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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

EINSTEIN
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
Sir.C.V.Raman Nagar, Tirunelveli-12

Department of Civil Engineering


AG 33- APPLIED GEOLOGY

Prepared by
A.Ponniah Raju

EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG


EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

UNIT - I

Introduction to Course

Geo – derived from Greek word means – Earth , Logy study of .

The earth has evolved (changed) throughout its history, and will continue to evolve.

Earth – 4.6 billion years 9715469641 old, human beings have been around for only the
past 2 million years.

Why study the earth

We’re part of it. Dust to Dust. Humans have the capability to make rapid changes. All
construction from houses to roads to dams are effected by the earth and thus require some
geologic knowledge. All life depends on the earth for food and nourishment. The earth is
there everyday of our lives.

Energy and mineral resources – depend on for our lifestyle come from the earth

Geologic Hazards - Earthquakes, Volcanic eruptions , hurricanes, Landslides, - affect us


any time. A better understanding of the earth is necessary to prepare these eventualities.

Minerals – Element – substance that cannot be separated in to simpler forms of matter by


ordinary chemical means

Two or more elements – Compound

Physical properties of Minerals

Depends on – degree of aggregation , degree of Cohesion , senses, light. Magnetism,


heat , electricity.

Properties – External appearance and internal structure, Cleavage fracture, hardness,


Sp.gr , Tenacity, Colour, Streak, Lusture, Transparency, Fluorescence, Phosphorescence

External appearance – definite geometric shapes bounded –smooth planes – well defined
solids – Crystals.

Crystallography –study of crystals

Geology, What is it?

Geology is the study of the Earth. It includes not only the surface process which have
shaped the earth's surface, but the study of the ocean floors, and the interior of the Earth.
It is not only the study of the Earth as we see it today, but the history of the Earth as it has
evolved to its present condition.

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

Important point:

The Earth has evolved (changed) throughout its history, and will continue to evolve.

The Earth is about 4.6 billion years old, human beings have been around for only the

past 2 million years.

Thus, mankind has been witness to only 0.043% of Earth history.

The first multi-celled organisms appeared about 700 million years ago. Thus, organisms
have only been witness to about 15% of Earth's history.

Thus, for us to have an understanding of the earth upon which we live, we must look at
processes and structures that occur today, and interpret what must have happened in the
past.

One of the major difficulties we have is with the time scale. Try to imagine 1 million
years-- That's 50,000 times longer than most of you have lived. It seems like a long time
doesn't it?

Yet, to geologists, 1 million years is a relatively short period of time. But one thing we
have to remember when studying the earth is that things that seem like they take a long
time to us, may take only a short time to earth.

Examples:

A river deposits about 1mm of sediment (mud) each year. How thick is the mud after

100 years? -- 10 cm hardly noticeable over your lifetime.

What if the river keeps depositing that same 1 mm/yr for 10 million years? Answer

10,000 meters (6.2 miles). Things can change drastically!

Earth Materials and Processes

The materials that make up the Earth are mainly rocks (including soil, sand, silt, dust).
Rocks in turn are composed of minerals. Minerals are composed of atoms, Processes
range from those that occur rapidly to those that occur slowly Examples of slow
processes

Formation of rocks

Chemical breakdown of rock to form soil (weathering)

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Chemical cementation of sand grains together to form rock (diagenesis)

Recrystallization to rock to form a different rock (metamorphism)

Construction of mountain ranges (tectonism)

Erosion of mountain ranges

Examples of faster processes

Beach erosion during a storm.

Construction of a volcanic cone

Landslides (avalanches)

Dust Storms

Mudflows

Processes such as these are constantly acting upon and within the Earth to change it.
Many of these processes are cyclical in nature.

Hydrologic Cycle

Rain comes from clouds - falls on surface, picks up sand, silt and clay, carries
particles to river and into ocean. Water then evaporates to become clouds, which
move over continents to rain again.
Rock Cycle

Most surface rocks started out as igneous rocks- rocks produced by crystallization from a
liquid. When igneous rocks are exposed at the surface they are subject to weathering
(chemical and mechanical processes that reduce rocks to particles). Erosion moves
particles into rivers and oceans where they are deposited to become sedimentary rocks.
Sedimentary rocks can be buried or pushed to deeper levels in the Earth, where changes
in pressure and temperature cause them to become metamorphic rocks. At high
temperatures metamorphic rocks may melt to become magmas. Magmas rise to the
surface, crystallize to become igneous rocks and the processes starts over.

External Processes

Erosion- rocks are broken down (weathered) into small fragments which are then carried
by wind, water, ice and gravity. External because erosion operates at the Earth's surface.
The energy source for this process is solar and gravitational.

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

Internal Processes

Processes that produce magmas, volcanoes, earthquakes and build mountain ranges.
Energy comes from the interior of the Earth, Most from radioactive decay - nuclear
energy.

Principle of Uniformitarianism

Processes that are operating during the present are the same processes that have operated
in the past. i.e. the present is the key to the past. If we look at processes that occur today,
we can infer that the same processes operated in the past.

Problems:

Rates -- rates of processes may change over time for example a river might deposit 1 mm
of sediment /yr if we look at it today. but, a storm could produce higher runoff and carry
more sediment tomorrow. Another example: the internal heat of the Earth may have been
greater in the past than in the present -- rates of processes that depend on the amount of
heat available may have changed through time.

Observations -- we may not have observed in human history all possible processes.

Examples: Mt. St. Helens, Size of earthquakes.

Perhaps a better way of stating the Principle of Uniform itarianism is that the laws of
nature have not changed through time. Thus, if we understand the physical and chemical
laws of nature, these should govern all processes that have taken place in the past, are
taking place in the present, and will take place in the future.

Energy
All processes that act on or within the Earth require energy. Energy can exist in many
different forms:
Gravitational Energy -- Energy released when an object falls from higher elevations to
lower elevations.

Heat Energy -- Energy exhibited by moving atoms, the more heat energy an object has,
the higher its temperature.

Chemical Energy -- Energy released by breaking or forming chemical bonds.

Radiant Energy -- Energy carried by electromagnetic waves (light). Most of the Sun's
energy reaches the Earth in this form.

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

Atomic Energy -- Energy stored or released in binding atoms together. Most of the energy
generated within the Earth comes from this source.

Heat Transfer

Heat Moves through material by the following modes:

Conduction - atoms vibrate against each other and these vibrations move from high
temperature areas (rapid vibrations) to low temperature areas (slower vibrations).- Heat
from Earth's interior moves through the solid crust by this mode of heat transfer.

Convection - Heat moves with the material, thus the material must be able to move. The
mantle of the Earth appears to transfer heat by this method, and heat is transferred in the
atmosphere by this mode.

Radiation - Heat moves with electromagnetic radiation (light) Heat from the Sun or from
a fire is transferred by this mode

Geothermal Gradient

Temperature and pressure increase with depth in the Earth. Near the surface of the Earth
the rate of increase in temperature (called the Geothermal Gradient) ranges from 15 to
35oC per kilometer. Temperature at the center of the Earth is about 4500oC

The Earth -- What is it?

The Earth has a radius of about 6371 km, although it is about 22 km larger at equator
than at poles.

Internal Structure of the Earth:

Density, (mass/volume), Temperature, and Pressure increase with depth in the Earth.

Compositional Layering

Crust - variable thickness and composition

Continental 10 - 50 km thick

Oceanic 8 - 10 km thick

Mantle - 3488 km thick, made up of a rock called peridotite

Core - 2883 km radius, made up of Iron (Fe) and small amount of Nickel (Ni)

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

Layers of Differing Physical


Properties

Lithosphere - about 100 km thick


(deeper beneath continents)

Asthenosphere - about 250 km thick to


depth of 350 km - solid rock, but soft
and

flows easily.

Mesosphere - about 2500 km thick, solid rock, but still capable of flowing.

Outer Core - 2250 km thick, Fe and Ni, liquid

Inner core - 1230 km radius, Fe and Ni, solid

All of the above is known from the way seismic (earthquake waves) pass through the
Earth as we will discuss later in the course.

Surface Features of the Earth

Oceans cover 71 % of Earth's surface -- average depth 3.7 km. Land covers remaining
surface with average of 0.8 km above sea level

Ocean Basins

Continental Shelf, Slope, and rise

Abyssal Plains

Oceanic ridges

Oceanic Trenches

Plate Tectonics

Tectonics = movement and deformation of the crust, incorporates older theory of


continental drift.

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

Plates: are lithospheric plates - about 100 km thick, which move around on top of the

asthenosphere.

Plate Boundaries

Divergent Boundaries occur at Oceanic Ridges, where new Oceanic lithosphere is


formed and moves away from the ridge in opposite directions Continental rifting may
create a new divergent margin and evolve into an oceanic ridge, such as is occurring in
East Africa and between the African Plate and the Arabian Plate.

Convergent Boundaries occur where oceanic lithosphere is pushed back into the mantle,
marked by oceanic trenches and subduction zones. Two types are possible -

When two plates of oceanic lithosphere converge oceanic lithosphere is subducted


beneath oceanic lithosphere.

When ocean lithosphere runs into a plate with continental lithosphere, the oceanic
lithosphere is subducted beneath the continental lithosphere.

Continental Collisions: may occur at a convergent boundary when plates of continental


lithosphere collide to join two plates together, such as has occurred recently where the
Indian Plate has collided with the Eurasian Plate to form the Himalaya Mountains.

Transform Boundaries occur where two plates slide past one another horizontally. The
San Andreas Fault, in California is a transform fault.

Plate tectonics explains why earthquakes occur where they do, why volcanoes occur
where they do, how mountain ranges form, as well as many other aspects of the Earth. It
is such an important theory in understanding how the Earth works that we cover it briefly
here, but will return for a better understanding of later in the course.

Groundwater
Groundwater is water that exists in the pore spaces and fractures in rock and sediment
beneath
the Earth's surface. It originates as rainfall or snow, and then moves through the soil into
the
groundwater system, where it eventually makes its way back to surface streams, lakes, or
oceans.
�Groundwater makes up about 1% of the water on Earth (most water is in oceans).
�But, groundwater makes up about 35 times the amount of water in lakes and streams.
�Groundwater occurs everywhere beneath the Earth's surface, but is usually restricted to
depths less that about 750 meters.
�The volume of groundwater is a equivalent to a 55 meter thick layer spread out over
the
entire surface of the Earth.

