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Geotechnical advice, Darwin East Arm Wharf, Northern Territory, Australia

THE PROJECT

Opened in 2000, the East Arm Wharf is a 750 m long facility located in Darwin Port. The largest facility on Australia’s north coast, the facility is capable of accepting vessels up to 80,000 tonnes, with a maximum draft of 15 m. The Wharf comprises a bulk liquid berth, a common user facility, a container facility and a bulk loading berth. The container berth is served by a rail-mounted container crane with a heavy lifting capacity of 70 tonnes at 10 m outreach.

PSM was engaged to provide specialist advice on several complex geotechnical issues associated with wharf construction.

ENGINEERING AND TECHNICAL OPPORTUNITIES

A huge tidal range of 7.8 m has resulted in a very high wharf face. Construction of the wharf structure on existing bund built from materials under water, makes it susceptible to deformation.

Other engineering and technical opportunities included:

  • A range of in-situ material requiring detailed investigation and analyses
  • Fill materials to backfill the wharf being limited to weathered rock requiring particular attention
  • Assessment of the phyllite bedrock critical to the capacity of the structure.

APPROACH AND INNOVATION

PSM’s tailored approach included:

  • Assessment of the lateral load capacity of the weathered phyllite bedrock into which the sheet piles were driven
  • Assessment of deformation of the wharf structure and the effects on tension anchors
  • Monitoring of completed wharf
  • Provision of advice for Stage 2 regarding construction methodology for the backfilled wharf
  • Development of a comprehensive geological and geotechnical model
  • Analysis of interaction with sheet piles to assess risk to design from various potential failure mechanisms
  • Inclusion in the design of structural pins at the base of sheet piles to improve strength
  • Regular monitoring reviews to ensure appropriate performance.

OUTCOMES

PSM’s involvement enabled resolution of key technical challenges and completion of structure without incident. As a result of ongoing monitoring the client is able to manage risks relating to time-dependent deformation of the geotechnical materials used in the wharf’s construction.

Services: #Geological #Geotechnical #Phyllite bedrock

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    Locations

    Sydney

    G3, 56 Delhi Road
    North Ryde NSW 2113

    BRISBANE

    Level 6, 500 Queen St
    Brisbane Qld 4000

    PERTH

    Level 3, 22 Delhi St
    West Perth WA 6005

    Geelong

    Shop 4, Suite 4, 23-31 Gheringhap Street
    Geelong VIC 3220
    Contact us
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