Soil erosion is a very important topic, where the geotechnical engineer can and will play an increasingly important role. There are 600,000 bridges in the USA, 500,000 of which are over rivers. Over 20,000 of these 500,000 bridges have been declared scour critical (calculated scour depth is deeper than the foundation depth under the design flood) by the Federal Highway Administration. 1000 bridges have collapsed between 1961 and 1991 with associated deaths in the USA and scour was responsible for 60% of those failures. The USA yearly budget for flood repair on the federal highway system was over 50$M per year in 1995. This is a problem in nearly all countries with Japan (railroads), New Zealand (highways), UK (railroads), and the USA (highways), among the those with the most problems. At the same time, solutions to the problem of scour have been lacking proper consideration for the soil component. This greatly limits their applicability. There is a growing movement towards involving the geotechnical engineer in scour studies and the GI Committee on Geotechnics of Soil Erosion aims to guide that effort and help in achieving quality and uniform results nationwide.
Our country faces many problems related to soil erosion. They are political, economic and engineering related. We can help in the engineering arena by:
Mission of the Committee
The topics covered by this committee shall be the geotechnical engineering aspects of the erosion of soils including the following examples:
For each topic, there are three aspects
On the fundamental side, each one of the topics above has three components
Please send your questions, comments or request for additional information to: