The dividing line between soil and rock is arbitrary; the same material may sometimes be either
classified as \u201cvery soft rock\u201d or \u201cvery hard soil\u201d, depending on who classifies the material or
what the application is. To a geologist \u201cour\u201d soil is drift or unconsolidated material.
Settling out in salt water (marine)
Settling out in fresh water (lactustrine)
Due to gravity movement downslope (colluvial)
(most common in temperate regions)
The behavior of soil in situ is often governed by soil fabric, weak layers and zones, and other
defects in the material. It is therefore essential that the successful geotechnical engineer
develops a feel for the soil behavior.
Generally we idealize the behavior using applied mechanics concepts, and then apply
engineering judgement (based on our own experience and the experience of others) to come up
with a final solution.
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