GEI Consultants

Woodburn, MA, United States

GEI Consultants

Woodburn, MA, United States
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Fertig R.,Martin Martin | Kimble M.,GEI Consultants | Jones A.,Union Wireless | Tanner J.E.,University of Wyoming
Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering | Year: 2017

Discovered in the 1940s, alkali-silica reaction (ASR) causes undesired expansions in concrete. If unmitigated, ASR may cause premature deterioration. Since its discovery, researchers have sought an economical and rapid method for detecting the potential for and presence of ASR. ASR is a global concrete durability problem with a complexity that demands respect. Over the past 15 years, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) has addressed this problem by subjecting aggregates to the accelerated mortar bar test (AMBT) before using them in new concrete. This study combines several classification test methods with an outdoor exposure site (OES) to most accurately classify Wyoming aggregates. Of the aggregate sources studied, 25% are nonreactive, 50% are moderately reactive, one is highly reactive, and the remaining source falls on the border of moderately and highly reactive. The test methods generally agree, and a trend between the aggregate composition and expansion is noted. Recommendations for expansion limits compared to exposure blocks with mixed coarse and fine aggregates are introduced. Wyoming, located in the center of North America, produces subbituminous coal that may not be suitable to mitigate ASR. Because fly ashes are highly dependent on the parent coal, the widespread use of Wyoming coal for power generation in the United States means that fly ashes similar to the ones used in this study are likely to be available for use in concrete in many areas of the country. This emphasizes the need for more detailed chemical studies and predictive tools to determine the suitability of pozzolans and particular aggregate sources. Also, it was found that even the most expansive aggregates can be effectively mitigated using a semilocal fly ash. © 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Maki I.P.,GEI Consultants | Boulanger R.W.,University of California at Davis | DeJong J.T.,University of California at Davis | Jaeger R.A.,GEI Consultants
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering | Year: 2014

Interpretation of experimental and field cone penetration test (CPT) data from across a broad range of stress conditions requires defining the dependence of the measurements on overburden stress and other influencing factors. This paper examines three possible methods for overburden normalization of CPT tip resistance in sand at the same state parameter or same relative state parameter. The three methods for determining state-based normalized tip resistance at a reference overburden stress of 101.3 kPa (1 atm) are evaluated against calibration chamber test data for four well-studied clean sands. The CPT data from the calibration chamber tests are corrected for chamber boundary effects using two different methods to illustrate the effect this step has on derived relationships. The CPTdata are further normalized to a common lateral earth pressure coefficient to illustrate the effect of this step. The three methods for state-based overburden normalization were evaluated for bias and dispersion against the calibration chamber data, including their dependence on the applied chamber correction relationship. The dependence of state-based overburden normalized tip resistances on the crushing behavior of the clean sand was evaluated by examination of onedimensional limiting compression curves for these four sands. Finally, correlations for estimating the state parameter or relative state parameter from the state-based overburden normalized tip resistance were developed and evaluated based on the examined data. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.

PubMed | Windward, GEI Consultants and EcoTox
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Integrated environmental assessment and management | Year: 2016

We evaluated the use of biokinetic models to predict selenium (Se) bioaccumulation into model food chains after short-term pulses of selenate or selenite into water. Both periphyton- and phytoplankton-based food chains were modeled, with Se trophically transferred to invertebrates and then to fish. Whole-body fish Se concentrations were predicted based on 1) the background waterborne Se concentration, 2) the magnitude of the Se pulse, and 3) the duration of the Se pulse. The models were used to evaluate whether the US Environmental Protection Agencys (USEPAs) existing acute Se criteria and their recently proposed intermittent Se criteria would be protective of a whole-body fish Se tissue-based criterion of 8.1 g g(-1) dry wt. Based on a background waterborne Se concentration of 1 g L(-1) and pulse durations of 1 d and 4 d, the Se pulse concentrations predicted to result in a whole-body fish Se concentration of 8.1 g g(-1) dry wt in the most conservative model food chains were 144 and 35gL(-1), respectively, for selenate and 57 and 16gL(-1), respectively, for selenite. These concentrations fall within the range of various acute Se criteria recommended by the USEPA based on direct waterborne toxicity, suggesting that these criteria may not always be protective against bioaccumulation-based toxicity that could occur after short-term pulses. Regarding the USEPAs draft intermittent Se criteria, the biokinetic modeling indicates that they may be overly protective for selenate pulses but potentially underprotective for selenite pulses. Predictions of whole-body fish Se concentrations were highly dependent on whether the food chain was periphyton- or phytoplankton-based, because the latter had much greater Se uptake rate constants. Overall, biokinetic modeling provides an approach for developing acute Se criteria that are protective against bioaccumulation-based toxicity after trophic transfer, and it is also a useful tool for evaluating averaging periods for chronic Se criteria.

