Ground Versus Soil: A New Paradigm in Geotechnical Engineering Education

M R, Madhav and Abhishek, S V (2016) Ground Versus Soil: A New Paradigm in Geotechnical Engineering Education. In: Shaping the Future of Geotechnical Education (SFGE) - International Conference on Geo-Engineering Education, 20-21 October, 2016, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

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me of the practitioners of geotechnical engineering tend to confuse Ground with Soil. It is not just semantics but the terms have d eeper technical and philosophical implications. Soi l is a material which can be handled, felt, seen, sme lt, tasted, and tested in small to medium size samples while ‘Ground’ is an entity that exists in- situ. Just as the adage, ‘The total is more than th e sum of the individual parts’, predicting the behavi or of ground from the so-called properties measured on samples collected from the field is muc h more complex and involves judgment. Ground is an intricate natural entity very similar to ‘Humans’ and exhibits behavioral responses rather than merely possess properties like other en gineering materials. Humans have organs and traits such as being jovial, sad, friendly, angry, misanthropic, etc. but do not have properties. Thei r behavioral responses depend on genetics, environmen t in which they grow, personality they develop and to impetus they experience. Similarly, the genetics of ground is defined by its formation (alluvial, marine, residual, colluvial, a eolin, etc.) depending upon how physiogamy forms the deposit. Ground, one tends to believe, is a sol id mass on which structures are built, becomes suddenly a fluid under specific aggravating circums tances such as consisting loose saturated sand with small amount of fines but subjected to seismic activity of medium to high intensity. On the other hand, a river in flood can erode the ground b y removing particles by its high velocity leading to scour. Slopes on which civilizations thrive, bec ome unstable and sometimes even catastrophic under heavy rainfall, coupled with human activities of deforestation, cutting/steepening of slopes, saturating it by ignorance or callousness, etc. The paper presents a new paradigm that emphasizes the need to visualize Ground, not just as a materia l but rather an entity, and view Geotechnical Engineering comprehensively, beyond a mechanistic s tandpoint.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ground, entity, human, medicine, diagnosis
Subjects: Civil Engineering > Soil Structure Interaction
Divisions: Department of Civil Engineering
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 07:29
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2016 07:29
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