Application of Geology to Engineering Practice
Some years ago a group of geologists led by Professor C. R. Longwell of Yale University and Professor A. I . Levorsen of Stanford University proposed to honor Dr. Charles Peter Berkey, Newberry Professor Emeritus of Columbia University, for his life-long contributions in the field of engineering geology, by assembling and publishing a number of original papers each of which would deal with a special facet of the subject.
The Geological Society of America, through its President Dr. N. L. Bowen, appointed a committee to carry out this proposal and agreed to publish the symposium. Dr. W. O. Hotchkiss was duly appointed Chairman of a working group, among whom were Sidney Paige, W. S. Mead, J. P. Buwalda, and B. C. Moneymaker.
The authors, each selected for his particular knowledge in the field, have given generously of their time. I t was agreed that broad principles, rather than engineering or geologic detail, should be emphasized, but aside from this broad consideration each author was to prepare his material independently. To them all our thanks are due.
It is doubtful whether these papers need further introduction. Each is addressd to a technically trained audience and is planned to emphasize principles, rather than the minutiae of engineering and geologic practice. The title of the boor–The Application of Geology to Engineering Practice–is self-explanatory and is well understood by engineers and geologists.
Charles Peter Berkey
Published:January 01, 1950
Charles P. Berkey became a geological consultant to the Bureau of Reclamation in 1928 just as the proposed Hoover Dam was passing into the stage of final study. The design and construction of Hoover Dam imposed new and unprecedented technical problems involving grave decisions and heavy responsibility. Everything about Hoover Dam was big–huge tunnels were planned, enormous amounts of concrete aggregate and excavation were required; the great height and weight of the proposed structure would load the foundations beyond engineering precedent; the water weight on the reservoir floor might cause the subsidence of a large surrounding area; the seismicity of the region required sharp appraisal and integration with the engineering design; the possibility was recognized that the weight of the dam and water might generate new stresses sufficiently large to stimulate seismicity–to mention only a few of the many Hoover Dam problems requiring both geological and engineering insight.