Essay: Engineering geology

Engineering geology may be defined as that of applied sciences which deals with the application of geology for a safe, stable, economical design and construction of a civil engineering project.
Engineering Geology:

In Civil Engineering:

Geology provides necessary information about the site of construction materials used in the construction of buildings, tanks, tunnels, dams, reservoirs, bridges and highways. Geological information is most important in planning, design and construction phase of an engineering project.

In Mining Engineering:

Geology is useful to know the method of mining of rock and mineral deposits on earth’s surface and subsurface.

In Ground Water:

Resources development geology is applied in various aspects of resources and storage, supply, filling up of reservoirs, pollution disposal and contaminated water disposal.

1.2 Branches of geology

Physical Geology:

Physical geology deals with the various process of physical agents such as water, wind, glaciers and waves, run on these agents go on modifying the surface of the earth continuously. It includes the study of Erosion, Transportation and Deposition. The study of physical geology plays a vital role in civil engineering.


Crystallography deals with the study of crystals. A crystal is a regular polyhedral form bounded by smooth surfaces. The study of crystallography is used to recognize the minerals.


Mineralogy deals with the study of minerals. A mineral may be defined as a homogeneous solid, naturally occurring, inorganically formed, having a definite chemical composition and ordered atomic arrangement. The study of mineralogy is the most important for a civil engineering students.


Petrology deals with the study of rocks. A rock is defined as the aggregation of minerals found in the earth’s crust.


Stratigraphy deals with the study of stratified rocks and their correlations.


Paleontology deals with the study of fossils and the ancient remains of plants and animals are referred to as fossils. Fossils are useful in the study of evolution and migration of animals and plants through ages, ancient geography and climate of an area.

Structural Geology:

Structural geology deals with the study of structures found in rocks. It is also known as tectonic geology. Structural geology is an arrangement of rocks and plays an important role in the selection of suitable sites for all types of projects such as dams, tunnels, multi-storied buildings, etc.

Historical Geology:

Historical geology includes the study of both stratigraphy and paleontology. It is used in civil engineering is to know about the land and seas, the climate and the life of early times upon the earth.

Civil Engineering Geology:

Civil engineering geology deals with all the geological problems that arise in the field of civil engineering along with suitable treatments. Thus, it includes the construction of dams, tunnels, mountain roads, building stones and road metals.

Mining Geology:

It deals with the study of application of geology to mining engineering in such a way that the selection of suitable sites for quarrying and mines can be determined.

Economic Geology:

It deals with the study of minerals, rocks and materials of economic importance like petroleum and coal.


Hydrology deals with the studies of both quality and quantity of water that are present in the rocks in different states. Moreover, it includes:

a) Atmospheric water

b) Surface water

c) Underground water.

Indian Geology:

Indian geology deals with the study of our motherland in connection with the coal, petroleum, physiography, stratigraphy and economic mineral of India.

Resources Engineering:

Resources engineering deals with the study of land, water, minerals, minerals, solar energy, forests, etc.

Photo Geology:

It deals with the study of aerial photographs.

Relationship of geology with other branches of science and engineering:


Geochemistry deals with geology in such a way that it concerns with the abundance and distribution of various elements and compounds in the earth.


Geophysics are related with geology in such a way that it concerns with the constitution of the earth and the nature of the physical forces operating on with in the earth.


Geohydrology is related with the geology in setting of ground water. In other words, It is an “interaction between Geology and Hydrology”.

Mining Engineering:

Mining engineering deals with the formation and distribution of economic minerals and response to fracturing processes. Without the knowledge of structural features of rock masses and mode of occurrence and mineral deposits, a mining engineer cannot determine the method of mining.

Rock Mechanics:

It is related with geology in dealing with the behaviour of rocks that is subjected to static and dynamic loads (force fields).

Civil Engineering:

Before constructing roads, bridges, reservoirs, tunnels, tanks and buildings, selection of site is important from the viewpoint of stability of foundation and availability of construction materials. Geology of area is important and rock-forming region, their physical nature, permeability, joints, faults, etc.

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