Sunday, February 05, 2006


Little things have huge impacts

A difference in soil-boring data transferred from one chart to another may have played a key role in engineering decisions that led to the breach on the 17th Street Canal floodwall during Hurricane Katrina, National Science Foundation investigators say.

A cross-section drawing in the project design documents shows a weak layer of peaty soils between 11 feet and 16 feet below sea level in the area that failed during the storm. But information in the individual soil borings that were used to draw the cross section show the peaty layer extending as deep as 30 feet below sea level.

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