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Faculty of Sciences

Geology Department

Courses No. (404G & 425 G)

Engineering Geology

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Introduction, and importance of Engineering
Geology

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What is Engineering Geology?

Engineering geology is the application of geological data,


techniques and principles to the study of rock and soil
surfacial materials, and ground water. This is essential for
the proper location, planning, design, construction,
operation and maintenance of engineering structures.
Engineering geology complements environmental geology.

What does Engineering Geology study?

Rock, soil, water, the interaction among these three


constituents, as well as with engineering materials and
structures.

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Why Engineering Geology matter?

Serve civil engineering to provide information in 3


most important areas:

1 Resources for construction;


Aggregates, and fills.

2 Finding stable foundations;


Present is the key to the past geology
Past is the key to the future engineering

3 Mitigation of geological hazards


Identify problems, evaluate the costs, provide
information to mitigate the problem

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Engineering Geologist must be know
1- Rock and Soil descriptions and identifications;
2- Engineering properties of rocks and soils (e.g., foundation), materials for
construction (e.g., aggregates);
3- Rock weathering and soil development;
4- Map reading, both topographic and geologic;
5- Structure aspects bedding, joints, and faults;
6- Mass movement and landslides;
7- Running water-erosion, and flood effects;
8- Groundwater control during construction, water supply, pollution, subsidence,
and slope instability;
9- Shoreline erosion and protection;
10- Earthquakes and earthquake engineering;
11- Subsurface geology, and condition of stress at depth (for excavation,
tunneling, etc.)
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Engineering Geology Close to Life:
Some recent nightmare memories in Egypt and other
world countries

Ground Water, and Sand Dune Migration problems (El Obour City,
Egypt, 2009)

El - Diwaka Collapse, Egypt (Sep., 2008)

A 25-Foot boulder falls, California, USA ( Jan., 2005)

Great Tsunami, Southeastern part of Asia (Christmas Day, 2004)

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Ground water problem, El Obour City.
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Sand Dune Migration
problem, El Obour City.

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El - Diwaka Collapse, Egypt (9/2008)
More than 150 person were Killed
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More than 150.000
person were killed

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Subsidence of building sector,
southwest of 3rd Settlement
population area, New Cairo
City, Egypt.

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Subsidence and fracturing of a major beach road, Italy.
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Tilting of Learning Tower of Pisa, Italy (3/2004)
Reason: a weak clay layer at 11 m depth
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Engineering Geology

1- Soil Mechanics

2- Rock Mechanics

3- Stability of Slope

4- Engineering Geological Maps

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1- Soil Mechanics

References:
Arora, K. R. (1988): Introductory soil engineering, Standard Publisher
Distributors, Delhi, 630 P.
Bell, F. G. (2007): Engineering Geology (2nd Edition), Elsevier Ltd.
(Pub.), Amsterdam, 593 P.
Das, B. M. (2008): Advanced soil mechanics (3rd Edition), Taylor &
Francis Group, New York, 594 P.
Nelson, J. D. and Millar, D. J. (1992): Expansive soils, problems and
practice in foundation and pavement engineering.-
John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 359 P.

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Soil mechanics is the application of the laws of mechanics and
hydraulics to engineering problems dealing with sediments
and other unconsolidated accumulations of solid particles
produced by the mechanical and chemical disintegration of
rocks regardless of whether or not they contain an admixture
of organic constituents (Terzaghi, 1925).

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Definitions of Soil
Engineering definitions:
Civil Engineering:
Soil is the earth material that can be disaggregated in water by
gentle agitation.
Construction:
Soil is material that can be removed by conventional means
without blasting.

Geologic definition:
Soil is all friable materials resulting from either weathering of the
underlying rocks or transported from other places.
Agronomy definition:
Soil consists of the thin layers of the earths crust formed by
surface weathering that are able to support plant life.
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Soil Types
According to the physical state of soils

Non-Cohesive (Cohesionless) soils,


and
Cohesive soils.

According to geotechnical characteristics of soils


Collapsing soils,
and
Expansive soils

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Non-Plastic Silt,
Sand, and Gravel

Cohesionless (Non-Cohesive) soils are composed of bulky grains and


have no plasticity

Clay, and Plastic Silt

Cohesive soils are the soils which adsorbed water and deformed plastically
at varying water content due to the presence of clay minerals.
(mud sticking on shoes in a rainy day when one walk in a field)
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Collapsing Soils

Collapsing soils are distinguished by their potential to undergo large


decrease in volume upon increase in moisture content even without
increase in external loads.

