What Is Engineering Geology & Why Is It Important?

If you’re planning any construction project, chances are you’ll want to consult an engineering geologist. From geological hazard assessments to soil liquefaction, the work of engineering geologists ensures that your new construction, public works project, or engineering venture is on solid ground.  

What is the Main Goal of Engineering Geology?

Engineering geology seeks to identify potential geologic hazards that could affect human-made structures or urban developments. Through advanced education in soil and rock mechanics, hydrology, geotechnics, and civil design, an engineering geologist is uniquely suited to understand earth-structure interactions and recommend actions to reduce potential hazards. In practice, engineering geology works with construction and civil engineering teams to ensure any potential risks from ground conditions are investigated. They make recommendations to maximize the safety of any project.  

What Do Engineering Geologists Do?

Engineering geologists perform investigations and studies to determine how human-made structures and the earth interact. Their tasks can fall under environmental, geotechnical, or geological studies.

Engineering Geology Services

Engineering geologists can perform soil analysis and rainwater studies required by local governments to minimize the impact of urban development on the environment. For a Los Angeles engineering geologist firm like AES, engineering geology services include performing landslide and slope failure investigations to determine the landslide risk of different parcels of land. We can complete a seismic hazard assessment to determine potential adverse outcomes on a structure resulting from an earthquake. In addition to helping with new construction projects, engineering geologists can advise you before purchasing new plots of land.

Geotechnical Engineering Services

Geotechnical engineers can provide meaningful recommendations for construction projects in densely populated areas. This includes foundation design recommendations as well as grading, shoring, and drainage recommendations. A geotechnical engineer can also evaluate soil liquefaction to provide you with a detailed risk report at your site.  

Why is Engineering Geology Important?

Large civil engineering projects require careful planning and hazard analysis. Engineering geologists can perform detailed analyses to investigate all potential hazards. They can do geotechnical engineering studies to provide recommendations for foundation and shoring design. The inclusion of geological engineering in any civil project improves the stability and durability of the end product. Geological engineering is essential for small projects too. In dense urban environments, small construction seeks to maximize space by digging deeper into the soil. Doing so presents risks that require evaluation to reduce the chance of construction failure. Engineering geologists develop local expertise that can be invaluable on construction projects. Using an experienced geologist for your construction project gives you access to a deep body of knowledge of the area’s soils, rocks, and engineering risks. You’ll receive accurate recommendations that will improve the strength and longevity of any new construction project. At AES, we believe geological engineering improves the safety of how human-made structures interact with the earth. We spend hours accumulating data, complete hundreds of geological studies, and compile our knowledge to ensure structures and the ground surrounding them will endure.  

How to Hire an Engineering Geologist

All new construction projects can benefit from the input of a geological engineer. However, selecting the right engineering firm for your project is critical to maximizing your benefit. Here are the steps you should consider when hiring an engineering geologist.

Expertise in Your Area of Need

You want to hire a geologist that is an expert in the particular service you need. Many firms offer a variety of services but may not be well-versed in all of them. Discuss with the firm what type of studies they perform most frequently. A quality engineering geology firm will have a diverse staff to provide a wide range of expertise.

Go Local

Choosing a local firm gives you access to knowledge that can save you time and money. The nature of geological engineering studies is time-consuming when first examining a geographic location. However, as the same company performs more analyses, a depth of knowledge is generated, which provides an invaluable advantage. If you are considering a project in the Los Angeles area, selecting a Los Angeles geologist can help streamline your project.

Governmental Rapport

Construction projects delayed by slow governmental approval can be costly. Selecting the right firm can streamline the approval process for your project. Look for a firm with a seasoned history of working effectively with government agencies if your project will require report approval.

Your Choice for Geotechnical Engineering in the Greater Los Angeles Area

Applied Earth Sciences has a dedicated staff that serves hundreds of construction projects every year. Our proprietary soil library and geology map of the greater Los Angeles area results from decades of experience. We will provide you with outstanding geotechnical engineering or engineering geology services that save you time and money. Request your proposal today by calling us at (818) 552-6000.

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