GIS-based examination of peats and soils in Surfers Paradise, Australia

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The subsoil conditions of Surfers Paradise in Southeast Queensland of Australia have been examined in terms of soil stiffness by using geographic information system (GIS). Peat is a highly organic and compressible material. Surfers Paradise (as a study area) has problematic peat layer due to its high water content, high compressibility, and low shear strength. This layer has various thicknesses at different locations ranging between R.L. . 10 to R.L. -19.6 m. Buildings in Surfers Paradise are using piled foundations to avoid the high compressibility and low shear strength peat layer. Spatial Analyst extension in the GIS ArcMap10 has been utilised to develop zonation maps for different depths in the study area. Each depth has been interpolated as a surface to create Standard Penetration Test SPT-N value GIS-based zonation maps for each depth. In addition, 8 interpolation techniques have been examined to evaluate which technique gives better representation for the Standard Penetration Test (SPT) data. Inverse Distance weighing (IDW) method in Spatial Analyst extension gives better representation for the utilised data with certain parameters. Two different cross sections have been performed in the core of the study area to determine the extent and the depth of the peat layer underneath already erected buildings. Physical and engineering properties of the Surfers Paradise peat have been obtained and showed that this peat falls within the category of tropical peat.

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