Sustainable Practices in Geoenvironmental Engineering: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sustainable Practices in Geoenvironmental Engineering

2nd Edition

By Raymond N. Yong, Catherine N. Mulligan, Masaharu Fukue

CRC Press

562 pages | 228 B/W Illus.

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In the seven years since the publication of the first edition of Sustainable Practices in Geoenvironmental Engineering, the combination of population growth and increased exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources has added increased stresses on the quality and health of the geoenvironment. This is especially true when viewed in the context of the growing demand for food and shelter, energy and mineral resources, and their resultant effects on the natural capital of the geoenvironment. Completely revised and updated, this second edition of a bestseller introduces and discusses the concept of "stressors" and their impacts on the geoenvironment.

See What’s New in the Second Edition:

  • Clear definition of the geoenvironment
  • New tools and remediation technologies, new management methods for geohazards, and enhanced coverage of social and economic sustainability
  • Innovative approaches and techniques for reaching geoenvironmental sustainability
  • More detail on treatment technologies, both in situ and ex situ
  • Discussion on the mitigation of geodisasters
  • Additional sections to discuss sustainability assessment protocols
  • Updated information on models for prediction of contaminant behavior

The authors explore the technologies that take into account targets, exposure routes (if applicable), future land use, acceptable risks, legislation, and resultant emissions/discharges in establishing the criteria and tools for evaluating technologies and protocols for environmental management of the impacted land. They then discuss how to choose the correct ones to use in different situations to protect the quality and health of natural resource and capital of the geoenvironment and ensure that these geoenvironmental natural resources and capital remain available for future generations and to develop innovative and sustainable techniques to make land more stable and safer.

Table of Contents

Geoenvironment Management and Sustainability


Impacts on the Geoenvironment

Geoenvironment Impacts from Natural Events and Disasters

Anthropogenic Forces and Impacts on Geoenvironment

Geoenvironment, Ecosystems, and Resources

Ecozones and Ecosystems

Natural Resources and Biodiversity in the Geoenvironment

Geoenvironment Sustainability

Geoenvironment as a Natural Resource Base

Impacts on the Geoenvironment

Impacts due to Population Growth

Impacts from Natural Resource Exploitation

Stressors and Sources

Natural Stressor Sources and Stressors

Anthropogenic Stressor Sources and Stressors

Geoenvironment Impacts on Soil and Water Resources

Impacts on Land Mass and Soil

Soil Functionality and Indicators

Impacts on Water and Water Resources


Renewable and Nonrenewable Geoenvironment Natural Resources

Rs and Beyond

Concluding Remarks


Stressors and Soil Contamination


Stressors and Impacts

Stressor Impacts on Soils






Biologically Mediated

Soil Contamination from Chemical Stressors

Contamination and Geoenvironmental Impacts

Reference Frame

Characterization of Geoenvironmental Impacts

Identifying and Assessing for Impact on the Geoenvironment

Stressor Sources

Nature of Impacts

Man-Made and Natural Combinations

Wastes, Contaminants, and Threats

Inorganic Contaminants

Arsenic (As)

Cadmium (Cd)

Chromium (Cr)

Copper (Cu)

Lead (Pb)

Nickel (Ni)

Zinc (Zn)

