INTRO - ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AS AN INTERDISCIPLINARY FIELD...

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CVEN 3698 - Lecture Notes 1 Page 1 8 B. Amadei ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AS AN INTERDISCIPLINARY FIELD Introduction "Engineering geology is an interdisciplinary field in which pertinent studies in geology and other geosciences areas are applied toward the solution of problems involved in engineering works and resources uses" (Sitar et al, 1983; Goals for basic research in engineering geology: Report of NSF Workshop, St. Helena, CA). The Association of Engineering Geologists (AEG) defines engineering geology as "[The] application of geologic data, techniques, and principles to the study of naturally occurring rock and soil materials or subsurface fluids. The purpose is to assure that geologic factors affecting the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of engineering structures and the development of groundwater resources are recognized, adequately interpreted, and presented for use in engineering practice". Ignorance of geology (or a poor assessment of geology), and of geologic hazards (floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.) cannot be tolerated in civil and environmental engineering projects. Failure to characterize the geological site and geological setting has too often resulted in needless structural damage, environmental disasters, or loss of life. In almost all cases, proper consultation with engineering geologists or geological engineers could have prevented such problems. You should be aware that an adequate geological site evaluation and exploration program is vital to a project and represents only a small percent of its overall cost. It should be thought of as an investment in a product with a useful life rather than as a means for generating short-term profits. An adequate geological site evaluation and exploration program is one of the best insurance for safeguarding against unforeseen failure and catastrophic losses due to tangible material loss and to liability and litigation. Engineering geology represents a vital link between the two more conventional fields of engineering (which is concerned with putting scientific knowledge to practical use) and geology (which is concerned with the physical nature and history of the Earth). Engineering geology provides a means to appreciate and identify geologic features that could have short and long- term consequences to the overall performance of engineering structures and projects. It is also a study of how we are affected by geological phenomena, and how we can affect the environment and trigger geologic processes. Engineering geology requires a well-balanced training with courses in classical geology (that are mostly qualitative) and courses in engineering fundamentals (that are mostly quantitative). Undergraduate students are exposed to engineering geology in geology or civil engineering
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2008 for the course CVEN 3698 taught by Professor Amadei during the Spring '08 term at Colorado.

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INTRO - ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AS AN INTERDISCIPLINARY FIELD...

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