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Abstract

Ground models should be a fundamental outcome from all site investigations for civil engineering development and planning projects. Without them, it is not possible to: define the ground conditions; identify any geohazards or other engineering constraints; identify potential resources; provide a basis for construction tendering; establish risk registers; determine reference conditions; design the works; or evaluate the environmental consequences of projects. A methodology for ground model development has yet to be fully established, but understanding geomorphological processes and landforms is central to the creation of effective models. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a methodology that ensures geomorphology is fully integrated into the already well-defined approaches for investigating and interpreting the geological and geotechnical conditions. This happens most effectively where geomorphology is seen as part of engineering geology and is fully integrated in the site investigation process. This is not a universal situation however, as a great deal of geomorphological research is undertaken as part of physical geography and is not widely accessed during standard desk studies. Engineering geologists need to access this high-quality research and bring it into ground models that are presently biased towards geology and geotechnics. When this is achieved, engineering geological ground models will become genuinely fit for purpose.

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