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The study of the physical properties of soils in the Soviet Union is the subject of a specific branch of science called "gruntovedenie," here translated as "engineering soil science." Soil mechanics presents a separate segment, treated in Chapter 3.

All Soviet sources state that engineering soil science originated in the Soviet Union. In 1930, a chair of this science was founded at the Leningrad University; almost simultaneously another was established at the Moscow University (Boichenko and Lysenko, 1955, p. 151).

Ε. M. Sergeev, the leading Soviet scholar in the field of engineering soil science, in his book Obshchee gruntovedenie (General Engineering Soil Science), states (1952, p. 5) that the main task of this science is "studying the upper layers of the earth's crust as a subject of engineering-construction activities of men."

A review of this book, which is a standard textbook at the geological departments of the universities and which has been used by specialists in soil investigations for engineering purposes, introduces some concepts generally accepted in the engineering soil science in the USSR.

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