Forensic geotechnical engineering involves scientific and legalistic investigations and deductions to detect the causes as well as the process of distress in a structure, which are attributed to geotechnical origin. Cases of remedied installations where the analysis and evaluation of adopted remedial measures with regard to their effectiveness and economy may be subjected to judicial scrutiny also fall under this purview. The normally adopted standard procedures of testing, analysis, design and construction are not adequate for the forensic analysis in majority of cases. The test parameters and design assumptions will have to be representative of the actual conditions encountered at site. The forensic geotechnical engineer (who is different than the expert witness) should be able to justify the selection of these parameters in a court of law. Hence he has to be not only thorough in his field of specialization, but should also be familiar with legal procedures.
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