Making Rocks Not Roll
From Central Park to Alcatraz Island, Langan Engineering Geologists Handle Geohazards
The majority of Langan’s work supports the built environment, structures of all sizes and purpose. Often the priority is preventing settlement of a building using sophisticated yet practical geotechnical engineering design. But many projects are not about stopping the movement of a structure, but rather stopping the movement of earth to protect structures, utilities, and of course … people.
Geohazards, such as landslides, mudslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, rockfall/rockslides, karst sinkholes, and mine voids pose dire threats and cause costly damage and distress. Fortunately, Langan engineering geologists can help by devising technical solutions to keep the earth in check. Our international team designs geohazard solutions that include high-strength steel anchorage systems, piles and inclusions, grouting solutions, rockfall and debris slide catchment and diversion structures, earth and rock fill dams and embankments, sea walls, and piers and bulkheads.
“The earth is always moving, most often imperceptibly, but sometimes with awesome power and devastation,” said Mark Seel, Vice President, PE, PG. “When the ground starts to move at unique locations, such as Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, or when large rock outcrops in public spaces like New York’s Central Park or historic landmarks such as the cliffs on Alcatraz Island start to loosen, we are tasked with protecting people while preserving the natural beauty of those landscapes for all to enjoy.”
Experts like Seel, based in Langan’s New Jersey headquarters, Lou Gilpin, PhD, and Dan Eberhart, PG, CEG, CPG, who are based in San Francisco and Irvine, California, respectively, spend most of their time in the field examining potential and emergency geohazards. Such assignments range from refineries in Peru to wineries on the steep hillsides above the Napa Valley.
California in particular presents a variety of challenges; state mandated review of all hospitals and public schools raises the bar for geohazard identification and mitigation. Similarly, when clients are contemplating the risks associated with potential geohazards on international projects in foreign, undeveloped locations, Langan’s geohazard professionals can provide a focused evaluation of sites. Taking the steps to understand these threats is a smart, safe move, because … well, the earth does not in fact stand still.