ENG06023 2019 Soil Mechanics and Geology 202

General Details

Full Title
Soil Mechanics and Geology 202
Transcript Title
Soil Mechanics and Geology 202
N/A %
Subject Area
ENG - Engineering
CENG - Civil Eng. and Construction
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Kathryn Ryan
Programme Membership
SG_ECIVL_H08 201900 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil Engineering SG_ECVIL_B07 201900 Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering in Civil Engineering SG_ECVIL_B07 201900 Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering in Civil Engineering SG_ECIVI_C06 201900 Higher Certificate in Engineering in Civil Engineering SG_ECVIL_B07 202000 Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering in Civil Engineering

This module is an introduction to Soil Mechanics & Geology, assuming no prior knowledge of the subject. The student starts with the formation and origin of rocks and the processes which result in the formation of soil before learning how these processes influence soil behaviour due to external loading or the flow of fluid through the soil.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Identify and classify soils and rocks and calculate their phase relations. Describe how rock and rock structures are formed and weathered.


Compute coefficients of permeability from standard laboratory tests and compute critical hydraulic gradients.


Calculate total stress, effective stress and porewater pressure and evaluate the shear strength parameters of the soil in drained and undrained conditions. Calculate lateral earth pressures.


Estimate one-dimensional settlements in soils.


Use standard laboratory equipment and perform as a team member in the execution, compilation, analysis and interpretation of laboratory experiments


Compile and report, in both written and oral form, using word and excel, the results and conclusions of laboratory work

Teaching and Learning Strategies

A combination of theory classes and laboratory practical classes

Module Assessment Strategies

1. 1 hour MCQ exam mid-semester

2. 2 hour written final exam

3. Laboratory practical copy and oral presentation

Repeat Assessments

Student may repeat the terminal exam in autumn and re-submit the practical copy, if required, before the autumn repeats

Indicative Syllabus


  1. Phase relationships, Atterberg Limits, Classification, Compaction
  2. Permeability, falling & constant head, flownets, filters, Critical hydraulic gradient, piping. Field measurement of permeability, water in excavations
  3. Effective stress, pore pressure
  4. Shear strength, drained, undrained, shear box, introduction to triaxial, lab and field vane
  5. Consolidation, Terzaghi’s one dimensional consolidation, Oedometer testing, settlement calculations


  1. Introduction: Composition of earth. Formation and classification of rocks. Identification of rocks
  2. Weathering processes and weathered rocks
  3. Main rock types: Engineering behaviour of main rock types.
  4. Geological structures: Folds. Faults. Joints
  5. Site Investigations: Boreholes. Geophysical surveys


  1. Atterbery limits
  2. Wet & dry sieving
  3. Standard and heavy compaction, CBR
  4. Sand replacement test
  5. Constant head permeability
  6. Shear box clay
  7. Triaxial, UU
  8. Oedometer
  9. Rock identification and classification

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Multiple Choice 1 hour Continuous Assessment Closed Book Exam 10 % Week 7 1,2
2 Practical evaluation Laboratory reports and Oral presentation Continuous Assessment Written Report 30 % OnGoing 2,4,5,6

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Written exam 2 hours Final Exam Closed Book Exam 60 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Theory 3 Weekly 3.00
Practical Engineering Laboratory Practicals 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Preparation of practical reports, reviewing lecture material 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 5.00 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Not Specified Theory 3 Weekly 3.00
Laboratory Practical Not Specified Practicals 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Preparation of practical reports and reviewing lecture material 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 5.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
Soil Mechanics Concepts & Applications CRC Press

Recommended Reading
2012-02-02 Craig's Soil Mechanics, Eighth Edition CRC Press
ISBN 0415561264 ISBN-13 9780415561266

Now in its eighth edition, this bestselling text continues to blend clarity of explanation with depth of coverage to present students with the fundamental principles of soil mechanics. From the foundations of the subject through to its application in practice, Craigs Soil Mechanics provides an indispensable companion to undergraduate courses and beyond. New to this edition: Rewritten throughout in line with Eurocode 7, with reference to other international standards Restructured into two major sections dealing with the basic concepts and theories in soil mechanics and the application of these concepts within geotechnical engineering design New topics include limit analysis techniques, in-situ testing, and foundation systems Additional material on seepage, soil stiffness, the critical state concept, and foundation design Enhanced pedagogy including a comprehensive glossary, learning outcomes, summaries, and visual examples of real-life engineering equipment Also new to this edition is an extensive companion website comprising innovative spreadsheet tools for tackling complex problems, digital datasets to accompany worked examples and problems, a password-protected solutions manual for lecturers covering the end-of-chapter problems, weblinks, extended case studies, and more.

