Technical Themes

Chalk spoil being hoisted from a shaft (Courtesy of WJ Groundwater Limited)

Case histories of construction and engineering in Chalk

This Technical Theme includes case histories of construction and engineering in Chalk and assesses the impact of adverse geological conditions and the measures/procedures adopted in order to mitigate them.

Earthworks in Chalk

This Technical Theme includes the assessment of Chalk material characteristics in the laboratory and in-situ, its performance characteristics in handling and placing, and it’s performance (both short and long term) in cut slopes, fill embankments, in road and rail sub-grades, and in deep foundations.

Foundations and piling in Chalk

This Technical Theme includes aspects of foundations, retaining walls and piles in Chalk.

Future engineering issues in Chalk

This Technical Theme includes innovation and future issues for engineering in chalk. Possible subjects include digital and technological innovation (investigation, testing, construction, monitoring, modelling and design); issues of climate change (challenges, risks and opportunities); future issues of interface between engineering and Chalk natural resources (landscape, coastline, rivers, groundwater, habitats); issues of aging infrastructure on and in the Chalk; issues of knowledge transfer and legacy.

Geological hazards in Chalk

This Technical Theme aims to cover the measures taken to identify chalk hazards (e.g. hazard assessment techniques, investigation strategies) and provide engineering solutions (remedial & mitigation measures, also construction impacts). The types of geological hazard might include: naturally formed cavities (solution features), drift filled hollows, periglacial features, faulting, man-made cavities (mines, quarries, tunnels and others), unstable inland and coastal slopes (natural, man-made). Understanding the mechanisms of ground movement and their trigger is also of interest.

Offshore engineering in Chalk

This Technical Theme addresses aspects of Chalk geology and engineering related to offshore structures.

Site investigation/characterization in Chalk

This Technical Theme covers the desk studies, walkover surveys and investigations required to gather data for design and construction. It includes identification of information sources, site walkover and engineering geomorphological mapping, development of ground models, selection and deployment of appropriate investigation techniques, mass and material description and logging, design of appropriate testing regimes and presentation of data.

Testing in Chalk – in situ and laboratory

The laboratory and in situ testing Technical Theme aims to promote better understanding of the behaviour of Chalk under various conditions, either from samples or directly on the rock mass. Topics in this theme include the determination of engineering properties of Chalk, failure mechanisms, fracture propagation, transport mechanisms and permeability evolution, rock-fluid interactions and in situ stress determination.

Tunnelling in Chalk

This Technical Theme includes the design and construction of shaft, adits and tunnels (sprayed concrete lining, segmental lining tunnels etc) and associated research in Chalk. Possible subjects include factors influencing construction methods and equipment selection, geotechnical design parameters and design methods used, face stability considerations, details of temporary and permanent linings, ground treatment (for example grouting to reduce ground water flows), instrumentation data from tunnelling works, settlement data and any mitigation works.

Water and the environment

This Technical Theme includes hydrogeological and contaminated land aspects of Chalk. Possible subjects include groundwater resources, construction dewatering, ground source heating and cooling and contaminated land investigation and remediation.

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