Research Paper: test methods for sulphur minerals

Test Methods for Sulphur-Species

Mourice Czerewko (AECOM), Ian Longworth (BRE), Murray Reid (TRL) and John Cripps (University of Sheffield) have published a paper on the terminology and test methods for sulphur minerals.

The paper, titled “Standardized terminology and test methods for sulphur mineral phases for the assessment of construction materials and aggressive ground” follows recent publications on sulphur-species by the authors:

Czerewko, M.A., and Cross, S.A. (2015). Benefits of a granular construction interface in highway construction over pyritic subgrades for mitigating against deleterious ground effects. Proceedings of the XVI ECSMGE Geotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development.… Read the rest

Pyrrhotite disaster in the northeastern United States – CCACB Guest Post

Pyrrhotite disaster in the northeastern United States

The following article is a guest post by the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements on the pyrrhotite disaster in the northeastern United States. For a historical summary of the Connecticut Pyrrhotite Problems, please click here.

In New England in the United States, homes are crumbling from pyrrhotite. Nearly twenty towns in northeastern Connecticut are affected, as well as towns across the border in neighboring Massachusetts. The scope of the problem is unknown, but after a state investigation, a single quarry within a driving radius of these homes is believed to be the culprit.… Read the rest

Research Paper: Geomechanics of heave

Fred Shrimer (Golder Associates, Vancouver, Canada) has published a paper on the geomechanics of heave due to pyrite oxidation.

The paper, titled “Geomechanics of heave due the use of pyritic mudstone, Ireland” follows previous presentations and publications by Shrimer:

Shrimer, F.H., and Briggs, A. (2014). Pyritic heave in Ireland: A case study in selection. Paper presented at the 67th Canadian Geotechnical Conference (GeoRegina 2014). Saskatchewan, Canada, September 28th-October 1st 2014. Link to full paper PDF (permission granted by Fred Shrimer to upload PDF).

Shrimer, F.H., and Bromley, A.V. (2012). Pyritic heave in Ireland: The role of petrography.… Read the rest

Pyrite Resolution Board Statistics: Fourth Update

Pyrite Resolution Board Statistics

The Pyrite Resolution Board (PRB) has produced eight reports since the Pyrite Remediation Scheme was introduced in February 2014. Statistics are provided on the PRB website and in recent news articles. See statistics below and follow links for original data.

Statistics as of 14th July 2016:

  • 1248 received applications
  • 161 applications at Validation stage
  • 77 applications at Verification stage
  • 597 dwellings included in the scheme
  • 358 dwelling remediated
  • 55 applications refused

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Statistics reporting in the eighth quarterly report of the PRB:

26th February 2014 to 4th January 2016:

  • 995 completed applications
  • 37 developments containing multiple applications
  • 63 single site applications
  • 809 Validated applications
  • 744 applications included in scheme
  • 163 dwellings completed remediation
  • Works contracts in place for 184 dwellings
  • Tendering underway for 104 dwellings
  • Remedial Works Plans under preparation for 246 dwellings
  • 17 applications refused
  • No outstanding appeals
  • PRB received a total of €484,000 from liable parties in 2015

Statistics reporting in the seventh quarterly report of the PRB:

26th February 2014 to 2nd October 2015:

 

  • 887 completed applications
  • 33 developments containing multiple applications
  • 55 single site applications
  • 729 Validated applications
  • 660 applications included in scheme
  • 98 dwellings completed remediation
  • Works contracts in place for 108 dwellings
  • Tendering underway for 8 projects (219 dwellings)
  • Remedial Works Plans under preparation for 3 projects (75 dwellings)
  • 12 applications refused
  • 1 appeal decision pending

 


Statistics reported in the sixth quarterly report of the PRB:

26th February 2014 to 3th June 2015:

