Category Archives: AEG

AEG: Hastings on vibrations from driven piles

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, February 21, 2019, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Brewer’s Alley in Frederick, MD.

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45; Includes dinner. Student and retiree member discounts available). Please register by Monday, February 18, via online payment (

Presenters:  Patrick T. Hastings, C.P.G. and David K. Miller, C.P.G.; Seismic Surveys, Inc.

Title:  Vibrations from Driven Piles

Driven piles for deep foundations are an economical and effective method for supporting structures in challenging geologic conditions. Quite often, this foundation method is necessary in congested areas with existing structures, that must be protected from damage, nearby. Pile driving is safely conducted every day near existing structures; however, ground vibrations are a by-product of this pile installation method and they must be controlled to minimize the risk of damage to nearby structures and to defend against unwarranted claims. This presentation discusses the types of vibrations from various driving methods, why these vibrations are a concern, industry standards for controlling vibrations to below damaging levels, liability protection measures, and prediction of vibration effects before driving piles.

Patrick T. Hastings, Jr., C.P.G. is a Senior Geophysicist/Project Manager with Seismic Surveys, Inc. Patrick has his M.S. in Geology and Geophysics from University of Minnesota at Twin Cities. His did his undergraduate studies in Geology at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He is a Certified Professional Geologist in Virginia. Since 2013, he has specialized in the field of Blasting Seismology with Seismic Surveys, Inc. in Frederick, MD. His expertise includes vibration and sound monitoring and control, pre- and post-construction structure inspections, and use of geotechnical and structural instrumentation.

David K. Miller, C.P.G. is the President/Principal Geologist of Seismic Surveys, Inc. David has his B.S. in Geology from University of Maryland. He is a licensed Professional Geologist in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. Since 1989, he has specialized in the field of Blasting Seismology. He founded Seismic Surveys, Inc. in Frederick, MD in 2001.

**Special Presentation: State of AEG by Dave Fenster, AEG National President

Dave Fenster will provide an informal update on the “State of AEG” and plans for the future. He would like to have a discussion and gather feedback from members on their priorities regarding improvements to AEG.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details (

AEG: Bentley on geo-visualization

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, September 20, 2018, from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM at Amphora Restaurant in Vienna, VA.

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45 (includes dinner; student and retiree discounts available). Please register by Monday, September 17, via online payment (

Presenter:         Callan Bentley, Assistant Professor of Geology, Northern Virginia Community College

Title:  Visualization in Geology

Lore has it that a picture is worth a thousand words. But whether this is the correct “exchange rate” depends on the quality of the picture. What makes for an effective geological visualization? Where do poor geo-visualizations go astray? Where has geo-visualization come from, and where is it going? Callan Bentley has been a prominent public-facing geo-visualizer for more than a decade. His posts on the geoblog “Mountain Beltway” are heavily imagery-dependent, and here he shares some lessons learned. Derived from Bentley’s presidential address to the Geological Society of Washington, this talk will cover:

1)  Historical milestones over the past 500 years in making pictures of geological content

2)  Best practices in making graphics

3)  Best practices in geological photography

4)  Advances in the digital age, with an emphasis on Bentley’s work in GigaPans, 3D models from photogrammetry, and virtual field experiences

Callan Bentley is an assistant professor of geology at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus. His academic background includes a BS in geology at the College of William & Mary (1996), an MS in geology from the University of Maryland, College Park (2004), and an MS in Science Education from Montana State University (2009). Since starting at NOVA in 2006, Callan has given almost a 100 public talks and field trips at venues across the Metro region and another 100 talks or posters at professional meetings around the country and the world. In additional to publishing in the professional scientific literature, Callan is a Contributing Editor for EARTH magazine, contributing book reviews, travel stories, and cartoons. He has served as newsletter editor for the two-year-college division (Geo2YC) of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (3 years) and the eastern section of NAGT (2 years and counting), and is now the President of the Geo2YC Division of NAGT. Callan is the Past President of the Geological Society of Washington, and has previously served GSW as Councilor, Meeting Secretary, Executive Secretary, and Vice President. In addition to writing his popular geology blog Mountain Beltway, Callan was a contributor to five geology and Earth science textbooks published by Pearson and is under contract to write another as lead author. He has become known as an innovator in digital geology, in particular for the use of GigaPan images of outcrops and samples, a technique that allows “virtual field experiences” for distance learners and students with disabilities.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details.