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

�The surface below which all rocks are saturated with groundwater is the water table.
The Water Table

Rain that falls on the surface


seeps down through the soil
and into a zone called the zone
of aeration or unsaturated
zone where most of the pore
spaces are filled with air. As it
penetrates deeper it eventually
enters a zone where all pore
spaces and fractures are filled
with water. This zone is called
the saturated zone. The surface
below which all openings in
the rock are filled with water
(the top of the saturated zone)
is called the water table.
The water table occurs everywhere beneath the Earth's surface. In desert regions it is
always
present, but rarely intersects the surface.
In more humid regions it

EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG


EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

reaches the surface at streams

and lakes, and generally tends


to follow surface topography.
The depth to the water table
may change, however, as the
amount of water flowing into
and out of the saturated zone
changes. During dry seasons,
the depth to the water table
increases. During wet seasons,
the depth to the water table
decreases.
Movement of Groundwater
Groundwater is in constant motion, although the rate at which it moves is generally
slower than
it would move in a stream because it must pass through the intricate passageways
between free
space in the rock. First the groundwater moves downward due to the pull of gravity. But
it can
also move upward because it will flow from higher pressure areas to lower pressure
areas, as
can be seen by a simple experiment illustrated below. Imagine that we have a "U"-shaped
tube
filled with water. If we put pressure on one side of the tube, the water level on the other
side
rises, thus the water moves from high pressure zones to low pressure zones.
The same thing happens beneath the surface of

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the Earth, where pressure is higher beneath the


hills and lower beneath the valleys
Groundwat
The rate of groundwater flow is controlled by two properties of the rock: porosity and
permeability.
�Porosity is the percentage of the volume of the rock that is open space (pore space).
This
determines the amount of water that a rock can contain.
�In sediments or sedimentary rocks the porosity depends on grain size, the shapes of
the grains, and the degree of sorting, and the degree of cementation.

�Well-rounded coarsegrained
sediments

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

usually have higher porosity than finegrained

,
because the grains do
not fit together well.
�Poorly sorted sediments usually have lower
porosity because the fine-grained fragments tend
to fill in the open space.
�Since cements tend to fill in the pore
space, highly cemented sedimentary
rocks have lower porosity.
�In igneous and metamorphic rocks porosity is usually
low because the minerals tend to be intergrown,
leaving little free space. Highly fractured igneous and
metamorphic rocks, however, could have high
porosity
�Permeability is a measure of the degree to which the pore spaces are interconnected,
and
the size of the interconnections. Low porosity usually results in low permeability, but
Groundwater
high porosity does not necessarily imply high permeability. It is possible to have a highly
porous rock with little or no interconnections between pores. A good example of a rock
with high porosity and low permeability is a vesicular volcanic rock, where the bubbles
that once contained gas give the rock a high porosity, but since these holes are not
connected to one another the rock has low permeability.
A thin layer of water will always
be attracted to mineral grains due

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

to the unsatisfied ionic charge on


the surface. This is called the force
of molecular attraction. If the size
of interconnections is not as large
as the zone of molecular attraction,
the water can't move. Thus, coarse-grained
rocks are usually more
Permeable than fine-grained rocks,
and sands are more permeable than
clays.
Movement in the Zone of Aeration
Rainwater soaks into the soil where some of it is evaporated, some of it adheres to grains
in thesoil by molecular attraction, some is absorbed by plant roots, and some seeps down
into the saturated zone. During long periods without rain the zone of aeration may remain
dry.
Movement in the Saturated Zone
In the saturated zone (below the water table) water percolates through the interconnected
pore spaces, moving downward by the force of gravity, and upward toward zones of
lower pressure.Where the water table intersects the surface, such as at a surface stream,
lake, or swamp, the groundwater returns to the surface.
Recharge Areas and Discharge Areas
The Earth's surface can be divided into areas
where some of the water falling on the surface
seeps into the saturated zone and other areas
where water flows out of the saturated zone
onto the surface. Areas where water enters the
saturated zone are called recharge areas,
because the saturated zone is recharged with
groundwater beneath these areas. Areas where
groundwater reaches the surface (lakes,
streams, swamps, & springs) are called
discharge areas, because the water is
discharged from the saturated zone. Generally,
recharge areas are greater than discharge
areas.
Groundwater
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Discharge and Velocity
The rate at which groundwater
moves through the saturated
zone depends on the
permeability of the rock and
the hydraulic gradient. The
hydraulic gradient is defined
as the difference in elevation
divided by the distance

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

between two points on the


water table.
Velocity, V, is then:
V = K(h2 - h1)/L
where K is the coefficient of permeability.
If we multiply this expression by the area, A, through which the water is moving, then we
get
the discharge, Q.
Q = AK(h2 - h1)/L,
which is Darcy's Law.
Springs and Wells
�A spring is an area on the surface of the Earth where the water table intersects the
surface
and water flows out of the ground. Springs occur when an impermeable rock (called an
aquiclude) intersects an permeable rock that contains groundwater (an aquifer). Such
juxtaposition between permeable and impermeable rock can occur along geological
contacts (surfaces separating two bodies of rock), and fault zones.
�A well is human-made hole that is dug or drilled deep enough to intersect the water
table.
Wells are usually used as a source for groundwater. If the well is dug beneath the water
table, water will fill the open space to the level of the water table, and can be drawn out
by a bucket or by pumping. Fracture systems and perched water bodies can often make it
Groundwater
Page 5 of 8 10/20/2003
difficult to locate the best site for a well.
Aquifers
An aquifer is a large body of permeable material where groundwater is present in the
saturated
zone. Good aquifers are those with high permeability such as poorly cemented sands,
gravels,
and sandstones or highly fractured rock. Large aquifers can be excellent sources of water
for
human usage such as the High Plains Aquifer (in sands and gravels) or the Floridian
Aquifer
(in porous limestones) as outlined in your text. Aquifers can be of two types:
�Unconfined Aquifers - the most common type of aquifer, where the water table is
exposed to the Earth's atmosphere through the zone of aeration. Most of the aquifers
depicted in the drawings so far have been unconfined aquifers.
�Confined Aquifers - these are less common, but occur when an aquifer is confined
between layers of impermeable strata. A special kind of confined aquifer is an artesian
system, shown below. Artesian systems are desirable because they result in free flowing
artesian springs and artesian wells.
Changes in the Groundwater System
When discharge of groundwater exceeds recharge of the system, several adverse effects
can

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

occur. Most common is lowering of the water table, resulting in springs drying up and
wells
having to be dug to deeper levels. If water is pumped out of an aquifer, pore pressure can
be
reduced in the aquifer that could result in compaction of the now dry aquifer and result in
land
subsidence. In some cases withdrawal of groundwater exceeds recharge by natural
processes,
and thus groundwater should be considered a non-renewable natural resource.
Groundwater
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Water Quality and Groundwater Contamination
Water quality refers to such things as the temperature of the water, the amount of
dissolved
solids, and lack of toxic and biological pollutants. Water that contains a high amount of
dissolved material through the action of chemical weathering can have a bitter taste, and
is
commonly referred to as hard water. Hot water can occur if water comes from a deep
source orencounters a cooling magma body on its traverse through the groundwater
system. Such hot water may desirable for bath houses or geothermal energy, but is not
usually desirable for human consumption or agricultural purposes. Most pollution of
groundwater is the result of biological activity, much of it human. Among the sources of
contamination are:
 �Sewers and septic tanks
 �Waste dumps (both industrial and residential)
 �Gasoline Tanks (like occur beneath all service stations)
 �Biological waste products - Biological contaminants can be removed from the
 groundwater by natural processes if the aquifer has interconnections between
pores that
 are smaller than the microbes. For example a sandy aquifer may act as a filter for
 biological contaminants.
 �Agricultural pollutants such as fertilizers and pesticides.
 �Salt water contamination - results from excessive discharge of fresh
groundwater in
 coastal areas.
 Groundwater
Geologic Activity of Groundwater
�Dissolution - Recall that water is the main agent of chemical weathering. Groundwater
isan active weathering agent and can leach ions from rock, and, in the case of carbonate
rocks like limestone, can completely dissolve the rock.
�Chemical Cementation and Replacement - Water is also the main agent acting
during
diagenesis. It carries in dissolved ions which can precipitate to form chemical cements
that hold sedimentary rocks together. Groundwater can also replace other molecules in
matter on a molecule by molecule basis, often preserving the original structure such as in
fossilization or petrified wood.

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

�Caves and Caverns - If


large areas of limestone
underground are dissolved
by the action of
groundwater these cavities
can become caves or
caverns (caves with many
interconnected chambers)
once the water table is
lowered. Once a cave forms, it is open to the atmosphere and water percolating in can
precipitate new material such as the common cave decorations like stalagtites (hang from
the ceiling), stalagmites (grow from the floor upward), and dripstones, and flowstones.
�Sinkholes - If the roof of a cave or cavern
collapses, this results in a sinkhole.
Sinkholes, likes caves, are common in areas
underlain by limestones. For example, in
Florida, which is underlain by limestones, a
new sinkhole forms about once each year,
gobbling up cars and houses in process.
�Karst Topography - In an area where the main type of weathering is dissolution (like
in
limestone terrains), the formation of caves and sinkholes, and their collapse and
coalescence may result in a highly irregular topography called karst topography (see
pages 404 - 406 in your text).
Groundwater

EARTHQUAKES AND THEIR STUDY

Most of us must have personally experienced earthquakes, and are, therefore,


aware of them. Earthquake is something which causes the shaking of the Earth ; and as
such, all our buildings and structures erected on the Earth's surface start trembling, as and
when a quake comes. An earthquake, is therefore, defined as a natural vibration of the
ground (or the Earth's crust) produced by forces, called earthquake forces or seismic
forces.
Many the these vibrations are very feeble, and may not even be felt to any
appreciable extent, by human beings. Some other vibrations, however, may be very
severe, and may cause the collapse and rupture of buildings and other structures, bringing
large scale destruction and disaster in its wake.
Before we discuss the various possible causes of earthquakes in our next article,
we shall like to define two very important technical terms that are associated with
earthquakes. These terms are focus and epicentre.
The focus is the place beneath the Earth's surface from where an earthquake
originates, and the point or line on the Earths' surface immediately above the focus is
called the epicentre or epicentral line (Refer Fig. 6.6). The focus is also sometimes
termed as seismic centre. The point which is diametrically opposite to the epicentre is
called anticentre.
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In fact, the term epicentre is important as it represents the point on the Earth, where the
earthquake waves reach for the first time, after they are generated from the focus. The
area around the epicentre will be subjected to earthquake vibrations, and is generally
indicated as epicentral area.
Earthquake foci are generally distributed in three general depth ranges. Shallow
earthquakes originate within about 60 kilometres of the surface ; Intermediate
earthquakes have foci between 60 to 300 kilometres down; and the Deep seated
earthquakes originate at depths below 300 kilometres, or so. The deepest focus ever
recorded was about 700 kilometres. In the case of shallow focus, the area affected is
smaller compared to that in a deeper focus ; this is because, in the latter case, the
earthquake waves assume a wider dispersion. The deep focus earthquakes are generally
very rare: and most of the million earthquakes occurring in a year are, generally shallow.
Nevertheless, it is generally difficult to know the focus quite accurately, and therefore,
most frequently, only epicentral area is indicated. The shallow earthquakes which
originate at depths up to about 35 km are generally more damaging than the others.

