Geology for Ground Engineering Projects: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Geology for Ground Engineering Projects

1st Edition

By Chris J. N. Fletcher

CRC Press

293 pages | 562 Color Illus.

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Bridges the Gap between Geology and Ground Engineering

High-quality geological models are crucial for ground engineering projects, but many engineers are not always at ease with the geological terminology and analysis presented in these models, nor with their implications and limitations. Project engineers need to have a sound comprehension of the geological models presented to them, and to be able to discuss the models in so far as they might impinge on the design, safety and possible budgetary or time constraints of the project. They should also fully understand how site investigation data and samples are used to develop and substantiate geological models.

Geology for Ground Engineering Projects provides a comprehensive presentation of, and insight into, the critical geological phenomena that may be encountered in many engineering projects, for example rock contact relationships, weathering and karst phenomena in tropical areas, composition of fault zones and variability of rock discontinuities. Examples are provided from around the world, including Southeast Asia, Europe, North and South America, China and India.

Comprehensive and well-illustrated, this definitive book:

  • Describes the important geological phenomena that could affect ground engineering projects
  • Provides a practical knowledge-base for relevant geological processes
  • Addresses common geological issues and concerns

Rocks are described in relation to the environment of their formation, highlighting the variation in composition, distribution and geotechnical properties that can be expected within a variety of rock associations. Case studies, where geology has been a vital factor, are included. These are written by the project engineers or geologists responsible for the projects. Geology for Ground Engineering Projects is well illustrated with color diagrams and photographs. Readers are directed to satellite images of selected areas to explore for themselves many of the geological features described in this book.


"This is an extremely well-written book and is beautifully illustrated in colour throughout."

—J. S. Griffiths in Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology

"The book provides a succinct summary of key geological features that are likely to impact ground engineering projects. [It] utilizes a range of well-illustrated case studies to highlight and, importantly, summarize the importance of accurate geological description, understanding of the geological history and a summary of key engineering considerations for each of the sites considered."

—Professor John Coggan, University of Exeter, UK

"The book deals with the 'so what?' questions brilliantly."

—C K Lau, Fong On Geotechnics, Hong Kong

"The book is well illustrated and the author’s passion for the subject is clear…Whilst the book is primarily aimed at civil engineering students, it would also benefit students of engineering geology."

—Steve Parry in Bull Eng Geol Environ

"The author’s exceptional wealth of experience and ability to explain complex geologic principles in clear, concise language cannot be overstated."

—M. S. Field, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in CHOICE

Table of Contents


Framework of the Book

The Geological Model

Site Investigation Samples

Geological Fundamentals

Engineering Considerations

Geological Time

Plate Tectonics

Sea Level Changes

Geological Histories

Stratigraphic Nomenclature

Geological Maps

Engineering Considerations

Types of Geological Map

Making a Geological Map

Geological Map Interpretation

Sedimentary Rocks

Engineering Considerations

Sedimentary Environments


Sedimentary Rock Characteristics

Clastic Sedimentary Rocks

Biological Sedimentary Rocks

Chemical Sedimentary Rocks

Intrusive Igneous Rocks

Engineering Considerations

Composition of Intrusive Igneous Rocks

Texture and Fabric of Intrusive Igneous Rocks

Plutonic Rocks

Dyke Rocks

Extrusive Igneous Rocks

Engineering Considerations

Geometry of Volcanic Deposits

Composition of Volcanic Rocks


Pyroclastic Deposits

Structures within Hot Volcanic Rocks



Metamorphic and Hydrothermal Rocks

Engineering Considerations

Contact Metamorphism

Dynamic Metamorphism

Hydrothermal Alteration



Engineering Considerations

Fault Geometry

Fault Systems, Arrays and Zones

Fault Composition


Engineering Considerations

Compositional Layering


Joint Characteristics



Engineering Considerations

Fold Nomenclature

Fold Classification

Fold Geometry

Transposition Structures

Weathered Rocks

Engineering Considerations



Weathering Profiles

Weathering Characteristics

Clays in the Weathering Profile


Engineering Considerations

Karst Morphology

Karst Deposits

Superficial Deposits

Engineering Considerations



Shallow-Water Marine Deposits

Windblown Deposits

Lake Deposits

Evaporite Deposits

Glacial Deposits



About the Author

Chris J. N. Fletcher is a consulting geologist based in Wales. He graduated from St Andrew’s University in Scotland, and then moved to Canada to complete an MSc at Queen’s University and a PhD at the University of British Columbia. Most of his career has been with the British Geological Survey, both in the UK and overseas. He then became director of the Hong Kong Geological Survey and later managed his own geological consulting company. He was an Honorary Professor at universities in Hong Kong and China, where he presented graduate and professional development courses.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / General
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geology