Organic Chemical Contaminants

Persistent Organic Chemical Pollutants

Surface and Subsurface Soils

Soil as a Resource Material

Nature of Soils

Soil Composition

Primary Minerals

Secondary Minerals

Soil Organic Matter

Oxides and Hydrous Oxides

Carbonates and Sulfates

Soil Properties Pertinent to Contaminant Transport and Fate

Specific Surface Area and Cation Exchange Capacity

Surface Properties

Contaminant Transport and Land Contamination

Mechanisms of Interaction of Heavy Metal Contaminants in Soil

Chemically Reactive Groups of Organic Chemical Contaminants

Partitioning of Contaminants and Partition Coefficients

Predicting Contaminant Transport

Geoenvironmental Land Management

Concluding Remarks


Sustainable Water Management


Geoenvironment Sustainable Water Management

Water Availability and Quality

Uses of Water and Its Importance

Hydrological Cycle

Human Interference on Infiltration and Runoff

Harvesting of Groundwater

Excessive Groundwater Abstraction and Land Subsidence

Uses of Water

Water Quality Characterization and Management

Classes of Contaminants Characterizing Chemical Stressors

Monitoring of Water Quality

Remote Sensing


Sustainable Water Treatment and Management

Techniques for Soil and Groundwater Treatment

Isolation and Containment

Extraction Treatment Techniques

Electrokinetic Applications

Natural Attenuation



Enhanced Natural Attenuation

In Situ Reactive Regions—Treatment Zones

Permeable Reactive Barriers

Ex Situ Processes

Groundwater and Water Management

Evaluation of the Sustainability of Remediation Alternatives

Concluding Remarks


Industrial Ecology and the Geoenvironment


Concept of Industrial Ecology

Geoenvironmental Life Cycle Assessment

Geoenvironment Impacts and Sustainability

Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream Industries

Mineral Mining and Processing Downstream Industries

Metallurgical Industries

Metal Fabrication and Processing

Nonmetal Mineral Resources Processing

Land Environment Impacts and Sustainability Indicators

Agroprocessing Industries

Leather Tanning Industry

Pulp and Paper Industry

Palm Oil Industries

Land Environment Impact and Sustainability Indicators

Petrochemical and Chemical Industries

Petrochemical Industries

Chemical Industries

Stressors and Impacts on Geoenvironment

Land Environment Impacts and Sustainability Indicators

Service Industries

Hospital Wastes and the Geoenvironment

Energy Production and the Geoenvironment

Fossil Fuel Energy Production

Geoenvironment Stressors

Nuclear Energy

Alternative Energy Sources and the Geoenvironment

Contaminating Discharges and Wastes

Physicochemical Properties and Processes


Partition Coefficients

Vapor Pressure

Concluding Remarks


Natural Resources Extraction: Stressors and Impact Management


Stressors and Impacts

Mining-Related Activities

Biohydrometallurgical Processes

Underground In Situ Hydrocarbon Extraction

Sulfide Minerals and Acidic Leachates

Acid Mine Drainage

Arsenic Release

Sustainability and Resource Exploitation

Resource Extraction and Stressor Impacts

Mining-Related Industries

Pit Mining

Discharges from Beneficiation and Processing: Stressor Sources

Solid Waste Materials and Stressors

Liquid Waste Streams, Discharge, and Stressors

Underground In Situ Hydrocarbon Extraction

Fluid Usage and Stressors

Tailings Discharges

Containment of Tailings

Nature of Contained Slurry Tailings

Geoenvironment Impacts and Management

Geoenvironmental Inventory and Land Use

Acid Mine Drainage Impact Mitigation

Acid Mine Drainage Management



Slurry Tailings Ponds Impact Management

Concluding Remarks

Mining Activities

Contaminated Water Management

Tailings Discharge and Mine Closure


Agricultural-Based Food Production Geoenvironment Stressors


Food Production

Geoenvironment Engineering: Sustainable Issues

Land Use for Food Production

Stressor Impacts on Water and Soil

Water Utilization

Soil and Water Quality Stressors

Chemical Soil Nutrients


Food Production Stressor Impacts

Impact on Health

Impact on Biodiversity

Managing Geoenvironment Stressor Impacts

Examples of Practices to Reduce Stressor Impacts

Soil Degradation

Soil Erosion

Integrated Crop Management

Water Quality

Source Control

Impact of Soil Additives

Mitigating Manure Treatment Stressors’ Impacts

Aerobic Composting

Anaerobic Digestion


Integrated Manure Treatment

Tools for Evaluation of Geoenviroment Impacts from Farming Stressor Sources

