or visitors from the design industry are invited to join.
The field trip includes (with selected references):
- The site of Malpasset Dam failure in south France (Londe P., 1987, Malpasset Dam failure, Engineering Geology, 24, 295-329)
- The site of the landslide in the Vajont reservoir (Mueller L., 1987, The Vajont catastrophe - a personal review, Engineering Geology, 24, 423-444, Semenza E. & Ghirotti M., 2000, History of the 1963 Vaiont slide: the importance of geological factors, Bull Eng Geol Env., 59, 87-97 and Veveakis E., Vardoulakis I. & Toro G., 2007, Thermoporomechanics of creeping landslides: the 1963 Vaiont slide, northern Italy, J. of geophysical research, 112)
- The Ancona landslide in Italy (Cotecchia V., 2006, The Second Hans Cloos Lecture. Experience drawn from the great Ancona landslide of 1982, Bull Eng Geol Env, 1-41)
- Pisa tower (Burland J.B., Jamiolkowski, M.B. & Viggiani C., 2003, The stabilisation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Soils and Foundations, 43/5, 63-80)
- Subsidence in Venice (Ground engineering, January 2006)The La Clapiere landslide in the Alpes maritines, South France (Follacci J., 1987, Les mouvements du versant de la Clapiere; Saint-Etienne-de-Tinee (Alpes-Maritimes), Bull Liaison Labo P. et Ch., 150/151 and Etude et surveillance du Glissement de la Clapiere a St Etienne de Tinee (06), Laboratoire de Nice du CETE Mediterranee (1975-2005))
- Leakages for Le Sautet dam on the Drac in France (Gignoux & Barbier, 1955, Geologie des barrages, Masson et Cie)
- Discussion on tunnels (260km run in tunnels during the whole trip)
Size: 22 items