Coarse grained soils (Friable Sand)

Expansive Soils

Expansive soils are distinguished by their potential for great volume


increase upon access to moisture.

Fine grained soils (Claystone)

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Elements of Soil Mechanics
Index properties:
Index properties mean the observable physical and geotechnical
characteristics with significant influence on a soils behavior.

Index properties include the descriptions of:

Specific Gravity;
moisture content;
Soil density;
Soil particles;
Soil consistency;
Shear strength;
Collapsing potentiality for collapsing soils;
Swelling potentiality for expansive soils.
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Water Content Determination
1- Oven Drying Method

Specific Gravity Determination


1- Measuring Flask Method Proctor Apparatus

Unit Weight Determination

1- Water Displacement Method Measurements Sand Cone Apparatus


Lab.

2- Proctor Compaction Test


Measurements

3- Sand Replacement Method


Field

(Sand Cone Test)

4- Core Cutter Method

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Soil Particles
The description of the grain size distribution of soil particles according to
their texture (particle size, shape, and gradation).

Major textural classes include:


gravel (>2 mm);
sand (0.05 2 mm);
silt (0.002 0.05 mm);
clay (< 0.002 mm).

Furthermore, gravel and sand can be roughly classified as coarse textured


soils, while silt and clay can be classified as fine textured soils.

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Procedure For Grain Size Determination
1- Mechanical Sieving: used for particles > 75 m

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2- Hydrometer test: used for smaller particles < 75 m
Hydrometer Model H151

Analysis based on Stokes Law, velocity proportional to diameter


D2 = (0.3 H) / ((Gs-1) w T)
Where:
D: Particle diameter
: Viscosity of water
H: Fall distance
Gs: Specific Gravity of Solid Particles
w: Specific Gravity of water
T: Time of Falling

N= (Gs / Gs-1)(R / Ws)100


Where:
N: Percentage of finer particles than the size D
Gs: Specific Gravity of solid particles
R: Hydrometer reading
Ws: Weight of solids in a volume V of 1000 ml
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Percentage % Clay Silt Sand Gravel

Diameter (D) mm
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Gradation:
Gradation is the distribution of particles of different size in a soil mass.
Larger gradation means a wider particle size distribution.
Well graded poorly sorted (e.g., glacial till)
Poorly graded well sorted (e.g. beach sand)

Coefficient of gradation Curvature Cc


Cc= (D30 D30)/(D10 D60)
A soil is thought to be well graded if the coefficient of curvature Cc
between 1 and 3, with Cu greater than 4 for gravels and 6 for sands.
Uniformity coefficient Cu:
Cu= D60/D10
Apparently, larger Cu means the size distribution is wider and vice versa.
Cu= 1 means uniform, all grains are in the same size, such as
the case of dune sands . On the other extreme is the glacial till,
for which its Cu can reach 30.
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Typical shapes of coarse grained bulky particles

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Soil Consistency
Soil consistency is defined as the relative ease with which a soil can be
deformed use the terms of soft, firm, or hard.
Consistency largely depends on soil minerals and the water content.

Non Plastic Sand Soil Plastic


Clay
Soil

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Atterberg (1911) mentioned that a fine grained soil can exist in four states based on its
water content, namely liquid, plastic, semi solid, and solid states.
The water content at which the soil changes from one state to the other are know as
Consistency limits or Atterberg limits.
P.I
Initial Moisture Content (I.M.C)

(L.L): Liquid Limit


(P.L): Plastic Limit
Volume %

(P.I): Plasticity Index


(S.L): Shrinkage limit

Liquid
Semi Plastic
plastic
Solid solid Moisture
S.L P.L L.L Content %
The relationship between the four physical states of consistency (After Lambe and Whitman, 1969).
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Liquid Limit
is defined as the moisture
content at which soil begins
to behave as a liquid material
and begins to flow

Slope of flow
curve = Flow
Index of soil

Casagrande liquid limit device


In the lab., the L.L is defined as the
moisture content (%) required to
close a 2 mm wide groove in a soil
pat a distance of 0.5 inch along the
Flow Index (If )= (W1 - W2) / (log10 N2/N1) bottom of the groove at 25 blows.
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Another method of
determining liquid limit that 80 gm
is popular in Europe
and Asia is the fall cone
penetration method
(British StandardBS
1377). In this test the liquid
limit is defined as the
moisture content at which a
standard cone of apex angle
30o and weight of 80 gm
will penetrate a distance d =
20 mm in 5 seconds when
allowed to drop from a
position of point contact
with the soil surface

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Plastic Limit

The moisture content (%) at


which the soil when rolled
into threads of 3.2 mm (1/8
in) in diameter will crumble.