  • 763 completed applications
  • 33 developments containing multiple applications
  • 49 single site applications
  • 637 Validated applications
  • 520 applications included in scheme
  • Pilot project of 5 dwellings remediated (September to November 2014)
  • 16 dwellings completed remediation in 2015
  • Works contracts in place for 132 dwellings
  • Tendering underway for 65 dwellings
  • Remedial Works Plans under preparation for 163 dwellings
  • Anticipated 236 dwellings to be remediated in 2015
  • 11 dwellings refused from scheme (five have appealed)
  • In 5 cases, agreement has reached with builders/developers regarding contribution towards cost of remediation of 67 dwellings

Statistics reported by the Pyrite Resolution Board for 7th June 2015:

  • Total 763 applications (significant pyritic damage)
  • 115 applications in Validation Stage
  • 117 applications at Verification Stage
  • 520 applications included in the scheme
  • 8 applications refused

Statistics reported by the Pyrite Resolution Board for 1st May 2015:

  • Total 712 applications (significant pyritic damage)
  • 107 applications in Validation Stage
  • 97 applications at Verification Stage
  • 508 applications included in the scheme
  • 7 applications refused

Statistics reported in the fifth quarterly report of the PRB:

26th February 2014 to 31st March 2015:

  • 697 completed applications
  • 33 developments containing multiple applications
  • 49 single site applications
  • 583 Validated applications
  • 496 applications included in scheme
  • Pilot project of 5 dwellings remediated (September to November 2014)
  • Remediation of 20 dwellings commenced in February 2015
  • Contractors appointed to 72 dwellings in March 2015
  • Testing underway for 63 dwellings
  • Remedial Works Plans under preparation for 179 dwellings
  • 11 dwellings refused from scheme (three have appealed)

Statistics reported in the fourth quarterly report of the PRB:

26th February 2014 to 1st January 2015:

  • 622 completed applications
  • 27 developments containing multiple applications
  • 47 single site applications
  • 483 Validated applications
  • 321 applications included in scheme
  • Average 3 applications per week since 3rd quarterly report
  • 2 appeals in process
  • Pilot project of 5 dwellings remediated (September to November 2014)

The Irish Independent reported an update on the Pyrite Remediation Scheme statistics for the end of January 2015:

  • Total 632 applications
  • 485 applications Validated
  • 328 applications included in scheme
  • Work at tender stage for 73 dwellings
  • Work completed on 5 dwellings

Statistics reported by the Pyrite Resolution Board for 31st October 2014:

  • Total 590 applications
  • 151 applications in Validation Stage
  • 231 applications at Verification Stage
  • 208 applications included in the scheme

Statistics reported by the Pyrite Resolution Board for 7th October 2014:

  • Total 575 completed applications and 36 commenced applications
  • 144 applications in Validation Stage
  • 220 applications in Verification Stage
  • 2 Verified applications awaiting decision
  • 206 applications included in the scheme
  • Remediation contracts in place for 5 dwellings
  • 3 applications not considered

Statistics reported by the Pyrite Resolution Board for 4th July 2014:

  • Total 521 completed applications and 35 commenced applications
  • 312 applications in Validation Stage
  • 127 applications in Verification Stage
  • 27 Verified applications awaiting decision
  • 52 applications included in the scheme
  • 3 applications not considered

Statistics reported by the Pyrite Resolution Board for 15th April 2014:
  • 418 completed applications and 146 commenced applications
  • 84 applications Validated and referred to Verification Stage
Read the rest

USA: Burying 38,000 m3 of pyritic rock

PenDOtt Route 2001 project

State Route 2001, in Pike County, Pennsylvania, is undergoing considerable improvements. Back in March 2014, the Pocono Record (08.03.14) reported that a major phase of the improvement in Lehman Township was delayed due to the identification of pyritic rock along the route alignment. Quoting from the article:

“Bore samples taken two years ago for this project did not initially reveal a pyrite problem, but recent borings did show it in various places along the entire project area, which runs from where the last phase ended at Little Egypt Road to Oakridge Road.”

