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Cooling Prize Paper: Lindisfarne Castle A Rock Mass Stability Assessment

by Katherine Jones, Dunelm Geotechnical and Environmental. This paper was first published in GE’s July 2014 issue.


The Lindisfarne Castle is built on an outcrop of the Whin Sill, which has a strong joint sequence due to the slow cooling of the igneous intrusion. The orientation and distribution of these discontinuities may lead to the structural integrity of the castle becoming compromised. This paper uses discontinuity survey data to assess the stability of the historic monument, which has long been an iconic symbol of the region.

Walkover survey observations are described and locally surveyed discontinuity data is used to characterise jointing patterns within the Whin Sill outcrop. This is used to provide a representative record of the rock condition, together with a visual assessment of the slope stability. During the assessment, consideration was made of the impact of plant growth on the slope, in particular red valerian, and its effect on the stability of the rock face.

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