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The fall cone method can be used to obtain the plastic limit. This can be
achieved by using a cone of similar geometry but with a mass of 240 gm
80 gm

240 gm

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Plasticity Index
Plasticity Index is the difference between the liquid limit and plastic limit of
a soil
P.I = L.L P.L
Shrinkage Limit
Shrinkage limit is the smallest water content at which the soil is saturated, or is the
maximum water content at which a reduction of water will not cause a
decrease in the volume of the soil mass.

Plasticity Chart
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Liquidity Index L.I: < 0.00 Soil is in semi-plastic solid to
solid state
Liquidity index of a soil indicates the
nearness of its water content to L.I: 0.00 1.00 Soil is in plastic state
its liquid limit.
L.I: > 1.00 Soil is in liquid state
L.I = (Wc-P.L)/P.I

Consistency Index
Consistency index indicates the firmness
of the soil where it shows the
nearness of the initial water
content of a soil to its plastic limit.

C.I = ( L.L - Wc)/P.I

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Shear Strength
The Shear Strength of a soil is its maximum resistance to shear
stresses just before the failure.

Shear strength is a principal engineering property which controls the


stability of a soil mass under loads.

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The shear deformation behavior of soils can be investigated by

Shear Box Apparatus


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Uni-axial Apparatus Or
Unconfined Comp. Strength App.

For cohesive clayey soils

Pocket Penetrometer

6 mm

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The Mohr - Coulomb failure criterion

Failure Envelop
Stress not exist
Cohesive
soils Unstable Soil
Stable Soil

C

f = C + tan
f : Failure shear strength
: Failure shear stress
Non-
: Normal Stress
Cohesive
C: Cohesion Shear
soils Strength
: Friction angle Parameters

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The graphical method for the determination of stress
on an inclined plane (Mohrs Circle)

Minor principal plane

((1 - 3)/2) Major principal plane

P(&)
1: Major Comp. Stress
3: Minor Comp. Stress
o 2
3 e c h f : Normal Stress
(1 + 3)/2
: Failure shear stress

1 : inclined angle of shear
oh = oc + ch plane

= ((1 + 3)/2) + ((1 - 3)/2) Cos 2 Where = (45+(/2))


ph = cp Sin2
= ((1 - 3)/2) Sin 2
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Factor of Safety
Is the ratio of resistance strength
to the failure stress along the
surface of failure

f /
Factors affecting shear strength of soils
Non cohesive soils
Packing soils of closed packing > soils of open packing
Grading well graded soils > ill graded soils
Drainage well drained soils > poorly drained soils
Cohesive soils
Plasticity low plasticity soil > high plasticity soils
Void ratio soils of low void ratio > soils of high void ratio
Disturbance undisturbed soils > disturbed soils
Saturation un saturated soils > over saturated soils

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Shear stages
1- Consolidation stage
2- Shear stage

Different types of tests and drainage conditions


1- Unconsolidated Undrained Condition (Fast test)
2- Consolidated Undrained Condition Total Stresses
3- Consolidated Drained Condition (Slow test) Effective Stresses

Sensitivity
S = (qun undisturbed) /( qun remolded)

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Collapsing Potentiality for collapsing soils

According to Dudley (1970); the collapsible soils are characterized by


liquid limit below 45% and plasticity index below 25%. Usually they are
much lower even down to non plastic condition.

T1
The basic concept of additional
settlement due to collapse of (1)

Settlement
grain structure, (After
Jennings and Knight, 1975).

