Civil engineering might not seem like the kind of field where it’s important to have a background in geology. Civil engineers just design buildings and oversee their construction, right? Wrong. Geology is an essential subject for civil engineer services to utilize. Keep reading to find out why.
What do engineers have to do with geology?
One of the most important tasks a civil engineer needs to complete is site surveying. Surveying requires civil engineers to determine the relative positions of points that are at, above, and below the surface of the earth. This requires geological surveying tools and skills. For example, in order to determine how blueprint points transfer to the real world, civil engineers must use direct and indirect means to measure things like distance, elevation, and orientation. Surveying and overall investigation of a site follow a five-step process:
- Gathering preliminary information from pre-existing data about the site
- Completing a detailed geological survey of the site (this will likely include photogrammetry and LiDAR surveying)
- Compiling survey data to form hypotheses about geology below surface level
- Completing drilling and boring projects to confirm geological hypotheses
- Performing tests on rocks and soil from the site to determine whether it is suitable for the project at hand
Overall, it’s a very detailed process. And of course, no project requires a single civil engineer to complete all of this work alone. That being said, it’s still important for engineers to understand this information. When providing civil engineering consulting, this information is crucial to a project’s success.
Does every civil engineering project require such a high level of geological data?
Civil engineers typically deal with the construction of large, public structures. This may include roads, tunnels, and city buildings. With any level of civil engineering project, there will be some excavation involved. And when there’s excavation, there’s geological data needed. For example, if one of America’s sewers (which spill roughly 1.26 trillion gallons of waste annually) needed fixing, it’s up to a civil engineer’s team to gather the appropriate geological data to replace it effectively.
Whether it’s civil engineering consulting or the construction of a giant public structure, geology is essential to civil engineers. And now you know why!