Seismic tomography imaging was employed to make a diagnosis and choose a remedy for an embankment supported by a retaining wall showing clear evidence of structural instability. The geometry and structural characteristics of the wall, the inside geometry of cracks, and the physical parameters of the underground materials were the primary objectives of the geophysical survey. Seismic data were acquired along two vertical sections each one delimited by the lines of the sources within an inclined borehole and of the receivers lying on the ground. For each section, a total of 744 travel times were inverted to obtain compressional-wave velocities on a regular rectangular grid of squared cells (1 m x 1 m) using an inversion algorithm which is based on the simultaneous iterative reconstruction technique (SIRT). Ultrasonic tests carried out in laboratory on intact specimens, together with other supplemental site information, improved tomography resolution, allowing global and node constraints that forced the solution of the inverse problem to match known boundary values. Tomography imaged two high-velocity zones separated by a curved-shape low-velocity zone. The first ones were found to be compatible with the concrete retaining wall and with the schist materials, ranging from highly weathered to intact schist, while the low-velocity zone was interpreted as filling materials and/or completely decomposed rock schist. The combination of seismic tomography and laboratory measurements allowed extrapolation of important parameters over a large volume of rock mass, otherwise only representative of small rock samples near boreholes. It also enabled engineering characterization of subsurface rock mass, providing useful and accurate information to design a remedy for the embankment.

Seismic tomography imaging of an unstable embankment

DEIDDA, GIAN PIERO;RANIERI, GAETANO
2005

Abstract

Seismic tomography imaging was employed to make a diagnosis and choose a remedy for an embankment supported by a retaining wall showing clear evidence of structural instability. The geometry and structural characteristics of the wall, the inside geometry of cracks, and the physical parameters of the underground materials were the primary objectives of the geophysical survey. Seismic data were acquired along two vertical sections each one delimited by the lines of the sources within an inclined borehole and of the receivers lying on the ground. For each section, a total of 744 travel times were inverted to obtain compressional-wave velocities on a regular rectangular grid of squared cells (1 m x 1 m) using an inversion algorithm which is based on the simultaneous iterative reconstruction technique (SIRT). Ultrasonic tests carried out in laboratory on intact specimens, together with other supplemental site information, improved tomography resolution, allowing global and node constraints that forced the solution of the inverse problem to match known boundary values. Tomography imaged two high-velocity zones separated by a curved-shape low-velocity zone. The first ones were found to be compatible with the concrete retaining wall and with the schist materials, ranging from highly weathered to intact schist, while the low-velocity zone was interpreted as filling materials and/or completely decomposed rock schist. The combination of seismic tomography and laboratory measurements allowed extrapolation of important parameters over a large volume of rock mass, otherwise only representative of small rock samples near boreholes. It also enabled engineering characterization of subsurface rock mass, providing useful and accurate information to design a remedy for the embankment.
Seismic tomography; Inverse problem; Geophysics; Civil engineering; rock mass characterization
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/22121
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