AEG: Meinert on terroir

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, February 22, 2018, from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at ECS Mid-Atlantic office in Chantilly, VA.

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45 (includes dinner; student and retiree discounts available). Please register by Monday, February 19, via online payment (

Title:  Wine and Terroir – the science of good taste

A lecture and guided winetasting by Larry Meinert

Mounds of grape seeds in prehistoric caves testify that early people had more than a passing acquaintance with wine. Grapes naturally ripen to high sugar levels and, left on the vine, they will begin to ferment from the action of native yeasts on the skins. Perhaps our early ancestors plucked such fermenting fruit and with a smile, plucked a few more. Or maybe they observed the erratic flight of birds that had feasted a bit too much and wondered, as scientists are wont to do, about cause and effect.  Regardless of how people came to appreciate the joys of the grape, there is ample evidence in the earliest written documents that they were making and enjoying wine. The records of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks also contain observations that certain regions seemed to produce better wine than others. This observation carries through to modern times where the question is brought into sharp focus by the rather simple occurrence of two vineyards, side by side, that share most obvious aspects of climate, slope and viticulture, yet produce crops that are vastly different. Examples abound but perhaps the most spectacular are the vineyards of Burgundy, France, where the wines of Romanee-Conti have been highly valued for centuries (some bottles sell for thousands of dollars), while nearby vineyards produce wine that is sold as vin ordinare for less than a dollar a bottle. The simple question is, “Why?”  This special lecture and winetasting will address that question and many others, using examples from the vineyards of France and the United States. The lecture will be illustrated with a comparative tasting of wines from some of the regions described.

Larry Meinert’s interest in wine dates from growing up in an Ohio household where his father imported fine wine from Germany. He first became interested in the California wine country during his doctoral geological studies at Stanford University. Perhaps it is coincidence that his PhD advisor was not only a respected geologist but also owned part of the family winery in the famous Barolo area of northern Italy. After Stanford, he joined the faculty at Washington State University and Smith College and in addition to teaching geology for 30 years, operated a small home winery, specializing in a barrel-fermented Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, and Malbec. He currently lives in Washington, DC and works for the U.S. Geological Survey. His teaching and research covers a wide range of fields from exploring for gold mines to liquid gold in bottled form – fine wine. He has published research on the physical factors (terroir) affecting vineyard siting and performance in several appellations of the U.S. and also Argentina, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details (

AEG-DMV Spring Environmental and Engineering Geology Symposium

The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) Chapter and the Radford University AEG student chapter are pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Spring Environmental and Engineering Geology Symposium. The spring symposium was established to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, allow students to meet potential employers, and further the fellowship that exists between geoscientists.

AEG-DMV Spring Environmental and Engineering Geology Symposium

March 23 – 24, 2018

Radford, VA

Half-day field trip (to include unmanned systems) on Friday, followed by poster session and oral presentations on Saturday. Additional details to be announced.

Call for Abstracts:

We are seeking abstracts for speakers and posters from college students, geology professionals, professors/instructors, and State regulators. Topics should be focused on the broad subjects of environmental geology and engineering geology.

Abstracts should be submitted by February 16, 2018, and include:

  • The title of the presentation or poster
  • The author(s) names, affiliation(s), and contact information
  • A brief abstract (250 words or less) of the presentation or poster

Please submit abstracts for speakers and posters to Cheryl Gannon ( – a formal paper is not required.

