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Technical Evaluation of East Coast Protective Levee

Using geophysics, large levee systems can be evaluated more effectively than with traditional exploratory drilling alone. 
  • MASW provided an image of the East Coast Protective Levee subsurface--Gannett Fleming

    MASW provides a continuous survey of the levee subsurface and delivers a visual profile.

Client
South Florida Water Management District

Location
Broward County, Florida

Our Role
Geophysical Investigation.

Data
Completed
2008
Outcomes
  • Subsurface profiles of the levee body and foundation materials for levee segments
  • Documentation of the soil borings and MASW survey results
  • Identification of subsurface conditions along the ECPL.

Gannett Fleming provided the South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD’s) Bureau of Engineering and Construction engineering support for a technical evaluation of a portion of its Everglades Water Conservation Area levees also known as the East Coast Protective Levee (ECPL) System. 

SFWMD is pursuing the certification of the ECPL system in accordance with Code 44 of Federal Regulations 65.10 titled, mapping of areas protected by levee systems. It provides the minimum design, operation, and maintenance standards levees must meet in order to be recognized as providing protection from the base flood, also known as one-percent-annual-chance flood on Flood Insurance Rate Maps. For a levee to be accredited by FEMA as providing protection from the base flood, it must be certified by a professional engineer or a federal agency that designs levees along with the submittal of engineering documents complying with this policy.

What We Did

Our work included conducting a multi-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW) survey for 37 miles on the levee crown, along with 32 new soil borings at select locations to supplement 58 previous soil borings to characterize the levee body and foundation soil materials. A report was provided to the SFWMD which included shear wave velocity profiles delineating the relative stiffness of the levee body and foundation materials for each levee segment, documentation of the soil boring and MASW survey results, and a summary of the findings along multiple levee segments.
 
The MASW survey was effective in identifying anomalous conditions along the ECPL. Because MASW provides a continuous profile of the subsurface, it is ideal for exploring long, narrow easements and alignments, such as levees, roads, dams, and utility corridors. MASW is the only non-destructive geophysical method that can continuously profile to depths of 100 feet and provide a visual profile of the subsurface area.

Key Features

  • The MASW survey results were provided in a report that included shear wave velocity profiles delineating the relative stiffness of the levee body and foundation materials for each levee segment and documentation of the soil borings.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • MASW is a non-invasive, non-destructive, continuous profiling method.

Similar Projects: Dams & Levees: Flood Hazard & Risk Assessment, Geotechnical: Geophysics, Geotechnical, Dams & Levees: Levees, Dams & Levees: Planning