Geology And Geotechnical Engineering Expert 97468 CA(N)

Expertise Description

I have over 35 years experience in geology and geotechnical engineering. My expertise includes: earth movement, soil settlement, soil heave, soil creep, soil collapse, soil expansion, slope stability, landslides, mudflows, bluff failure, rock fall, stream bank collapse, drainage, erosion, moisture intrusion, slab seepage, crawlspace water, basement water, distress to structures, wall cracks, slab cracks, slab settlement, slab heave, foundation settlement, and foundation cracks. My additional expertise includes: retaining walls, wall collapse, wall cracks, wall settlement, wall lean, pavement, pavement settlement, pavement cracks, pavement separation, swimming pools, spas, pool cracks, pool settlement, pool heave, construction defects, grading (fill compaction and / or settlement), drainage, foundation, retaining walls, geologic hazards, faults, earthquakes, and liquefaction. I have 30 years expert witness experience with consultations, deposition, and courtroom testimony.

Areas of Expertise

Expert Witness

My expert witness experience includes: Distressed foundations: residential and commercial buildings; Earth movement: expansive soil and rock, fill settlement, soil creep; Water intrusion: basements, crawl spaces, and concrete slabs; Adverse drainage and erosion: hillsides, creek banks, shorelines; Slope stability: landslides, rockfalls, bluff failures, cut and fill slopes; Geologic Hazards: earthquake faults, liquefaction, earthquakes; Construction defects: grading, drainage, foundations; Wrongful death: rockfall, tree topple, soil collapse, cave-in.

Consulting Experience

My consulting experience includes: Geotechnical studies for hillside and flatland foundation design recommendations for structures (houses, pools, retaining walls, commercial buildings); Geotechnical studies for evaluation of causes and repairs of landslides, bluff failures, rock falls; Evaluation of cause and mitigation of water intrusion into basements, crawl spaces, and concrete slabs; Evaluation of stability of deep basement excavations and hillside grading; Geologic studies of fault locations, earthquake cause ground movement, liquefaction; Studies of stream and wave erosion and mitigation; Studies for Home Owners Associations (foundation movement, poor drainage, water intrusion.

Relevant Experiences

I am licensed as a Civil Engineer and Hydrogeologist, but also as a Geotechnical Engineer.

I have recently been involved in a case in Utah where home basements became flooded following the installation of a reservoir up-gradient from a residential subdivision.

The high water mark set by the local water board is based on collecting water level data from multiple wells in the subject area over an extended period of time. The board could set their own standard for the high water mark, but typically they set it as the maximum recorded groundwater elevation, or the average maximum recorded at several wells. It is normal for the water level to change temporarily as it largely is dependent on the rainfall and the amount of water withdrawal by pumping. The water level will not likely exceed the high water mark, however, baring something unusual happening.  
There are both man-caused and natural phenomena that could cause the groundwater elevation to exceed the high water mark. For example, a climatic change resulting in significant increase in rainfall could cause the high water mark to rise. I am certain this has not happened in Los Angeles County. Similarly, installation of a reservoir or stopping water well-pumping up-gradient of the area of concern could cause an increase in high water mark elevation. We would have to determine if something like this has occurred.
I have recently been involved in a case in Utah where home basements became flooded following the installation of a reservoir up-gradient from a residential subdivision.
Please note that I have only limited experience in Los Angeles County, but groundwater is groundwater.


Ph.D.Engineering GeologyStanford University
M.S.Soil Mechanics and FoundationsStandford University
B.S.Environmental EngineeringHumboldt State University
A.B.GeologyHumboldt State University

Licenses Certifications

CA Professional Engineer (Civil)
CA Professional Engineer (Geotechnical)
CA Professional Geologist
CA Certified Engineering Geologist
CA Certified Hydrogeologist

Awards & Affiliation

CalGeo Outstanding Project Awards

Primary Affiliation

American Society of Civil Engineers

Partial List of Consulting Expert Witness Cases