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Norwegian Geotechnical Institute
Country: Norway
6 Projects, page 1 of 2
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018168/1
    Funder Contribution: 99,781 GBP

    Carbonate soils cover over 40% of the world's seabed, where offshore structures, pipelines, artificial islands and other marine structures are founded. For the most part, carbonate soils are of biogenic origin comprising skeleton bodies and shells of small organisms, the shelly carbonate sands. These soils are a complex and poorly understood material as evidenced by a number of accidents reported during platform installation in the 80s. As a consequence, shelly sands have been placed into a niche classification of "problematic soils" in most design guides. While failures are now relatively rare, conservative methods and high factors of safety are commonly used. Understanding the behaviour of shelly carbonate sand is critical for the design of foundations for offshore structures. In particular, understanding the physical phenomena taking place at the microscale has the potential to spur the development of robust computational methods to be integrated into novel or existing design approaches. Image-based geomechanics is a fascinating research field that has the potential to transform the way soils are investigated and modeled. The ability to follow deformation at the microscale has helped to answer fundamental questions about the soil behaviour observed at the macro-scale. The proposed research uses 4D synchrotron x-ray imaging and post analysis to investigate the kinematics and the strain maps of a shelly carbonate sand under compression. The outcomes will contribute scientific understanding on the multiscale behaviour of shelly carbonate sands. This will form the basis to develop fabric-informed constitutive models to better predict the soil response, thus improving design practices for foundations of offshore structures. The ambition of this project is to contribute towards safer, less conservative and more sustainable ground structures and reduce the financial risks associated with unforeseen ground response during construction of offshore foundations. This multiscale methodology and image algorithms here developed, will be valuable to the broad granular media community to simulate mechanical processes in additive manufacturing, mining, food and pharmaceutical industries.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/F012934/1
    Funder Contribution: 37,160 GBP

    This proposal will bring together sediment remediation engineers, ecotoxicologists and hydrogeochemists at an early stage of their career. They will gather for a one week launch event at Newcastle University to learn about each others conceptual understanding of sediment pollution issues and to discuss feasible solutions to these. The launch activities will include discipline hopping in oral presentations, one-on-one pairing of researchers from different disciplines explaining their research efforts to each other, practical training in the calibration and use of pollutant fate modelling tools, visits to local sites with sediment pollution, group discussion of possible solutions to international case studies of sediment pollution, and the conceptual design of better interdisciplinary models of sediment pollution and its effect on sediment-dwelling and aquatic organisms.During the launch event the researchers will submit proposals for people exchange activities with the partner institutions. Such individual visits will allow the researchers to deepen the mutual understanding of work at other institutions and in other disciplines. It is expected that future international and interdisciplinary research collaborations will emerge from such opportunities, and that the established personal contacts will continue to pay dividends throughout the career of the young participants.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/W006235/1
    Funder Contribution: 1,203,430 GBP

    Geotechnical infrastructure fundamentally underpins the transport, energy and utility networks of our society. The design of this infrastructure faces increasing challenges related to construction in harsher or more complex environments and stricter operating conditions. Modern design approaches recognise that the strength and stiffness of ground, and therefore the safety and resilience of our infrastructure, changes through time under the exposure to in-service loading - whether from trains, traffic, waves, currents, seasonal moisture cycles, redevelopment of built structures or nearby construction in congested urban areas. However, advances in geotechnical analysis methods have not been matched by better tools to probe and test the ground in situ, in a way that represents realistic real-world loading conditions. This research will improve current geotechnical site investigation practice by developing ROBOCONE - a new site investigation tool for intelligent ground characterisation - and its interpretative theoretical framework - from data to design. ROBOCONE will combine modern technologies in robotic control and sensor miniaturisation with new theoretical analyses of soil-structure interaction. Breaking free from the kinematic constraints of conventional site investigation tools, ROBOCONE will feature three modular sections which can be remotely actuated and controlled to impose horizontal, vertical and torsional kinematic mechanisms in the ground closely mimicking loading and deformation histories experienced during the entire lifespan of a geotechnical infrastructure. The device development will be supported by new theoretical approaches to interpret ROBOCONE's data to provide objective and reliable geotechnical parameters, ready for use in the modern "whole-life" design of infrastructure. This research will provide a paradigm shift in equipment for in situ ground characterisation. ROBOCONE will enable the cost-effective and reliable characterisation of advanced soil properties and their changes with time directly in-situ, minimising the need for costly and time-consuming laboratory investigations, which are invariably affected by sampling and testing limitations. Geotechnical in-situ characterisation will be brought into step with modern, resilient and optimised geotechnical design approaches.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/W00013X/1
    Funder Contribution: 310,664 GBP

