Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

NEWS 2010

Posted November 16, 2010

Event: December 7, 2010

GSE: Dr. Bill Haneberg, Distinguished Jahns Lecturer in Engineering Geology - I Left My Probability Density Function in San Francisco

Location: University of Alberta, NREF Room 2-001

Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Cost: Free

A landslide hazard assessment project covering steep and heavily forested slopes in the middle of San Francisco provided a unique opportunity to use high-resolution airborne LiDAR data for traditional engineering geologic mapping and rational probabilistic slope stability modeling of the same area, with some interesting results. The presentation includes a brief introduction to airborne LiDAR technology, a discussion of the geologic setting and project goals, preparation of engineering geologic maps using an exceptionally detailed LiDAR topographic base, and map-based rational probabilistic slope stability modeling. So how does traditional qualitative landslide hazard assessment stack up against probabilistic computer modeling? Just how incompatible are the two? You might be surprised.

Dr. Bill Haneberg: I'm an independent consulting geologist whose clients have included engineering firms, state and federal environmental and natural resources agencies, mining and logging companies, law firms, and private landowners.

Most of my work involves earth movements of one kind or another-landslides, rockslides, debris flows, land subsidence, earth fissures, and other geologic hazards- that occur either naturally or as the result of human activities. I also rely on modern tools such as GIS, airborne laser scanning (LiDAR), computer simulations, image processing, and digital photogrammetry to solve practical geologic problems.

My field experience includes projects throughout the United States, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, and the Indian Himalaya. If you'd like to see some of the places I've worked and traveled, you're welcome to visit my photography web pages at

I began my consulting practice in the Seattle area but in mid-2009 moved to Cincinnati, which is one of the most landslide prone cities the United States. I am also an Adjunct Professor of Geology at the University of Cincinnati and a member of the Board of Trustees for The Hillside Trust.

Before leaving to establish my consulting practice in 1999, I was Assistant Director and Senior Engineering Geologist with the New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources. I've also worked as a petroleum geologist, and taught as an adjunct professor at New Mexico Tech and Portland State University.

Education: Ph.D., Geology, University of Cincinnati, 1989; M.S., Geology, University of Cincinnati, 1985; B.S., Geology, Bowling Green State University, 1982


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