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Principles and practices of geology associated with engineering and mining activities.
This course is a final year course aimed at synthesizing geological knowledge and skills for applications to civil and mining engineering. Engineering Geology is a discipline concerned with site and foundation conditions, geological and geotechnical hazards affecting a particular development, and availability of construction materials. Civil site investigation practice involves evaluation using invasive techniques (drilling; trenching; etc) and requires careful consideration of the landscape, geological history and geological materials present. Mining Geology is concerned with all aspects of the mine life cycle, with geological input into exploration and resource estimation, mine design, processing, waste and decommissioning. All of these aspects are highly depended on the ore type, geological setting and geological materials present.GEOL338 develops the basics of site investigation practice and extends into developing engineering geology models for surface and underground projects in civil and mining engineering applications. It then focuses on interpretation of geological data for applications to mine life stages through the development of geological models. Students completing the course will develop skills and knowledge of principles and practices in both engineering and mining geology. Students will also develop professional communication skills through group work and technical writing.
Goal of the CourseThe overall goal of the course is for students to develop some of the fundamental skills required for working in two applied streams of geology: engineering geology and mining geology. The first half of the course will focus on the application of geological techniques to engineering projects. The second half of the course will focus on mining life cycle from investigation and model building and how they affect the mine design, to ore processing, waste and mine decommissioning.Learning Outcomes-Students successfully completing this course will be able to:-Describe the engineering properties of rocks and soils using geological mapping and description, and engineering geology site investigation techniques.-Create engineering geology models for civil engineering applications-Work effectively in a team to build an engineering geology model in rock and soil to inform engineering project decisions.-Communicate the engineering and societal impacts of changes in the engineering geology characteristics of an engineering project over its design life.-Analyse exploration geology data to assess ore reserves.-Select appropriate mine design, ore processing, mine waste and decommissioning solutions given different ore types and reserves.The topics coved by this course are:Effective group work and technical writingEngineering geology description, properties and behaviour of earth materialsSite investigation philosophy and techniques for civil and mining engineering projectsDevelopment of engineering models using field and laboratory dataSurface and underground design and construction considerations through case studiesMine life cycle and the application of geological assessment techniques to each stageMine design principles and related geotechnical/environmental issuesOre processing, waste management and mine decommissioning
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Engaged with the community
Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
GEOL242 and GEOL246
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Week 1: Overview of engineering geology and descriptive terminologyWeek 2: Engineering Materials, Rock and Soil PropertiesLab 1 &2: Engineering geomorphology of Hawke’s Bay, New ZealandWeek 3: Site Investigation philosophyWeek 4: Subsurface drilling and intact rock properties Lab 3: Field trip to Groynes ParkLab 4: Site investigation write-upWeek 5: Christchurch Eathquake SequenceWeek 6: Engineering Geology Case StudiesLab 5: Field trip to Halswell QuarryLab 6: Core logging and site investigation write-upWeek 7: Introduction to MiningWeek 8: Quarrying “Soft-Rock” and Case StudiesLab 7: Rock Mechanics Laboratory – Strength TestingLab 8: Site Investigation and laboratory write-upWeek 9: Open-Pit Mining in Hard RockWeek 10: Mine Hydrogeology and Tailings DamsWeek 11: Acid Mine DrainageWeek 12: Underground MiningLab 9 to Lab 11: Broken River Bridge – Highway Realignment Exercise
Laboratory topics worth 10% or 20% of the final mark for GEOL 338 (= 60% in total). Final 2-hour examination (date to be advised) is worth 40% of final mark for GEOL 338.
Required textbook(s):González de Vallejo, Luis I & Ferrer, M. 2011, Geological engineering, CRC Press/Balkema, Leiden, The Netherlands.Recommended textbook(s):Hencher, A. (2012) Practical Engineering Geology.Bell, F G (2007) Engineering Geology 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, 581 p.Goodman, R.E. (1993) Engineering geology: rock in engineering construction, J. Wiley, 412 p.Hartley, J S (1994) Drilling: Tools and Programme Management 1st edition, John S Hartley & Associates, 150 p.Johnson, R B; De Graff, J V (1988) Principles of Engineering Geology 1st edition, John Wiley & Sons, 497 p.Moon, C J; Whateley, M K G; Evans, A M (2006) Introduction to Mineral Exploration, 2nd edition, Blackwell Publishing, 481 p.Moore, T A; Black, A; Centeno, J A; Harding, J S; Trumm, D A (2005) Metal Contaminants in New Zealand, 1st edition, ResolutionzPress, 490 p.Smith, M R, (Ed) (1999) Stone: building stone, rock fill and armourstone in construction, Geological Society, London, Engineering Geology Special Publication #16.Waltham, T. (2009;2018;). Foundations of engineering geology. CRC Press.
Prerequisites: GEOL242 and GEOL246 Recommended preparation: GEOL337
Domestic fee $951.00
International fee $4,750.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Earth and Environment