Fundamentals of Engineering Geology
This text concerns itself with the basic principles or fundamentals of engineering geology. It therefore deliberately avoids those applied aspects of the subject such as site investigation, geophysical exploration, etc. One of the reasons for this is that the text has been written as a companion volume to the author’s Engineering Geology and Geotechnics (Butterworth, 1980) which deals with the applied aspects of engineering geology. A more obvious reason for writing this book is that there is no other which covers the subject matter in such depth. Yet another reason for this emphasis is the pace at which geotechnical theory has developed. Indeed, most of the current journals in engineering geology and geotechnical subjects have made their appearance within the last twenty years. This pace of change brings with it the need for a textbook which surveys the relevant advances and in so doing allows the student or professional engineer to avoid being overcome by too much information. In this context particular attention has been given to that work done by the International Association of Engineering Geology, the International Society of Rock Mechanics and the Engineering Group of the Geological Society of London which have attempted to systematise and standardise engineering geology.
The book is aimed at those who will be or who are in some way or other involved with ground conditions. In other words it is primarily written for engineering geologists, civil engineers and mining engineers. It is hoped that the text will be bought by the student and that it will continue to be of value to him throughout his subsequent professional career. This does not mean to infer that the book was written solely or mainly with the student in mind. Indeed from the point of view of the student in civil or mining engineering it could be argued that this text contains more detail than he will require in his initial studies. If this is true, then no apology is made since the text also has to consider the needs of students of engineering geology. In addition, if the book is to be of service to the practising engineer, then it must contain more detail than general texts of engineering geology written for students. With this in mind, numerous references have been provided at the end of each chapter.
Nevertheless obtaining a happy balance when writing a text for both the student and professional who are being or have been educated in three different subjects is not the simplest of tasks. It is a continuous compromise and one is acutely aware that every academic and professional engineer in this field has his own opinions as to what should or should not be emphasised, etc. The author is, of course, entitled to his own opinions and it is hoped that at least some of these will coincide with those of others. Engineering geology can be simply defined as the application of geology to engineering practice. As such it draws on several geological disciplines such as petrology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, structural geology and geomorphology, as well as hydrology. Accordingly, the applied or engineering aspects of these disciplines constitute the bulk of the text. In addition, some of the pioneers of engineering geology, notably Terzaghi, regarded soil and rock mechanics as integral parts of engineering geology. Although soil and rock mechanics have now developed into independent disciplines, they still form part of engineering geology in that anyone concerned with ground conditions must appreciate how these materials behave. It is for this reason that a sizeable part of the text is devoted to these two disciplines. Admittedly civil engineers and mining engineers need more soil mechanics and rock mechanics respectively than contained herein, but generally speaking these particular chapters should satisfy the requirements of engineering geologists. Hopefully the chapters concerned will also provide a summary for those civil and mining engineers who may require a quick reminder of such subject matter.
In writing the text the author assumed that many student readers would have little basic knowledge of geology. He is aware that geology, like all other sciences, has its own language and that this sometimes presents engineering students with difficulties. Although geological terminology inevitably occurs in the first few chapters in particular, taking the book as a whole, it is kept at a low level. It certainly should not be beyond the wit of any undergraduate, ultimately worthy of a degree, to cope in this respect. Many concerns have supplied material, especially illustrations, and due acknowledgement is given in the text. The author wishes to offer his thanks to all those involved. All extracts from BS 5930:1981 are reproduced by permission of the British Standards Institution, 2 Park Street, London W1A 2BS, from whom complete copies of the standard may be obtained. Thanks are also due to Dr A. C. Waltham of Trent Polytechnic who kindly supplied the cover photograph. If any person or concern has inadvertently not been afforded due acknowledgement, then apologies are given. In particular, the author would like to record his grateful appreciation for the help given by Professor W. F. Cassie, CBE, who meticulously ploughed his way through the manuscript and subsequently provided much useful advice. Lastly, but by no means least, one must thank Pauline Marchant of Butterworths whose endeavour during sub-editing was commendable.
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