Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Characterization of Soils

  • Abdul ShakoorEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_48

Synonyms

Engineering behavior of soils; Engineering properties of soils

Definition

A soil is a loose, unconsolidated agglomeration of mineral particles that can be easily separated by hand pressure or by immersion in water (Johnson and DeGraff 1988) and that can be excavated without blasting (West 1995). Geologically, soils are the products of mechanical and/or chemical weathering of rocks (Marshak 2013).

Introduction

Soils are one of the most widely encountered materials in engineering construction. Many engineering structures are either made of soil material (earth dams and levees) or founded on soils (buildings) or located within soils (tunnels and other underground structures). The design and stability of these structures depends on the engineering properties of soils involved.

Based on their origin, soils are categorized as residual or transported (Holtz et al. 2011). Residual soils remain at their place of origin, whereas transported soils are carried away from their place of...

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References

  1. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) (2010) Annual book of standards. Section 4, Construction, 4.08, Soil and Rock (1). Conshohocken, ASTMGoogle Scholar
  2. Casagrande A (1948) Classification and identification of soils, vol 113. American Society of Civil Engineers Transactions. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, pp 901–930Google Scholar
  3. Fetter CW (1994) Applied hydrogeology, 3rd edn. Maxwell Macmillan International, New York, 691 pGoogle Scholar
  4. Hazen A (1911) Discussion of “Dams on Sand Foundations” by A.C. Koening. Trans ASCE 73:199–203Google Scholar
  5. Holtz RD, Kovacs WD, Sheahan TC (2011) An introduction to geotechnical engineering, 2nd edn. Pearson, New York, 853 pGoogle Scholar
  6. Johnson RB, DeGraff JV (1988) Principles of engineering geology. Wiley, New York, 497 pGoogle Scholar
  7. Marshak S (2013) Essentials of geology. W W. Norton & Company, New York, 567 pGoogle Scholar
  8. Mitchell JK (1993) Fundamentals of soil behavior. Wiley, New York, 437 pGoogle Scholar
  9. West TR (1995) Geology applied to engineering. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 560 pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyKent State UniversityKentUSA