Principles of engineering geology

Principles of engineering geology

Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr. Vol. 14, pp. 161-162. Pergamon Press 1977. Printed in Great Britain Book Reviews This issue marks the ...

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Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr. Vol. 14, pp. 161-162. Pergamon Press 1977. Printed in Great Britain

Book Reviews This issue marks the publication, for the first time in some years, of reviews of recently published books likely to be of interest to readers of the Journal. It is hoped that book reviews will be published regularly in the future and, to this end. publishers, editors and authors are invited to send copies of new books on appropriate subjects to the Editor-in-Chief who will distribute them to members of the Editorial Board or other experts for review. E.T.B.

Principles of Engineering Geology--by P. B. Attewell and I. W. Farmer. Chapman and Hall, London. 1976. 1045 pp., £25.00. Because of the fact that no up-to-date standard reference or textbook on engineering geology exists, the appearance of a major work on the subject by two well-known contributors to this journal is to be welcomed. However, for all its admirable qualities, the present book may not prove to be the fundamental font of engineering geological wisdom that so many readers will be seeking. The difficulty as this engineer-reviewer sees it. lies in the very definition of the term 'engineering geology'. The authors begin their preface with a recognition of this difficulty, and go on to explain why they have chosen to present the material they have rather than adopt an alternative approach which "would have been to present what might well have developed into a text on Quaternary and strucstructural geology combined with a compendium of engineering geology case histories and supported by some very basic and undemanding analysis". It may well be that many readers will think that a book of this type would have been of more general value than the book on ~hat many of us would describe as soil and rock mechanics topics that the authors have produced. The book contains chapters entitled "Composition of rocks' (29 pages); 'Rock particles and particle systems" (which is really a 74-page chapter on soil mechanics taking us as far as critical state soil mechanics); 'Clays and clay shales' (68 pages); 'Rock as a material" (68 pages dealing with the strength, deformation and failure characteristics of intact rock); 'Preferred orientation, symmetry concepts and strength anisotropy of some rocks and clays' (55 pages); 'Rock discontinuity analysis' (112 pages); 'Site investigation" (133 pages); 'Groundwater' (72 pages); 'Stability of soil slopes' (88 pages); 'Rock slope stability' (94 pages) and 'Ground improvement' (155 pages). The reasons for the inclusion of much of this material are not easy to understand, nor is the omission of certain other items. For example, it is not at all clear why the engineering geology of underground excavations in rock is discussed only through the inclusion of a number of rock mass classification schemes for underground works in the middle of the chapter on rock slope stability. Despite his having this fundamental difference of opinion with the authors about what should or should not be included in a book on engineering geology, this reviewer found that the book contains an abundance of well-assembled information, and is sure that it will be a valuable reference work for geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists and students of those subjects for some time to come. The fact that the list of references contains an astonishing 1238 items testifies to the scope of the book and the amount of detailed information that it contains. Of course, it is inevitable that in a book of the length of the present one, a number of errors of one type or another will inadvertently appear. The most significant error noted is in Hoek's slope stability charts reproduced as Figs. 10.51a and 10.52b on pp. 804 and 806. Shortly after their original publication in 1970, Hock recognised that these charts give factors of safety which, under certain circumstances, can differ markedly (by 50°,/0or more) from those calculated using the corresponding limiting equilibrium equations. The charts were either abandoned or modified during the preparation of Hock and Bray's Rock Slope Engineering published in 1974. The reader is advised to use the methods outlined in this book rather than the original charts now reproduced by AtteweU and Farmer.

Seismic Risk and Engineering Decisions--Edited by C. Lomnitz and E. Rosenblueth. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1976. 425 pp., U.S. 545.95. This book, number 15 in Elsevier's Developments in Geotechnical

Engineering series, presents a collection of ten contributions by a 161

number of highly respected experts in various aspects of seismology and earthquake engineering. In addition to the editors" short introductory chapter, the book contains chapters entitled 'Earthquakes and earthquake prediction'. 'Geological criteria for evaluating seismicity', 'Soil dynamics', "The physics of strong earthquake motion', "Seismicity', 'Tsunamis', 'Structural response to earthquakes', 'Design', and 'Seismological instrumentation'. Thus, the book is divided into four parts dealing with the generation and characteristics of earthquakes, the assessment of seismicity from a probabilistic point of ~icvv. the engineering effects of earthquakes and approaches to engineering design, and finally, modern seismic instrumentation. Some of the chapters require little background knowledge beyond some familiarity with basic geology and dynamics. Other chapters, however, pre-suppose a sound knowledge of statistics and probability, while yet others require an advanced understanding of dynamics for their assimilation. Because of this variability in the approach and styles used by the individual authors, the book does not present as cohesive a whole as the reader or presumably, the editors, might have wished. The social and economic significance of the subject and the difficulties of making either short- or long-range predictions of earthquake occurrences and their effect have been emphasised to this reviewer by the day's news of the Roumanian earthquake disaster. It would appear that the way ahead in this difficult area is through the development and application of decision theory, risk analysis and the other statistical methods that form the basis of the approach generally presented in this book; indeed, earthquake engineers are providing a lead for other civil and geotechnical engineers in this regard. Because this subject is at an early stage in its development, and because of the varying assumptions about the reader's background knowledge made by the various contributors, this book cannot be regarded as a definitive text on earthquake engineering, nor as a suitable book for the beginner. However, it will be of value to experienced specialists such as consulting engineers seeking a better understanding of the subject to guide decision making, and as a text for postgraduate students.

Exploration for Rock Engineering. Volume 1 of the Proceedings of the Symposium on Exploration for Rock Engineering, Johannesburg, 1-5 November, 1976-Edited by Z. T. Bieniawski, A. A. Balkema, Cape Town, 1976. 324 pp., £31.50. This book is concerned with the practicalities of rock engineering: which parameters are of importance to rock mechanics engineers, how are these parameters determined and how are they utilized in design and construction? These are the three fundamental questions that must be asked by anyone involved with rock engineering in either a civil or mining context. In the preface, Dr. Bieniawski explains that the emphasis is placed on rock mechanics investigations and excludes the usual geological site explorations. To some extent, this is unfortunate because geological and seismic aspects have been sacrificed in favour of 'after the event' instrumentation which makes the title of the book rather misleading. Following a key-note address by Dr. Cook on methods of acquiring and utilizing geotechnical data, there are nine sections covering drilling techniques, testing in boreholes, core logging, rock mass classifications, in-situ tests on rock masses, principles of rock instrumentation, instrumentation of civil structures, instrumentation of mining structures and, finally, case studies. In each section, there is a main paper summarising the state-of-the-art and recent development in South Africa together with two to five supporting papers. The first five sections are those directly concerned with exploration and use of the information prior to construction.