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Environmental Geomechanics

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Video 1: Genesis of Environmental Geomechanics
So truly speaking, the soil mechanics is a subset of geotechnical engineering and whichconcerns with the application of civil engineering and technology to some aspect of the earth,where we talk about soil mechanics, rock mechanics and foundation engineering.When we start questioning what is the effect of the environment on the concepts of thesubject, this is the genesis of environmental Geomechanics.Is this part clear?We had good discussion about the genesis of the subject, how the subject was created.Is this fine?Okay.Having defined the genesis of the subject, let us talk about the genesis in the realsense of the environmental geomechanics.The first one is population explosion.I think all of you will agree with this.Too much of a population, which a country can bear, particularly the developing nations,where most of the problems are coming forward now on our way and we are realizing that ourknowledge from the past has failed completely to give us a solution.Western world could still manage, because the population explosion is not really muchover there.The sources are limited, but the population is also limited.In our case, developing countries, it is a reverse process.Our resources are limited, but the consumption is becoming too much, in every sense.What it affects most?Land, resources, alright and resources nowadays, I am sure are air and water and land.Do you agree?The same volume of the oxygen, which was present maybe few years back is still available, buthow many breathing lungs are there, imagine.So resources are becoming scarce.Construction materials are becoming scarce, drinking water is becoming scarce, is it okayand hence we are talking on sustainability.So, the more and more population explosion, a big question mark, how to survive?Food scarcity, I am sure, if you check on net, the biggest problem is the ultimate illcapacity of the soil is same, but the population has increased.So, the place from where you come, what people has started doing?They started over fertilizing the land and then there was a movie Udta Punjab.It has direct relationship with environmental geomechanics.The concept is same.You know what they did?They were overdosing the lands to grow more and more food and then ultimately what happened?The entire land got contaminated.Now these lands have gone beyond agricultural limits in terms of the constituents and hencecrops cannot be done over there, a big question mark.Now this question economist and farmers, agriculturist should have answered, but my question hereis who understands first better, the geotechnical engineers.We understand minerals better.We understand their porous structure much better.We understand the matrix better.We understand these three, four failed models much better, clear.So that means, truly speaking, the time has come when environmental geotechnology shouldintervene and give the solution to the society and that is what most of us are doing.So, I will introduce the concept of soil, roots, bacteria, environment interaction.Until now, what you did?You never talked about this infact.So soil is important, in which the roots are going to develop and for this process, thebacterial activity is important and the bacterial activity depends upon the environmental factors.So our system is four-phase system.We are talking about soils, in which the roots are present, bacterial activity is harpingand then how environment is influencing this balance.So this is one of the ways to come out of these questions of how the population explosionis going to be sustained in terms of the yield of crop.I did 2-3 projects from agricultural organization, being a geotechnical engineer and I am quitehappy and satisfied and very recently I have been doing a DST project on soil fertilitychart, which has been initiated by the government of India.You know, what is the role of geotechnical engineers?We will discuss quite a lot, but you are quite close to the answer, surface area and godknows what.The second one is industrialization.So if you want to sustain the population explosion, what we have to do?You have to do too much of industrialization, you know, per capita income has to go up.People have to have jobs.They have to survive themselves.That means, the more and more population in a society, the more industrialization andthe more industrialization, what it causes?All these what you have seen pollution, all sorts of pollution.Your rivers are polluted, your soil is polluted, your air is polluted, your drinking wateris polluted, and so on, clear.Unfortunately, industrialization is also because of the poor economy of the country.In western world, what they have done.They are very easily and conveniently offloaded all the industrial processes to the thirdworld, why?They started mining also there.They do not do any mining.They have money power; they can export the finished product from here at much cheaperand lower price.Is this part, okay?There is a lot of economics and politics also associated with this environmental geomechanics,which you will enjoy slowly and slowly.So too much of industrialization too much mining, clear too much industrialization toomuch power requirement.the more power you require, from where you will bring the power?Burn more and more coal, the more and more coal you burn, the more and more mining youhave to do.The more and more toxics you are producing in the air, the more and more toxics you arestaking on the soil, catch 99 situation.So what should be done?Should we stop industrialization?We will discuss several examples of what industrialization does to the modern day society and how comeindustrialization and its effects are being questioned by environmental geomechanics guys.Then, of course, sluggish approach, I do not bother.I will go to a picnic to a place.I will enjoy, at the end of the day, there will be a lot of garbage which are stacking.Whatever food stuff I will be carrying, I will be just consuming, and all the discardedmaterial is going to remain there forever.The best possible example of