Seafloor Processes and Geotechnology: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Seafloor Processes and Geotechnology

1st Edition

By Ronald C. Chaney, Gideon Almagor

CRC Press

558 pages | 324 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-11-18
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An ideal resource for civil engineers working with offshore structures, pipelines, dredging, and coastal erosion, Seafloor Processes and Geotechnology bridges the gap between the standard soil mechanics curriculum of civil engineering and published material on marine geotechnology. Utilizing organized information on sediments and foundations for marine applications from a variety of sources, it provides practical reference information and approaches for analysis and design.

This book provides an understanding of the processes and loadings affecting the sediment/water interface and the sediment column on the continental shelf and slope as well as the abyssal plains. It outlines the geological and geotechnical factors that should be considered in an investigation, and provides practicing professionals with the information they need to analyze potential environmental hazards and problems in marine foundations and slope stability. It covers geology, site investigation, drilling and sampling sediments, material properties, foundation design, slope stability, and more.

Exploring marine geotechnology from a historical perspective, this book:

  • Describes the development of marine geotechnology, the marine environment, and the geology of the seabed
  • Discusses the various elements of a site investigation
  • Explains how to investigate a site by remote sensing over the macro scale, probing to look at a more defined area, and drilling and sampling at the micro scale
  • Looks at the physical, acoustic, and geochemical properties of marine sediments at the micro scale
  • Focuses on slope stability and marine foundations

Seafloor Processes and Geotechnology provides the background for in situ investigation, drilling, soil sampling, and laboratory testing technologies and serves as a complete handbook for engineers, geologists, as well as marine and environmental scientists.


"… a compendium of many years of valuable information neatly packaged in one place. The book is written so that a non-technical person can read and understand the concepts of marine geotechnology. … The authors did their homework and have put forth a lot of good and practical information…The topics seem to cover just about everything engineering wise about the seafloor."

—Kendra S. Adams, President, Blue Rock Labs, Inc., USA

"… provides practical and useful descriptions of marine geology, marine geoscientific exploration techniques and marine geotechnical engineering in one text. … the primary author has been a long-time contributor in research, practice, chairing symposia and development of standards. His experience and expertise are well known worldwide."

—Ron Ebelhar, Terracon, Olathe, Kansas, USA

"… the authors have done an excellent job… a great reference and a must read for anyone planning an offshore site investigation or involved in the design of structures to be built offshore."

—Kenneth Bell, Bechtel Infrastructure, USA

Table of Contents


Origin and Development of Marine Geotechnology


Definition and Scope of Marine Geotechnology

Origin of Marine Geotechnology (1786–1899)

Twentieth-Century Precedents (1900–1949)

Development of Marine Geotechnology (1950–2000)

Events Occurring to Change Marine Geotechnology in the Late 1970s and Early 1980s

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Aspects


Geological Environments/Processes and Provinces


Plate Tectonics and the Physiography of the Ocean Floor

Sediment Accumulation and Response to Sea-Level Changes


Marine Sedimentary Environments


Elements of Site Investigations


Planning a Site Investigation

Site Survey Flow Plan


Location or Positioning

Geophysical Surveys: Equipment and Techniques

Vessel Operations

In Situ Investigations

Data Management

In Situ Testing


Deployment Systems


Sensor Calibration

Special-Purpose Tests

Drilling, Sampling, and Handling of Marine Sediments


Offshore Soil Sampling

Sampler Disturbance

Handling and Storage

Laboratory Testing at Sea and Ashore


Preparation of Soil Samples

Logging, X-Radiography, and Computed Tomography

Index/Classification Testing



Static Shear Strength

Cyclic and Dynamic Strength


Properties of Marine Soils


Soil Characterization

Classification of Sediments

Geophysical Properties of Marine Sediments

Index, Compressibility, and Strength Properties of Marine Sediments


Density and Water Content

Consistency Properties and Organic Materials

Compressibility and Permeability of Fine-Grained Marine Sediments


Shear Strength Characterization

Effect of Time on Soil Behavior

Cyclic and Dynamic Properties of Marine Sediments


Theoretical Background

Soil Parameter Modeling

Behavior of Clays and Silts

Analytical Methods to Predict Cyclic Response of Clays

Behavior of Granular Materials

Historical Review of Liquefaction in the Coastal Environment

Post-Cyclic Loading Behavior


Marine Foundations


Loadings on Foundations

Pile Structures in the Marine Environment

Gravity Platforms

Anchor Uplift Capacity

Jack-Up Platforms

Hydraulic Filled Islands

Slope Stability


Types of Seafloor Movements

Mechanisms of Movement

Evaluation of Initiation of Instability

Evaluation of the Large Movements of the Soil Mass



About the Authors

Ronald C. Chaney is emeritus professor of environmental resources engineering, former director of the Telonicher Marine Laboratory, and head of vessel operations at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. Prior to that, he was an associate professor of civil engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in engineering from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1978. In addition, Dr. Chaney was the editor of the International Journal of Marine Geotechnology, Journal of Marine Georesources and Geotechnology, and the American Society for Testing and Materials’s Geotechnical Testing Journal. He is a fellow of both ASCE and ASTM.

Gideon Almagor is an emeritus senior geologist from the Geological Survey of Israel, specializing in coastal and marine geology, and geotechnology. He is currently affiliated with AdaMa Environmental and Geological Sciences as a geologist. He received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1977. He has extensive experience in shipboard operations (geophysical, coring) and laboratory testing.

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