Geotechnical Topics in Civil Engineering

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Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineering is often the starting point for studies for every practicing civil engineer. Thus it’s important to understand how geotechnical aspects affect the development of civil engineering projects and construction works. Here, in this list of articles on the topic, we start with the basics, introducing geotechnical engineering and how it relates to the other branches of civil engineering. Questions that can be asked and answered include how geoenvironmental engineering and geotechnical engineering differ, and what place soil mechanics and rock mechanics hold in the field.

Soil Mechanics Study

Before any construction work can start, we need to study the behavior of soils. This is covered in soil mechanics and includes the study of mineralogy, soil composition and types, and the shear properties of soils. Soil mechanics provides knowledge about the characteristics and the behavior of the underlying soil, which is important in the design and construction of structures such as bridges, buildings, highways, and dams. Soil properties, in fact, determine the type of structure to be built.

Soil mechanics study is also important because the principles of soil mechanics are also used in related disciplines such as hydrology and soil physics. In this group are articles about soil classification, soil formation, soil properties, and other related aspects of soil mechanics.

Different Soil Tests

Geotechnical examination is important in order to build strong and durable structures above the soil. Studying soil properties means conducting various studies to determine various factors like grain size, plastic limit, shear stress, loading tests, and other tests. Various laws are used in the determination of these properties, among which Darcy’s Law is one of the most commonly used. You’ll also learn about the role of soil properties in a failure of a structure like a bridge or a building.

Implementing Results from Studies and Tests

After completing the geotechnical studies of site soil mechanics, we can start with the real work: the construction work. At this point, all the results and reports have been compiled, and accordingly the appropriate construction methods, equipment, and soil preservation methods have been determined. Different types of equipment like rollers, compactors, leveling devices, and other heavy machinery are used to move forward in this phase. Here we have articles related to soil investigations while constructing foundations using different methods like auger boring, core drilling, and percussion boring.

Natural soil preservation methods that help to maintain ecological balance and achieve optimum geotechnical properties also talked about in the articles in this section. Because foundations come in direct contact with the soil, we include articles related to pile foundations and best foundation construction methods. The articles in this section also provide detailed information about engineering sciences related to geotechnology like geosynthetic and geology and other modern age technologies, which are relatively new but closely related to geotechnical engineering studies.

The articles included in this guide will provide a great information source for those interested in geotechnical studies in the civil engineering field. The articles cover the most fundamental aspects of geotechnical engineering where they are important: soil mechanics and rock mechanics, suitability testing for structural erection, natural and engineered methods of soil preservation, erosion control and cliff stabilization, including geosynthesis techniques, and the common civil engineering role of preparing for foundations and civil structures.

Suitability testing can include soil analysis and testing as well subsurface testing (bore and auger sampling). In fact, a large part of the role of the geotechnical engineer involves helping to prevent structural failures that endanger human life and materials. Such failures always indicate the lack of load-bearing capacity of some element (the foundation, structure, or the soil beneath them both), and the geotechnical engineer, for having the responsibilty for determining the suitability of the site, is always at the front lines of the investigation.