Soil Mechanics/Introduction

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Engineering geology is the application of the geologic sciences to engineering practice for the purpose of assuring that the geologic factors affecting the location, design, construction, operation and maintenance of engineering works are recognized and adequately provided for. Engineering geologists investigate and provide geologic and geotechnical recommendations, analysis, and design associated with human development. The realm of the engineering geologist is essentially in the area of earth-structure interactions, or investigation of how the earth or earth processes impact human made structures and human activities.

Engineering geologic studies may be performed during the planning, environmental impact analysis, civil or structural engineering design, value engineering and construction phases of public and private works projects, and during post-construction and forensic phases of projects. Works completed by engineering geologists include;

  • Geologic hazards
  • Geotechnical Investigations
  • Material properties
  • Landslide and slope stability
  • Erosion, flooding
  • Dewatering
  • Seismic investigations

Engineering geologic studies are performed by a geologist or engineering geologist that is educated, trained and has obtained experience related to the recognition and interpretation of natural processes, the understanding of how these processes impact man-made structures (and vice versa), and knowledge of methods by which to mitigate for hazards resulting from adverse natural or man-made conditions. The principal objective of the engineering geologist is the protection of life and property against damage caused by geologic conditions.

Engineering geologic practice is also closely related to the practice of geological engineering, geotechnical engineering, soils engineering, environmental geology and economic geology. If there is a difference in the content of the disciplines described, it mainly lies in the training or experience of the practitioner.