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Engineering Geology

Where Civilization and Earth Meet

Soil and rock as engineering materials

Resource extraction and usage

Environmental impacts

Geologic Hazards

Dr. James M. Martin-Hayden

Associate Professor
(419) 530-2634
World Population Growth


High Growth
Medium Growth
Low Growth


Kehew, Figure 1.4 and 1.5

Population in Crisis

 Pandemics and food

shortages are
beginning to decrease
population growth

 Contamination and
global warming will
only exacerbate the
Overuse of Geologic Resources
(Geology in the News)
 1.7 billion are joining the “consumer class”
and the environment can’t sustain this
standard of living. (Worldwatch Institute, 2004)

 Emissions of Greenhouse gasses is

accelerating global warming

 Climate change is accelerating melting of

glaciers and driving mass extinctions
(The Centre of Biodiversity and Conservation,
Leeds University, UK)
Global Oil Production to Peak

 Once oil production peaks extraction

will become increasingly expensive.

 Alternative sources
 Coal (emissions?)
 Nuclear (waste?)
 Renewable (lagging

See Kehew Fig. 1.8

Greenhouse Gasses and
Global Warming
See Kehew Fig. 1.14
 Global Warming
lags CO2 spikes

 CO2 concentration
is higher than all
maximums during
the past 500,000

 And still increasing!

Effects on Engineering Geology
 Melting of Polar ice
 Opening of new arctic shipping routes in a
few decades
 Melting Permafrost
 Increasingly severe storms
 Sea level rise (~6m in a few decades)
 Increased erosion
 Flooding
 Submerged infrastructure
Water Resources
Use of fresh water from the water cycle

 Surface water
 Lakes
 Streams

 Groundwater
 Springs
 Aquifers
(extracted by
pumping wells)
Water Cycle Storage and Transfer
Storage In 106 km3
Transfer in 106 km3/yr
Fresh Water Withdrawal Trends
Fresh Water Withdrawal Trends
The Cradle of Civilization
Sprung from geology of the region

Tigris River, Iraq
World of Geology
Geological Resources
 The Cradle of
Civilization (Fertile
 Development
limited by
availability, e.g.,
soil, water, energy
 Conflicts based on
resources, e.g.,
water, minerals, oil,
Geologic Resources
 Mineral Resources:
metals, fertilizers,
minerals, petroleum,
Geologic Resources
 Mineral Resources:
metals, fertilizers,
minerals, petroleum,
 Water resources:
Lakes, Rivers, Springs,
Geologic Resources
 Mineral Resources:
e.g., Metals, fertilizers,
minerals, petroleum,
 Water resources:
e.g., Lakes, Rivers,
Springs, Groundwater
 Energy:
e.g., Oil, natural gas, coal,
nuclear, silicon,
hydroelectric (dams),
hydrothermal (Earth’s heat)
Geologic Resources
 The Geologist’s Job
 Locating and
quantity and quality of
geologic resources
 Extracting geologic
resources efficiently
 Assessing
environmental effects of
extraction and use
E.g., Misuse of Resources
Misuse of Resources
Desiccation of the Aral Sea, Kazakhstan
See Page 6

Aral Sea
Over Time


Environmental Geology
 Environmental Sciences:
How we influence the earth

 Geologic Hazards: How

geology influences us
San Andreas Fault
Geology in the News

Geologic Hazards
 Two die in 6.5
Earthquake near
San Lois Obispo
 Earthquake triggers
Assessing Risk
“Major Quake Likely to
Strike San Francisco
Bay Region Between
2003 and 2032”

Geologic Hazards
• Assessing Risks
• Avoiding Risks
• Preventing Damage
• Predicting Impact

Earthquake Photos
from AP
Bam, Iran
 A Magnitude 6.5
Earthquake hits a
stone- and mud-
house city of
100,000 in Iran 12-
 30,000 Dead
 30,000 Refugees
 US sends aid and
releases sanctions
 Relations improved
Geological Hazards
Volcanoes (pg. 108)
Floods (see pgs., 284)

Landslides (see pg. 250)

(pg. 202)
Geology in Engineering
Slope Failure Risk Assessment and Control

To prevent slope failure engineers must understand the

geology that forms and controls the slope
Geology in Engineering
Geology in Engineering

The Leaning Tower Straightens Up

In Pisa the tilted one is back in
business after an 11-year effort
to keep it from collapsing
Committee member John
Burland, an engineer,
promoted soil extraction as the
best way to save the tower.

Engineers use knowledge of

geology to design, protect
and correct structures