Introduction to geotechnics

 

Geotechnical engineering is the study of the properties of rocks and soils with a view to build engineering structures.

The Grand Canyon. (Rights reserved)

Geotechnical engineering, together with soil mechanics, is used by those involved in construction to select the type and characteristics of foundations in order for structures to be safe.

The role of foundations is to spread out the weight of a structure and transmit it to the soil. In some cases it also performs an anchorage role to reduce the risks of the structure lifting or slipping.

The photograph above shows the Grand Canyon where a river has cut through more than 1,500 metres of rock which present a record of the history of the Earth. At its deepest point the rocks are two billion years old. The rocks at the edge are about 250 million years old.

 
 
 
 
Rudiments of geology
Published on 3 March 2008 (updated on 7 March 2008)
 
 
Site investigations
Published on 3 March 2008 (updated on 12 March 2008)
 
Choice of a type of foundation
Published on 3 March 2008 (updated on 12 March 2008)
 
Shallow foundations
Published on 3 March 2008 (updated on 12 March 2008)
 
Deep foundations
Published on 3 March 2008 (updated on 12 March 2008)