Causes of Earthquakes and Their Types:


Our ancestors used to believe that the earthquakes were the manifestations of
God's wrath. The first nearly scientific approach to find out a suitable cause for an
earthquake was made by our philospher Aristotle (384—322 B.C.), the Einstein of his
days, who explained that earthquakes were the result of entrapped air escaping from the
Earth's interior. Modern earthquake theories are, however, based on factual data and
study of actual earthquakes of the world.
Depending upon the possible cause of an earthquake, earthquakes are now-a-days
generally classified into two categories, i.e.
(1) Tectonic earthquakes ; and
(2) Non-tectonic earthquakes.

The Tectonic Earthquakes:


The tectonic earthquakes are perhaps caused by the slippage or movement of the
rock masses along a rupture or break called a fault. These are generally very severe, and
the area affected is often very large. The non-tectonic type of earthquakes include
earthquakes caused by a number of easily understandable processes, such as ;
volcanic.eruptions ; superficial movements like landslides ; subsidence of the ground
below the surface, etc. All such processes may introduce vibrations into the ground by
jerks, etc.
There is, thus, not much controversy on the possible causes of non-tectonic
earthquakes. However, nothing can be said with absolute certainty regarding the origin of
the tectonic earthquakes. Most probably, as pointed out above, these tectonic earthquakes
are caused by the occasional movements of the crustal blocks along the fractured planes,
called the faults. Faulting is a phenomenon which has been found associated with most of

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the severe earthquakes of the world. As such, it can generally be considered as the
immediate cause of many tectonic earthquakes. Whether "faulting is due to earthquakes"
or "earthquakes are due to faulting" is infact among the most complicated geological
problems that still await perfect solution.
The modern well known Elastic rebound theory explains as to how faulting takes
place, and how it leads to earthquakes. However, this theory does not account for the
force which produced faulting, but it explains only the manner in which the rocks yield to
these forces. Ultimately, it may be added that these unknown tectonic forces which cause
faulting are the same as those which produce fold mountains and other structural features
of the Earths' crust. The elastic rebound theory is explained below :
The Elastic Rebound Theory. According to this theory, the rocks of the Earths'
crust like any other elastic solid, would undergo elastic deformation* when subjected to
unequal frictional forces or stresses (either compression or tension). But this deformation
is possible only up to a certain limit, i.e. till the breaking point or elastic limit* is reached.
As and when the stress exceeds the frictional resistance of the rock block, it will break,
producing rupture in the rock. This rupture takes the form of faulting, when the rupture is
produced by a stress which was building up rapidly ; and then there occurs a relative
movement on either side of the plane of rupture. Such movements always involve sudden
release of enormous amount of elastic energy (which was stored in the folded rocks)
making it possible for the rock block to acquire new positions of least strain. where all
the three stages have been explained quite clearly). The elastic energy so released may
produce powerful seismic waves, which travel in all directions from the place of faulting,
and which induce shaking movements in material through which they travel, thus
producing earthquake shocks.

*When a solid like rubber, wooden Stick, rock blocks, etc. is squeezed (by
compression) or stretched (by tension) it deforms according to certain physical laws
which depend on the inherent properties of the solid itself. The squeezing or stretching
force on a unit is called a stress, and the deformation of the solid yielding to the stress is
called strain. Elastic materials are those in which stress is directly proportional to the
strain. Thus, a rubber band if stretched to twice its original length (L) required a pull
equal to say P, then a pull equal to 2P and 3P respectively will be required to produce a
stretching equal to twice or thrice of its original length. But the band cannot be stretched
indefinitely because eventually it will break. This limiting point is called elastic limit,
and the earlier * deformation is called elastic deformation. When the force or stress
exceeds the elastic limit, the solid continues to deform without any additional stress. Such
deformation is called plastic deformation, The stress value where deformation changes
from elastic to plastic, is called yield point. Ultimately with plastic deformation, the solid
ruptures or breaks. Moreover, it has been found by experiments that in some solids, like
rocks, if the stress is applied very slowly, the material will deform plastically at stress
values far below the "normal yield point". But when the stress in built up rapidly, the
material ruptures or breaks shortly after the yield point is reached. This explains as why
rocks will be folded under certain conditions and faulted under others.

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This theory, thus, explains to some good enough extent, as to how tectonic earthquakes
do occur. Tectonic earthquakes are quite common; and here in India, all the earthquakes
are generally of this nature.
Earthquake Waves, Their Recording and Types:
The energy released during faulting, produces seismic waves, which can be
detected by sensitive and delicate instruments, called seismographs, installed at specially
designed seismographic stations. The record of seismic waves is called seismogram.
By the study of a lot of such data collected on various actual earthquakes of the
world, it has now become possible to differentiate between different types of waves that
are generated in an earthquake.
Basically, two classes of waves are produced during an earthquake. One group,
called the body waves (consisting of P-waves and S-waves), travels downward into the
Earth; whereas, the other group, called the surface waves (popularly called L-waves),
travels along the surface of the Earth's crust. Since it is only the L waves that pass
through the Earth's surface, the entire destruction] caused during an earthquake will be
caused by these L-waves only. The other kinds of waves (i. e. P and S waves) are helpful
in detecting the origin and epicentre of an earthquake, and for estimating the interior of
the earth*.
All these three types of waves obey the laws of reflection and refraction, as they
pass through, the Earth's materials of varying density. The P and S waves, though move
towards the interior of the Earth, yet some of the wave energy is reflected upward to the
surface by certain underlying layers, and thus recorded by the seismographs—located at
different distances from the shot point (i.e. the focus).
A brief description of these waves is given below:
P-Waves (i.e. Primary Waves). The P-waves are com-pressional in nature, and travel
like sound waves. The particles thus vibrate in longitudinal direction (i.e. in the direction
of propagation of the waves) with a push and pull* effect, and these waves are, therefore,
also called as longitudinal waves or compressipnal waves or push and pull waves. The
velocity of such a wave depends upon the resistance of a medium to compression, and
hence they travel with greater velocities in rocks which are rigid, compact and dense.

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The P-waves are the fastest of all the three types ; and are, therefore, first to be
reached at the seismograph stations (Refer Fig, 6.8). Also they are capable of passing
through solids, liquids as Well as gases.
S-waves (i.e. Secondary Waves). These waves are transverse or distortional like those of
light waves. The particles, therefore, travel in a direction at right angles (i.e. transverse)
to the direction of propagation of the wave. The velocity of S-wave is controlled by the
resistance of a medium to shear. Due to this reason, these waves, though capable of
passing through solids, yet cannot pass through liquids, as liquids donot have any
distortional elasticity. These waves travel slower than the P-waves, and are second to be
recorded at the seismographic stations (Refer Fig, 6.8).
L-waves (Le. Long Waves). These waves travel alongthe Earth's surface, following a
circumferential path. They are also called surface waves, because their journey is
confined only to the surface layers of the Earth. In other Words, they do not travel
towards the interior of the Earth from the point of origin of disturbance.
The behaviour of these waves is similar to that of sea waves. One type of L-waves
involves both vertical and horizontal motions ; whereas another type involves only
horizontal motions. These waves are the slowest to travel, and therefore, reach in the last
at the seismographic stations (Refer Fig. 6.8). These waves are responsible for causing all
the damage done on the surface by an earthquake.
Travel Time Curves and Locating the Epicentre
The distance from a seismograph station to the place of origin of an earthquake
can be determined by the time interval between the arrivals of the first P and S waves.
The more distant the earthquake's focus, the longer is the S.P. interval. This is somewhat
similar to a type of problem in which two cars start together and move down the same
road at constant rates, of say 40 km/hr and 30 km/hr, respectively. The faster car will,
therefore, arrive at a station first, and if it arrives say 6 hrs ahead of the slower car, then
eventually one can easily calculate that they have travelled a distance of 720 km.*
It, thus, follows that the distance of focus from the recording station depends upon
the S.P interval. Moreover, since the epicentre of an earthquake is the immediate vertical
reflection of its focus, the S.P. interval will also, in the same way, depend upon the
distance of the station from the epicentre (i.e. the epicentral distance). The greater is the
S-P interval, the larger is this distance.
By a study of the records of a number of past earthquakes in a given region,
scientists have been able to plot certain curves called the travel-time curves, such as
shown in Fig. 6.9. Such travel time curves can be used to analyse a future earthquake in
the given region, and thus to determine its epicentre and depth of focus, etc.
Locating the Epicentre by Three Circle Method.
In this method, standard tables or travel time curves, relating the epicentral
distance (i.e. the distance of the epicentre from the seismograph station) with the S.P.
interval are used. The S-P interval at a station being known, the epicentral distance is
known. However, by analysing the record of a single seismograph station, although we
can know the epicentral distance, but we cannot ascertain its location as the direction of
this is not known. This job of locating the epicentre can be completed easily, provided
such records are available from atleast three seismological stations. These stations
should, of course, be conveniently located. By knowing the S-P intervals for the same
earthquake at these three different stations, we can find out the three corresponding