Agricultural Sustainability

Development of Analytical Tools

Indicators of Agroecosystem Sustainability

Concluding Remarks


Urbanization and the Geoenvironment


Land Uses by Urbanization

Impact of Urbanization on WEHAB

Impact on Water

Effect of Traffic and Energy Use

Implications on Health

Impact of Land Use

Impact of Urban Waste Disposal

Greenhouse Gases

Impact on Ecosystem Biodiversity

Impact Avoidance and Risk Minimization

Waste Management

Contamination Management and Prevention

Waste Reduction


Water Resources Management

Reduction in Energy Usage, Ozone Depletion, and Greenhouse Gases

Minimizing Impact on Biodiversity

Altering Transportation

Brownfield Redevelopment

Sustainability Indicators for Urbanization

Mitigation and Remediation of Impacts

Mitigation of Impact of Wastes

Fresh Kills Urban Dump, New York City, New York, USA

Vertical Barriers and Containment


Landfill Bioreactor

Natural Attenuation

Remediation of Urban Sites

Case Study of a Sustainable Urban Area

Concluding Remarks


Coastal Marine Environment Sustainability


Coastal Marine Environment and Impacts

Geosphere and Hydrosphere Coastal Marine Environment



Food Chain and Biological Concentration

Contamination of Sediments

Some Case Studies of Sediment Contamination

Sediment Quality Criteria

London Convention and Protocol

Quality of Marine Sediments

Standards and Guidelines



Background and Bioconcentration

Background Concentration

Sulfide and Its Effects on Marine Life

Toxic Sulfide

Guidelines for Sulfide for Surface Water and Sediments

Connecting Problems of Geoenvironment and Bioenvironment

Heavy Metals

Profile of Heavy Metal Concentration

Minamata Disease

Organic Chemical Contaminants


Chlorinated Organic Microcontaminants

Rehabilitation of Coastal Marine Environment

Removal of Contaminated Suspended Solids

Confined Sea Areas

Large Bodies of Water

Continuous Removal of Suspended Solids

Sand Capping

Removal of Contaminated Sediments by Dredging


Treatment of Dredged Sediments

Removal of Contaminated Sediments by Resuspension

Creation of a Natural Purification System

Creation of Sand Beaches and Tidal Flats

Creation of Seaweed Swards

Sea Disposal of Waste

Coastal Erosion

Concluding Remarks


Contaminants and Land Environment Sustainability Indicators



Nature of Indicators

Contaminants and Geoenvironment Indicators

Prescribing Indicators

Assessment of Interaction Impacts

Sustainability Concerns

Surface Discharge: Hydrological Drainage, Spills, and Dumping

Subsurface Discharges

Contaminant Transport and Fate

Analytical and Predictive Tools

Basic Elements of Interactions between Dissolved Solutes and Soil Fractions

Elements of Abiotic Reactions between Organic Chemicals and Soil Fractions

Reactions in Porewater

Surface Complexation and Partitioning

Partitioning of Inorganic Contaminants

Organic Chemical Contaminants

Persistence and Fate

Biotransformation and Degradation of Organic Chemicals and Heavy Metals

Alkanes, Alkenes, and Cycloalkanes

Polycyclic, Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene

Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether

Halogenated Aliphatic and Aromatic Compounds

Heavy Metals

Prediction of Transport and Fate of Contaminants

Mass Transport

Transport Prediction

Chemical Reactions and Transport Predictions

Geochemical Speciation and Transport Predictions

Concluding Remarks


Geoenvironment Impact Mitigation and Management


Geoenvironmental Impacts

Types of Stressors

Impact Mitigation and Management

Site Functionality and Restoration

Site Functionality

Choice and Use of Attributes

Site Restoration

Stressor Impacts and Mitigation

Geo-Disaster Mitigation and Protection

Naturally Occurring Events

Anthropogenic Actions

Chemical Stressors: Contaminants

Soils for Contaminant Impact Mitigation and Management

Physical and Mechanical Properties

Soil Microstructure Controls on Hydraulic Transmission

Microstructure, Wetted Surfaces, and Transport Properties

Chemical Properties


Cation Exchange

Solubility and Precipitation

Speciation and Complexation

Biological Properties






Natural Attenuation Capability of Soils

Natural Attenuation by Dilution and Retention

Dilution and Retention

Biodegradation and Biotransformation

Petroleum Hydrocarbons: Alkanes, Alkenes, and Cycloalkanes

Gasoline Components BTEX and MTBE

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Halogenated Aliphatic and Aromatic Compounds


