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North Natomas Library
4660 Via Ingoglia
Sacramento, CA 95835
(916) 264-2700

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 6:00 AM - 8:30 PM PDT
Category: Emerging Professionals

Emerging Professionals Meeting & Webcast

Mobile Near-Surface Geophysical Technology and its Application to Levee Integrity Studies

Speaker: Kim Tremaine, M.A., Ph.C., RPA, Tremaine & Associates, Inc. (Earth Sense)

Presentation Synopsis:

River system dynamics produce complex assemblages of hydraulically sorted overbank deposits, often resulting in significant spatial heterogeneity. The current practice of subsurface characterization based on limited bore sampling leaves levee performance reliability assessments vulnerable to high degrees of geotechnical uncertainty. Foundations and embankments both have the potential to contain undetected localized defects or micro-instabilities. Under certain load conditions, transient and progressive interior damages can lead to piping, recognized as one of the prime failure mechanism for almost all levee systems.
Urban areas with the highest population densities are more likely to contain such defects due to their associated embedded legacy features related to infrastructure and flood defenses built over the past two centuries. The challenge is to identify unsafe levee sections, rank their relative level of instability (i.e., figure out which pose the greatest risk), and optimize the allocation of resources to correct deficiencies and reduce risk. Over the past decade, Tremaine has developed a SAFR™ approach, integrating continuous high-density geophysical data with contextual data to identify the weakest links, dealing with the probable CONTENTS of levees rather than the CONSEQUENCES. This can enable flood managing agencies to make better decisions for a more sustainable future. 

Speaker Bio:

Kim Tremaine and her partner, John Lopez, founded a cultural resources management firm in 1994. She has acted as Principal Investigator and Program Manager for the past 25 years. In the mid-1980s, the company developed a mobile geophysical instrument for conducting near-surface surveys as part of the services offered related to archaeological site investigations. Since then, Kim has been very active developing markets for other applications of their technology, including transportation, tunnel detection, contaminated landfills, and in particular, levee integrity. She brings an historical perspective to all her projects, using information on the past to help interpret results.

Kim Tremaine has a Ph.C. in Anthropology from the University of California Davis, an M.A. in Cultural Resources Management from Sonoma University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Sonoma University.


Meeting will start at 6:30pm with an informal dinner followed by the presentation at 7:00pm.

Cost: $20 Emerging Professionals and other CalGeo members, students are free!

Location: North Natomas Library (see map and address above)

Register by Noon on February 19, 2019
Casual dinner included. 



If you are not local to the Sacramento area, please consider watching the presentation via web-cast or joining a local office for an informal dinner and web-cast.

Register for the webcast

Burbank: Contact Neal Berliner @ Geocon for more information and to RSVP

San Diego: Contact Bradley Kuna @ Geocon for more information

Contact: Kelly Cabal, [email protected] (949) 391-2436 with any questions.