A contribution to slope engineering in Hong Kong
: the engineering geology approach

  • Nicholas Paul Koor

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Whilst working in Hong Kong from 1993 to 2005, firstly for the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Hong Kong Government and then for various international consultants, I was involved in a number of important research studies, landslide investigations and construction projects where I was able to make a significant contribution to science, knowledge and practice under the theme of slope engineering. This work was carried out in what I have described as the engineering geology approach which has six interrelated objectives:identification of vulnerable slopes; constraint of slope defect; definition of slope geological and hydrogeological model; geotechnical characterisation; slope design; and design verification – constructability. Six projects are described in this narrative (Volume 1 of the submission) supported by published reports,papers, and research articles which are reproduced in Volumes 2 to 5. The establishment of the Hong Kong Slope Safety System (HKSSS) in Hong Kong in1977 has developed over the subsequent 28 years into what is considered one of the most sophisticated slope safety systems in the world. The Chai Wan Area Study (Volume 2), the Site Characterisation Study (Volume 3), and the Lai Ping Road investigation (Volume 4) have made positive contributions to the HKSSS through: the development of new slope investigation techniques; the advancement in understanding of the formation of “clay rich seams” and their role in slope instability; and the application of detailed geomorphological mapping of failure scarps in the understanding of slow moving retrogressive landslides. Further work carried out in my role as Resident Geotechnical Engineer for the Foothill Bypass project and Senior Resident Engineer for the Deep Bay Link project contributed to the HKSSS through: developing an understanding of the residual strength of weathered rock in Hong Kong; natural terrain hazard mitigation, in particular a cost benefit approach in scenarios where there is only an economic risk; and in the design and construction of long soil nails in aggressive ground conditions and the use of double corrosion protection systems for long soil nails.
Date of Award15 Jan 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorRob Strachan (Supervisor)

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