Oxidation–Reduction Reactions

Natural Attenuation and Impact Management

Enhancement of Natural Attenuation Capability

Soil Buffering Capacity Manipulation

Biostimulation and Bioaugmentation

Biochemical and Biogeochemical Aids

NA Treatment Zones for Impact Mitigation

Permeable Reactive Barriers and NA

Lines of Evidence

Organic Chemical Compounds


Evidence of Success

Engineered Mitigation–Control Systems

Remediation as Control–Management

Concluding Remarks


Remediation and Management of Contaminated Soil


Physical Remediation Technologies


Confined Disposal

Extraction Processes

Physical Separation

Soil Vapor Extraction


Soil Flushing

Soil Washing

Chemical/Thermal Remediation



Electrokinetic Remediation




Thermal Extraction

Biological Remediation

Slurry Reactors




Bioconversion Processes


In Situ Bioremediation


Comparison between Treatment Technologies

Treatment Technologies Overview

Design of a Remediation Process

Case Study Using a Sustainability Approach

Case Study for a Benzene-Contaminated Site

Concluding Remarks


Sustainable Ground Improvement Technique for Geo-Disaster Mitigation


Soil Origin and Stability

Soft Soils and Stability

Soft Soil Engineering and Ground Improvement

Carbonate Diagenesis: Carbonate as a Cementing Agent

Definition of Carbonate Diagenesis

Origin and Fate of Carbonates

Sea Bottoms and Ocean Floors

Coral Reef and Shells in Coastal Areas

Microbially Induced Carbonates

Formation of Sedimentary Rock due to Carbonate Diagenesis

Formations of Carbonate Nodules and Sandstones


Carbonate Diagenesis Summary

The Case for Using Diagenetic Process in Ground Improvement

Artificial Diagenesis


Ureolytic Bacteria

Chemical Reactions in Artificial Diagenesis

Urease Activity

Carbonate Precipitation

Definition and Measurement of Carbonate Content

Artificial Diagenesis for Geo-Disaster Mitigation

Injection of Microbes and Reactive Solution

Increased Strength due to Artificial Diagenesis

Unconfined Compressive Strength

Triaxial Compressive Strength

Cone Penetration Resistance

Concepts in Design

Concluding Remarks


Sustainable Geoenvironmental Engineering Practice


Undeniable Facts

Geotechnical to Geoenvironmental Engineering Practice

Unsustainable Actions and Events

Accidents and Unplanned Events

Wastes and Discharges

Renewable Geoenvironment Natural Resources

Sustainability of Renewable Nonliving Natural Resources

Geoenvironmental Management of Soil and Water Resources

Adverse Stressor Impacts

Management for Sustainability Goals

Protection of Soil and Water Resources

Water and Soil Quality Indicators

Quality and Index

Example of SQI Development

Water Quality Index WQI

Sustainability Practice Examples

Rehabilitation of Airport Land

Sustainability Indicators: Observations and Comments

Sustainable Mining Land Conversion

Sustainability Indicators: Observations and Comments

Agriculture Sustainability Study

Sustainability Indicators: Observations and Comments

Petroleum Oil Well Redevelopment

Sustainability Indicators: Observations and Comments

Mining and Geoenvironmental Sustainability

Sustainability Indicators: Observations and Comments

Organic Urban Waste Management in Europe

Sediment Reuse: Orion Project, Port of New York and New Jersey

A Case Study Scheme for Sustainable Geoenvironment Practice: Remediation of Cesium-Contaminated Surface Soils

Introduction and Problem Setting

Rehabilitation Schemes

Segregation of Particles in Water

Technological Images

Demonstration Pilot Tests on Contaminated Sediments and Soils

Full-Scale Application

Assessment of Sustainable Practice Success

Concluding Remarks: Sensible Practice for a Sustainable Geoenvironment



About the Authors

Dr. Raymond N. Yong is the William Scott Professor Emeritus at McGill University, Canada, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Wales Cardiff (Cardiff University), UK. He has authored and co-authored eleven other textbooks, over five hundred refereed papers in the various journals in the disciplines of Geoenvironmental Engineering and Earth Science, and holds 52 patents. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (Canada), and a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Québec. He and his students were amongst the early researchers in Geoenvironmental Engineering engaged in research on the physico-chemical properties and behaviour of soils, their use in buffer/barriers for HLW (high-level radioactive waste) and HSW (hazardous solid waste) containment and isolation, and restoration/remediation of contaminated sites. He and his colleagues are currently engaged in research on Geoenvironmental sustainability.

Dr. Catherine N. Mulligan holds a Concordia Research Chair in Geoenvironmental Sustainability (Tier I) and is Full Professor and Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science of Concordia University, Canada. She has authored more than 80 refereed papers in various journals, authored, co-edited or co-authored five other books, holds three patents and has supervised to completion more than 40 graduate students. She is the Director of the new Concordia Institute of Water, Energy and Sustainable Systems. The new Institute trains students in sustainable development practices and performs research into new systems, technologies and solutions for environmental sustainability.

Dr. Masaharu Fukue is a Full Professor at Tokai University, Japan. He has studied and taught geoenvironmental engineering and geotechnical engineering for 36 years, since 1978, in Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University. He has co-authored two other textbooks, over one hundred refereed papers in various journals, and holds 6 patents. He has recently established the Japanese Geotechnical Association for Housing Disaster Prevention to apply the theory and practice of innovative microbial cementing process (one of his patented process). In addition, another of his Japanese patents (re-suspension technique for sediment rehabilitation) is currently being applied in Fukushima, Japan, in the aftermath of the March, 2011 East-Japan great earthquake and accompanying tsunami. Both projects demonstrate the interdependencies between geoenvironmental engineering and geotechnical engineering, and the need to apply sustainability principles in the practice of both disciplines.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General