GEOTECHNICAL CHARACTERIZATION AND EROSION RISK ASSESSMENT OF SOILS: A CASE STUDY OF GOMWALK BRIDGE, FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OWERRI, SOUTHEASTERN NIGERIA.
- Gomwalk Bridge,
- gully erosion,
- geotechnical investigation,
- soil properties,
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Background: The engineering properties of soils are fundamental in civil engineering construction projects, especially in road constructions, foundations, embankments, and dams. Geotechnics, or engineering geology, is a vital field applied in engineering contexts (Glossop, 1968; Roberts, 1981). Key geotechnical parameters influencing erosion initiation, progression, monitoring, and material selection for soil erosion control include grain size distribution, density, void ratio, porosity, shear strength, Atterberg limits, and compaction (dry density, moisture content relation) (Okeke and Enwelu, 2010). Understanding soil mechanics and earth materials is crucial for predicting, preventing, or mitigating damage caused by natural or human-induced hazards such as erosion, floods, subsidence, and landslides. It is also vital for designing engineering structures, predicting foundations' performance, and ensuring the stability of bridges, buildings, and other man-made structures based on underlying soil properties.
Aim: This study aims to assess the contribution of local geology and specific geotechnical properties of sediments at the Gomwalk Bridge gully erosion site, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Southeastern Nigeria. The objective is to correlate these properties with erosion susceptibility.
Methods: The research employed a reconnaissance survey and sample collection methods, integrating laboratory analysis with geotechnical studies.
Conclusion: The research findings offer crucial insights into the geotechnical characteristics of the soils surrounding the Gomwalk Bridge gully erosion site at FUTO in Southeastern Nigeria. These insights are pivotal for devising effective strategies to combat gully erosion, ensuring sustainable infrastructure, and maintaining environmental stability in the region. Continued research and ongoing monitoring are imperative for implementing long-lasting solutions and mitigating the adverse impacts of gully erosion.