(1) Normal settlement with no (2)


change in water content
(2) Additional settlement with
no change in stress but
increase in water content at
time T1 Time
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Collapsing potential determination by consolidation test
200 KPa
Collapse Potential Flooding
eo
= ec / (1+eo) = h / h

Void Ratio
Collapse potential Severity of
(%) problem ec
0 - 1 No problem

1 - 5 Moderate trouble

5 - 10 Trouble
Log P
10 - 20 Several trouble
Typical result of collapse potential test
> 20 Very trouble (After Jennings and Knight, 1975).
eo : the initial void ratio
ec : the change of void ratio due to wetting

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Swelling Potentiality for expansive soils

1- Indirect Methods
A- Activity
B- Free Swelling

Activity (Ac) = P.I / Clay Fraction %


Activity is a measure of the water-holding capacity of clayey soils
Ac : 0.75 Inactive soil
Ac: 0.75 1.25 Normal soil
Ac: 1.25 Active soil
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Free Swelling (F.S)
Free swelling is the volume increase upon wetting of the unconsolidated,
unconfined and air dried sample.
According to Holtz and Gibbs (1956)

F.S = ((Vf Vi)/Vi) 100


Where
Vi: Initial Volume of air dray soil
Vf: Final volume of a soil sample after wetting for 24 hours

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2- Direct Methods: Pre-swelling method using Oedometer Apparatus
(Consolidation test)
PURPOSE
To investigate the compressibility of
soil under vertical loading
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT
Consolidation is extremely useful
for forecasting the magnitude
and time of the settlement of the
structure

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Consolidation
Curve

1- Upper curved portion (stage I). This is mainly the result of pre-compression of the
specimen. (initial consolidation, where the decrease in volume is due to
expulsion and compression of air in the voids).
2- A straight-line portion (stage II). This is referred to as primary consolidation
(water expulsion ). At the end of the primary consolidation, the excess pore
water pressure generated by the incremental loading is dissipated to a large
extent.
3- A lower straight-line portion (stage III). This is called secondary consolidation.
During this stage, the specimen undergoes small deformation with time. This
consolidation occurs due to plastic readjustment of the soil particles.
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Date :

Pre-Swelling State

Consolidation
Curve

Unloading Curve

Swelling Pressure = 36 Kg/cm2 = 3.6 MPa


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Soil Classification
1- Particle Size Classification
Components Ex.
Massachusettes Institute of Technology
% Classification (M.I.T)
0.0 -10 Sand and
Traces of clay
10.0 20.0 Sand and some
clay
20.0 - 35.0 Clayey Sand
35.0 50.0 Sand and Clay

U.S Bureau of Soils Classification

Sand Fine
Clay Gravel
Silt Very
Fine Medium Coarse Gravel
Fine
0.005 0.05 0.10 0.25 0.5 1.0 2.0 mm
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2- Texture Classification Triangular Soil Classification by
U.S Bureau of Public Roads

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3- Unified Soil Classification System
This system was first developed by Casagrande (1948) and it is based on particle
size and plasticity characteristics of soils.
Symbols used in the Casagrande soil classification

Well Graded W
Poorly Graded P
Non-Plastic Fine M
Plastic Fine C
Low Plasticity L
High Plasticity H
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Classification criteria
Unified soil
classification
system

(Clean Gravels)

(See Plasticity Chart)

(See Plasticity Chart)

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Unified soil classification system ( Continued)
Major divisions Group Typical names Classification
symbols criteria
Poorly graded sands; gravelly
SP
sands (few or no fines)
Silty sands; sandsilt Atterberg limits below
SM
mixtures A-line or plasticity
index less than 4
Sands with fines
See Plasticity Chart
(appreciable amount
Clayey sands; Atterberg limits above
of fines) SC
Sand clay mixtures A-line with plasticity
index greater than 7
See Plasticity Chart
Fine-grained soils ( 50% passing No. 200
sieve)
Inorganic silts; very fine sands;
ML
silty or clayey fine sands ( low
plasticity) See Plasticity Chart
Silts and clay (liquid Inorganic clays (low to medium
limit less than 50) CL plasticity); gravelly clays; sandy clays;
silty clays; lean clays
Organic silts; organic silty clays
OL
(low plasticity)

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Unified soil classification system ( Continued)

Major divisions Group Typical names Classification


symbols criteria
Inorganic silts of high
MH plasticity

Inorganic clays of high


Silts and clay (liquid CH plasticity
limit greater than 50)
See Plasticity Chart
Organic clays (medium to
OH high plasticity); organic
silts
Highly organic soils Peat; muck; mulch; and
Pt other highly organic soils

Classification based on percentage of fines: < 5% passing No. 200: GW.


GP. SW. SP: > 12% passing No. 200: GM. GC. SM. SC: 5 12%
passing No. 200: borderline - dual symbols required such as GW-GM.
GW-GC. GP-GM. GP-GC. SW-SM. SW-SC. SP-SM. SP-SC.

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Unified soil classification of the soil samples using the chart of Casagrande (1948).

Increase permeability and decrease compressibility


Plasticity
Chart

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