Abstract submissions will be reviewed by the co-conveners of the symposium. If your submission is accepted, you will be notified via e-mail at least three weeks prior to the event. Speakers will be asked to deliver a PowerPoint presentation (not to exceed 18 minutes), and poster authors will be asked to support the poster session.

AEG: Eisner on Effective Source Water Protection

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, January 18, 2018, from 5:30 PM to 7:45 PM at Brewer’s Alley in Frederick, MD

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45 (includes dinner; student and retiree discounts available). Please register by Monday, January 15, via online payment (

Mark Eisner, President

Advanced Land and Water, Inc.

Challenges in Implementing Effective Source Water Protection – How One Groundwater-Reliant Municipality Balances Economic & Public Health Interests – A Case History from the Delmarva Peninsula

Salisbury, Maryland is a fast-growing municipality situated on and withdrawing groundwater from the extraordinarily productive and vulnerable Salisbury Paleochannel aquifer. The susceptibility to groundwater contamination borne of incompatible land uses also has been a focus of evaluation by Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Geological Survey and resulted in land use protection ordinance, by both the City of Salisbury and by Wicomico County. Advanced Land and Water, Inc. (ALWI) updated the 2003 Source Water Assessment and worked with the City to develop a customized set of recommendations, centered on proscriptive land use restrictions, but also entailing other measures to achieve ongoing source water protection. We came to develop comprehensive recommendations for a singular multi-jurisdictional ordinance reflective of gradations in both distance (source-to-well) and specific nature of the contamination hazard.

Not long after the MDE-funded source water protection plan update concluded, a new wave of development pressure again brought the local press to focus on the Paleochannel and its protection from contamination arising from incompatible land uses. We continue to recommend ordinance consolidation and even more importantly, that their proscriptive measures be applied and enforced. The presentation will present and discuss our ordinance recommendations in detail, in the context of recent proposed development activity.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details (

AEG: Ground Vibration Control from Explosives Demolition of the Kosciuszko Bridge

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, November 16, 2017, from 5:30 PM to 7:45 PM
at Brewer’s Alley in Frederick, MD

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45 (includes dinner; student and retiree discounts available). Please RSVP by Monday, November 13, via email ( or via online payment (

Patrick T. Hastings, G.I.T. and David K. Miller, P.G.

Seismic Surveys, Inc.

Ground Vibration Control from Explosives Demolition of the Kosciuszko Bridge

The project involved designing and building the new eastbound structures of Interstate 278 over the Newtown Creek from Brooklyn to Queens, New York City, and the subsequent explosives felling of the existing Kosciuszko Bridge. The explosive demolition of the old Kosciuszko Bridge included 10 steel trusses on the Brooklyn approach and 10 steel trusses on the Queens approach. This presentation discusses the methods and procedures that were developed to protect third-party buildings, buried gas transmission pipelines, the Long Island Railroad, the Historical Old Calvary Cemetery and the new K-Bridges. During the explosive demolition on October 1, 2017, SSI used 52 seismographs at adjacent structures to monitor vibrations. The conclusion of the presentation will include a video compilation of Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) successful explosives felling of the 3,104’ long, 20-span, structural steel, iconic Kosciuszko Bridge.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details (

AEG: USGS’s Pratt on seismic shaking

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter

Notice of Meeting

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Topic:                      Amplification of earthquake ground motions by Atlantic Coastal Plain sediments: Implications for Central and Eastern U.S. seismic hazards

Presenter:           Thomas Pratt, PhD
Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey

