Geologic Hazards

There are numerous types of geologic hazards and their identification on a given project site is an important design consideration.  S&ME’s engineering staff is experienced in hazard identification and mitigation.

In karst regions, sinkholes are a common hazard.  Literature and aerial imagery review, site reconnaissance, geophysical testing, and subsurface exploration are the tools we typically use to identify such features.

Expansive soils that shrink and swell with changes in their water content can damage and even destroy structures that are supported on them without proper design consideration.  Expansive soils must be identified so the project design team can mitigate the risk with appropriate foundation design and drainage details. S&ME routinely evaluates shrink-swell potential of the site soils using experience and laboratory classification testing.

Landslides, including falling rock, are a frequent hazard in mountainous terrain.  The relative vulnerability of a site to landslide occurrence or slope instability is frequently assessed using reasonable inference and experience, by reference to landslide susceptibility maps or inventories, by intuitive judgment based on local geologic mapping or inspection of local terrain features, or by field exploration.