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Engineering the Geological Chaos of Franciscan and Other Bimrocks Edmund Medley, PhD, PE, CEG, F.ASCE Session 12: Melanges, Mixed Materials and Chaotic.

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Presentation on theme: "Engineering the Geological Chaos of Franciscan and Other Bimrocks Edmund Medley, PhD, PE, CEG, F.ASCE Session 12: Melanges, Mixed Materials and Chaotic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engineering the Geological Chaos of Franciscan and Other Bimrocks Edmund Medley, PhD, PE, CEG, F.ASCE Session 12: Melanges, Mixed Materials and Chaotic Rocks ARMA Conference 2008 San Francisco, CA Tuesday, July This version of the presentation is provided on condition be it be used only for individual and non-commercial purposes 1 E. Medley, 2008

2 Franciscan melanges Franciscan Complex melange, Mendocino, California E. Medley, Melanges (mélanges) are mixtures of hard blocks in weaker matrix. In the Franciscan blocks are found at all scales of engineering interest.

3 E. Medley, Block size distributions are scale independent and fractal (power law) range in size between mountains and sand- blocks will always be found: characterization must take blocks into account L c - characteristic dimension, scales rockmass L c - slope height, tunnel diameter, largest local block, etc. What is block? What matrix? –smallest blocks: 0.05L c –largest blocks: 0.75Lc blocks in Franciscan melanges

4 E. Medley, fundamental fabric: strong blocks, weak matrix Blocks and sheared matrix within San Andreas fault zone, northern California soil Corestones Decomposed granite, Hwy 50, Tahoe area, California

5 bimrocks bimrocks: short for block-in-matrix rock: melanges, fault rocks, weathered rocks, etc. geologically neutral term, no geological connotation. mixtures of rocks composed of geotechnically significant blocks within a bonded matrix of finer texture Geotechnically significant blocks : there are enough blocks to make a difference to mechanical properties of the rock mass 5 E. Medley, 2008

6 the major problem with bimrocks: WYTYSINWYG* Blocks, inclusions, lenses, etc Matrix scale: 1:?????? 6 E. Medley, * what you think you see is not what you get

7 the seduction of straight lines.. E. Medley, Wrong!! Right! After Wakabayashi and Medley, 2004

8 E. Medley, the misery of mischaracterization BH outcrop shallow landslide in soil over bedrock 15 m excavation looking for the failure plane

9 E. Medley, a nice and simple engineering relationship Strength of bimrock increases with volumetric block proportion

10 E. Medley, Linear block proportion total length of block/boring intersections divided by total lengths of boring How accurate are linear block proportions relative to actual volumetric block proportion?? estimating block proportion from drilling

11 E. Medley, how wrong can we be in assuming Linear = Volumetric Proportions? Actual volumetric proportion is 32% beware uncertainty in estimates of block proportion!!!

12 conclusions Franciscan melanges share many characteristics with other rock/soil mixtures: hence bimrocks Bimrocks are disorderly and often chaotic We have to work with bimrocks We can characterize chaos: simple methods are available: or: type Ed Medley in Google Search E. Medley,


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