S and ME Inc.

Charlotte, NC, United States

S and ME Inc.

Charlotte, NC, United States
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Franke K.W.,Brigham Young University | Youd T.L.,Brigham Young University | Ekstrom L.T.,SandME Inc. | He J.,Brigham Young University
Geotechnical Special Publication | Year: 2017

The design of long, linear infrastructure such as pipelines, levees, roads, and canals can be challenging in areas of moderate to high seismicity due to numerous seismic and geologic hazards that can be encountered along proposed alignments. One of the most challenging earthquake-related hazards in the design of large infrastructure is liquefaction-induced lateral spread displacement. This paper presents a new simplified probabilistic approach to estimate lateral spread displacements at targeted return periods across large geographic areas using performance-based lateral spread displacement reference parameter maps and (if available) site-specific geotechnical information. The approach is demonstrated on a hypothetical pipeline extending from Rock Springs, Wyoming, to West Bountiful, Utah, in the United States. Advantages and limitations of the proposed approach are discussed. The results of the demonstrative calculation show how the approach can be used to identify areas where additional geotechnical investigations might be needed, and how probabilistic lateral spread displacements can be easily predicted along numerous proposed alignments of the pipeline once geotechnical subsurface investigation and ground surveys become available. © 2017 ASCE.


Sapyta A.,S and ME Inc.
Proceedings of the Air and Waste Management Association's Annual Conference and Exhibition, AWMA | Year: 2015

EPA developed the PSD construction permitting process under the NSR program to ensure that air quality is protected during economic advancement. Although the PSD process can be complicated and time-consuming, there are specific guidelines available for determining the applicability of the PSD permitting programs and for complying with the required elements of the PSD process.


Fox P.J.,University of California at San Diego | Sura J.M.,Willmer Engineering Inc | Nye C.J.,S and ME Inc
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering | Year: 2015

This paper presents an experimental investigation of the dynamic internal shear strength of a hydrated woven/nonwoven needlepunched geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) for monotonic (i.e., single direction) loading conditions. Displacement-controlled shear tests were conducted using a large direct shear machine for four normal stress levels ranging from 141 to 1,382 kPa and seven shear displacement rates R ranging from 0.1 to 30,000 mm=min. For each normal stress, peak shear strength first increased and then decreased with increasing displacement rate. Maximum values of peak strength occurred for R = 100-10,000 mm=min and were 16-23% higher than corresponding static values measured at R = 0.1 mm=min. For each normal stress, residual shear strength first decreased and then increased with increasing displacement rate, with minimum values occurring at R = 1 mm=min. On a relative basis, residual strengths show greater dependence on displacement rate than peak strengths. The standard displacement rate for static shear tests of hydrated GCLs (0.1 mm=min) generally yielded conservative values of peak shear strength but unconservative values of residual shear strength, especially for higher normal stress levels. The GCL experienced large post-peak strength reduction for all test conditions. © 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Rainwater N.R.,S and ME Inc. | McDowell L.A.,Geotechnical Engineering Section | Drumm E.C.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Geotechnical Testing Journal | Year: 2012

The small range of moisture contents measured with typical filter paper media in test method ASTM D5298 Measurement of Soil Potential (Suction) Using Filter Paper, require that the mass of the paper be measured to 0.0001 g. The accuracy and resolution of several readily available filter papers was investigated, along with investigating a polymer material as a possible alternative media. The importance of calibrating the filter paper was supported by the study, and suggested that because the slope of the calibration curve varies from paper to paper, the filter papers with the capability of measuring a broad range of water contents (low slope of the water content suction calibration curve) provide increased measurement resolution. The polymer media strips were found to have a much greater range of the moisture content than any of the filter papers, providing even greater resolution in the prediction of suction. The polymer strips performed just as well as the filter papers and showed repeatability in the measured suction values. The primary limitation in using polymer material is the lack of mass production of the material in a form suitable for suction measurements. Copyright © 2012 ASTM International.


Ladd B.E.,S and ME Inc.
Forensic Engineering 2015: Performance of the Built Environment - Proceedings of the 7th Congress on Forensic Engineering | Year: 2015

Deep seated slope movements can manifest as small, slow movements and be defined as slope creep. Over a period of time, enough movement can occur that results in damage to property and structures. Site reconnaissance alone cannot identify slope movement along a deep seated shear plane and can occur at depths greater than explored by test borings, especially for lightly loaded structures. This case history discusses a site in upstate South Carolina that experienced two episodes of slope movement between December 2009 and January 2014. Subsequent to a $3.5 million legal claim that a "slope failure" caused damage to a house, the defendant's expert witness team developed an exploration and laboratory testing program to help determine the cause of the slope movement. Observations made during site reconnaissance are presented and the subsurface conditions revealed by the field exploration programs are described. Evaluation of inclinometer data is shown to disclose a deep seated slope movement that was not contemplated during initial site characterization. The data indicated that the slope moved intermittently and was very slow. Lastly, triggering mechanisms that potentially initiated the slope movement are presented. Inclinometers typically thought of as an instrument for monitoring slope performance, not as an exploration tool, were proved essential for use in site characterization in detecting the deep shear plane. Failing to reach an eleventh hour settlement, the case went to trial. The jury found in favor of the defendant, ruling that they were not negligent during their initial site characterization. © 2016 ASCE.


