Geology

Alaska’s complex geologic conditions make it imperative that geologic factors be considered in any engineering endeavor, especially in permafrost areas. R&M identifies geologic conditions and applies professional training and practical experience to develop solutions that can result in significant savings and greater predictability. Our team is expert in conducting surface and subsurface investigations and testing programs to evaluate site conditions for a given project or site. R&M has investigated subsurface conditions for numerous hydroelectric projects and has performed subsurface investigations for buildings, utilities, roads, airports, harbor facilities and other structures and improvements. Our more specialized services include: geologic mapping, terrain unit mapping and route studies, permafrost evaluation, asset management, geologic hazards, rock mechanics, application of geophysics (onshore and offshore), material site selection and assessment, and in-situ testing and instrumentation.

Senior Geologist

Aaron Banks, CPG

abanks@rmconsult.com

read Aaron's bio

Aaron has more than 15 years of experience in engineering geology, material site exploration and development, access corridor evaluation, geologic hazard assessment, geophysical surveys and environmental site characterization. His involvement with projects throughout Alaska has provided him with considerable experience in geologic research, field reconnaissance, geotechnical investigations and presentation of resultant data. Aaron is also skilled in air photo interpretation, rock mechanics assessment, slope stability evaluation, quarry and material site investigations, surficial mapping and bedrock structure mapping. He holds a B.A. in Geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

R&M is supporting the Alaska Standalone Pipeline (ASAP) project with terrain unit mapping for the pipeline alignment from Prudhoe Bay to Cook Inlet. This effort involves using interpretation of stereo imagery, terrain analysis, LiDAR and geologic information to map landforms expected to occur from the ground surface to a depth of about 20’ to 25’. These landforms, or terrain units, provide information on soils, bedrock geology and geomorphology to document geological/geotechnical conditions that will affect the design and construction of the pipeline. All data is produced in GIS format for incorporation with the ASAP data management system.
As part of DOT&PF’s asset management initiative, R&M has spent multiple years preparing an ongoing inventory of material sites available for use on highway and other infrastructure projects in Alaska. This inventory of approximately 2,600 sites, organized by region, includes compiling existing data and current site land status and usage, conducting inspections and characterizing the geological conditions (materials, groundwater, permafrost, etc.), and estimating the quantity of available materials. The services provided under this contract have been a multi-year effort, and have included nearly all of the material sites on the entire Alaska road system.
R&M provided geologic and geotechnical services for the design of a diversion structure, and a two-mile long open channel cut into bedrock in mountainous terrain. R&M used photo-geologic interpretation and site reconnaissance to produce a geologic terrain unit map of the project area. We performed detailed rock structure mapping for use in kinematic stability analysis of rock slopes. R&M drilled boreholes with a helicopter portable drill rig using rotary coring methods. Several of the borings were pressure tested to estimate bedrock permeability. The R&M team conducted six seismic profiles to estimate the depth to bedrock and bedrock rippability.