Engineering Geology

Earth Sciences

The sciences which deal with one or more aspects of earth are grouped together as Earth sciences.


The science that deals with the study of the earth. It includes scientific studies dealing with the origin, age, the structure of the earth, evolution, modification and extinction of various surface and sub-surface features like mountains, valleys.

Sub Divisions of Geology

1. Physical Geology: Science which deals with the origin, development of various surface features of the earth and also with its internal structure. The role played by internal agents and external agents like water, rain, air, wind i.e. all the physical features of earth makes a major area of studies in physical geology.
2. Geo-morphology: The science which deals with the study of surface features of the earth is called geomorphology.
3. Mineralogy: Minerals are the building units of the solid crust of the earth. It is that branch of geology that deals with formation, occurrence, aggregation, properties and uses of minerals.
4. Petrology: It is the study of rocks. Minerals occurring in the natural aggregated form are called rocks. These are also the building units of earth. Formation of different types of rocks, occurrence, geological distribution of rock is all studied.
5. Historical Geology: It deals with past history of the earth. Rocks may be treated as pages of earth history. They contain within them enough evidence indicative of nature and time of their formation, composition and constitution.
6. Economic Geology: It is the science that deals with those minerals and rocks that can be exploited for the benefit of man.

1. Geochemistry: It deals with the chemical composition of the earth.
2. Geophysics: In this branch of science important principles and methods of physics are applied to solve geological problems.
3. Geo-hydrology: It deals with the water present on the earth surface.
4. Mining geology: It is that branch of geology that is applied to mining practices for exploration and exploitation of economic mineral resources.
5. Engineering geology: The branch deals with geotechnical studies of sites and locations for major engineering projects.
6. Rock mechanics: the study of the behaviour of rocks under various types of loads imposed on them.
7. Geo-mechanics: The study of natural force as acting on earth on global and regional levels.
8. Metrology: The study of the atmosphere in all its aspects.
9. Oceanography: This is used for unknown reserves that can be explored and exploited for the benefit of mankind.

Engineering geology deals with the application of geology for a safe, stable and economic design and construction of a civil engineering project. geological knowledge in planning, designing and construction of big civil engineering project is essential. Basic objects:
1. It enables a civil engineer to understand engineering aspects of certain conditions related to an area of construction which are essentially geological in nature.
2. It enables a geologist to understand the nature of geological information that is essential for safe design and construction of civil engineering projects.
The scope of engineering geology with reference to major activities of a civil engineer are construction, water resource development and town and regional planning.

Geology in construction jobs

Geology in construction

Full geological information about the site of construction or excavation and about the natural materials of construction is important.
1. Planning: Following geological information is greatly useful in proper planning of engineering projects.
a. Topographical map.
b. Hydrological map.
c. Geological map.
These maps also give an idea about the availability of the material of that area.

2. Designing: Type of dam chosen the design of that particular dam would be depicted mostly by geological conditions of the site. strength of the rocks at the base need very thorough testing and analysis before deciding the final size, shape and other parameters of the design of the dam.
The geological characters that have a direct and indirect effect on the design of the proposed object are:
a. Existence of hard bed rock.
b. Mechanical properties.
c. Structural weakness as joints and folds.
d. Position of the ground water table or seismic character of an area.

3. Construction: The selection and proper use of the right material.

Geology in water resource development

The various aspects of water resources and supply, conservation of water from different resources, water pollution, wastewater disposal and also it’s purification and recycling for different uses. this requires a thorough knowledge of various parameters of geological formations of water bodies of the entire area under consideration.

Geology in town and regional planning

The primary aim is to derive maximum benefits from the natural environment with minimal disturbance.

About the Author
Er. Mukesh Kumar
Er. Mukesh Kumar is Editor in Chief and Co-Fonder at Civil Engineering Website. Mukesh Kumar is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering From MIT. He has work experience in Highway Construction, Bridge Construction, Railway Steel Girder work, Under box culvert construction, Retaining wall construction. He was a lecturer in a Engineering college for more than 6 years.