Esposito III M.P.,Clemson University | Andrus R.D.,Clemson University | Camp III W.M.,S and ME Inc.
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering | Year: 2014

The procedures used to freeze and sample a Pleistocene sand deposit near Charleston, South Carolina to preserve and study the effects of diagenesis are presented in this paper. Based on the results of geotechnical tests and a feasibility ground freezing study, a freezing system with a central freeze pipe was installed to target a column of clean sand 1 m in radius and 2.3 m in length. Liquid nitrogen was continuously supplied to the freeze pipe fabricated to freeze the sand between depths of 1.8 and 3.8mbelow the ground surface for 270 h. Frozen sand cores taken from five locations 0.65 to 0.7 m away from the central freeze pipe indicate the ground was frozen between depths of 1.8 and 3.8 m at all but one location. Ground temperature measurements, growth of the frozen zone, and the amount of liquid nitrogen consumed are presented and compared with predicted values. Recorded temperatures indicate that the freezing was influenced by the direction of groundwater flow, the flow rate of liquid nitrogen, and the location of the liquid nitrogen inlet pipe within the central freeze pipe. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Ross J.D.,S and ME Inc | Fox P.J.,University of California at San Diego
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering | Year: 2015

This paper presents an experimental investigation of the dynamic shear strength of a composite liner consisting of a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) textured geomembrane (GMX) over a hydrated nonwoven/nonwoven needle-punched geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) for monotonic (i.e., single direction) loading conditions. Displacement-controlled shear tests were conducted using a large direct shear machine for five normal stress levels ranging from 13 to 2071 kPa and five shear displacement rates ranging from 0.1 to 30,000 mm=min. GCL internal failures occurred at high normal stress and low displacement rate. As normal stress decreased or displacement rate increased, failure mode transitioned to the GMX/GCL interface. Peak strength envelopes are slightly nonlinear (concave-down) and show dependence on displacement rate at higher normal stress. Large-displacement strength envelopes show greater dependence on displacement rate at higher normal stress due to the effect of changing failure mode. The standard displacement rate for static shear tests of GMX/GCL composite liners (1 mm=min) yielded conservative values of peak shear strength but unconservative values of large-displacement shear strength for some normal stress conditions. The GMX/GCL composite liner experienced significant post-peak strength reduction for all test conditions. © 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Hossain A.M.,Clemson University | Andrus R.D.,Clemson University | Camp III W.M.,S and ME Inc.
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering | Year: 2013

Explicit empirical relationships for correcting liquefaction resistance of unsaturated soil below the groundwater table using compression wave velocity (VP) and shear wave velocity (VS) are derived and evaluated in this paper. The relationships are derived using published laboratory test data for four different sands and one silt material. The laboratory test data based on VP exhibit less scatter than the test data based on the ratio VP/VS. For this reason, the VP-based relationship is recommended for correcting the liquefaction resistance of unsaturated soil. The influence of loading cycles and relative density on the recommended relationship is investigated. From a review of 40 field case history sites, it is found that in the critical layers at 20% of the sites, average VP is less than 1,400 m/s, indicating unsaturated conditions. Liquefaction resistances computed for eight field case histories with VP < 1,200 m/s in the critical layers are corrected and plotted on penetration-and VS-based liquefaction evaluation charts. The results support the use of the correction for unsaturated conditions below the groundwater table. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Fox P.J.,University of California at San Diego | Ross J.D.,S and ME Inc | Thiel R.S.,Thiel Engineering
Geosynthetics International | Year: 2011

Several large-scale laboratory tests were conducted on multi-interface geomembrane liner specimens to assess damage effects from static pressure, cyclic loading, and largedisplacement static shear. The specimens consisted of compacted subgrade soil, an LLDPE or HDPE smooth geomembrane, and overlying potash salt. The subgrade soil was gravelly sand with 25% gravel content. Failure occurred at the geomembrane/soil interface for each shear test. Cyclic loading data indicated that the LLDPE geomembrane had slightly lower values of interface shear stiffness and damping ratio than the HDPE geomembrane. Shear stiffness was essentially constant and damping ratio decreased with continued cycling for both geomembranes. Geomembrane damage for the static pressure and cyclic loading tests consisted of minor to moderate dimpling, with no holes created. Damage was considerably more severe for the large-displacement shear tests, and consisted of deep scratching and gouging of the geomembranes. Two holes were created in the LLDPE specimen and no holes were created in the HDPE specimen as a result of shear displacement. The findings indicate that severe geomembrane damage can result from shear displacement against a compacted subgrade soil with gravel. Considering that shear displacements commonly occur within landfill liner systems due to such mechanisms as waste settlement, the findings suggest that additional research is needed on expected levels of shear-induced damage for geomembranes placed adjacent to soil layers with coarse particles, including compacted clay liners containing gravel. © 2011 Thomas Telford Ltd.


Ashcraft N.,SandME Inc.
Proceedings of the American Gas Association, Operating Section | Year: 2014

A presentation covers the types of materials and construction related anomalies; arsenal of tools; types of assessment; and leading edge technologies. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 2014 AGA Operations Conference Proceedings (Pittsburgh, PA 5/20-23/2014).

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