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values of the 'epicentral distance'. With each of the three stations marked on a map or a
globe, three circles, can be drawn with radii equal to the epicentral distance of each, and
the point of inter-section will represent the epicentre (Refer Fig. 6.10).
To illustrate, let us suppose that a particular earthquake was recorded at three
widely separated seismograph stations A, B and C, as marked on a map or globe. The S-P
interval recorded at these three stations was, say, 15 seconds, 20 seconds and 30 seconds,
respectively. The respective corresponding epicentral distances from these stations are
now worked out from standard tables or curves, as say 130 km, 160 km and 240 km.
Now, with A, B and C as centres and the respective distances as radii (i.e. 130, 160 and
240 km), circles are drawn on the map to the given scale. The epicentre is finally located
at the point of inter-section of the three circles, say at point E (Refer Fig. 6.10).
Seismographs or Seismometers
As stated earlier, a seismograph is an instrument which receives and records the
earthquakes waves. Different designs have been prepared for seismographs. A
seismograph may be designed to record only the horizontal motion of the ground, or only
the vertical motion of the ground, or both. Moreover, the seismographs may be provided
with ordinary paper and pencil device for recording the waves, or may be provided with
photographic papers which may record the waves under dark room conditions by using a
thin beam of light reflected through a mirror ; or may be electronised or computerised in
the advance stages.
Ordinarily, a good seismological station would generally have two horizontal
seismographs mounted at right angles (usually one to record the North-South horizontal
movements, and the other to record the East-West horizontal movements), and one
vertical instrument to record the vertical movements of the ground. These three
seismographs can give a complete picture of the ground motions in three directions.
Even today, simple pendulum type seismographs are used quite frequently,
although a lot of improved electronised and computerised systems have been developed.
The essential part of such a seismograph is a pendulum (or heavy weight), which
normally remains at rest, but starts swinging either horizontally (to and fro) or vertically
(up and down) during an earthquake. Moreover, the horizontal motion of the ground may
be recorded either by a pendulum which swings in a vertical plane, or by a pendulum
which swings in a horizontal plane.
A simplest type of a seismometer is shown in Fig. 6.11. It uses a heavy mass (m)
as a pendulum suspended from the top, as shown. The mass of the pendulum tends to
stand still, as the supporting frame moves during the horizontal motion of the ground,
caused by an earthquake. As the ground and frame moves to one side, gravity pulls on
such a pendulum, and the pendulum tends to follow the motion of the ground, and to
continue to swing after the ground comes to rest. This horizontal motion of the ground
can, thus, be recorded by observing the relative position of a pointer on the mass and a
scale attached to the ground, as shown.
This particular arrangement (Fig. 6.11) will record the horizontal motion of the
ground by a pendulum which swings horizontally (i.e. to and fro), but in a vertical plane.
A better system for earthquake observations is obtained by swinging the pendulum in a
horizontal or nearly horizontal plane instead of a vertical plane, as shown in Fig. 6.12 (a).
When the pendulum swings in a horizontal plane and about a vertical axis [Fig.
6.12 (a)], it has no tendency to return to any particular position. But, if the plane is

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slightly tilted, the pendulum will be acted upon by a small component of gravity, and if
deflected, it will return slowly to its original position Damping is easily provided by a
plate attached to the mass and extending into a cup of Oil on the ground. Such a
horizontal pendulum is the basic principle of most earthquake seismometers, whether
recording horizontal ground motion, or vertical ground motion.
In order to make the seismometer indicate the ground motion accurately, it is
necessary that the rate at which the pendulum returns to its rest position, is very slow,
which means that the natural period of oscillation of the pendulum must be long. The
seismometer indicates clearly only those ground oscillations that have periods shorter
than the natural pendulum period. If the period of the ground motion is longer than that
of the pendulum, the inertial mass tends to move the ground, and motion is not accurately
indicated.
Vertical motion of the ground can be detected by swinging the pendulum in a
horizontal plane about a horizontal axis (i.e. the pendulum moving up and down about the
horizontal axis), as shown in Fig. 6.12 (b). The pendulum, in such a case, is supported
against gravity by a spring. A long weak spring can be used to keep the natural period of
the pendulum long, or the spring can be adjusted so that it tends to increase, whenever
relative movement of the ground and inertial mass occurs. A diagonal spring, such as
shown in Fig. 6.12 (b), is the commonest type. In this case, when the ground rises, the
angle 9 decreases, and althought the spring is stretched, the restoring moment about the
axis of rotation of pendulum is increased very little. Similarly, if the ground drops,
although the length of the spring and hence its tension decreases, 0 increases, preventing
a large decrease in the torque of the spring. A small restoring moment, thus, results in a
long period of oscillation, and high sensitivity to the ground motion.

In order to obtain a permanent record of the ground motion with time, etc., it
is,.necessary to attach some sort of recording arrangement with the pendulums of the
types shown in Fig. 6.12 (a) and (6). This can be done by attaching a pen or stylus to the
pendulum arm and letting it write a record on a rotating drum covered with a paper. A
clock is also provided, which starts running as soon as the first shock is experienced, and
the pendulum is thrown into motion. restrain to the relative movement of the ground and
pendulum. This makes it difficult to record small ground movements, Moreover, since
the ground motion is usually very small, it is always desirable to amplify it, and the
amplification provided by such a mechanical recorder is only in the ratio of the distance
of the recording stylus top from the axis of motion (L2) to the distance of the centre of
oscillation of the pendulum arm from the axis of rotation {L1).
These shortcomings can be removed (i.e. greater amplification obtained without
the disadvantage of friction between pen nib and paper) by using photographic recording.
In such a recording, a mirror is mounted on the seismometer, and a beam of light is
reflected from it on the recording drum, which is wrapped round by a photographic paper.
The recording drum can be placed at a large distance from the seismometer, thus making
the length of the recording arm much greater than the length of the pendulum, and hence
giving the desired amplification for recording small motions. Moreover, in such a case,
since the light beam is deflected through twice the angle the pendulum rotates, it gives
another amplification factor of 2.

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Seismographs will record all the three types of waves during an earthquake.
Firstly, the P-waves will be received ; followed by S-waves after a small interval of time ;
and L-waves are recorded in the end. .
A seismograph is generally suitable only as long as the vibrations are not of a
very high intensity—which may throw the instrument out of balance. Hence, for
recording high intensity earthquakes in highly seismic regions, special strong motion
instruments are to be installed.
Intensity and Magnitude of an Earthquake:
Intensity of an Earthquake. Intensity of an earthquake may be defined as the rating of
an earthquake based on the actual effects produced by the quake on the Earth. These
observed effects may eventually range from simple harmless vibrations to mild jerks
capable of disturbing movable things and causing some damage to structures, to complete
overturning and collapse of buildings and subsidence of crustal segments. All these
effects will no doubt depend partly upon the number of jerks and tremors, but will mainly
depend upon the maximum rate of change of the movements of the ground, i.e. by its
maximum acceleration. Hence, now a days, it is customary to express the intensity of a
quake by the maximum acceleration of the ground. This value can be estimated from
seismograph records.
Initially, a scale of earthquake intensity with ten divisions was given by Rossi and
Forel, which was based entirely on the sensation of the people and the damage caused.
However, it was modified by Mercalli and later by Wood and Neumann. The present day
intensity scale which takes into account the range of maximum acceleration of the ground
is given as follows.

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Table 6.1. Intensity Scale For Earthquakes with Approximately Corresponding


Magnitudes
Inten- Maximum Name of the shock Effects observed Magnitude
sity Acceleration of (M) corres-
class the ground in ponding to
2
mm/sec highest inten-
sity reached
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
I 10 Imperceptible Recorded only by sensitive 3.5 to
seismographs
II 25 Feeble Recorded by all seismographs,
and may be felt by some
sensitive persons at rest.
III 50 Slight Commonly felt by all people 4.3
at rest, especially on upper
floors.-
IV 100 Moderate Commonly felt by all people 4.3 to
either at rest or in motion ; 4.9
nocking of loose objects in-
cluding standing vehicles
V 250 Fairly strong Generally felt ; most sleeping
persons are awakened ;
ringing of bells
VI 500 Strong Trees sway and all suspended 4.9 to 5.5
objects swing ; fall of weak
plasters : general panic ;
damage by overturning and
falling of loose objects.
VII 1000 Very strong Damages to buildings 5.5 to 6.2
producing cracks in walls,
etc., fall of chimneys ; general
alarm and panic.
VIII 2500 Destructive Car drivers seriously disturbed 6.2 to
; masonry fissured ; poorly 7.0
constructed buildings
damaged.
IX 5000 Ruinous Some houses collapse where
ground begins to crack ; pipes
break open.
X 7500 Disastrous Ground cracks badly; many 7 to 7.3
buildings destroyed ; railway
lines bent ; landslides occur on
steep slopes.

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XI 9800* Very Dis- Few buildings remain 7.4 to 8.1


astrous standing; bridges destroyed ;
and services like railways,
pipes, cables, etc. getting out
of action ; great landslides and
floods.
XII Over 9800* Catastrophic Total destruction ; objects >8.1
thrown into air, ground rises (maximum
and falls in waves known 8.9)
*The value equalling the acceleration due to gravity, i.e. 9800 mm/sec2.

Magnitude (M) of an Earthquake. Magnitude of a tectonic earthquake may be defined


as the rating of an earthquake based on the total amount of energy released when the
over-strained • rocks suddenly rebound, causing the earthquake. In fact, during an
earthquake, the released energy travels in the form of earthquake waves; and though the
entire released energy (E) never reaches the recording station, yet it can be made as the
basis for defining the magnitude (M) if it could be linked to ground acceleration (a).
Many equations have been put forward to relate "M', 'E' and 'a'.
One of such relationship between the magnitude (M) and the total amount of
energy released (E) is given by the simple equation
Log10 E = 4.4 + 2.14 M - 0.054 M2 ...(6.1)
The total amount of energy released is in ergs, and can be evaluated by the equation
𝐸 = 𝐶 . 𝑎 ℎ (𝐷2 + 𝐻2 ) where 'a' is the ground acceleration; 'h' is the depth of focus in
km; and 'D' is the distance of the station under consideration from the the epicentre in km
; and 'C is a constant = 0.625
Knowing the value of E from Eq. (6.2), the value of M from Eq. (6.1) can be evaluated.
It may be noted that although intensity varies from place to place during an
earthquake, the magnitude remains the same ; because the magnitude corresponds to
maximum intensity reached or the total energy released in an earthquake. The
approximate magnitude values, on the scale of intensity, are shown in col. (5) of Table
6.1.
Isoseismic Lines and Depth of Focus (h)
Whenever an earthquake occurs, its intensity, which is maximum at the epicentre,
decreases outwards. The decrease in intensity (expressed in terms of acceleration of
course) is inversely proportion-al to the square of the distance from the focus. If now, in
an earthquake hit area, points of equal intensity are marked, and lines are drawn through
the points of equal intensities, then these line are known as isoseismal lines. The area
enclosed by an isoseismal line is roughly circular if the focus of the earthquake is a point,
and elliptical if it is an elongate zone or line. (For determining the depth of focus (h) of an
earthquake, Oldham has devised a method. According to which, if'a' is the intensit y
(i.e.ground acceleration) at the epicentre point (say A) and '&' represents the intensity at
another station (say B) and if the distance between
If ө is known, h can be evaluated. 0 can be found from using the fact that
theoretically the intensityfrom focus decreases as the square of the distance which is also
equal to sin2 ө. 𝑏/𝑎 = 𝜋𝑟 2 = 𝜋𝑟 2 = sin8 ө