Rice J.D.,Utah State University | Ibrahim I.A.,Utah State University | Jaeger R.A.,GEI Consultants
Scour and Erosion - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Scour and Erosion, ICSE 2016 | Year: 2016

While the Backward Erosion Piping (BEP) form of internal erosion is one of the least understood mechanisms in geotechnical engineering, a precise, mechanism-based analysis method for backward erosion piping (BEP) remains elusive for geotechnical engineers. BEP is still generally analyzed with empirically-based methods that do not consider many of the complexities of the soil, the subsurface geometry, the seepage regime, and the exit face conditions. Furthermore, many of the analysis methods commonly used for BEP were actually developed for other forms of internal erosion and adapted to BEP by correlating with crude empirical data. This paper presents a laboratory testing program performed to investigate the mechanisms of BEP under two conditions often encountered in the field: 1) exiting on a sloping exit face, and 2) exiting into a constricted exit. The study builds upon previous research on the mechanisms of piping initiation performed at Utah State University using a similar apparatus. A variety of soils representing a range of grain size, grain shape, and gradations are subjected to increasing hydraulic gradients under a variety of exit face condition including sloped exit faces and a range of constricted seepage exits. The results are compared with three-dimensional finite element analyses in order to develop a better understanding of the BEP initiation process. © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Jeffries M.K.S.,Miami University Ohio | Claytor C.,GEI Consultants | Stubblefield W.,Oregon State University | Pearson W.H.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Phototoxicity occurs when exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases the toxicity of certain contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This study aimed to (1) develop a quantitative model to predict the risk of PAH phototoxicity to fish, (2) assess the predictive value of the model, and (3) estimate the risk of PAH phototoxicity to larval and young of year Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) following the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The model, in which median lethal times (LT50 values) are estimated from whole-body phototoxic PAH concentrations and ultraviolet A (UVA) exposure, was constructed from previously reported PAH phototoxicity data. The predictive value of this model was confirmed by the overlap of model-predicted and experimentally derived LT50 values. The model, along with UVA characterization data, was used to generate estimates for depths of de minimiz risk for PAH phototoxicity in young herring in 2003/2004 and immediately following the 1989 EVOS, assuming average and worst case conditions. Depths of de minimiz risk were estimated to be between 0 and 2 m deep when worst case UVA and PAH conditions were considered. A post hoc assessment determined that <1% of the young herring population would have been present at depths associated with significant risk of PAH phototoxicity in 2003/2004 and 1989. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Liao Y.,Kleinfelder , Inc. | Meneses J.,GEI Consultants
NCEE 2014 - 10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Frontiers of Earthquake Engineering | Year: 2014

This paper presents the results of a study on characterizing site amplification of ground motions during the 2010 Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake using horizontal-to-vertical (H/V) spectral ratio method. The H/V spectral ratio shows peaks at about 0.2, 0.5, and 0.9 seconds for 2012 International Building Code (IBC) Site Classes B, C and D, respectively. The H/V spectral ratio technique predicts mean Fa=1.3 and Fv=1.7 for Class D sites and mean Fa=1.1 and Fv=1.3 for Class C sites. The two site classes show slightly smaller short-period amplification factors but substantially greater mid-period amplification factors compared with 2012 IBC code values. Sites with shear wave velocity in the upper 30 m (Vs30) between 180 and 250 m/s show similar amplification factors as 2012 IBC code values. These findings indicate that current 2012 IBC code may generally overestimate site amplification for both Site Classes C and D.

Jansen P.,GEI Consultants | Sabulis M.,GEI Consultants | Clock J.,EPRI
Remediation | Year: 2016

In situ solidification (ISS) is a proven technology for remediation of upland site soils, but has not been thoroughly demonstrated for use in impacted underwater sediments. This article describes the first successful use of ISS techniques to solidify underwater sediments containing manufactured gas plant non-aqueous-phase liquid (NAPL). The techniques consisted of mixing cementitious grout with the sediments in situ to create a monolith that immobilized the contaminants, significantly decreased the hydraulic conductivity, and also vastly decreased contaminant leaching potential of the sediments. The success of this pilot demonstration project suggests that ISS may be a viable alternative for: sites requiring deep dredging; large volume projects on urban waterways where staging and amending areas are limited; sites with NAPL impacts that cannot be controlled during dredging; and sites where eventual NAPL breakthrough is anticipated if reactive caps are employed. The potential economic, environmental, and operational benefits of this technology will be discussed. This article focuses on the primary objectives of the pilot demonstration: to meet quantitative performance criteria for strength and hydraulic conductivity; to assess the leach performance of the solidified sediments; and to satisfy water quality parameters for turbidity, pH, and sheen. Approach/activities: The pilot study utilized a customized marine platform (modular floats, tug boats, etc.) and full-scale ISS equipment (auger rig, silos, etc.) and varied operational parameters to provide a range of data to assist in evaluating the feasibility and efficacy of the technology for use in similar environments and in planning future ISS projects on the water. Water quality controls and monitoring were implemented during the operation, and the study documented and evaluated the environmental disruption (short-term impacts) and costs of the application of the ISS process to contaminated aquatic sediments. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Dela Cruz R.,Southern California Edison | Blevins B.,Southern California Edison | Karam C.,GEI Consultants
Association of State Dam Safety Officials, Dam Safety 2015 | Year: 2015

