The Leaning Tower of Pisa Revisited

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Burland, J. B.
University of Missouri--Rolla
Geotechnical Engineering
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conference paper description
Stabilisation of the Leaning Tower of Pisa was achieved by means of an innovative method of soil extraction which induced a small reduction in inclination not visible to the casual onlooker. Its implementation has required advanced computer modelling, large-scale development trials, an exceptional level of continuous monitoring and daily communication to maintain control. Recently a number of historical examples have been found of the application of soil extraction to straightening leaning buildings – the earliest being 1832. Contemporary accounts of the work bring out interesting and important similarities and serve as reminders of the inventiveness and resourcefulness of engineers long before modern soil mechanics came into being.