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Product details

A Short Course in Geology for Civil Engineers

Dr M. Matthews MSc PhD FGS, Prof N. Simons PhD DSc FREng CEng FICE
Dr B. Menzies PhD DSc CEng FICE

Price: £ 98.00

ISBN: 9780727733504
Format: Hardbound
Publish Date: 17/04/2008
Publisher: Thomas Telford Ltd
Page Size: 234x170mm
Number of Pages: 310

A Short Course in Geology for Civil Engineers


This book explains the process of ground formation – what it is made of and how it behaves as an engineering material. This enables the civil engineer to work from a few first principles to determine if the ground is an asset or a hazard.

It focuses on the tectonic plate mechanisms that give rise to the geology of our planet and describes the way these create hazards such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis.

The authors state that groundwater can be both a resource and a hazard and through this book they provide an overview of the origins of geomaterials and their engineering properties.

This book shows how to read the ground by interpreting geological maps and recognising landforms and their associated hazards, such as landslides.


Ground origins: Plate tectonics and the rock cycle
• Plate tectonics: the unifying theory
• The structure of the Earth
• Plate tectonics
• The Rock Cycle
• Igneous rocks
• Sedimentary rocks: the breakdown and transportation of rock material
• Metamorphic rocks

New ground: Igneous rocks
• Origins of magma
• What types of igneous rocks are there?
• What geological structures do igneous rocks form?
• What do igneous rocks look like?
• How are igneous rocks named and classified?
• Extrusive and intrusive igneous rocks
• Pyroclastic rocks
• Geological classifications of igneous rocks
• Colour and texture identification key for igneous rocks

Deposited ground: Sedimentary rocks
• Weathering
• Erosion
• Sedimentary environments
• Facies
• Diagenesis
• Classification of sedimentary rocks

Changed ground: Metamorphic rocks
• What is a metamorphic rock?
• Metamorphic changes in rock
• Classification and identification of metamorphic rocks
• Foliated rocks
• Non-foliated rocks
• Classification overview

Ground clock: Stratigraphy and terminology
• The concept of geological time
• What is Stratigraphy?
• Why Stratigraphy is necessary
• The stratigraphic record
• Fossils as timepieces
• Unconformities: markers of missing time
• Categories and hierarchy of stratigraphical units (Powell, 1998)
• Lithographical nomenclature
• Geological terminology in the UK
• Superficial deposits, bedrock and artificial ground

Ground structure: Maps, unconformity, faults and folds
• Geological maps
• What is a geological map?
• How are geological maps made?
• Why do civil engineers need to interpret geological maps?
• Rules for geological map interpretation
• Unconformity
• Rock deformation
• Introduction to faults
• Introduction to joints
• The geological character of joints
• Introduction to folds

Groundwater: Flow, quality and protection
• What is groundwater?
• Why is groundwater important?
• Groundwater is vulnerable: case studies
• How does groundwater flow through soil and rock?
• The aquifers of the UK
• Confined and unconfined aquifers
• Quality of groundwater
• Aquifer vulnerability and protection

Ground hazards: Volcanoes, earthquakes and dissolution features
• Scale of hazards
• Volcanoes
• Volcano hazards
• Earthquake hazards: geological and geotechnical aspects of earthquake engineering
• What is an earthquake?
• The big picture: plate tectonics
• How are records of earthquake events made?
• How is the energy released by fault movement propagated?
• How is the size of an earthquake measured?
• Earthquake induced hazards
• Dissolution hazards in rock
• Hazards from collapsing and swelling soils
• Collapsible soils
• Expansive and swelling soils
• Weathering during the life of a project
• Landslide hazards
• Slope instability
• Gas hazards
• Case study: the Abbeystead disaster, 1984
• Submarine sediment slides

Ground properties: Rock strength and compressibility
• Rock properties and behaviour
• Key terminology
• Stiffness of rock masses
• Interpretation of rock properties
• Intact rock properties
• Rock mass classification
• Rock mass strength
• Rock mass modulus
• Additional rock mass parameters

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