CEG8201 : Geomechanics

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of this module is to introduce the basic skills and knowledge required by an engineering geologist or geotechnical engineer. Specifically, the module aims:

To (a) make students aware of the range of Earth materials and structures that may be encountered in engineering geology and geotechnical engineering, and (b) enhance their knowledge and understanding of the engineering behaviour and properties of these materials and structures.
To introduce key numerical concepts and develop students' skills in mechanics of soils that will allow them to proceed at a later stage to geotechnical design.
To provide students with an understanding of the principles governing the design of geotechnical structures (eg: earth-retaining structures).

This module will provide an introduction to the engineering properties of soils and their relevance to geotechnical design. Students will be introduced to the principles of geotechnical design. Students will also perform standard laboratory practicals in soil and rock description and classification.

Outline Of Syllabus

*Basic characteristics of soils and rocks.
*The concepts of effective and total stress.
*Consolidation and shear strength.
*Seepage of water and flow nets.
*Students will also undertake standard soil testing procedures, including determination of Atterberg Limits, granulometry, permeability, shear strength parameters, compaction and consolidation properties.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Report on laboratory work
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:309:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study132:0032:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Mechanical and mathematical knowledge is delivered through formal lecture classes supported by practical exercises. Practical skills such as soil description are developed through practical classes. Students are expected to acquire knowledge and understanding through reflection on taught material and through undertaking independent learning. Students acquire practical skills through active participation in the practical class exercises.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201M70Unseen written examination
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M30Students will be expected to submit a 25 page report.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Each student will submit a 25 page report summarising the results of the laboratory tests and the methods used to obtain the data. The data will be interpreted to produce a conclusion.
Students’ acquisition of knowledge and understanding are assessed through a written examination. Students’ geoscience skills are assessed through practical and their mechanics skills are assessed by means of a soil mechanics report.

Reading Lists