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History and heritage of Engineering Geology Division, Geological Society of America, 1940s to 1990

By
George A. Kiersch
George A. Kiersch
Geological Consultant, Kiersch Associates, Inc., 4750 North Camino Luz, Tucson, Arizona 85718
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Allen W. Hatheway
Allen W. Hatheway
Department of Geological Engineering, University of Missouri, Rolla, Missouri 65401
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

During the 1890s, the importance of an interrelation between geologic principles and guidance for construction of major engineering works was being clearly demonstrated through the efforts of Professor William O. Crosby (M.I.T.) and Professor James F. Kemp (Columbia). A half-century earlier, geologists in North America had begun to show this interdependence, as indicated by works of James Hall of the New York State Geological Survey in 1839 on rock cuts of the Erie Canal and William W. Mather of the Ohio Geological Survey in 1838 on rotational slides along the lake front at Cleveland. The contributions of these and other early workers are described in Chapter 1, as are other early geological studies for dams, tunnels, aqueducts, canals, and related works. However, the first organizations and groups formed to represent the early practitioners of applied geology only developed in the early 1900s.

The Economic Geology Publishing Company was formed to serve the interests of all applied/economic geologists in 1905, and the first issues of Economic Geology were released that year. This scientific journal soon developed a wide circulation, both domestic and foreign, and was the medium for all four branches of applied, or economic, geology, described by D. W. Johnson in 1906 as mining, petroleum, ground water, and “applications of geology to various uses of mankind and engineering structures.” Waldemar Lindgren, chief geologist of the U.S. Geological Survey, in his 1913 textbook Mineral Deposits, defined these four branches and made reference to engineering geology practice. The main geological principles and their relevance to engineering works were put forth in the textbook by Ries and Watson (1914), Engineering Geology.

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Contents

DNAG, Centennial Special Volumes

The Heritage of Engineering Geology; The First Hundred Years

George A. Kiersch
George A. Kiersch
Professor Emeritus, Geological Sciences Cornell University
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Geological Society of America
Volume
3
ISBN electronic:
9780813754154
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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