World Heritage in Asia

Geotechnical Overview of Sustainable Conservation and Development for the World Heritage Area of Angkor, Cambodia
  • Yoshinori Iwasaki
Part of the Geotechnical, Geological, and Earthquake Engineering book series (GGEE, volume 15)


Two case studies are described in terms of sustainable conservation of cultural heritage as well as social development in the World Heritage Site of Angkor, Cambodia. These problems are very unique in a sense that the phenomena were found quite different from what geotechnical engineers had been used to expect in daily practice. A tower of masonry structure that JSA (Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor) selected for structural conservation was inclined about 5 degrees. Since the deformation of the step stones showed the same inclination, tilting of the foundation was considered as major mechanism for the inclination of the Tower. After trenching of the soil mound, the compacted soil layer was not inclined but horizontal. This was quite different what we had expected. What was the mechanism to cause the inclination? Further study revealed that the slip-down of the side step stones along the foundation platform was the true mechanism. JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) made a study of water resource from pumping underground water. They have monitored seasonal fluctuation of shallow water level at more than 50 surface wells and tried to simulate the seasonal changes caused by horizontal flow from higher mountain to lower lake zones. Finally, JICA had installed a facility to pump water more than 8,000 ton/day. After the pumping started, a monitoring well at 3 km from pumping zone showed 1 m of drawdown of water level that was predicted as little effect by the simulation. Since the plain in Angkor has very gentle slope of the order of 0.001, horizontal flow of underground water is very slow and negligible. The seasonal changes of the water level of 4– 5 m was caused not by horizontal flow but infiltration of rain water and evaporation water from the deep layers that was not included in the model JICA used.


Water Level Underground Water Triaxial Test Lower Water Level Geotechnical Engineering 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cyber UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Geo Research InstituteOsakaJapan

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