Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - School of Geology

Postgraduate Program "Applied and Environmental Geology"


Engineering Geology and Environmental Hydrogeology

Sector: Engineering Geology


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As far as the MSc in Engineering Geology is concerned, student collects all the necessary information about the ground and its environment, process and “translate” them for the geotechnical design and construction of engineering works.

A first scope is to design of Site Investigation & construction of the conceptual geological models: Desk study, walk over surveys, invasive site investigation, borehole interpretation. Design and develop a 3-D conceptual model of the ground, in a wide variety of geological environments. The purpose is to identify the variability and uncertainty in geotechnical engineering and to select and define the appropriate designs parameters.

A fundamental purpose is to estimate the most probable geotechnical behaviour of ground types and identify potential geological hazards according to the engineering project. Use and applications of geotechnical classifications of rock masses are taught here. The range of geotechnical properties of various rock types and soils are given with simple mathematical tasks in relation to rock and soil mechanics.

Great significance is given on writing a technical report by collecting data and assessing them. Real data from factual reports (geological maps, borehole drillings, laboratory and in situ tests) and files of a project are given. More analytically a clear presentation of site investigation results, the construction of a geological model and the definition of all the possible ground engineering geological types must be presented. The students should be able to distinct the difficult ground conditions and geological hazards for a certain project. Reasonable mitigation measures or design specifications must be suggested. Presentations for professional projects by the students – in groups, where each student analyze a distinct task but where the solution requires the group to work as a team. Students work with a real geotechnical problem, with a limited amount of site-specific data and a project design brief, taken from the files of a design from the industry.  The scope of the course is to develop the technical skills of the students and train them to work as a team. The preparation and performance of an oral presentation, while defending the technical results, is also an objective of the course. The final target of the team is to develop an understanding of the site specific geological model, focus on the geological hazards, provide and quantify with parameters all the possible ground types (soil and/or rock mass types) and use this information to develop successful geotechnical design and solutions for each project.

Emphasis is placed on the laboratory testing including the preparation, running of the experiments and data management and analysis.
Another focus is on the assessment and evaluation of hazard and risk of manmade and natural disasters. The aim of the course is to introduce students to the triggering of geohazards, including topics such as slope failures - landslides, earthquake geology and secondary effects (soil liquefaction, landslides) triggered by an earthquake.

Finally, Field trips and visits are organized in numerous engineering projects. During the fieldwork students work on several engineering geological problems and deliver a presentation based upon the engineering project they visited.


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