Engineering geology is the application of the geologic sciences to engineering practice for the purpose of assuring that the geologic factors affecting the location, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of engineering works are recognized and adequately provided for.
Engineering geologists investigate and provide geologic and geotechnical recommendations, analysis, and design associated with human development. The realm of the engineering geologist is essentially in the area of earth-structure interactions, or investigation of how the earth or earth processes impact human-made structures and human activities. Using scientific methods they assess the soil, rock, and groundwater conditions prior to construction projects. They also advise on procedures required for such developments and the suitability of appropriate construction materials.
Investigations generally include geotechnical projects such as water and transport infrastructure, commercial-related development, buildings, and residential developments. Engineering geologists are also involved with other environmentally sensitive developments that need specialized investigations, such as recommendations regarding the development of service stations and buried fuel tanks, identification of new cemetery sites, landfill sites, and also sewage treatment works.