A glacial terrain map of britain for engineering purposes

  • Eyles N. 
  • Dearman W. R. 
Symposium on Engineering Geolgoical Problems of Construction on Soluble Rocks


The engineering importance of superficial soils in Britain cannot be overemphasized. They range in age from Quaternary to Recent and vary from overconsolidated bouldery silty clays: tills, through normally consolidated clays, laminated clays, silts, sands and gravels, to peats and organic soils.

Associated with the superficial soils are superficial structures involving both soil and rock and resulting from glacial and periglacial activity. For engineering construction, these structures may give rise to problematic grround conditions.

For ground conditions resulting from glacial and periglacial conditions four generalised terrain models are presented as annotated block diagrams. These diagrams represent subglacial terrain, supraglacial terrain, glaciated valley terrain and periglacial terrain. The four terrain models are supported by maps illustrating the distribution of superficial engineering soils, the distribution of predominant glacial terrain types and selected periglacial features.

The distinctive terrain types each have both characteristic topography and subsurface conditions. If the landforms and hence the terrain types can be identified, then the geometry and character of the subsurface—both soils and bedrock conditions—can be generally predicted. By recognising these terrain types the character of subsurface ground conditions can be generalised for large areas. The value of this approach to ground engineering lies in its use as an engineering geological mapping tool and as a rapid guide to likely subsurface conditions.


Valley Slope Terrain Type Engineering Soil Glacial Landform Laminate Clay 

Une carte de terrains glaciaire de la grande-bretagne au but des ingenieurs


L'importance géotechnique des sols superficiels en Grande—Bretagne ne peut pas être surestimée. L'âge des sols va du Quaternaire jusqu'à présence et ils varient d'argiles à blocaux siltifiées et surconsolidées: d'argiles à blocaux, d'argiles normalement consolidées d'argiles laminées, de siltes, de sables, de graviers, jusqu'à des tourbes et sols organogènes.

Des structures superficielles comprenant des sols aussi bien que des roches sont associées aux sols superficiels. Ces structures superficielles résultent de l'activité glaciaire et périglaciaire. Elles peuvent causer des conditions de sous-sol difficiles pour des constructions géotechniques.

Quatre modèles de terrain généralisés sont présentés en forme de bloc-diagrammes annotés. Ces diagrammes représentent de vallées glaciaires et des terrains périglaciaires.

Les quatre modelès de terrain sont accompagnés des cartes concrétisant la distribution des sols superficiels géotechniques, la distribution des types de terrain glaciaires dominants et des indices périglaciaires superficiels.

Les différents types de terrain ont une topographie et des conditions sous-sol qui sont caractéristiques. Si'on identifie les formes et les types d'un terrain, on peut généralement prédire la géométrie et le caractère du sous-sol et ce aussi bien par égard aux conditions du sol qu'aux celles de la roche solide. En reconnaissant ces types de terrain on peut généraliser le caractère des conditions de sous-sol pour le larges régions. La valeur de cette méthode consiste dans son application comme outil de cartographie de géologie de l'ingénieur et comme guide rapide pour des conditions de sous-sol pareilles.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Engineering Geology 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eyles N. 
    • 1
  • Dearman W. R. 
    • 2
  1. 1.Geology Department, Scarborough CollegeUniversity of OntarioWest HillCanada
  2. 2.Engineering Geology Unit, Department of GeologyUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneNewcastle upon TyneUK

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