History and heritage of Engineering Geology Division, Geological Society of America, 1940s to 1990
George A. Kiersch, Allen W. Hatheway, 1991. "History and heritage of Engineering Geology Division, Geological Society of America, 1940s to 1990", The Heritage of Engineering Geology; The First Hundred Years, George A. Kiersch
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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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A review of milestones and changes in geological theory and practice from which modern engineering geology in North America has developed. Five chapters discuss historical events and the contributions of early scientists and engineers; nine chapters review the state of knowledge of dominant geologic processes, phenomena, and specialized principles critical to modern practice; and three chapters discuss geologic environs and the properties of construction materials. Four chapters are devoted to geoscience investigations and related techniques for: initial regional-areal evaluation of conceptual candidate sites (Phase I); selection of preferred-designated sites and design (Phase II); typical kinds of investigations used during project construction (Phase III); and as-built documentation and explorations of the operating or rehabilitation phases. Closing chapters focus on the geoscientist's responsibilities relative to engineering failures, errors of judgment that impact works, litigation, and forensic geoscience. The 34 contributors present extensive case histories applicable worldwide.