Geology: Basics for Engineers, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover


Basics for Engineers, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Aurèle Parriaux

CRC Press

578 pages

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Geology – Basics for Engineers (second edition) presents the physical and chemical characteristics of the Earth, the nature and the properties of rocks and unconsolidated deposits/sediments, the action of water, how the Earth is transformed by various phenomena at different scales of time and space. The book shows the engineer how to take geological conditions into account in their projects, and how to exploit a wide range of natural resources in an intelligent way, reduce geological hazards, and manage subsurface pollution.

This second edition has been fully revised and updated. Through a problem-based learning approach, this instructional text imparts knowledge and practical experience to engineering students (undergraduate and graduate level), as well as to experts in the fields of civil engineering, environmental engineering, earth sciences, architecture, land and urban planning.

Free digital supplements to the book, found on the book page, contain solutions to the problems and animations that show additional facets of the living Earth.

The original French edition of the book (2007) won the prestigious Roberval Prize, an international contest organized by the University of Technology of Compiegne in collaboration with the General Council of Oise, France. Geology, Basics for Engineers was selected out of a total of 110 candidates. The jury praised the book as a "very well conceived teaching textbook" and underscored its highly didactic nature, as well as the excellent quality of its illustrations.


  • Offers an exhaustive outline of the methods and techniques used in geology, with a study of the nature and properties of the principal soils and rocks
  • Helps students understand how geological conditions should be taken into account by the engineer by taking a problem-solving approach
  • Contains extensive figures and examples, solutions to probems, and illustrative animations
  • Presents a highly didactic and synthetic work intended for engineering students as well as experts in civil engineering, environmental engineering, the earth sciences, and architecture
  • Table of Contents

    1 The Geology-Engineering Partnership

    1.1 Areas of engineering geology

    1.2 The history of geology

    2 The Earth in Space

    2.1 The solar system

    2.2 The telluric planets

    2.3 Giant planets

    2.4 Comets

    2.5 Meteorites

    3 The Earth Through Time

    3.1 Measurement of geologic time

    3.2 Origin of the Universe and matter

    3.3 Voyage through time: From the Precambrian to the Quaternary

    4 Physics of the Globe

    4.1 Seismology

    4.2 Gravimetry

    4.3 Magnetism

    4.4 Geothermics

    5 Rock Forming Minerals

    5.1 Crystallography

    5.2 Geochemistry

    5.3 Practical mineral identification

    6 Magmatism and Magmatic Rocks

    6.1 Composition of the Earth’s layers

    6.2 Magmatism and plate tectonics

    6.3 From magma to magmatic rocks

    6.4 Magmatic events

    6.5 Major magmatic rocks

    7 The Water Cycle

    7.1 Water reserves and their exchanges

    7.2 The atmosphere

    7.3 Surface water

    7.4 Groundwater

    7.5 Water in the seas and oceans

    8 The Continental Sedimentary Environment

    8.1 Generalities

    8.2 Hillslope environments

    8.3 The alluvial environment

    8.4 The lacustrine environment

    8.5 The palustrine environment

    8.6 Boreal and polar environments

    8.7 The desert environment

    9 The Oceanic Sedimentary Environment

    9.1 Continental margin

    9.2 The continental rise and the abyssal plains

    10 Diagenesis and Properties of Sedimentary Rocks

    10.1 Diagenetic processes

    10.2 Detrital rocks

    10.3 Biogenic rocks

    10.4 Evaporite rocks

    11 Metamorphism

    11.1 Transformation processes

    11.2 Types of metamorphism

    11.3 Principal metamorphic rocks and their properties

    11.4 Identification of magmatic, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks

    12 Tectonics

    12.1 Mechanical stresses in the subsurface

    12.2 Stress-deformation relationships

    12.3 Brittle deformation

    12.4 Ductile deformation

    12.5 Geometric representation and treatment of structural elements

    12.6 The Alps: a tectonic model

    13 Weathering

    13.1 Weathering processes

    13.2 Catalog of weathering-prone materials

    13.3 Extent of weathering at depth

    13.4 Engineering concerns

    13.5 Screening for weathering

    14 Geology’s Role in the Major Issues Facing Society

    14.1 Land development and natural resources

    14.2 Environmental protection

    14.3 Conclusion

    About the Author

    Aurèle Parriaux studied geology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He obtained his Ph.D. in hydrogeology and followed several postgraduate courses in hydrogeology, operational hydrology and geotechnics.

    In 1991, he was appointed Professor of Engineering Geology at EPFL and presently he is head of the Engineering and Environmental Geology Laboratory (GEOLEP) at the same institute. He leads a research team of about twenty people specializing in the fields of geological hazards and underground resources.

    Professor Parriaux has significant teaching responsibilities. He teaches geology to students in 'Civil Engineering' and 'Environmental Sciences and Engineering'. Moreover, he teaches "Engineering Geology" at the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva.

    Parallel to his research and teaching, Aurèle Parriaux carries out expert appraisals in various fields of engineering and environmental geology. In particular, the recent appraisal of the compatibility between construction of tunnels and protection of groundwater resources.

    Since the creation of the new School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, he participates in the teaching related to territory and landscape into which he brings the geological and geomorphologic component.

    Aurèle Parriaux is active in several international organizations. He was chairman of the Swiss Hydrogeological Society for six years. From 2001 to 2006 he was Director of the Civil Engineering Section of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne.

    In 2006, he published his book "Géologie: bases pour l'ingénieur". The second edition of this successful textbook will be published in 2009. In competition with 105 scientific books, "Géologie : bases pour l'ingénieur" received the Roberval Prize in 2007. The publisher CRC Press/Balkema, member of the Taylor & Francis Group decided to publish an English translation of the book (Geology: basics for Engineers, 2009).

    In December 2008, Prof. Parriaux was nominated Chevalier of the Order of Academic Palms by the Prime Minister of the Republic of France.

    Subject Categories

    BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
    SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geology
    TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Civil / General