Geology and Engineering

Geology and Engineering

Geology plays an important role in the construction industry in terms of maintaining a healthy environment and in the planning of large scale infrastructure.


Geologists play a key role in maintaining clean water and planning non-contaminating waste disposal facilities. By developing good geological maps with additional data on water wells and rivers geologists can advise county councils on areas that may be vulnerable to pollution from poor or unsuitable development. This allows county councils to make informed decisions on planning that could affect aquifers or surface water. With 25% of all water used in Ireland coming from groundwater sources this information is vital.

 Photo credit: ICDS Constructors. Excavation and construction of Dublin Port Tunnel.

Geologists are also vital to the planning of large scale infrastructure, studying the subsurface sediments and the rock type of an area is necessary for planning projects such as dams, tunnels, motorways, offshore energy devices and bridges. A good understanding of the geology of an area can help prevent any disasters or long term problems with a structure, this can be done by avoiding bad ground or engineering a project to suit the type of area it is to be built on.


An example of this would be looking at possible cavities that may form in a limestone area due weathering and taking these factors into account when engineering the project.