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Drystone retaining walls have played an essential part in the infrastructure of hilly and mountainous regions around the world, and have provided platforms for building and for agricultural terraces. Research carried out in England and in France has led to a good understanding of their behaviour, but it is difficult to determine the details of the construction of individual walls without dismantling them, and so it can be hard to tell whether or not apparent defects and deformations are a threat to stability. Replacing every apparently defective or deformed wall would be a waste of resources, yet dismantling a wall would obviously be completely disruptive to its function. Invasive investigation, such as drilling, could easily cause damage to the wall structure and destabilise the wall. There is therefore a pressing need for non-disruptive methods of investigation that can reveal critical aspects of a wall's construction. Thermal imaging carried out in the right conditions can reveal important information about aspects of a wall’s construction that are critical to its stability. This paper presents case studies that have contributed to the development of this technique, and demonstrate its potential.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationGeotechnical Engineering for Infrastructure and Development
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
PublisherThomas Telford (ICE Publishing)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780727760678
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2015
EventXVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering - Edinburgh, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sep 201517 Sep 2015


ConferenceXVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


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