    Never in human history has there been such an urgent need for a step-change in energy production. With the goal of achieving a carbon neutral state by 2050, the UK is the first major economy to pass net zero emissions laws and lead the world by example. In answer to this impellent necessity, offshore renewables -particularly wind- are expanding at a rapid pace. Many of UK's offshore wind turbines (OWT) developments will need to be fixed or anchored in chalk, a highly variable soft rock that covers much of Northern Europe and is widespread under the North and Baltic Seas. In most cases that will be achieved by pushing or driving large steel piles into this soft rock under the seabed. That installation process is difficult because of the unprecedented scale of some of these foundations (monopiles), because the conditions of the chalk at the interface modified by installation are poorly known, the mechanical behaviour of chalk is complex and because working offshore leaves little room for error. Apart from its inherent difficulty, the installation process essentially modifies the chalk around the foundation. As a result of those changes, there are still some important gaps in our ability to predict properties that are basic for safe and efficient operation, such as the initial and the evolved axial capacity and lateral stiffness of monopiles through their in-service lifetime characterised by complex wind and wave cyclic load history. The research proposed will improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of piles driven in soft rocks to support the further development of renewable energy structures offshore through rigorous numerical and experimental modelling. The key aims are to improve pile drivability assessment for open-ended piles supporting OWT and to quantify the effects of installation on long-term in-service performance of OWT foundations. The main deliverable will be to develop practical tools to incorporate these effects within engineering analysis and design suitable for both onshore and offshore applications.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/I030038/1
    Funder Contribution: 156,370 GBP

    This project aims to develop a major international effort to create a Global Volcano Model (GVM) that provides systematic evidence, data and analysis of volcanic hazards and risk. The GVM project addresses hazards and risks on global, regional and local scales, and develops the capability to anticipate future volcanism and its consequences. The project builds on initiatives over the last several years to establish a global database of volcanic hazards (VOGRIPA) and to develop analysis and modelling tools to assess volcanic hazard and risk. The proposed GVM project also complements and interfaces with other major international initiatives, notably including the Global Volcanism Progamme of the Smithsonian Institution, WOVOdat (a database on precursors to volcanic eruptions), VHub (a US-led effort to develop an online collaborative environment for volcanology research and risk mitigation, including the development of more effective volcanic hazards models), the Volcano Observatory Best Practices Programme and the International Volcanic Health Hazards Network. The GVM project has parallels with the Global Earthquake Model in intention and scope of providing an authoritative source for assessing volcanic hazard and risk. There is a strong international consensus that GVM is an essential and timely undertaking. This project, which is within the natural hazards theme of NERC's strategy, provides a unique opportunity for the UK to play a leading role in a major international effort to address volcanic hazard and risk. There are 50 or so volcanic eruptions a year worldwide with approximately 20 ongoing at any one time. Increased global volcanic risk derives from factors that are increasing exposure and vulnerability, such as population growth, environmental degradation, urbanization, inequality and increasing independencies in a globalised world. There is also a decrease in societal resilience arising from the way society is organized and the increasing complexities of systems required to respond to emergencies, especially where impacts extend beyond national boundaries. The GVM project will develop an integrated global database system on volcanic hazards, vulnerability and exposure, make this globally accessible and crucially involve the international volcanological community and users in a partnership to design, develop, analyse and maintain the database system. The main hazards include: explosive eruptions, pyroclastic flows, lava domes, lava flows, lahars, tephra fall and ash dispersal, gas, flank collapse, debris flows and health hazards. New reliability indices and measures of uncertainty will be essential elements of the GVM. The GVM project will aim to establish new international metadata standards that will reduce ambiguity in the use of global volcanic datasets. Vulnerability and exposure data will be integrated into the GVM and again new methods of assessment and analysis will be investigated and tested. The integrated database system will be made available via an interactive web system with search engines using both spatial and text-based commands. The downloadable products (including maps, tables and text) and web system will be developed with end-users. Addition of data by users will be facilitated via an upload facility. New data or corrections will be validated by an editor before being incorporated. The project also intends to establish methodologies for analysis of the evidence and data to inform risk assessment, to develop complementary volcanic hazards models, and create relevant hazards and risk assessment tools. Only a very broad international interdisciplinary partnership that is closely aligned to the needs of users of research can meet all these ambitious objectives. The research will provide the scientific basis for mitigation strategies, responses to ash in the atmosphere for the aviation industry, land-use planning, evacuation plans and management of volcanic emergencies.

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