Photos and information provided by Professor Paul G. Marinos.
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 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 Clapière” landslide in the “Alpes maritines”, South France (Follacci J., 1987, Les mouvements du versant de la Clapière à Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée (Alpes-Maritimes), Bull Liaison Labo P. et Ch., 150/151 and Étude et surveillance du Glissement de la Clapière à St Etienne de Tinée (06), Laboratoire de Nice du CETE Méditerranée (1975-2005)) Leakages for “Le Sautet” dam on the Drac in France (Gignoux & Barbier, 1955, Géologie des barrages, Masson et Cie) Discussion on tunnels (260km run in tunnels during the whole trip).
The Malpasset dam in 1956
Malpasset dam failure: The students inside the dihedron removed by the uplift pressure.
Malpasset failure: students inside the location of the uplifted wedge.
Malpasset failure: the upstream crack in the right abutment.
Malpasset failure: looking at the structural organization of the rock mass.
Fault zone in sound gneiss.
The 276m high tragic Vajont dam and the mass that slid behind it.
The limestone of the right abutment of the Vajont dam: excellent rock mass with high strength as also seen from the geometrical features of the slope. Please refer to the site when you use this material.
Discussion inside the displaced slide mass which filled the Vajont reservoir.
NTUA students pushing the Pisa Tower the wrong way. Today the tower has been “rectified” by a series of carefully conducted actions leading to sophisticate soil extraction. The tower stands now at the status it had a couple of centuries ago.
Vajont slide: The group of students gathered on the displaced slide mass. The background shows the bare side of the mountain from which the slide mass parted with a velocity of 25m/sec and within minutes nearly 1925 lives had been killed in the nearby town of Longarone. The extent of the slide was 1700mX1000m, the maximum thickness of the slide mass to about 350m, the volume of the slide 275million m3. The horizontal displacement about 240m. There was only 13m of free board in the reservoir. Professor Allen Hatheway, visitor to the trip, is at the bottom right of the picture. Picture of the 2004 field trip.
"La Clapiere" landslide.
"La Clapiere" landslide.
Paul Marinos discussing subsidence, with his students in Piazza St. Marco, Venice.
The academic staff of the organization of the field trip: Professor Paul Marinos with the Associate Professor George Tsiambaos and Sofokles Maronikolakis, Civil Engineer and Dr. Vassilis Marinos, Engineering Geologist.
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