High-resolution p- and s-wave seismic reflection followed by engineering modeling for geotechnical site characterization in Southern Illinois

Ahmed Ismail, Adel Abdelnaby, Timothy H Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A study was conducted to determine whether the structural failure of a house in a residential subdivision in southern Illinois was caused by the collapse of an old underground coal mine (i.e. mine subsidence) or as a result of a landslide. The house was displaced approximately 5 m downhill towards an engineered lake behind it. To detect any old mines near the house, we acquired highresolution S-wave seismic reflection profiles along the roads surrounding the subdivision and a series of high-resolution P-wave reflection profiles in the immediate vicinity of the house. The Swave seismic reflection profiles imaged a strong shallow horizon that we interpreted as Pennsylvanian siltstone overlying the Mecca Quarry Shale and Colchester Coal, which had been previously mined in the area. Locally, this horizon showed no evidence of any recent mining activities. The high-resolution P-wave reflection profiles imaged a steeply dipping bedrock with a 208 dip at the house location. These results exclude mine subsidence from being the cause for the house failure. To investigate land sliding as a possible cause of the house failure, depths to bedrock from the seismic results together with the soil type information were used to model the soil materials with a Mohr-Coulomb stress-strain model. The engineering model demonstrated that a land slide is a more plausible cause for the house failure, which agrees with the seismic results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-384
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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Seismic waves
site characterization
seismic waves
seismic reflection
wave reflection
engineering
subdivisions
P-wave
high resolution
bedrock
subsidence
profiles
P waves
coal
modeling
horizon
causes
soils
structural failure
Pennsylvanian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics

Cite this

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abstract = "A study was conducted to determine whether the structural failure of a house in a residential subdivision in southern Illinois was caused by the collapse of an old underground coal mine (i.e. mine subsidence) or as a result of a landslide. The house was displaced approximately 5 m downhill towards an engineered lake behind it. To detect any old mines near the house, we acquired highresolution S-wave seismic reflection profiles along the roads surrounding the subdivision and a series of high-resolution P-wave reflection profiles in the immediate vicinity of the house. The Swave seismic reflection profiles imaged a strong shallow horizon that we interpreted as Pennsylvanian siltstone overlying the Mecca Quarry Shale and Colchester Coal, which had been previously mined in the area. Locally, this horizon showed no evidence of any recent mining activities. The high-resolution P-wave reflection profiles imaged a steeply dipping bedrock with a 208 dip at the house location. These results exclude mine subsidence from being the cause for the house failure. To investigate land sliding as a possible cause of the house failure, depths to bedrock from the seismic results together with the soil type information were used to model the soil materials with a Mohr-Coulomb stress-strain model. The engineering model demonstrated that a land slide is a more plausible cause for the house failure, which agrees with the seismic results.",
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