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The angle ө is thus known; and using this value of 9 in Eq. (6.3), h can be
estimated.
Distribution of Earthquakes
Although, earthquakes occur in different parts of the world, but they occur more
frequently and severely along certain zones of marked instability. Two well defined
earthquake belts, which have been recognised are:
(i) the drcum-Pacific belt; and
(ii) the Mediterranean belt.
The Circum-Pacific belt borders the pacific ocean and covers North America,
most of Asia, and Europe. It passes through North America, Alaska, New Zealand, New
Guinea, Chile, Indonesia, and Japan. About 68% of the earthquakes occur in this region.
The Mediterranean belt extends from the Mediterranean towards the east, and
covers India, Africa, Arabia, South America, Italy, Sicily, and Australia. About 21% of
the earthquakes occur in this region.
Certain Important Indian Earthquakes
Of the various great Indian earthquakes recorded in history, the best known are :
of Delhi in 1720, of Calcutta in 1737, of Eastern Bengal and the Arkan coast in 1762, of
Kutch in 1819, of Kashmere in 1885, of Bengal in 1885, of Assam in 1897, of Kangrd in
1905, of North Bihar in 1934, of Quetta or Baluchistan in 1935, of N.E.Assam in 1950,
etc.
All these earthquakes have occurred in the areas which are unstable and are
compartively young geological formations, such as in Himalayan ranges and the Indo-
gangetic plains. The peninsular India, which is quite old and inactive, is generally free
from earthquakes.
Starting from the great Assam quake of 1897, the various major earthquakes are
briefly described below :
The Assam Earthquake (1897). This earthquake occurred in Assam on 12th June, 1897
with a roar of extra-ordinary loudness ; and it proved to be one of the most catastropic
earthquakes of the world. The total area where the shock was felt was about 4.14 million
sq. km. But shillong along with surrounding country of about 3,80,500 sq. km were worst
affected, and laid waste in less than one minute. All communications were .destroyed ;
the ground fissured with eruption of ground water and large scale flooding due to
obstructed drainage ; buildings collapsed with displacement of land masses and heavy
loss of life.
The ground acceleration perhaps exceeded the acceleration due to gravity, and the
maximum amplitude of horizontal vibrations was as much as 17.5 cm with only one
second period. The main shock was succeeded by hundreds of after-shocks for about a
month, and were felt all over the shaken area.
For this earthquake, Oldham has calculated the velocity of the earthwaves as
about 3 km/sec, and the depth of the focus as only 8 km or even less.
The main cause for this earthquake was traced to the movement along an
important fault-scrap running parallel to the Childrang river for a length of about 20 km,
with a vertical throw varying from 30 cm to 11 metres. .
The Kangra Earthquake (1905). This earthquake occurred on the early morning of 4th
April, 1905. The shock, which was felt over whole of India north of the Tapti valley, was

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characterised by exceptional violence and destruction along two linear tracts between
Kangra and Kulu, and between Mussoorie and Dehra Dun.
The main shock was of sever intensity, and mostly sudden with only a few
premonitory warnings ; but the after shocks continued for about 2 years, with 10 to '30
shocks per month. Slowly, their number decreased, till they gradually disappeared.
The geological effects of this earthqua.se were markedly different from those of
the Assam earthquake. The effects observed were : usual disturbances of streams, springs
and canals ; collapse of buildings ; landslides and rockslides ; and a few slight alterations
in the level of some stations and hill tops. No true fissure or dislocations were, however,
seen. There, however, occurred a loss of human life worth about 20,000 persons.
The cause of this earthquake was again the tectonic one, with movement taking
place along a fault plane. The magnitude of the quake was calculated to be about 8.6, and
depth of focus about 34 to 64 km or so.
The Bihar Earthquake (1934). This earthquake occurred on the afternoon of 15th
January, 1934, North Bihar and Nepal were shaken by this earthquake of very high
intensity of magnitude about 8.4. Within three minutes, the cities of Monghyr and
Bhatgaon (Nepal) were in ruins, and towns so far apart as Kathmandu, Patna, and
Darjeeling were strewn with debris of many public and private buildings. Houses in
Purnea and Sitamarhi got tilted and sunk under the ground, and sand and water were
erupted from countless fissures in the ground, opened on either side of the Ganges. About
12,000 persons were estimated to have been lost in this earthquake.
The period and amplitude of vibrations and the maximum acceleration caused by
this quake was however, not as marked as in Assam quake of 1897.
As far as the question of its origin is concerned, there is some agreement that this
earthquake was not caused by displacements along the Himalayan Boundary Faults, but
that a more probable source of disturbance lay in the folded and fractured zone of the
crust underneath the Gangetic basin. The movement along such highly inclined fracture
(s) was the probable cause of this earthquake.
The Quetta Earthquake in Baluchistan (1935). This earthquake occurred on the night of
31st May, 1935. It was more or less a locally confined (less widely spread) quake,
bringing unusual destruction of life and property on the town of Quetta. In a few minutes,
this large military station was converted into a grave-yard with death toll mounting to
about 20,000.
The epicentral tract was calculated to be only about 110 km long and 26 km wide
between Quetta and Kalat, away from which the intensity of damage rapidly decreased.
The fact that the intensity of damage fell off rapidly away from the epicentre, makes it
quite evident that the focus of this earthquake could not be very deep-seated.
Assam Earthquake (1950). On the evening of 15th August, 1950, north-east Assam was
shaken by an earthquake of high intensity, comparable in some respects to the 1897
quake. The area suffering extensive damage was about 39,000 sq. km. including the
districts of Lakhimpur, Sibsagar, and Sadiya.
This earthquake was accompained by the usual surface effects, such as ; huge
ground fissures discharging sand and water ; sub* sidence of ground at various places ;
altering the level of the lands, and thus, affecting the drainage of the country, and
bringing extensive floods. Landslides causing temporary obstructions in rivers, led to
more serious flooding for months after the quake. The peculiarity of this quake was that

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more damage to life and property was caused by these indirect river floods than directly
by the earthquakes.
The epicentre of this earthquake, as recorded by seismographs in India and other
countries, was found to be about 320 km north of Sadiya in mountainous country on the
north east border of Assam.
Seismic Zones of India
By our knowledge of Geography, most of us may be aware of the fact that India, and
more precisely the Indian sub-continent (which includes India, Burma, Pakistan and
Bangla Desh) can be divided into three zones. These divisions are :
(i) Extra-Peninsula;
(ii) Indo-Gangetic plain ; and
(iii) Peninsula. These three divisions are shown in Fig. 6.16.
In fact, the India has been geologically divided into these three distinctive zones,
not on the basis of any topography or relief, but on the basis of their geological history,
structure, and physiographic. And it is these, that impart to each of these divisions, its
own individuality and distinctive character.
The Extra-Peninsula is the most unstable mountainous region ; the Indo-Gangetic
plain is moderately unstable plain area; and the Peninsula is an old formation which is
quite stable and geologically inactive.
Since the occurrence of earthquakes (precisely speaking tectonic earthquakes) is
very much connected to the geological stability of a region, it can be easily stated that the
earthquakes will occur most severely in the Extra-Peninsula, less severely in the Indo-
gangetic plain, while the third stable region of Peninsular India would almost be free
from them. However, when seismic shocks are to be felt in the first two zones, naturally
the third zone will also get some shock (through of lower intensity) in addition to some
minor shocks of its own origin.
Depending on such reasonings, and for all practical purposes, India can be divided
into three seismic zones. These three seismic zones are ;
(1) Highly seismic zone or the zone of maximum intensity ;
(2) Moderately seismic zone or the zone of intermediate intensity ; and
(3) Poorly seismic zone or the zone of minimum intensity.
These three zones respectively represent Extra-peninsula, Indo-gangetic plain, and
peninsula, regions of India ; and are briefly described below:
Highly Seismic Zone. The Himalayan ranges are the areas which are still passing through
a state of instability. They are comparatively recent formations, being formed by orogenic
uplifting over the seas and oceans. Their stratified rocks are very much folded and
faulted. Some of these faults are thrust faults. One of these, very well known in the
geology of India, is the Main-Boundary-Fault which runs all along the foot hills of
Himalayas, and demarcates the junction between the older (Trikuta and Murres) rocks
and the younger Siwalik rocks. It is a reverse fault produced during the last phase of the
Himalayan upheaval; and beingyoung, it is not difficult to locate it in the field. This fault
runs all along the foothills of Himalayas from Punjab to Assam, and thereby making
these areas susceptible to occasional earthquakes. Similarly, the areas where the
Himalayan ranges make sudden and sharp bends southwards, such as the one near Gilgit
and the other near Sadya (as shown in Fig. 6.17), are highly seismic. On account of such
reasons and due to the existence of other weak structures in Himalayan mountains and its

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neighbouring areas, the extra-peninsula is a highly seismic zone, and is susceptible to


rapid earthquake disturbances. Some of the important earthquakes that have occurred in
this region are those of Assam in 1897, of Kangra in 1905, of Bihar in 1934, of Quetta in
1935, and again of Assam in 1950, as described in the previous article.
Moderately Seismic Zone. The Indo gangetic plain has been, formed by the deposition of
alluvial sediments brought by Himalayan rivers over a passage of time. There exist very
thick alluvium deposits between the two rocky portions {i.e. extra-peninsula and
peninsula), which shows that the alluvium must have been deposited in a great and deep
longitudinal depression that must have existed in front of Himalayas. It has not been
possible so far to explore the basin below these alluvium deposits, because of their great
depths. In any case, it is believed that this basin as well as the alluvium deposits have not
attained stability, and they are passing through an intermediate stage towards attaining
stability. The folded and fractured unstable rocks existing in this region may, thus, at
many times, give way, producing earthquakes-although of moderate intensity. This Indo-
gangetic plain area is therefore, included in this moderately seismic zone (Refer Fig.
6.16).

