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Addressing infrastructure challenges posed by the Harwich Formation through understanding its geological origins

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Title: Addressing infrastructure challenges posed by the Harwich Formation through understanding its geological origins
Authors: Edgar, Justyna Wieslawa
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: Variable deposits known to make up the sequence of the Harwich Formation in London have been the subject of ongoing uncertainty within the engineering industry. Current stratigraphical subdivisions do not account for the systematic recognition of individual members in unexposed ground where recovered material is usually disturbed - fines are flushed out during the drilling process and loose materials are often lost or mixed with the surrounding layers. Most engineering problems associated with the Harwich Formation deposits are down to their unconsolidated nature and irregular cementation within layers. The consequent engineering hazards are commonly reflected in high permeability, raised groundwater pressures, ground settlements - when found near the surface and poor stability - when exposed during excavations or tunnelling operations. This frequently leads to sudden design changes or requires contingency measures during construction. All of these can result in damaged equipment, slow progress, and unforeseen costs. This research proposes a facies-based approach where the lithological facies assigned were identified based on reinterpretation of available borehole data from various ground investigations in London, supported by visual inspection of deposits in-situ and a selection of laboratory testing including Particle Size Distribution, Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Diffraction analyses. Two ground models were developed as a result: 1st a 3D geological model (MOVE model) of the stratigraphy found within the study area that explores the influence of local structural processes controlling/affecting these sediments pre-, syn- and post- deposition and 2nd a sequence stratigraphic model (Dionisos Flow model) unveiling stratal geometries of facies at various stages of accretion. The models present a series of sediment distribution maps, localised 3D views and cross-sections that aim to provide a novel approach to assist the geotechnical industry in predicting the likely distribution of the Harwich Formation deposits, decreasing the engineering risks associated with this stratum.
Content Version: Open Access
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Date Awarded: Jan-2022
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/95488
DOI: https://doi.org/10.25560/95488
Copyright Statement: Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial Licence
Supervisor: Lawrence, James
Ghail, Richard
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Concept Engineering Consultants Ltd
Geotechnical Consulting Group LLP
Funder's Grant Number: EP/L016826/1
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD theses

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