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Unit information: Geotechnics 1 in 2014/15

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Unit name Geotechnics 1
Unit code CENG11200
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Ibraim
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit consists of the following elements: Geology 1 - which introduces students to the fundamentals of Geology and its application to Civil Engineering; Soil Mechanics 1 - which introduces concepts of stress in soils, stiffness and strength of soils and flow of water in soils.


Geology 1:

To introduce students to the fundamentals of Geology and its application to Civil Engineering.

Soil Mechanics 1:

To provide an introduction to concepts of stress, stiffness, strength and flow of water in soils.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, successful students will:

  1. Understand the nature of stress and pore water pressure in soils and the importance of the principle of effective stress and be able to calculate profiles of total and effective stress beneath horizontal ground for one-dimensional case;
  2. Know the definitions of void ratio, porosity, moisture content, density, etc. and their interrelationships, and understand their significance and use in practice;
  3. Be aware of simple descriptions of one-dimensional stiffness of soils and be able to use these to estimate deformations of soils;
  4. Understand the spring/piston analogy for stress change in fine-grained soils and be able to calculate short term and long term responses to changes in total stress; understand the nature of the soil strength and use simple empirical expression for frictional strength;
  5. Understand the term total head, and its role in controlling the flow of water in soils. Understand and be able to sketch a number of different profiles of ground water pressure; be able to determine total and elevation head and pressure;
  6. Know the standard methods of soil classification.

Teaching Information

Geology 1:

Lectures 10 hours Practical classes 10 hours

Soil Mechanics 1:

Lectures 10 hours Example classes 10 hours Laboratory classes 3 hours

Assessment Information

One combined 2 hour exam 100% (May/June)

Reading and References

  1. David Muir Wood Soil mechanics: a one-dimensional introduction.
  2. Lambe TW & Whitman RV Soil mechanics. Wiley
  3. Blyth FGN & de Freitas MN, A Geology for Engineers, 7th Ed. Arnold.