Geology 755

GEOL 755

Catalog Entry

GEOL 755. Advanced Engineering Geology
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Geology 455/555 (Principles of Engineering Geology) or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Investigations into the applications of basic principles and techniques of engineering geology to real world situations through the detailed study of actual engineering geology case histories.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course is designed as a continuation of a comprehensive upper-level undergraduate introduction to engineering geology. The topics and concepts addressed in this course include:

1. How to identify which geologic processes affect the construction and performance of specific engineering projects. These include construction of highways, dams, power plants, buildings and waste disposal sites in different geologic settings.
2. Determining the mechanisms through which these geologic processes affect the engineered structures and how to quantify those affects when possible.
3. Researching methods for avoiding and/or remediating undesirable affects of geologic processes in the cases investigated.
4. Appropriate and effective means of communicating vital geologic information to engineers, landuse planners, political leaders, lawyers, juries, and others as needed.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will consist of lecture presentations by the instructor providing insight into a minimum of four engineering geology case histories. Then, under direct supervision of the instructor, students will:

1. research and assemble a list containing a minimum of 9 engineering geologic case histories by project name and write a one page description of each history;
2. select 3 of the engineering case histories and investigate each of them in detail, and;
3. prepare teaching exercises for other class members based on each of the 3 selected engineering case histories.


Goals and Objectives of Course

The general goals and objectives are to:

1. Increase understanding of applications of principles in engineering geology by examining specific case histories. Each will include examining:

a. the function to be performed by the engineered project, the general geologic setting, the location including maps and plans, drilling logs and other exploratory data if available, and;
b. descriptions of geologic problems which were previously recognized at this site or anticipated during the planning stages of the project. This information can include consultants' reports, newspaper clippings, video tapes, television reports, and any other information available early in the history of the project.

2. Enhance technical communication skills. Students will prepare problems to be posed to fellow students in the form of a work order or an RFP (request for proposal). Students will be expected to:

a. research possible solutions to the problem, and;
b. write and present a detailed recommendation to the "client" including justification and approximate costs.

3. Enhance analytical skills used in solving engineering geologic problems. Students will formulate their recommendations prior to learning what measures were actually taken. Included will be a discussion of the success (or lack of success) of the measures implemented. Students will critique their own recommendations in light of what actually transpired.


Assessment Measures

Course grades will be based on two examinations and class projects. Projects will be evaluated by the instructor on the basis of thoroughness of research, completeness of information provided in the case history, and the organization and quality of writing in the exercises produced.


Other Course Information



Approval and Subsequent Reviews

Date Action Reviewed by
March 1999