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The Colby Green is a campus expansion project which began in October of 2003. The construction would result in three new buildings, additional parking, and an elliptical 75,000-squarefoot green southeast of Mayflower Hill Drive. There were also plans for the construction of three run-off management and sediment ponds below the green, to manage flooding of the green. Three drains in the green transport water to the three retaining ponds which slowly disperse water into the surrounding environment. The ponds were created by constructing earthen dams around the drain outlets. The dams are composed of soil, cobbles, and boulders procured from the surrounding excavation site. Unfortunately, earthen dams are susceptible to many types of erosion which result in their failure. In this case the potential for clay and silt from the underlying Presumpscot Formation to mix with the soil in the earthen dams raised concerns with regards to frost action. In order to monitor the surface displacement of the dams I drove 92 poles into the ground in 8 straight lines across the faces of the dams in the fall of 2005. I returned to the sites during and after the spring thaw of 2006, to check for any signs of movement resulting from frost-heave, surface creep, or any other form of mass wasting. Fortunately, there was no recordable sign of movement in the stakes across any of the retaining ponds. The dams appear to be functioning as designed.


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