In July 2014, PyriteProblem.com reported on how engineers from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) were attempting to determine how much pyrite was present and how to mitigate the problem.… Read the rest

Photographic feature: Gypsum crystal mineralogy

Gypsum Crystal Mineralogy

This photographic article considers the habit and mineralogy of gypsum crystals from a glacial till deposit and Jurassic rock strata in Northamptonshire (UK). The crystals display excellent examples of fish-tail and swallow-tail twinning as well as unusual features such as deformed twin planes, clay inclusions and ripple-like textures.

Gypsum in the Oadby Member Glacial Till

General features

Coarse selenite (prismatic/well-formed gypsum) crystals, up to 100mm in length, are present within the Oadby Member glacial till exposed within a quarry local to the Weldon area of Northamptonshire, UK. Gypsum crystals from this area range in size from 5mm to 150mm (typically 30-50mm) and are generally colourless to light grey.… Read the rest

NCE: Thaumasite damage to M5 bridge foundations

Thaumasite Damage to M5 Bridge Foundation Concrete

This month’s issue of New Civil Engineer (May 2016), the magazine of the Institution of Civil Engineers, features the long-term remedial works to the concrete foundations of overbridges along the M5 in southern England, UK, as a result of thaumasite damage.

In the article, titled “Concrete Concern – Long term rescue effort underway for M5 bridges with crumbling foundations”, Dave Parker (of NCE) discusses the background to the UK thaumasite problem, the extent of damaged bridges and the on-going remedial programme. The full article can be found on the NCE website by clicking here.… Read the rest

Photographic feature: Gypsum nodules at Whitmore Bay, Barry

Gypsum nodules at Whitmore Bay, Barry

This photographic feature discusses the gypsum nodules that can be found at Whitmore Bay, Barry, Wales, UK. Whitmore Bay is a popular sandy beach on the South Wales (UK) coastline. In the west of Whitmore Bay, the cliff sections expose red-brown mudstones and siltstones of the Triassic Branscombe Mudstone Formation (Mercia Mudstone Group, formerly known as the Keuper Marl).

Whitmore Bay, Barry

Whitmore Bay, Barry. Copyright Gareth James (Creative Commons Licence)

 

Within the sub-horizontal mudstones and siltstones are white to pinkish brown gypsum nodules, some of which have dissolved leaving hollows or voids, others have been partially replaced by calcite.… Read the rest

Dr A Brian Hawkins: Pyrite research compilation

Dr A Brian Hawkins

Dr Brian Hawkins, a former Reader in Engineering Geology at the University of Bristol and independent consultant engineering geologist, passed away in January 2016. A remembrance article for Dr Hawkins can be found at the University of Bristol news pages (here).

Research into the engineering implications of pyrite oxidation and sulfur-species

Since at least the 1980s, Dr Hawkins was involved with the examination of, and research into, cases of pyrite heave. He published two books and over 20 papers on the topic of pyrite oxidation and sulfur-species in geological materials.… Read the rest

Pyrite Resolution Board Statistics: Third Update

Pyrite Resolution Board Statistics

The Pyrite Resolution Board (PRB) has produced eight reports since the Pyrite Remediation Scheme was introduced in February 2014. Further statistics are provided on the PRB website and in recent news articles. See statistics below and follow links for original data.

Statistics reporting in the eighth quarterly report of the PRB:

26th February 2014 to 4th January 2016:

  • 995 completed applications
  • 37 developments containing multiple applications
  • 63 single site applications
  • 809 Validated applications
  • 744 applications included in scheme
  • 163 dwellings completed remediation
  • Works contractors in place for 184 dwellings
  • Tendering underway for 104 dwellings
  • Remedial Works Plans under preparation for 246 dwellings
  • 17 applications refused
  • No outstanding appeals
  • PRB received a total of €484,000 from liable parties in 2015

 

Statistics reporting in the seventh quarterly report of the PRB:

Report not available on the PRB website.… Read the rest