Poorly Seismic Zone. The entire triangular plateau* like region of the south, called the
peninsula or the Deccan plateau, which is a region of remarkable stability, is included in
this zone. This part of India is geologically inactive, as besides being very old, none of
these excepting the Aravallis (mountain ranges) is the result of erogenic or mountain
building forces. On the other hand, this region represents mountains of circum-
denudation, the remnants of hard rocks that have strangely escaped denundation, standing
out as outliers.
Due to its inherent stability, earthquakes are very rare in this zone. However, the
marginal areas (i.e. areas along the boundaries with seas) are still somewhat prone to
earthquakes, which proves that they have not yet reached complete state of equilibrium ;
and some minor earthquakes are possible in this zone also.
The main purpose of dividing the country into these three seismic zones is to take
suitable necessary precautions, while designing engineering structures and other
constructions in different areas, so as to make them proof against quakes. In order to take
care of these additional forces of earthquakes, generally additional safety factors are used
while designing structures in seismic areas, depending upon the possible intensity of an
expected earthquake. Normally, additional seismic force factor of 0.1 to 0.15g is taken
for the first zone, 0.05 g for the second zone, and 0.01 g for the third zone. Such seismic
considerations, which are made while designing modern engineering structures, are
briefly discussed below :
Engineering Considerations in Seismic Areas
During the recent times, the earthquake engineering has made considerable
progress, and most of the countries have been able to demarcate their different areas,
indicating the severity or intensity of the possible earthquakes. Attempts are also being
made to predict the quakes in advance. Rather, a major earthquake in Assam—due for
sometimes in the years 1977-80 had been predicted by certain seismologists. But the
prediction seems to have gone wrong. In any case, whether we are able to predict them or
not in advance, the job of a civil engineer who has to design and construct engineering
structures in the seismic areas, is in no way lessened. He will have to design and
construct these structures, in such a way that they remain intact even during the worst

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quake (s), that may occur during the life time of the structure. This job is a difficult job in
the precise sense, firstly because too much provision cannot be made for earthquakes
which may not occur at all during the life of the structure; and secondly because the
forces produced by earthquakes are quite complex and not fully amenable to perfect
mathematical solutions.
During an earthquake, the ground on which the structure is erected, suddenly
acquires very strong motions in directions which can not be known before hand, and for
a duration which is also indeterminable. Not only the direction of motion but also the
nature of the motion of the ground is highly complex and unpredictable. It might be
horizontal acceleration, or vertical acceleration, or rotation, or a combination of some or
all of these, simultaneously The problem becomes still more complicated as it is not
known whether the structure has to withstand one or two shocks or repeated shocks,
during the life time of the structure. Moreover, the stresses that are likely to develop in a
structure during an earthquake are entirely of dynamic nature, which are different from
those determined for static conditions, as is the practice with engineering structures..
These dynamic stresses are of a magnitude normally beyond the scope of theoretical and
practical analysis. Similarly, the periods of seismic vibrations, which are still beyond
prediction, are more dangerous.
From the above discussion, it becomes evident that the design of ah earthquake
proof structure is quite a difficult task, and rather its perfect design is impossible with the
present day knowledge, Still, however, based on a lot of research work carried out in this
field, engineers have evolvedgeneralguidelines and codes for earthquake-resistant
constructions, for various countries. The Indian BIS code for such constructions is
numbered as I.S. 1893—1979, and may be referred to in special needs.
These codes and guidelines are, infact, highly simplified solutions of this
extremely complicated problem ; and although they are not fully satisfactory, but should
be followed strictly, so as to increase the chances of minimising the probable losses
during a future shock in the given seismic region. A brief summary of some such general
guidelines, which are to be followed in designing buildings and dams in seismic areas, is
given below.
Safety Measures to be adopted for Buildings to be Constructed in Seismic Areas. As
argued earlier, during an earthquake, the to and fro, or up and down motion of the ground
shakes the structures. A compact and a sturdy structure built on rigid foundations may
just oscillate along with the ground vibrations, and survive even a strong shock. Poorly
built structures, on weak and soft foundations, may however, get badly destroyed.
While constructing structures or buildings in seismic regions, therefore, special
care must be taken to choose an excellent foundation ground, and to use excellent
building materials. Moreover, additional safety factor must be considered, while
designing buildings or other structures in such areas.
This additional safety factor means the consideration of base shear force which
tends to topple the buildings, etc. This inertia force can be calculated by the seismic
coefficient which is, defined as t'he ratio of the 'ground acceleration' to the acceleration
due to gravity,
i.e.(α/g)

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The ground acceleration (a) for a given seismic area can be computed for the max.
magnitude (M) of a past earthquake by using empirical formulas. However, for all
earthquake prone areas, the values of'a' have mostely been standarised in terms of 'g'. For
India, it generally varies between 0.15 g (for highly seismic zone) to O.Olg (for poorly
seismic zone). The base shear force to be accounted for, as the additional force for
making earthquake resistant buildings, is then given by:
F=(α/g).W ...(6.3)
where F = additional shear force
W = weight of the building or structure.
The overturning moment can also now be calculated very easily by using
M = FY ..(6.4)
where Y is the vertical distance of the e.g. of the structure above the horizontal section
under consideration.
The building or the structure should be designed to take care of these additional
forces and moments.
In case of multi-storeyed buildings, allowance may be made for the increased flexibility
of the structure, by calculating the base shear force on the formula
4.5 𝛼
F = 𝑁+4.5 𝑔 . 𝑊 where N is the number of storeyes above the surface
under consideration.
As stated earlier, an earthquake-resistant building must be strong and sturdy.
Hence, besides incorportating these additional safety factors in the design of such
buildings, the following other points must be given due attention to :
(i) Good quality materials, strictly according to the specifications, should be used.
(ii) The foundation should not be on soft ground, and rather it should preferably
be on the solid rocks. The depth of foundation should also be uniform.
(iii) The walls should be continuous in nature, i.e. the long walls and cross walls
be erected simultaneously without any joints.
(iv) Doors and windows should be minimum ; and should not be in vertical rows,
and should preferably be along the diagonals.
(v) R.C.C. may be preferred to brick work.
(vi) A.C. sheet roofing should be avoided, and more feferably R.C.C. flat roofs
should be laid.
(vii) Height of the building should be kept uniform, as it adds to its stability.
(viii) All parts of the building, particularly its edges and corners should be well
tied, so that it moves as a single unit during an earthquake vibration.
(ix) Construction of cantilevers, chimneys, domes, arches and other extra
projections should be avoided.
Safety Measures to be Adopted for Dams Located in Seismic Areas. When a dam is to
be located in earthquake prone areas, then besides taking general precautions of using
excellent building materials and choosing excellent strong foundations and abutment
rocks, we have to give due consideration to seismic effects, while designing the dam.
In case of a gravity dam, the horizontal acceleration due to an earthquake causes
two types of forces, i.e.
(α) One force is the ordinary inertia force or base shear force which is given by
𝛼
F = Force due to inertia (D) = 𝑔 . 𝑊

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where 𝛼h as the ground acceleration resolved in horizontal direction.


(b) Another force which is especially caused in dams is that which causes
momentary increase in the horizontal water pressure exerted by the reservoir, and is
called the hydrodyanamic pressure. This extra force is caused during an earthquake, as
the dam accelerates towards the reservoir, and the water resists the movement owing to
its inertia. The hydrodynamic force can generally be evaluated by Von-Karman equation,
given by
Pe = Force due to hydrodynamic pressure
= 0.555(αh/g).γw H2 ...(6.6)
4𝐻
and its acts at a height of 3𝜋 above the base.
where H is the height of the dam
and γw is the unit wt. of water.
The effect of vertical acceleration is only to reduce the effective weight of the dam, the
net effective weight being given by
𝑊
W' = W- 𝑔 au
au
= W(1- ) ...(6.7)
𝑔
where au represents the ground acceleration in vertical direction.
The effects of earthquakes prove much more serious in case of earth dams, as
compared to that in the case of solid masonry or concrete dams. This is because of the
fact that the materials used in earthen dams are generally loose and weak in nature.
Hence, for earthen dams, to be constructed in seismic areas, it is absolutely essential to
provide a clay core within the structure, which makes it impermeable, strong and stable.
Moreover, the free-board to be provided in such areas should be about 50% more than
that is reqd. in normal areas, this is because when earthquake comes, the water of the
oscillating reservoir rises up and tends to overtop the dam.
Earthquakes Triggered off by Dam Reservoirs, and Preventive Measures. During the
recent times, a very strange phenomenon has been observed in several dams of the world.
What actually has happened is that the reservoir basins or areas which were
seismologically inactive, started showing seismic activities as the reservoir was filled up
with water. The magnitude of these earthquakes, increasing with the filling of the
reservoir, thus giving severe shocks when the reservoir was full. In all such cases, the
epicentre is always seen to be located within the resevoir or along its border.
An important Indian example of such earthquakes has been in the case of Koyha
dam (Maharastra), which is situated in the seismologically inactive zone in peninsular
India. However, when the dam got ready and water started collecting (1962) in the reser-
voir, the earthquakes also started occurring (1963). The frequency and intensity of these
earthquakes had been increasing as more and more water went on collecting in the
reservoir. On 10th December, 1967, the severest shock occurred with a magnitude of
about 6.5, followed by three more shocks of decreasing magnitudes. The epicentres of all
these shocks were traced to be within the reservoir area.
Some other examples of such earthquakes outside India are of Lake Mead
(U.S.A.) ; Grand Val lake (France) ; Vorgorno lake (Switzerland); etc.
This phenomenon had been studied by various seismologists, and it has been
suggested by some that in most such cases, there must have existed some inactive faults
in the reservoir basin area, which became active again due to the extra-ordinary load of

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reservoir water, thus, causing displacements along these faults, and consequently
resulting in earthquakes. Some other seismologists have suggested that these earthquakes
are caused due to increased pore pressure in the adjoining rocks, which lowers their
shearing strength, resulting in the release of tectonic strain.
Based on these explanations, the various preventive methods suggested for
preventing or reducing such earthquakes, include : (i) filling of the reservoir to a limited
safe level ; (ii) reducing pore pressure by draining out water from weaker adjoining rocks
; (Hi) to actively explore the dam site for the absence of inactive faults before selecting
the same.
Such earthquakes, however, show a decreasing tendency with time. This
phenomenon is indeed very complex and interesting, and still needs further research.
WEATHERING

The physical and chemical conditions of rocks are altered when they are exposed to the
atmosphere. Such an altered product is known as weathered material and the process
involved is called weathering. When weathering is accompanied by erosion it results in
the denudation of an area.

