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THE USELESSNESS OF ELEPHANTS IN COMPACTING FILL

July/August 2017

Editor’s Note: For some time, I’ve wanted to start a new column in GEOSTRATA dedicated to little-known facts about our profession. But this proved to be harder to get off the ground than expected. After searching for just the right topic, I finally came across this highly entertaining account from the August 1967 Canadian Geotechnical Journal (Vol. IV, Number 3) that described an experiment in Thailand using a locally available resource – elephants – to compact soil. It turns out that elephants may be plentiful in that country, but they don’t make very effective compactors. Now we know! Many thanks to Canadian Science Publishing for granting us permission to republish this piece, and to the author, who graciously wrote us an update to the original.

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