Properties and behaviour of rocks. Formation, properties and classification of soils. Strength and stiffness of soils. Applications to slopes, retaining walls, and site characterisation.
• By the end of the course, students should have an appreciation of the origin and nature of rock and soil and that soil is a 3-phase material. They should be able to use simple tests to classify soil according to particle size and plasticity.
• Students should be able to understand how water flows through soil and how this relates to soil type and water head. They should be able to apply Darcy’s Law to problems with simple geometries in the laboratory and field and be able to determine appropriate parameters for use in seepage situations.
• Students should be able to apply the Principle of Effective Stress to simple problems involving shear and volumetric deformation. They should understand that soil derives its strength from friction between particles and be able to determine soil properties and parameters of importance to this behaviour.
• Students should be able to appreciate the importance of the geological model and hence site characterization
Course Coordinator / Lecturer
Assignment x 4
Mid semester test
Examination and Formal Tests
27 Oct 2012
Soil mechanics : concepts and applications;
Spon Press, 2004 (highly recommended).
The course topics are split into two components. Each component is broken down further into a set of modules. Here is the module list together with approximate lecture times spent on each (not in chronological order).
Engineering geology: (12 lectures)
Lecturer: Dr David Bell
• Origin and properties of rocks [6L]
• Earth surface processes and formation of soils [3L]
• Geological investigation and site characterization [3L]
Introduction to soil mechanics: (36 lectures)
Lecturer: Dr Cedric Lambert
• Physical properties and classification of soils [4L]
• Water in soils (static conditions and flow) [6L]
• Stresses and strains in soils [4L]
• Shear strength and stiffness of soil [10L]
• Slopes (concepts) [6L]
• Earth pressure and retaining structures (concepts) [6L]
For further information see
Civil and Natural Resources Engineering.
All ENCN253 Occurrences
Semester Two 2012