GEOL485-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Special Topic

This occurrence is not offered in 2024

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


Special Topic

The design and construction of civil infrastructure depends on a detailed and accurate understanding of the ground, in particular the strength and deformation behaviour of geomaterials (rock, soil, and water).

The identification and understanding of the geological controls on the engineering properties of rock and soil is central to successful (geotechnical) engineering.  Starting with an understanding of the 3-D composition and structure of geomaterials from micro-, to macro-scales, this course will develop an understanding of the engineering behaviour of geomaterials and how that behaviour is controlled by the geological (stress) history.  You will develop an understanding of what geological aspects are important for civil engineering design and construction, identifying both suitable and potentially hazardous ground conditions.

This course will also develop your skills in synthesising and interpreting geological data and communicating ground complexities to other engineering disciplines through the development of geotechnical ground models.

Learning Outcomes

1. To become confident and competent in evaluating, interpreting, and presenting geological data for engineering purposes.
2. Recognise the important geological features that control the engineering behaviour of rock and soil.
3. Recognise the importance of structural domains in determining potential rock mass behaviour.
4. Understand the importance of facies in determining the likely behaviour of soils.
5. Understand the methods for quantifying rock mass behaviour.
6. Understand the approaches to quantifying soil behaviour.
7. Recognise the pertinent variability in spatial and temporal behaviour of rock and soil.
8. Be able to synthesise geological data and present it in the form of a ground model.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.

Course Coordinator

Clark Fenton


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Tutorial Exercises 20% Due throughout Terms 1 & 2
Colloquia Presentation 20% Presented at the end of Term 1
Design Memo 20% Submitted the week following the second field trip
Mini-Project Report 30% Due at the end of Term 2
Field Notebook 10% Submitted at the end of each field day


Subject to approval of the Head of School.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,145.00

* 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 .

All GEOL485 Occurrences

  • GEOL485-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024 - Not Offered