Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

NEWS 2018

Posted November 8, 2018

Event: November 20, 2018

GSE Annual Fall Mixer Event

Location: Blue Chair Cafe (9624 - 76 Avenue NW) - See in Google Maps

Time: 5:30 Registration, 6:00pm Appetizers, 6:30pm Presentation

Cost: $10 Members/Non-Members, $5 Students
(Student cost includes membership for the year)

The Annual Fall Mxier (previously the Wine and Cheese event) is an opportunity to connect with students and colleagues in the local geotechnical community and to hear results of the latest research occurring at the U of A.

Please register for this event using the form below by November 18, 2018.

2017 Morgenstern Award Winner: Ms. Umme Rima - Effects of Cyclic Freeze Thaw and Drying-Wetting on Centrifuged Tailings

Reclamation of the oil sands tailings has always been challenging due to the low hydraulic conductivity and lower strength of the tailings material. The tailings material remains saturated and soft such that it requires capping material for reclamation. One of the cost efficient solutions to stabilize, cap and reclaim the fine tailings is to increase the strength of the tailings material itself prior to capping or covering. The objective of this research aims to evaluate the effect of natural conditions (repeated freeze-thaw cycles, summer drying and precipitation) on the strength of the existing treated tailings deposit that is filled up and waiting for reclamation. This research aims to see whether the multiple cyclic freeze and thaw process is effective in forming a surface crust capable of gaining strength at the surface. In order to accomplish the objective, a comprehensive laboratory tests program were carried out in the lab using standard ASTM procedures and specialized test methods. Overall, the test results suggest that cyclic freeze thaw and drying/wetting process in nature for subsequent years could be evaluated to enhance the stability of the tailings surface area.

Umme Rima is a graduate student at the University of Alberta pursing her PhD in Geo-Environmental Engineering. Her M.A.Sc. research was on the characterization of centrifuge dewatering of oil sands tailings. Rima has worked as a student engineer at SNC Lavalin Environment and as a geo-environmental engineer at O’Kane consultants, where she performed extensive geotechnical laboratory testing for clients. Rima also has experience in numerical modelling of various geo-environmental and groundwater flow and solute transport software.

2018 CGC Presenter: Mr. Tony Zheng - Development of an Integrated Tailings Simulation Model Using System Dynamics and GoldSim

Traditionally, multi-disciplinary modelling exercises involve one discipline mechanistically using the output from a black-box model developed by another discipline. To address this deficiency, the research uses techniques relatively new to the geotechnical community, such as System Dynamics (SD) and Causal Loop Diagramming (CLD). SD and CLD method provide a framework under which both technical and non-technical stakeholders can create shared understandings of key issues in a collaborative manner. In this project, the qualitative stage of modelling uses a series of CLDs to visually describe the interaction between a reclamation capping layer and the tailings substrate. Then the quantitative stage translates those CLDs into numerical simulations inside GoldSim, an object-oriented simulation engine. Finally, a consolidation sub-model and a unsaturated flow sub-model were combined to simulate soil water dynamics in the reclamation capping layer. Preliminary simulation results and some lessons learned will be presented and discussed.

Tony Zheng is a graduate student at the University of Alberta pursing his M.Sc. (and soon his PhD) in Geotechnical Engineering. His primary research interests are in the optimization of mine closure strategies and application of emerging technologies in tailings management. Prior to his academic career, he spent four years working for an oil sands operator in Fort McMurray and then a consulting firm in Calgary as Geotechnical Engineer-in-Training. Tony has worked on various large-scale tailings dam projects involving dam raise stability design, performance monitoring and site investigation for static liquefaction susceptibility.

Registration is closed for this event.


c/o. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
7th Floor, Danadeo Innovation Center for Engineering
9211 - 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
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