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Engineering geology Written By: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. You can learn more about this topic in the related articles below.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles: The support load is greatly increased by factors weakening the rock mass, particularly blasting damage. Furthermore, if a delay in placing support allows the zone of rock loosening to propagate upward i. The fields of engineering, environmental, and urban geology are broadly concerned with applying the findings of geologic studies to construction engineering and to problems of land use.
The location of a bridge, for example, involves geologic considerations in selecting sites for the supporting piers. The strength of geologic…. Geology, the fields of study concerned with the solid Earth. Included are sciences such as mineralogy, geodesy, and stratigraphy. Help us improve this article!
In the early 20th century Charles Berkey, an American trained geologist who was considered the first American engineering geologist , worked on several water-supply projects for New York City, then later worked on the Hoover Dam and a multitude of other engineering projects. The first American engineering geology textbook was written in by Ries and Watson. In Reginald W. Brock, the first Dean of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia, started the first undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Geological Engineering, noting that students with an engineering foundation made first-class practising geologists.
In , Karl Terzaghi , an Austrian trained engineer and geologist, published the first text in Soil Mechanics in German. Terzaghi is known as the parent of soil mechanics, but also had a great interest in geology; Terzaghi considered soil mechanics to be a sub-discipline of engineering geology.
The need for geologist on engineering works gained worldwide attention in with the failure of the St. Francis Dam in California and the death of people. More engineering failures which occurred the following years also prompted the requirement for engineering geologists to work on large engineering projects.
In , one of the earliest definitions of the "Engineering geologist" or "Professional Engineering Geologist" was provided by the Executive Committee of the Division on Engineering Geology of the Geological Society of America.
One of the most important roles as an engineering geologist is the interpretation of landforms and earth processes to identify potential geologic and related man-made hazards that may have a great impact on civil structures and human development. The background in geology provides the engineering geologist with an understanding of how the earth works, which is crucial minimizing earth related hazards.
Most engineering geologists also have graduate degrees where they have gained specialized education and training in soil mechanics , rock mechanics , geotechnics , groundwater , hydrology , and civil design. These two aspects of the engineering geologists' education provide them with a unique ability to understand and mitigate for hazards associated with earth-structure interactions. Typical geologic hazards or other adverse conditions evaluated and mitigated by an engineering geologist include:.
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An engineering geologist or geophysicist may be called upon to evaluate the excavatability i. Soil mechanics is a discipline that applies principles of engineering mechanics, e. Rock mechanics is the theoretical and applied science of the mechanical behaviour of rock and rock masses; it is that branch of mechanics concerned with the response of rock and rock masses to the force-fields of their physical environment.
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