GEOLOGY AND WEATHERING


All exposed surface of the Earth are susceptible to weathering. Only the degree of in-
tensity of weathering may vary from place to place, because weathering depends on
several factors like location on the surface of the Earth with reference to latitude and
longitude, elevation, climate etc. Everlasting mountains are not everlasting in reality. All
are subject to endless change.
The crust of the Earth is composed of rocks. Rocks themselves are composed of minerals.
These are both in solid form and in loose form. The physical and chemical proper-.
ties of minerals control weathering. For exam; mineral possessing cleavage may be easily
we If a mineral is composed of easily soluble then it is weathered.
AGENTS OF WEATHERING
The agents of weathering are atmospheric gases, temperature, water, lightning and
organisms. Atmospheric gases like CO2 mixes with rain water and forms carbonic acid
and affects exposed surfaces. Temperature fluctuation causes contraction and expansion
which weakens a rock. Water is by far, the chief agent of weathering. Obviously, water is
a good solvent. It dissolves materials as it flows. In cold climates freezing and thawing
greatly effects disintegration of rocks. Lightning dissociates atmospheric gases into ions
which are more reactive. Considerably, heat energy is also released. Growth of organisms
disintegrates and decays rocks. When plants die they turn into humus and on combining
with water humic acid is produced.
RATE OF WEATHERING
3. MOISTURE: Moisture plays an Important rote in weathering. Freezing and thawing
of moisture results In disintegration of rocks. Chemical weathering is by solution activity
of water. Water, by supporting organic growth, aids weathering by organism.
Mechanical stress caused by the change in volume of water resufts in the disintegration of
rocks. Chemical reactions such as solution, carbonation, hydration and hydrdysfe occur in
the presence of water. Hydrogen ion concentration (pt-fy controls these reactiona The pH
value ranges from 1 for add to 10 for alkali. 7 is the neutral and is shown by river and fab
water. The pH value determines the solubility of a substance. For example iron dissolves
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100,000 times more at pH 6 than at pH 8.5. Thus dissolved iron in river water gets
predpftateti at sea In desert regions a small amount of water performs weathering with
temperature changes. Seasonal water supply will influence weathering a lot.
4. ALTITUDE: The temperature and the mGisturg content of atmosphere varies with
altitude. Hence the rate of weathering of rocks depends on their altitude.
Rate of weathenng depends on the following
factors.
1. Mineral or chemical composition
2. Temperature '
3. Moisture
4. Altitude .
5. Tectonism and
6. Organisms
1. MINERAL OR CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:
Minerals differ in their durability according to their chemical composition. Rocks
consisting of less durable minerals are easily weathered. Removal of cer-"Jafe minerals
renders a rock porous. Weathering may be rapid in a porous rofck.
2. TEMPERATURE: Rate of weathering increases with the increase of temperature.
Temperature changes involve a freezing and thawing of water which amounts to the
destruction of rocks. Chemical reactions involved in weathering are faster when
temperature is high. Increasing temperature removes organic matter and dissolves silica

5. TECTONISM: Areas affected by earth movements (tectonism) are more prone to


weathering. These deformations develop joints, fractures, fault planes, folds and
cleavages in rocks. These structural ruptures permit flow of water and weathering results.
A smaH crack may be widened through temperature fluctuations.
6. ORGANISMS: Plants and animals take part In weathering directly or indirectly.
Plants release carbon dioxide which is an essential partner in weathering. By growth they
disintegrate rocks. Animals from worms to, man, take a little share in the rock
weathering.
PROCESSES OF WEATHERING
Weathering occurs in three ways. Rocks break due to stress developed in ti ,em,
mechanically. Rocks decay due to chemical reactions on them. Organisms by way
of growth and movement alter the rocks physico-chemical conditions, although
these three ways of weathering seem to be separate entities they are
interconnected. And further .one process induces the other process. As such, these
three ways are termed: 1. Physical or Mechanical weathering, %. Chemical
weathering and 3. Biotic weathering.

PHYSICAL WEATHERING
Rocks and minerals are disintegrated into smaller and smaller particles. The processes
which bring about the disintegration without any chemical reaction as a response to the
change in conditions of environment are collectively known as mechanical or physical
weathering. The chief processes that result in mechanical weathering are Frost Action.
Exfoliation etc. The agents are water and temperature. When overlying rocks are

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removed the pressure on underlying rocks is released. It causes sheeting and spatting of
rocks.
FROST ACTION (FROST RIVING)
In high altitudes and high latitudes frost is the chief agent of mechanical weathering. The
process of freezing and melting of water due to temperature change and its effects on the
rocks is known as frost action or frost riving. Frost action is best seen in areas where
freezing and thawing occur many times a year. In permanently frozen areas it is less
effective. Rock debris in glaciated region is mainly due to frost action. There are two
types of frost action, namely frost wedging and frost heaving.
FROST WEDGING: Frost wedging refers to the lateral sepStttton of blocks along a
vertical joint. This hap-$»fts as foHows. Water fills the gap, even the capillary fissures.
During winter water freezes to ice. Normally water expands in volume by 10.9 per cent
when it freezes. This expansion exerts some pressure on the walls of fissures or cracks.
The pressure is equal to 110kg/cm2. Over a period of time, repeated freezing pushes rock
blocks apart and finally disintegrates.
Water, openings in rocks and temperature collectively create a suitable environment for
the occurrence of frost wedging.
FROST HEAVING: Frost heaving occurs when wajter beneath the surface freezes during
cold season. Micro layers of ice are formed. These layers exert a vertical pressure and the
rocks disintegrate.
SALT ACTION
It is analogous to frost action but is less significant. Repeated solution and crystallization
of salts in the water filling the crevices cause disintegration of rocks.
On the other hand, materials once like silica, hyd rated oxides of iron, manganese
aluminium do not redissoive. These substances ment the cracks and bind the blocks.
SHEETING
Rocks in depth are under a great confining | sure due to the overburden of rocks or water,
tion removes overburden. It effects the stress. This produces fractures parallel to the
surface] a regular manner. These fractures render rocks sheets and the process is termed
sheeting. Sheeting i more commonly associated with the igneous particularly of members
of granite family. As depth I creases the thickness of sheets increases. This an increase in
the space between joints. In quar operations sheeting is felt as explosions. When a face"
is opened afresh it bursts releasing the confining pressure.
. Rockfails occurring along canyon walls are attributed to this process.
Basalts of ocean floor when brought out of water
MISCELLANEOUS PROCESSES
Mechanical weathering may include disintegration of rocks due to the effect of insolation
and forest fire which cause the surface to cleave and crack. Further the effect of abrasion,
wetting and drying, cavita-tion and collapse due to undercutting may be added. Impact
and/or the friction of boulder crumbles another, rock. Alternate wetting and drying along
the shore platforms affect largely. The exploding bubbles of turbulent water effects
cavitation.
CHEMICAL WEATHERING
The transformation of rocks into new substances is known as chemical
weathering. Natural chemical agents alter the chemical composition, the structure'
and the physical, appearance of the original. It is a complex process, involving

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chemical reactions, of responses of rocks to water and gases of atmosphetiM at or


near the surface of the Earth's crust. It leads to decomposition.

AGENTS OF CHEMICAL. WEATHERING

The chief agent is water. Water transforms into carbonic acid when combined with
carbon dioxide. Decayed vegetation combining with water transforms into huttiic acid.
These acids and water dissolve or react with rocks they contact' and give rise to new
materials. Thus the constituents of atmosphere, namely water, carbon dioxide, oxygen
and vegetation form an agency of chemical weathering.
RATE OF CHEMICAL WEATHERING
The rate of chemical weathering depends on the mineral-composition, size of the
materials and the environment.
1. MINERAL COMPOSITION: The stability of minerals is not uniform. They are
differently decomposed according to their chemical constituents. Basalt is easily
weathered rather than granite.
REACTIONS OF CHEMICAL WEATHERING
Solution, oxidation/reduction, carbonation, hydration, hydrolysis arid chelation are the
reactions through which chemical weathering takes place.
SOLUTION: Water, being a good solvent, dissolves A number of substances. If
saturated, precipitation occurs elsewhere. The removal of soluble matter from regolith or
bed rock by water is termed leaching and the residue, iechates. Water soluble rock
examples are rock salt, gypsum and limestone in the Order of decreasing solubility. Rock
salt survives solution in the moist arid regions. Outcrops of gypsum are not seen in humid
regions since surface waters dissolve it. Limestone dissolves in water and forms valleys
in humid regions and cliffs in arid regions. A comparative chemical analyses of rain
water and stream water reveal how effectively water dissolves mineral matter.
2. SIZE OF THE MATERIALS:
Larger the block lesser is the area available to chemical action. Smaller the fragment
greater is the area and in turn faster the ntte of chemical weathering.
3. THE ENVIRONMENT: The environment of a rock determines the rate. Warm moist
climate, gentle slopes and abundant vegetation are most suitable environment for
chemical weathering.
OXIDATION/REDUCTION: Rain water behaves as mild acid because of dissolved CO2
and Oxygen with pH value 6-7 and Eh value +0.3 to 0.4 when ft lates through decaying
matter (humus) its acidity Increased forming hufflic acidv With this nature it oxidises
substances to form oxides. The process of combination of oxygen with another element is
known as oxidation. Oxidation is speeded up in the presence of water. Oxygen has
affinity for irOR. iron is a common constituent element in rock forming minerals such as
biotite, augite and hornblende. Ferrous iron transforms to ferric iron on oxidation. In
alkaline en-
vironment ferrous iron converts to ferric hydroxide.
3MgFeSiO4 (-t Olivine + Water
2H2O)
-» H4MgSi2Og + SiO2 + 3FeO -^^Serpentine + Silica + Ferrous Oxide
4FeO ( + O2) ^ Ferrous Oxide + Oxygen
Hematite + Water -* Urnonite
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Oxidation occurs mostly in aerated zone above the water table, bacterial action favours
oxidation. Reduction occurs in water-logged areas where red and yeHow oxides change
to green and gray forms.

CARBONATION: The addition^ CO2 to substances is known as carbonation. The


reaction takes place in ionic stage, since carbonic acid dissociates into carbonate ion and
bicarbonate ion. The process is aided by soil CO2.
Qrthoclase feldspar decomposes as follows:
2KAJSi3Oa 4- 2H2O + CO2
. "' —.- - Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + K2CO3 + 4SiO 2 Orthocase + Water + Carbon dioxide
-♦ Kaolinite -4-Potassium Carbonate + Soluble Silica
Other minerals of feldspars group decompose on carbonation to form clay minerals with
sodium car-bomte from sodic feldspars and calcium bicarbonate fromcalcic feldspars.
^•-.Olivine converts to magnesium bicarbonate and soluble silica.
M§2SiO4 + 2H2O + 4CO2 - 2Mg(HCO3)2 + SD2 Olivine + Water + Carbon dioxide-*
Magnesium
bicarbonate + Soluble silica
£s\« •Umesfone dissolves in weak carbonic acid producing calcium cations and
bicarbonate ions.
C3GG3 + H2CO3
+ 2(HCO3)~
f he procfuQts of this reaction are removed in solution. Impurities containing iron is left.
On oxidation this residue forms the bright red material known as terrarossa. The
dissolved CaCO3 form stalactites, stalagmites and tufas.
HYDRATION: Hydration is the process of incorporation of water molecule in the
molecular structure of other minerals. For example hydration converts haematite into
limonite. *
Fe2O3
3H2O
•On hydration minerals swell The swelling of such minerals may disintegrate rocks.
Hydration pnHtoeei^ff minerals and aids action of carbonation and oxidation.
HYDROLYSIS: Hydrolysis refers to the reaction water with minerals. Water reacts with
orthoclaser feldspars to produce kaolinite and soluble products' through complex
chemical reactions.
2KAISi3O8 + 2H2O -» AI2Si205(0H)4+ K2O+ 4SiO2
Orthoclase + Water + Carbon dioxide -*
Kaolinite + Soluble Potassium Oxide + Soluble Silica
CHELATION: Hydrogen ions surrounding the plant roots exchange with cations from
the adjacent minerals, in turn these metallic cations are absorbed by plants and incor-
porated into its hydrocarbon build up. This process is known as chelation. By a similar
process lichens extract nutrients from bare rock. Leaching of humus takes place in the
same way.
BIOTIC WEATHERING
Weathering takes place through biological activities In
two ways:
1. biophysical and 2. biochemical

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BIOPHYSICAL FEATHERING
Growing roots of the plants exert pressure in the surface and break apart the rocks.
Burrowing animals like rodents loosen the compact soils. At j£)e same time plants by
binding the soil by their root system protect the ground from weathering. Transfer and
mixing of materials occur by the movement of animals.
BIOCHEMICAL WEATHERING
Biochemical reactions may be simple or complex. Bacterial oxidation and plant root
respiration enhance the level of soil CO2 and in turn it increases the solution activity. pH
is affected by the respiration and absorption by plants. Organic activity is dependent on
soil temperature and moisture content. Human intervention upsets the natural balance of
COa and water quality which have direct influence on weathering.
Anaerobic bacteria obtain their oxygen reducing ferric compounds to ferrous or
even to metallic iron. Water soluble ferrous compounds are removed from the
soil.

