Geo-technical Investigations – Viswa Consult

Geo-technical Investigations

The geo-technical scenario in Nepal can be divided basically into two broad timelines: a. before Gorkha Earthquake and b. after Gorkha Earthquake. On 25th April, 2015 as we know a 7.8M earthquake struck Nepal on 11:56 am local time at Barpak, a place northwest of Kathmandu, as its epicenter. Nepal lies towards the southern limit of the diffused collisional boundary where the Indian plate underthrusts the Eurasian plate. The earthquake was caused by a sudden thrust, or release of built-up stress, along the major fault line where the Indian Plate, carrying India, is slowly diving underneath the Eurasian Plate, carrying much of Europe and Asia.

Before the Gorkha Earthquake, much of the general public in Nepal had little experience of a major earthquake in their life. There were fewer material testing laboratories especially geotechnical laboratories. The constructions of bridges, roads, commercial complexes were going on but in much fewer numbers than after the earthquake. People were wary about the geological/geotechnical significance in Nepal because of the fact that Nepal lies in the seismic zone.

But after the Gorkha Earthquake, as a large number of cultural heritage sites and buildings were damaged and collapsed, people became much more concerned and conscious of the importance of geological/geo-technical investigations. A reconstruction phase began and the Nepal Government formed National Reconstruction Authority in December 2015, a government body whose sole purpose is to reconstruct the structures which were damaged by the earthquake in a sustainable, resilient and planned manner to promote national interest and provide social justice by making resettlement and translocation of the persons and families displaced by the earthquake. There were much more demands of geological/geotechnical investigations in various national projects in the reconstruction phase be it the cultural heritage sites or in the construction of new projects all over Nepal like bridges, roads, schools, commercial and residential buildings, airports, etc.

As we know, all civil engineering structures be it bridges, roads, commercial and residential buildings, various cultural heritage structures they all have foundations covered by ‘SOIL’. So, as a civil engineering consultancy as well as a laboratory, we feel a responsibility towards the society for specially making the foundations of the structures more strong and durable.

In geological/geo-technical investigations, we do the following:

  • Pavement Design-In pavement design, we do various field tests including DCP tests, Axle Load Survey and Benkelman beam tests which helps in calculating the required pavement thickness. Reports on the pavement design shall be prepared and submitted after the field visits.
  • Foundation Design-Foundations in buildings, roads and bridges play a significant role in longitivity of the structures. We design both deep and shallow foundations in our firm.
  • Soil Explorations -In geological/geotechnical investigations, drilling is a significant method to explore the soil. We here at our firm do Core Drilling, Rotary Drilling and Percussion Drilling for the purpose.

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