Geological models and their influence on geotechnical investigation
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Geological models, including maps and 3D models, are used in geotechnical site investigation in order to contribute to the evaluation of an area. A geological map is constructed through a complex, subjective interpretation process and represents both a data set and a conceptual geological model. Uncertainty is associated with the data set, but also with the conceptual geological model. This uncertainty can be considered as potential change to a set of discrete geological interpretations, here called patterns. Similar to the conceptual abstractions used in architecture and software engineering, geological patterns provide a means of using, organizing and transmitting information. It is possible to recover a set of permissible patterns, a representation of a conceptual geological model, from a geological map alone. The connections between aspects of the geological patterns called parameters and the geotechnical evaluation function can be made explicit. The result can be used to construct a map of the relative uncertainty of the geotechnical evaluation, as a function of the uncertainty associated with the conceptual geological model. It can also be used to map the relative effectiveness of different observation modes for constraining the geological and thus the geotechnical model. The analysis described here allows unprecedented consideration of where geotechnical models are uncertain and how that uncertainty can be resolved. The generalization of geotechnical evaluation as an evaluation function allows the adaptation of this workflow to other fields of geological decision-making, such as mineral exploration and land use planning.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/13850
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