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Riverbank instability investigation, Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia


The Bundaberg Industrial Complex produces spirits at a property along the eastern banks of the Burnett River, Bundaberg. Several storage buildings made up of steel tanks, thick brick masonry and tilt-up concrete panel are located immediately adjacent to the river. Two major floods in December 2010 and January 2013 caused damage to the infrastructure including cracked walls, damaged fences, cracking and differential settlement of slabs, slope failure.

PSM was engaged to inspect the site, identify the cause of river bank instability, assess river bank instability during future flood events and outline mitigation measures.

engineering and technical Opportunties

The PSM team was required to work around historic buildings made of brick masonry at this difficult access site.

Engineering and technical opportunities included:

  • Variable ground conditions consisting of non-engineered fill and flood plain alluvium
  • Multiple failure mechanisms including collapse settlement, slope failure, erosion and river-bed scour.

approach AND innovation

Following rigorous assessment and modelling, PSM’s tailored approach included:

  • Review of existing site investigation data and site history.
  • Comprehensive investigation of site involving site walkover, topographic survey, crack monitoring, boreholes, CPT, SPT, DCP, piezometers and laboratory testing.
  • Assessment of the conditions leading to failure using back analysis
  • Analysis of slope stability
  • Analysis of multiple scenarios to assess future risk of riverbank failure
  • Conceptual design of two alternative remediation options for long-term stabilisation.


PSM’s comprehensive investigation program successfully identified the cause of infrastructure damage. PSM also delivered conceptual designs and preliminary costing of river bank stabilisation works.

Services: #erosion #flood #river-bed scour #slope failure

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