By Vishal Patel, Edited by Brian Heinzl
More than 30 ASCE members and guests gathered at the Bettis Grille Restaurant on Friday, September 23rd for a ASCE Pittsburgh Section Geo-Institute (GI) Chapter meeting. As part of the meeting, Dr. Timothy D. Stark, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., F.ASCE, presented the lecture “Stability of Natural and Man-made Slopes.” The presentation focused on the March 22, 2014 Landslide near Oso, Washington, discussing the geotechnical aspects of the slide and its potential triggers.
This major and tragic landslide exhibited some interesting geo-mechanical behavior, including a runout of over one mile from the base of the slope that devastated the adjacent Steelhead Haven Community. The presentation focused on the events that occurred before the landslide, the triggering of the landslide, and the initiation and run out of the landslide. Dr. Stark focused on the geotechnical investigation (field investigation, lab testing, and analysis) after the landslide to determine the triggering mechanism of the 2014 landslide, as well as the shear strength and dynamic analysis used to explain the flow slide volume and runout distance. The results provided a better understanding of risk and hazard assessment of this landslide.
The Pittsburgh Section GI was also honored to have Mr. Brad Keelor, the National Director of the Geo-Institute, attend our meeting. Mr. Keelor introduced himself to the audience and provided brief remarks regarding goals being pursued at the national level. We appreciate the interest and support of National GI members at our local functions. The Geo-Institute Chapter provided 1.0 PDH for the presentation along with great venue for social hour.
Following the conclusion of the presentation and network-building hour at Bettis Grille, many attendees including Dr. Stark and his wife were able to attend the YMF’s Pirate tailgate and the baseball game. The following day Dr. Stark acknowledged our hospitality by sending a note: “Thanks for a really enjoyable day, which was capped off by a "Walk-Off Win" in the 11th!!!! Great game!!!”
A special thanks goes out to all of the GI and YMF committee members for making this a successful event.