What Is the Importance of Geology in Civil Engineering?

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Geology is the study of earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials and the effects of the natural forces acting upon them and is important to civil engineering because all work performed by civil engineers involves earth and its features. Fundamental understanding of geology is so important that it is a requirement in university-level civil engineering programs.

Civil engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, large buildings, airports, ports, subways, dams, mines and other large-scale developments. It is one of the oldest branches of engineering. Many of the world’s great monuments, including the pyramids, the structures of ancient Greece and Rome and the modern steel and glass skyscrapers found around the world, are the result of the successful marriage of civil engineering and geology.

For a civil engineering project to be successful, the engineers must understand the land upon which the project rests. Geologists study the land to determine whether it is stable enough to support the proposed project. They also study water patterns to determine if a particular site is prone to flooding. Some civil engineers use geologists to examine rocks for important metals, oil, natural gas and ground water.