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Geotechnical Investigations Precede Haiti Repairs and Retrofit

Port-au-Prince, Haiti


Client J.L. Richards and Associates
Industries
Services Geophysics, Geotechnical Engineering, – soil and rock mechanics, soil rock and mining engineering

Assignment

The January 2010 Haitian earthquake tragically pointed to the insufficient seismic design of the majority of the buildings, including the lack of adequate seismic analysis done in designing even the newer buildings.

The Canadian Embassy, although relatively new, sustained some damage from the earthquake. Before repairs and reinforcement efforts at the Embassy could get underway, geotechnical and geophysical work had to be done to identify the proper site seismic classification.

Our Role

Vertical seismic profiling (VSP), downhole geophysical surveys in deep boreholes, identifying the depth to bedrock and determining soil/bedrock bearing capacities were necessary at the Embassy's Chancery (business office) and two other Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)-owned sites intended for use as new staff quarters.

During an intensive three-week period Golder:

  • Completed core and soil logging
  • Provided early information about subsurface conditions, and * Carried out the VSP with experienced geophysicists to process the data while on site.

Our seismic experts developed site-specific ground-shaking estimates for the Chancery site. These estimates took into account the unique soil conditions, the distance to the major fault line (less than 4 km / 2.5 mi) and state-of-practice estimates for how much the energy from the tremors decreases with distance from the source.

Associated Services

Geophysics
Golder geophysicists have conducted geophysics surveys on five continents and in over 100 countries, providing surface, borehole and...

Ground Engineering Services
From initial investigations through to design, construction, operation and closure, Golder provides integrated geotechnical services to...

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