Damage in Washington, D.C., during the 2011 Mw5.8 Mineral, Va., earthquake was surprisingly high for an epicenter 130 km away, and “Did-You-Feel-It” felt reports suggest that ground motions in the city were amplified by Atlantic Coastal Plain and other unconsolidated deposits. We measure this potential ground amplification relative to bedrock sites in the city using teleseismic and regional earthquake signals recorded on a temporary seismometer array. The resulting spectral ratios show amplification in the 0.7 to 4 Hz frequency range, which overlaps resonant frequencies of buildings in the city as inferred from their heights, suggesting amplification at frequencies to which many buildings are vulnerable to damage. The 2011 earthquake thus emphasizes the importance of local ground motion amplification in stable continental regions, where low attenuation extends shaking levels over wide areas and unconsolidated, shallow deposits on crystalline or igneous bedrock can create strong contrasts in near-surface material properties. Thicker Atlantic Coastal Plain and Mississippi Embayment strata throughout the central and eastern U.S. produce strong fundamental resonance peaks in the 0.2 to 4 Hz frequency range on spectral ratios computed from crustal-scale seismic experiments. These spectral ratios can be converted from frequency to depth, resulting in depth-converted spectral ratios across the array that produce an image of the strata causing the resonances. The data sets thus provide an average velocity function for the sedimentary sequence, the frequencies and amplitudes of the major resonance peaks, and a subsurface image of the major reflectors producing resonance peaks, and show that teleseismic signals can be used to characterize sedimentary strata in the upper km.

Dr. Thomas Pratt is a research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Geologic Hazards Science Center within the Earthquake Hazards program. His research interests are in seismic imaging of fault systems beneath the surface, computer modeling of geologic structures, studying the tectonic settings of active faults, and understanding ground motions during earthquakes. His past research has focused on active faults throughout the continental U.S. and Alaska, as well as Japan and Panama, and ground motion studies in the Pacific Northwest and the eastern U.S. Dr. Pratt was based in Seattle, WA, for twenty years but recently moved to Reston, VA, where the primary focus of his research is earthquake hazards in the Central and Eastern United States. Dr. Pratt serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, which is one of the premier scientific journals for earthquake science. He received his bachelor’s degree in geology at Cornell University in 1980, and his master’s (1982) and doctorate (1986) degrees in geophysics at Virginia Tech.
Meeting Information

Date/Time:                                                       Location:

Thursday, October 19, 2017              Amphora Restaurant

5:00 PM to 7:30 PM                             377 Maple Ave W

Vienna, VA 22180

Cost (dinner and meeting):                        Agenda:

Members                    $40                    5:00-5:30 PM     Social & Check-in

Non-members           $45                         5:30-6:15 PM     Dinner

  Discounts Available:                                           6:15-6:30 PM     Section Announcements &

      Students save $20                                                                     Sponsor Presentation

Retirees save $10                                          6:30-7:30 PM     Presentation followed by Q&A

A special thank you to our meeting sponsor:

Roctest, the leading manufacturer of geotechnical and structural monitoring instrumentation, has been in operation since 1967. In 2006, Roctest acquired Smartec SA, of Switzerland, specializing in the development, production and distribution of structural health monitoring systems using fiber optic technology. FISO Technologies, also in the Roctest family, leads development and manufacturer of fiber optic systems specializing in the aerospace, industrial control, energy and health sectors. Roctest is represented worldwide by an established network of partners in 75 countries.

Roctest products use reliable technologies including vibrating wire and fiber optics. Our products are used in all phases of projects: planning, construction, operation and rehabilitation. Roctest offers custom solutions designed for non-standard requirements and specific needs such as training, installation and maintenance.

Roctest products are found in dams, tunnels, mines, bridges, cliffs, buildings, pipelines, energy plants and LNG. Roctest is the leading manufacturer and distributor of pressuremeters.

Roctest provides topnotch quality service and the highest level of competence and support.

AEG DMV Officers (2017-2019)

Chair:  Drew Thomas, CPG
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
(703) 471-8400

Vice Chair:  Katelyn Foster, PG
GeoStructures, Inc.
(703) 987-4499

Treasurer:  John Garber
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
(571) 237-5865

Secretary:  Cheryl Gannon, CPG
(703) 418-3276