this would be Himalayas, Mt. Everest.So many expeditions used to go.I am using the word, used to go.Now there is a strict warning by the administrators that you are not going to create a landfill,which is located at the highest point in the earth.So, whatever materials you are carrying along with you, you have to bring it back alongwith you, like sailors do.So whatever they collect from when they are onshore, all the inventories when they havebeen consumed, the remaining part of the inventories have to be brought back and offloaded fromthe ship.They are not free to just throw it in the open sea, the way we do it from our balconiesand the windows of our houses, you know.It does not matter, where it falls.So, this is what the sluggish and do not bother approach could be.Ignorance, lack of education, so we do not know what our activities are going to do tothe environment in what way, clear?This is ignorance, less education, less straining of the minds to preserve your environmentmight be an ignorance, clear?But no more ignorance is a bliss these days, because we are realizing that what ignorancehas done to us.See our earlier generations very comfortably ignored all these aspects and hence, whathas happened?Look at the height of the landfills in every city.They are more than 40-50 meters now, at least the metros.This problem should have been solved at least 30 years back.What would have happened then?You would have been living comfortably.So, ignorance is also a culprit.Do not bother approach is also a culprit.I do not want any botheration, because none of my headaches.I have to live another 10, 20, 30 years.After that, let other guys face it.There are lot of interesting issues, which are associated with the genesis of the subject,psychology, sociology, economics, politics, international politics, then comes the law,the rules of the land, which are governing the entire thing to happen and their violations.So most of the time, I tell to my students and when I talk to in public places, environmentalgeomechanics is mostly a sociopolitical, technical, financial, legal, industrial profession.I hope I have covered all the aspects.Social, political, technical, economical, legal, everything, so when you are givinga solution, you have to keep in mind all these facets of the answers or the solutions, whichyou are giving.Your solution cannot be economically infeasible.Your solution has to be within the laws of the land, clear or you have to create newlaws.Your solutions have to be socially and politically acceptable.So the more and more newspapers you read, the more and more census of the news you do,you will realize that the technological solutions exist, but unfortunately, what is the problem?God knows, read more and more, clear.Are you able to link all these.“Professor - student conversation starts” We need to be socially aware of what sortsof things are happening?You have to be versatile, professional.Gone are the days when you are designing a foundation system without keeping in viewof all these 5-6 issues, which I have talked about.So even the conventional practice of geotechnical engineering cannot be done unless these 3,4 things are intact, clear.This is what is happening in the present day context.

Video 2: Underground Environment and Geomechanics
Human greed, do you agree?The major culprit, I am mining barren, I want to extract even the smallest tensile of themineral, which is available.I do not want to leave it for next generation, why?I have to fill my pockets.Extra deep mines is a recent trend.We are doing two projects on that.Extra deep means 350 meters deep, 600 meters deep.The sky is the limit for your greed.Check it out, what is the deepest mine, which has been done in the history of mankind andwhat are the geotechnical issues associated with that.The more and more you go deep into the ground, what is going to happen and cut the ground.The water is going to flush in, it becomes stability associated with the seepage, pressures,clear.The minerals, which are present in the ores are going to start interacting with the environment.They may get oxidized, they may get reduced, you know oxidation, reduction, the chemicalprocess and what is going to happen.Once the minerals start interacting with oxygen, they might get oxidized; they might get reducedand from there, when the rain comes, they find out a pathway and they travel from onedistance to another to another, to another.Hope this part is clear.So why human greed?I want to extract everything.There are several cases you must be studying in newspaper where the villages do not havewater to drink, but these are the places where most of soft drinks are being produced.How and why?“Professor - student conversation starts” If you go to any nation, they have a strong.All soft drinks, so people do not get water to drink, but what is happening?Greed, I will extract out even the last drop of the water which is present in the aquifers.Why, you have to fill my bottles, which are going to be sold at certain price.Mining industry, food processing, beverages and so on.Why wars are created?Let us talk about the philosophy of war.Beautiful examples, you have in the middle east in the last few years.It is oil.Oil, human greed.“Professor - student conversation ends.”If I cannot extract what I wanted, what I will do?I will burn them, so that if I could not use, you will also not be able to use.Where it happened?Few years back, I think you can relate everything.So now the domain is going international, international politics.So the greed is not limited to only my continent, not to my nation only.I will drill a well.It will go upto vertical up to a certain place and then it will become horizontal to suckout all the resources of the neighboring country.You call it as a directional drilling.Read on this, it is a beautiful subject.Directional drilling, from directional drilling, I can get the resources crossing the internationalboundaries without anybody knowing where what I am doing.This is also a beautiful example of human greed.I can suck out all the water, which you have.I can suck out all the hydrocarbons, which you might be having, and you might be thinkingis my property today.This in