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E – 1250 – Identification and Classification of Soil and Rock

Intended Audience: civil and construction engineers



This course will introduce you to the principles and practices of identification and classification of soil and rock. Identification and classification are the essential first steps in soil mechanics and engineering, and engineering of foundations for structures such as buildings, dams and bridges. Without an understanding of the soil and rock materials you must work with on a specific project, analysis and engineering design cannot proceed. This course will give you an introduction to soils and rock that will allow you to move forward in your knowledge and understanding through use of design manuals and more advanced treatises.

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

  • Learn the importance of the geologic origin and mode of occurrence of soils.
  • Learn about residual and organic sedimentary soils.
  • Learn the different types of aeolian soils and their properties.
  • Learn the properties of glacial soil deposits.
  • Learn how to identify marine, colluvial and pyroclastic soils.
  • Learn the definitions and terminology associated with soil fractions and components.
  • Learn about the Unified Soil Classification System and how to use it with visual and laboratory classification methods.
  • Learn about the Standard Penetration Test and Atterberg Plasticity Limits.
  • Learn the properties of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock.
  • Learn the principles and terminology of rock weathering and discontinuities.

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