As dams across the United States are ageing, the risk of failure increases. Failures continue to happen due to natural and man-made events. When a failure occurs, it can be impossible to recover from. According to the Insurance Information Institute, up 40% of businesses affected by a natural or human-caused disaster never reopen. While there are programs at both Federal and State levels of government to help ensure the continuous safe operation of dams, it is important that a dam owner takes a holistic approach to Dam Safety Emergency Management and develop a program that will prevent and protect dams from all hazards that threaten them, as well as, ensure that the owner and community are fully able to respond to, and recover from, any incident that may occur. A comprehensive Dam Safety Emergency Management Program should include the five components of emergency preparedness as established by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). These components are prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. How much should be invested in an emergency program depends upon many factors such as regulatory requirements, business design, and how much risk a business is willing to tolerate. Since not all risk can be insured, an emergency program is a good way to manage those risks. One way to quickly buy down risk is to invest in improving a dam owner's Situational awareness. The U.S. Coast Guard defines situational awareness as "the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening. More simply, it's knowing what is going on around you." Having improved situational awareness will reduce the time it makes to make a decision, improve the accuracy of that decision, and ensure that whatever strategies are being made before, during, or after an emergency event are made taking into account all the information at hand. Because of the importance of situational awareness when managing dams in remote locations across an expansive region, Southern California Edison (SCE) has developed on a pilot platform called a " Dam Information Management System" (DIMS), a web-based information sharing system that integrates available data from stakeholders and multiple emergency management partners to enable processing and displays of real-time disaster related data. DIMS will serve as a decision making tool to timely detect and evaluate emergency conditions for each dam to categorize the appropriate emergency response level. It leverages Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to allow visualization and analysis of relevant information to enable a more integrated operational approach during normal operations and emergency conditions. While the emphasis is primarily on emergency management, it also includes a document retrieval system that allows users to easily access the most up-to-date dam safety documents, inspection reports, and other activity related information for a specific dam. This paper aims to present to the dam safety community the: importance of situational awareness in emergency management, available situational awareness tools and resources from governmental and nongovernmental partners, and need for a collaborative partnership in sharing of information for effective situational awareness.

Finno R.J.,Northwestern University | Arboleda-Monsalve L.G.,California State University, Long Beach | Sarabia F.,GEI Consultants
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering | Year: 2015

Ground movements observed during foundation installation and basement construction of a residential 53-story RC tower are presented. The One Museum Park West building is located in Chicago, Illinois, and was developed using a combination of bottom-up methods, used for the construction of a central concrete core of the building, and top-down methods to build five levels of basements. The excavation extended 13-15 m below grade and was made through soft to medium-stiff clays. The building was supported by drilled shafts and a perimeter wall formed by secant piles that transitioned to tangent piles below the bottom of the cut. The system was laterally braced with RC floor slabs structurally connected to the secant pile walls and the RC core. Field performance data were collected by means of settlement points and inclinometers located close to the walls on two sides of the excavation. The construction sequence and attendant ground movements during each main activity are summarized. As much as 160 mm of settlement was recorded in the adjacent streets throughout construction. Wall and foundation installation accounted for approximately 35% of the total settlements during construction, whereas top-down construction of the basement resulted in approximately 40% of the total settlements. These data emphasize the importance of considering all construction activities when making predictions of ground movements adjacent to deep supported excavations. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Iezzoni H.M.,GEI Consultants | McCartney J.S.,University of California at San Diego
Geotechnical Testing Journal | Year: 2016

This study investigates how temperature affects the response of capacitance sensors used to measure the dielectric permittivity of unsaturated soils. The dielectric permittivity is strongly correlated with the volumetric water content, an important variable in understanding water flow processes in unsaturated soils. Although capacitance sensors have been used widely in laboratory and field applications, they have only recently been used to characterize thermally induced water flow in unsaturated soils during geothermal heat exchange processes. To date, no studies have characterized the effects of temperature on capacitance sensor output for dense, compacted soils. This paper describes a calibration methodology that was used to isolate the effects of temperature on the response of capacitance probes in compacted soils having different initial conditions (i.e., compaction water content and dry density). It was observed that changes in temperature of 26°C can lead to an increase in the measured dielectric permittivity of up to 24 % with no changes in volumetric water content of the soil. In addition to defining a soil-specific calibration equation to relate volumetric water content and dielectric permittivity under ambient temperature conditions, a correction equation was proposed for temperature effects. The capacitance sensor's response to changing temperatures was observed to be sensitive to both the initial volumetric water content and the initial density of the soil, and parameters were defined for both of these terms in the correction equation. Copyright © 2016 by ASTM International.

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