Title

Panama Canal’s Volcanic Tuff - Remolded Strength

Presenter Information

Omar Conte

Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Major

Civil Engineering

Research Advisor

Luna, Ronaldo

Advisor's Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Funding Source

Missouri S&T Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences (OURE) Program

Abstract

The Panama Canal was completed in 1914. Now for the proposed widening and excavation of the canal, one of the most important aspects is to assure that the slopes on each side are stable for the continued operation and navigation of this important passage. Additionally, the use of cut/dragged materials for use as fill in levees, embankments and other earth structures needs to be evaluated. This can be accomplished by determining the available soil shear strength to assure stability during and after construction. Along the Canal there is a weak volcanic tuff: Cucaracha formation. The engineering characterization of this formation in a remolded state is the topic for my research investigation. To this end several remolded samples were compacted. The specimens were tested to failure under loading using unconsolidated undrained (CU) triaxial test. The shear strength parameters of the remolded soil were determined by testing at different confining stresses following an axial compression stress path. Using the strength parameters determined for short- and long-term conditions the stability of levees was evaluated.

Biography

Omar Conte is a senior undergraduate student pursuing a Civil Engineering major with a minor in Business. Originally from Panama City, Republic of Panama transferred to Missouri S&T in Spring 2008, from Lindenwood University St. Charles, MO. Omar has been working in the Missouri S&T Geotech Lab for more than a year as a research assistant. He also has been involved in different projects such as: direct shear testing for a PhD student’s research, MoDOT project in charge of soil classification tests (sieve analysis, hydrometer test and Atterbergs limits), consolidation tests and development of GIS maps displaying geographically the bridge foundation’s types in Missouri. Omar is a member of Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi and SHPE, he is looking forward to going to grad school after graduating this coming May.

Research Category

Engineering

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

07 Apr 2010, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Apr 7th, 1:00 PM Apr 7th, 3:00 PM

Panama Canal’s Volcanic Tuff - Remolded Strength

Upper Atrium/Hallway

The Panama Canal was completed in 1914. Now for the proposed widening and excavation of the canal, one of the most important aspects is to assure that the slopes on each side are stable for the continued operation and navigation of this important passage. Additionally, the use of cut/dragged materials for use as fill in levees, embankments and other earth structures needs to be evaluated. This can be accomplished by determining the available soil shear strength to assure stability during and after construction. Along the Canal there is a weak volcanic tuff: Cucaracha formation. The engineering characterization of this formation in a remolded state is the topic for my research investigation. To this end several remolded samples were compacted. The specimens were tested to failure under loading using unconsolidated undrained (CU) triaxial test. The shear strength parameters of the remolded soil were determined by testing at different confining stresses following an axial compression stress path. Using the strength parameters determined for short- and long-term conditions the stability of levees was evaluated.