Plenary Lecture

Geotechnical Challenges in the Dead Sea Area

Professor Sam Frydman
Faculty of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Abstract: The Dead Sea area has become an important industrial and tourist center, both on the Israeli and Jordanian sides. As development increases in the area, it becomes more important to correctly understand the geotechnical properties and engineering behavior of the local sediments, as related to foundation engineering. In studying the highly saline evaporate deposits of the Dead Sea area in Israel, use of standard soil mechanics definitions and testing approaches have been found to be inapplicable, and it has been necessary to develop alternative concepts. Fluid content, rather than water content, has been adopted as the basis for parameter determination, and procedures have been developed for its determination. It has been found that the use of standard definitions and testing procedures for these soils generally leads to significantly under-conservative estimates of parameters for geotechnical design. Geotechnical properties of the Dead Sea deposits will be discussed in the lecture, as well as particular geological/geotechnical problems, such as sinkhole development, which is occurring as a result of the particular geological environment in the area.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Sam Frydman was born and educated in Australia, receiving his degree in Civil Engineering from Melbourne University. After doing research at the Soil Mechanics Division of CSIRO in Melbourne for two years, he settled in Israel and received his MSc and DSc degrees from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa. He did his post-doctoral studies at Cambridge University in England, and became professor at the Technion. He spent sabbatical periods at Cambridge and Oxford universities and Imperial College in England, as well as Melbourne and Monash universities in Australia, Auckland University in New Zealand, University of Massachussets and U.C San Diego in USA. Professor Frydman served as Head of the Structural Engineering and Construction Management Department, and Head of the Geotechnical Area at the Technion, and was chairman of the Israel Geotechnical Society. He received the prize of the Israel Institute of Civil Engineers for his contributions to geotechnical engineering in Israel, and was awarded a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellowship of the British Royal Academy of Engineering for a research period at Imperial College in London. He has published over 100 research papers in the professional literature and international conferences, and has supervised 35 post-graduate students. He is presently an emeritus professor at the Technion, and is a partner in a geotechnical consulting company.

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