short is a philosophy to deal with somebody was talking about, you were, I think,asking this question, Vikram.Environment and geomechanics, alright, so truly speaking the domain is limited, we arelimiting it to make our life comfortable.Otherwise, these are all three dimension.So we talk about mostly underground processes.Logic is simple.Whatever emissions are taking place in the air, in a particulate matter form, normallythey precipitate back when the rains come.And life becomes simple.So environmental scientists take care of mostly the emissions in the atmosphere.Geotechnical engineers, who are dealing with environmental geomechanics, would normallyconsider underground space first of all, beneath the surface and we talk about the undergroundenvironment.So when you enter a mine, you know underground mines, that environment is different.How many of you have ever been to a mine?No one, sure.You should get a chance.You should go and try to see how many meters you can step down and what is going to happento you, when you breath there, psychosomatic syndrome.So what are the situation, I am talking about.Why I am saying this?So lack of oxygen could be at high altitude also, as well as at the low altitudes also,in the different environmental condition and then psychosomatic syndrome that you are enteringa space, which is beneath the ground.Yeah, it is an environment.They have created.So go and spend some time over there, take your friends.It is an interesting feeling.Right now, the metro work is going on -75 meter, -80 meter deep in Bombay, again thepoint is unless you are physically fit, it is difficult to take you over there.You have run 5 kilometers before you enter tunnels, nonstop endurance test minimum, yes.Then only, you are allowed to enter.You have to be physically fit to be a champion of environmental geomechanics.I can show you some of the videos which are quite, what you call as, they may create uncomfortablesituations from people.I mean, it is a different subject altogether, but yes, as an environmental geotechnologist,you want to do profession, you have to take these challenges.Anyway coming back to the point, you have to talk about the underground environmentand the problems associated with it.“Professor - student conversation starts” Sir, I am actually amused by the vastnessof the subject.Half an hour before, we were discussing about a small soil, contaminant and all, and thenwe went to like international issues, social and everything.Yeah, it is a super, supersonic aviation.I want to discuss a situation, which is mainly related to this subject only.Old byproducts are there, so after years, the disposals may go high and high, so inwinters maybe, mainly in winters, the old byproducts automatically heated up.We could have temperature changes or pressure changes and ultimately the whole disposalget heated.I do not know what is the phenomena behind it, but it happens every year.Where?Around the mines, where they dispose the byproducts of the coal.That is the over burden.So what happens, say it again.They get heated up, the whole disposal in the winter season only.You could have a temperature difference, maybe or pressure difference maybe.I do not know the answer, but I am just discussing.I do not know maybe you collect some information on this and then let us discuss it technically.Yeah, this is something related to the environment change or things.It is too early for me to understand what you are saying.Sir, my question is they are kind of close situations which affect soil negatively.Is there any situation that will affect like positively, influence it in a good manner.Oh, yes, why not?Can you give us some example?You can also answer.I am sure you are aware of all those situations.For agriculture what is required?You have the field and then you plough it and then leave it for aeration, that is thebest answer.What we have done, we have rejuvenated the soil, simple thing.This is going on since last 5000 years, is it not?Do you agree?One example, at the same time, try to read from the net what is the influence of moreorganic matter present in the soil.How it is creating havoc?See, agriculture is they want to create more and more organic matter in the soil, but whatis happening, because of the presence of high organic content in soils.Quick answer will be the decompose and when they decompose, what happens, read all these.Yes.Sir, in Punjab actually in Ludhiana, we have highly industrialized zone, so what peoplethey are doing, they are dumping the waste is underground without telling the pollutionboard or they might be knowing it.So I will positively try to learn in this course the phenomena how it interacts withground water, like if you dump 2 meters, 3 meters say industrial waste, how it goes,I will try to understand in this course.Yeah, most of the soil in Punjab and Haryana has become whitish.You must have observed, because of the fertilizers.Now excessive fertilizers, what do they do?There is something known as uptake upsetting of plants.So, if I overfeed you, what is going to happen?That is also a problem, is it not?Overfeeding is also a problem; underfeeding is also a problem.It should be optimal feeding.Now who will discover the optimal dose?That is the science and technology, which people ignored.So they thought that just over inject, over dose the fields and the crop will be muchmore.In the process, what happened, now going to the mechanics part of this, so the more andmore organic matter you are adding to a system, the system, which was earlier quite fertile,why, because the aeration of the system was good.Now by adding organic matter what has happened?All those pores have chocked.The water stagnates there and when water stagnates there, organic matter decomposes and whenorganic matter decomposes, what happens?All the pores are chocked, poor plants cannot get any fresh oxygen and air, what will happen?This is the whole cycle.Now convert the whole model into a mechanics model.Is this part clear?So first we created hypothesis and now what we are trying to do?We are trying to use tools of the knowledge in all subjects and then we are creating asolution and when you create a solution, it is mostly quantified.