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What are the applications of geology to civil engineering?

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Quick Answer

The applications of geology to civil engineering include the identification and assessment of natural resources and potential geological hazards on prospective building sites. Factors such as the design, construction, location and maintenance need to be applied in civil engineering.

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Studies are commonly conducted during the planning of construction to analyze short and long term geological impact, according to Wikipedia. Factors such as flooding, erosion, slope stability and other hazards must be thoroughly analyzed.

This discipline is called geological engineering. According to the University of Waterloo, geological engineers also contribute valuable knowledge to historic site preservation and land use planning. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, civil engineers need a bachelor's degree, and one in five hold a graduate degree. Undergraduate degree programs include coursework in several subjects closely related to civil engineering, including engineering geology, environmental engineering and fluid dynamics.

The closest disciplinary relative of geological engineering is engineering geology. Although their names are almost identical, geological engineering and engineering geology are distinct subjects. Topics researched by geological engineers include soil mechanics, landslide mechanics and avalanches.

One of the disciplines most closely related to geological engineering is environmental engineering. The University of Notre Dame reveals that major issues addressed by environmental engineers include water resource development and protection, environmental remediation and the movement of industrial waste through water and sediment. Environmental engineers also study beneficial biofilm promotion and harmful biofilm containment.

Another discipline useful in civil engineering is environmental fluid dynamics, which is closely linked to environmental engineering. Environmental fluid dynamicists examine the interaction of ocean currents, sediment movement, wave dynamics, hurricane behavior, tsunami generation and many other phenomena related to fluid movement.

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