Recommended Reading
2014-09-22 Smith's Elements of Soil Mechanics John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9780470673393 ISBN-13 0470673397

The 9th edition maintains the content on all soil mechanics subject areas - groundwater flow, soil physical properties, stresses, shear strength, consolidation and settlement, slope stability, retaining walls, shallow and deep foundations, highways, site investigation - but has been expanded to include a detailed explanation of how to use Eurocode 7 for geotechnical design. The key change in this new edition is the expansion of the content covering Geotechnical Design to Eurocode 7. Redundant material relating to the now defunct British Standards - no longer referred to in degree teaching - has been removed. Building on the success of the earlier editions, this 9th edition of Smith?s Elements of Soil Mechanics brings additional material on geotechnical design to Eurocode 7 in an understandable format. Many worked examples are included to illustrate the processes for performing design to this European standard. Significant updates throughout the book have been made to reflect other developments in procedures and practices in the construction and site investigation industries. More worked examples and many new figures have been provided throughout. The illustrations have been improved and the new design and layout of the pages give a lift. unique content to illustrate the use of Eurocode 7 with essential guidance on how to use the now fully published code clear content and well-organised structure takes complicated theories and processes and presents them in easy-to-understand formats book's website offers examples and downloads to further understanding of the use of Eurocode 7 www.wiley.com/go/smith/soil

Recommended Reading
2001 Basic Soil Mechanics
ISBN 0582381096 ISBN-13 9780582381094

CD-ROM includes spreadsheets, assignments, reference manual, glossary and quizzes.

Recommended Reading
2009-04-21 Foundations of Engineering Geology, Third Edition CRC Press
ISBN 0415469600 ISBN-13 9780415469609

Now in full colour, the third edition of this well established book provides a readable and highly illustrated overview of the aspects of geology that are most significant to civil engineers. Sections in the book include those devoted to the main rock types, weathering, ground investigation, rock mass strength, failures of old mines, subsidence on peats and clays, sinkholes on limestone and chalk, water in landslides, slope stabilization and understanding ground conditions. The roles of both natural and man-induced processes are assessed, and this understanding is developed into an appreciation of the geological environments potentially hazardous to civil engineering and construction projects. For each style of difficult ground, available techniques of site investigation and remediation are reviewed and evaluated. Each topic is presented as a double page spread with a careful mix of text and diagrams, with tabulated reference material on parameters such as bearing strength of soils and rocks. This new edition has been comprehensively updated and covers the entire spectrum of topics of interest for both students and practitioners in the field of civil engineering.

Recommended Reading
2008-01 A Short Course in Geology for Civil Engineers Thomas Telford Publishing
ISBN 0727733508 ISBN-13 9780727733504

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."

Recommended Reading
2007 Engineering Geology
ISBN 0750680776 ISBN-13 9780750680776

Every engineering structure, whether it's a building, bridge or road, is affected by the ground on which it is built. Geology is of fundamental importance when deciding on the location and design of all engineering works, and it is essential that engineers have a basic knowledge of the subject. Engineering Geology introduces the fundamentals of the discipline and ensures that engineers have a clear understanding of the processes at work, and how they will impact on what is to be built. Core areas such as stratigraphy, rock types, structures and geological processes are explained, and put in context. The basics of soil mechanics and the links between groundwater conditions and underlying geology are introduced. As well as the theoretical knowledge necessary, Professor Bell introduces the techniques that engineers will need to learn about and understand the geological conditions in which they intend to build. Site investigation techniques are detailed, and the risks and risk avoidance methods for dealing with different conditions are explained. * Accessible introduction to geology for engineers * Key points illustrated with diagrams and photographs * Teaches the impact of geology on the planning and design of structures

Recommended Reading
2013-12-17 Soil Mechanics CRC Press
ISBN 9781466552098 ISBN-13 1466552093

Instead of fixating on formulae, Soil Mechanics: Concepts and Applications, Third Edition focuses on the fundamentals. This book describes the mechanical behaviour of soils as it relates to the practice of geotechnical engineering. It covers both principles and design, avoids complex mathematics whenever possible, and uses simple methods and ideas to build a framework to support and accommodate more complex problems and analysis. The third edition includes new material on site investigation, stress-dilatancy, cyclic loading, non-linear soil behaviour, unsaturated soils, pile stabilization of slopes, soil/wall stiffness and shallow foundations. Other key features of the Third Edition: Makes extensive reference to real case studies to illustrate the concepts described Focuses on modern soil mechanics principles, informed by relevant research Presents more than 60 worked examples Provides learning objectives, key points, and self-assessment and learning questions for each chapter Includes an accompanying solutions manual for lecturers This book serves as a resource for undergraduates in civil engineering and as a reference for practising geotechnical engineers.

Recommended Reading
20/07/2019 IS EN 19972 (2007), Eurocode 7 Geotechnical Design Part 2: Ground Investigation and Testing. NSAI

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Essential Reading

Knappett, J., Craig, R.F.  Craig's Soil Mechanics CRC Press 2012

Recommended Reading


Powrie, W. Soil Mechanics Concepts & Applications Third Edition CRC Press 2013

Smith, I. Elements of Soil Mechanics 6th Edition 2006

Whitlow, R Basic Soil Mechanics Prentice Hall 2001

Bell, F.G. Engineering Geology Butterworth-Heinemann 2007

Matthews, M.C. & Simons, N.E. A Short Course in Geology for Engineers Thomas Telford 2008

Waltham A.C Foundations of Engineering Geology Blackie 1995

Journal Resources

Journal of Geotechnical Engineering


URL Resources



Other Resources


Additional Information