Office: EOS-South 255 Phone: 604-822-8471 Phone2: 604-822-3507
I have an interest in all aspects of engineering geology in rock and soils, but my main preoccupation is the study of landslides. Before coming to UBC in May 1996, I worked for a number of years in private practice as an engineering geologist. I participated in a variety of projects such as roads, hydro power plants, tunnels, forestry projects and mines. I was involved in the investigation of landslides, debris flows and avalanches, both natural and those caused by human activities such as slides related to logging or disposal of mine waste.
For several years I have been trying to develop new techniques for slope stability analysis, modelling of landslide behaviour with emphasis on rapid motion, landslide hazards mapping, quantitative hazard and risk assessment and design of remedial and protective measures. This work has applications to land use planning and design of engineering works. An especially important application is in the field of forestry, where the regulations of the recently implemented B.C. Forest Practices Code place high demands on the methodology of landslide hazards management.
My secondary research interests include applied geomorphology, terrain mapping and engineering geology of surface and underground excavations . I maintain active contacts with staff members in the Departments of Geography and Civil Engineering at UBC and with colleagues at the Geological Survey of Canada, in private consulting firms and in foreign research establishments, particularly in Japan and France.
I would like to maintain a balance in research work between sound theoretical approach and practical application. B.C. is a mountainous province with a variety of exciting challenges to the profession of engineering geology. New techniques of analysis must be developed and tested in the field in order to provide tools needed by the practitioners. The Geological Engineering Program at UBC plays an important role in this process.
My Ph.D. thesis involves the development of a typological classification system of rapid mass movements aimed at increasing the accuracy of prediction of potential failures. This system will be based on grouping mass movements according to the method of analysis which results in the most accurate model of the slope failure. Criteria for classification will be based on field-observable, pre-failure slope properties. While analysis includes both empirical and analytical methods, the focus will be on the numerical model, DAN (Dynamic Analysis, Hungr 1995). A pilot study has already been completed, which involved the application of the model to case studies in Hong Kong. Approximately one hundred back-analyses will be completed in order to observe possible trends and to group the cases into typological classes.
M.A.Sc. student, expected graduation spring 2000
Lara is studying two large landslides in glacio-lacustrine clays in British Columbia. These landslides occur in similar settings along river banks and each involves several million cubic metres of material. The objective of the research is to explain the failure mechanisms of these landslides and compare their failure behaviour, which ranges from gradual creep movements to extremely rapid, destructive flow.
Matthias has a Ph.D. from the UBC Department of Geography under Prof. M. Bovis. He has built up considerable reputation as an expert on debris flow hazard assessment. His current assignment, supported by a grant from CP Rail Systems International, is to develop a hazard rating methodology for rail lines in British Columbia.
Aissa Mellal received his doctorate in engineering geology from Ecole Central de Paris, France. His work at UBC is jointly supported by the Geological Survey of Canada, Terrain Sciences Division and the BRGM in Marseille, France. Aissa`s work follows from earlier research of our group into the quantitative aspects of rock fall hazards affecting transportation routes. Aissa has developed an advanced computer model of rock fall dynamics and has carried out field experiments for application to model calibration. He is also contributing to the Ph.D. work of D. Ayotte on the numerical modeling of rapid landslides.
Susan is conducting field investigations and numerical analysis with the aim of delineating the distinction between the "flexural toppling" and "block toppling" mechanism of large mountain slope failures. The results of her study will be relevant to the safety of hydroelectric power reservoirs and other installations in mountainous terrain. Her work is supported by BC Hydro and Power Authority.
Daryn¹s topic is the methodology of predicting the magnitude (volume) and travel distance (runout) for debris flows and debris avalanches originating from forest lands. His approach is based on a combination of empirical and analytical modeling. The objective of the project, funded by Forest Renewal B.C., is to derive practical means of estimating the potential consequences of landslides related to timber harvesting.