Toward transportation asset management: what is the role of geotechnical monitoring?

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Geotechnical assets are vital for the efficiency of transportation corridors. Geotechnical monitoring can be a powerful tool for an effective maintenance of transportation assets and for safety purposes. Thanks to the technological evolution that has occurred during recent years, several monitoring technologies are now available to perform geotechnical monitoring. Ranging from remote satellite systems to contact instrumentation, it is now possible to perform a multi-scale approach in space and time, thus effectively supporting management and decision making actions. In this paper, three main categories of geotechnical monitoring are considered on the basis of the “monitoring purpose”: knowledge monitoring, control monitoring and emergency monitoring. STN (space–time-need) diagrams are proposed as a simple and useful graphic tool for the design of an effective monitoring plan that accounts for both the technical capabilities of the available monitoring technologies and the specific monitoring needs. Effective monitoring programs, suitable tools for data collection, management and processing combined with efficient models to support decision making leads to “Smart Geotechnical Asset Management” (SGAM). SGAM is a program that takes advantage of sensors collecting data in order to make risk assessment continuously updated over time.

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I would like to acknowledge Susan Taylor and the organizing committee of the 6th Workshop in Civil Structural Health Monitoring for inviting me to prepare this contribution on Geotechnical Monitoring. This paper would have never seen the light without the inspiring contribution of several friends and leading geotechnical engineers met in the past few years. Among them a special thanks is devoted to John Dunnicliff for his fruitful comments and revision of the paper.

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Mazzanti, P. Toward transportation asset management: what is the role of geotechnical monitoring?. J Civil Struct Health Monit 7, 645–656 (2017).

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  • Geotechnical assets
  • Observational method
  • Geotechnical monitoring
  • Remote sensing
  • Transportation corridors
  • Landslides