Geological Hazards That Pose a Challenge to Construction

After so much careful planning, the last thing you want to uncover are geological hazards that pose a challenge to the project moving forward. Any seismic geologic hazard zone will require earthquake-related reinforcements, while other geological hazard examples such as landslides, volcanoes, and permafrost will require specialized evaluation. Learn more about the most common geological hazards and what to do about them with Central Geotech.

Geological Hazard Examples

Before construction begins, a geotechnical engineer must conduct a thorough geotechnical report to fully examine the soil and surrounding environment to ensure its fit for the job. Rather than run into headaches down the way, getting a firm understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a chosen plot helps set up a project for success.

Failure to investigate a site can leave issues hidden deep under the subsurface, but they won’t stay buried forever. Some geological hazard examples include:

  • Landslides: Any form of sudden, natural Earth movement such as mud slides, rock slides, or free-flowing debris creates foundation and stability issues.
  • Seismic Hazards: Areas prone to earthquakes are seismic geological hazard zones, with special code requirements due to their unpredictability and the associated concerns, including potential ripple effects like tsunamis, ground ruptures, or landslides.
  • Permafrost: The inability to build on thawed, firm ground forces cold-weather engineers to come up with creative foundation solutions.
  • Settlement and Consolidation:  As building loads are applied to the underlying soils, potential vertical movement/sinking can cause devastating damage.

If left unchecked, geotechnical “surprises” can cease construction or present structural problems in the future.

How to Avoid Geotechnical Hazards

Depending on the location of your intended construction, some geotechnical hazards are unavoidable. For example, most West Coast design needs to be conscious of earthquakes, whereas Alaskan teams must pay specific attention to cold weather design.

The best way to avoid geotechnical hazards that pose a challenge to construction is to hire a geotechnical engineer to evaluate your site. These trained professionals know how to thoroughly test the soil and bring to light any potential issues involved with the soil. After conducting a geotechnical report, your geotech will be able to walk you through issues such as:

  • Whether or not the soil can support the weight (load) of your intended building
  • What kinds of foundation solutions are available to you
  • How weather conditions and the changing seasons will affect your property
  • What kind of civil engineering parameters may be necessary
  • Construction and other associated recommendations
  • And more

Steer Clear of Geological Hazards With Central Geotech

In order to properly rule out any geological hazards, you should hire a geotechnical engineer to evaluate your site before construction begins. Contact Central Geotechnical Services to get started today. We can answer any questions and help you move forward with peace of mind.