PyriteProblem.com was created in 2014 as a self-funded educational resource and blog. Due to on-going hosting and domain costs with no external source of funding, PyriteProblem.com will close in Spring 2017.
During its existence, over 70 blog posts and 22 pages have had over 45,000 views per year. The Canadian Pyrrhotite and Irish Pyrite Problem pages have been viewed nearly 15,000 times.
Thank you to all those who have visited the website and got in touch to share experiences, ask questions and suggestions for blog posts.
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
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
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
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.
“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
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
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
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
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. 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 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