MIXED PROCESSES

SPHEROIDAL WEATHERING
This type of weathering results from a combined effect of mechanical and chemical
weathering. Mechanical weathering produces cuboidaf blocks through, intersecting joint
systems. Corners of these blocks are much affected from alt sides. Edges are affected
from two sides. But faces are the least affected areas (Fig. 12.2). Thus rate of weathering
is greater at the corners. Slowly comers and edges are removed and rounded giving a
spherical or elliptical shape to the block. Hence the process is termed spheroidal weather-
ing. Granitic rocks are susceptible to this kind of weathering. Figure 12.3 explains the
stages in the spheroidal weathering.
EXFOLIATION
Exfoliation occurs due to the combined effect of mechanical and chemical weathering
and is a kind of spheroidal weathering. Rocks tend to break into concentric shells,
analogous to onion peelings. These layers are parallel to each" other and to the external
shape of the rock.
Moisture penetrates into the porous rocks to a short distance. The top layer becomes dried
up while bottom layers are still wet. At this stage chemical weathering decomposes
certain materials. The decomposition and associated volume expansion weaken the
cohesion of the rock and separate the top layer from the whole rock. Thus a vertical
separation of rock into layers occurs due to frost action. It is supplemented by an increase
in volume when feldspars are decomposed. Thus chemical weathering promotes
mechanical weathering. Exfoliation is a process by which rocks scale
minerals. Although the action of agency is maintained the minerals decay at different
rates and times. Thus removal of less stable minerals from a rock renders a porous
structure to the rock. The process involved is termed differential weathering.
WEATHERING ENVIRONMENTS
GLACIAL/PERIGLACIAL: Frost action is important.
Low temperature low precipitation and permafrost moist condition exist. Slow chemical
weathering. Granular disintegration occurs. Hard rocks break down into well graded

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material. Soft rocks decay slowly. Chemical weathering increases plasticity and decreases
grain size.
TEMPERATE: Precipitation and evaporation fluctuate. Both physical and chentieaf
weathering occur. Leaching is common. Clays are formed and altered.
TROPICAL-ARID/SEMI ARID: Evaporation exceeds precipitation. Low rairtfaB;
temperature high, seasonal; physical' weathering. Granular disintegration are: dominant.
Slight leaching produces days; and calcium carbonates. LaWttftes formed. Concentration
desert
of salts form. Fig. 12.3 Stages in spheroidal varnish, calcrete. weathering
TROPICAL HUMID: Seasonal; high rainfall; high temperature; high moisture
available. Weathering products are removed or they accumulate to form soils. Heavy
leaching removes soluble contents of calcareous rocks and retains silica as sands laterftes
and bauxites produced. Weathering is intense.
Spheroidal blocks produced _->
DIFFERENTIAL WEATHERING
Agents'of weathering may actual a uniform rate on some rocks. But the result
of'wlithering would be non-uniform on all parts of the/opks. it is because of the
differential susceptibility of the constituent
IN INDIA: In southern states of India, under tropical moist conditions chemical
weathering is found to dominate. Whereas northern states experience a seasonal
weathering, in area receiving low precipitation, less chemical weathering occurs.
CLIMATE VERSUS WEATHERING
Intense weathering, reaching greater depths, is observed in tropical areas with
ample vegetation, high temperature and precipitation. Weathering is minimum in
areas of less vegetation low temperature and tow precipitation, like deserts

PRODUCTS OFWEATHERING

The nature of the resulting products is dependent upon the climate and composition of
roqks. Weathering gives rise to the formation of soils and valuable mineral deposits. The
products of weathering rhay be grouped under three groups as foilows:
1. minerals.
Unaltered rock fragments and resistant
2. Insoluble products of decomposition and
3. Solubte salts.
Soluble salts, by leaching, are brought to sea by streams. The residues of unaltered
mineral and rock
fragments aiid insoluble decomposed products constitute the soil.
Table 12.1 gives the summary of raw materials, weathering processes, effects and
products.
RESIDUAL DEPOSITS OF WEATHERING
Residual deposits like, terrarossa, bauxite, and a few other like iron, manganese, nickel
and cobalt are merely lechates of weathering. Terrarossa is a bright red material through
chemical weathering of limestones containing iron impurities. Bauxite is formed in
tropical areas where heavy rains leach out other minerals of aluminium bearing rocks.
REGOLITH: Materials occupying beneath the surface up to solid rock are
collectively termed Regolith. It forms a discontinuous cover of bedrock,

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consisting of decomposed and disintegrated rock. It includes soil also. Depth of


regoiith varies from a few centimetres to many metres; depending upon the rock
type, climate and duration of

WIND AS A GEOLOGIC AGENT


Moving air mass is known as the wind. Wind produces varieties of landforms ( by
erosion and deposition ). Thus it plays as a geomorphic agent. But wind by itself cannot
develop any landscape. It requires some materials as tools for doing its work. The
materials may be the particles of sand, rock, etc. The loose materials like sand, silt and
rock fragments are the tools of wind. Loose particles are chiefly by weathering. The
sources of tools are 1. the loosely consolidated rocks of sandstone, silt of shale; 2.
volcanic explosions and 3. man.
Near the surface the wind's motion is turbulent. Above certain level it may blow in
currents.
The materials carried by the wind are restricted upto 2 to 1 metre above the ground. Wind
is more dense and turbulent in this region and capable of lifting and transporting the
materials. The chief action of wind is transportation and deposition in arid regions. Wind
action is mostly pronounced in desert regions coastal
CORRASION OR ABRASION: The wearing down of solid rocks by the impact of wind
borne particles is known as cdrrasion. The action is comparable to sand blasting. Cor-
raston polishes rock surfaces and wears down.
Wind driven sand, heavy and large, erodes successfully near the surface. They are not
lifted so high. To avoid undercutting of telegraphic poles by corrasion they are wooden
covered in deserts, pebbles and boulders are polished and worn to angular-faces. Finer
products are removed immediately, larger, rock fragments on the surface are slowly worn
smaller.
Abrasion will be greater when the blown particles are hard the bed is soft and the velocity
is great.
IMPACT: Impact occurs when a sand grain is blown into or against a rock
surface. The force in the impact dislodges a grain from the rock.

Windblown particles, dash each other and get worn. This mutual wear of grains is termed
as Attrition.

EROSIONAL FEATURES BY ABRASION


UNDERCUT HILLS: The underside of some hills are removed by the abrasioij and
impact of wind-transported sand particles. This produces odd shaped rock masses. The
top portion of hill would be bigger in size relative to the bottom. The reason for under-
cutting is the transportation of sand grains in near surface regions of wind (Fig. 14.1)
CAVE ROCKS: The impact and abrasion of sand cut cave like features in the -
Sides Of hills.
MUSHROOM, TABLE AND PEDESTAL ROCKS:
These are isolated rocks from which the base has been partially cut by the undercutting of
wind-blown sand. Balanced rocks are some interesting features produced in this way.
Wind erodes

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'YARDANG: In a region where hard and soft rocks alternate, wind erodes away the
softer rock. The hard rocks, protruding in between grooves are known as yaFdaft&fr,
These are ridge-like features^
DEFLATION HOLLOWS OR BLOW OUTS: Depressions may be formed from barren
unconsolictated materials by deflation. These are termed as deflation hollows or blow
outs. They measure from a few centimetre to several kilometres across. Depth may go
Mb to 10 m. They are formed by eddy air currents. And they are similar to pot holes.
However for their development they require initial small depressions. The largest blow
out is in Egypt measuring 150 x 300 km with a depth of 150 m. "
' ;
VENTIFACTS: They are the stones with flat surfaces. The abrasion of wind develops
these surfaces on stones. When the stone is rolled the other, side w» be flattened. These
angularly faceted stones are catted ventifacts. If it has one smooth surface tt is known as
einkanter and if three, dreikanters (Fig. 14.4).
EROSIONAL FEATURES BY DEFLATION\..
DESERT PAVEMENTS: Sorting action of wind during deflation produces desert
pavements. Only finer particles are blown away leaving coarser fragmertfs>sf¥ie
concentration of coarser fragments constitute tag) deposits. When they appear as desert
surface they are called desert pavements or armour (Fig. 14.5). The terms 'desert varnish'
describe the iron coating found, on the polished lag gravels.
PARTICLE TRANSPORTATION BY WIND
SALTATION: When a rolling particle collides with another particle that particle is
bounced. This uplifted particle is forwardly pushed by wind. But gravity pulls it down.
Hence the particle takes a slanting path tcj ground. On the impact of this particle another
particle may be uplifted. The movement of particles in this way by successive leaps is
known as saltation (Fig. 14.6).
ROLLING OR TRACTION: Coarser fragments-may be rolled by wind. The movement
of particles on ground fe called traction. The wind blows the finer supporting material
from beneath the coarser fragments. Then these pebbles are rolled.
DEPOSITION BY WIND
CAUSES: The wind borne particles may be deposited for the following reasons:-
1. Any obstruction to wind
2. Reduction in velocity
3. Increased load
4. Rain
When wind comes across a hill it loses its velocity. Then the particles start to settle. Rain
may also wash down the suspended particles.
HATURE OF DEPOSITS
The aeolian deposits assume two forms viz, piles and sheets. The pile or accumulated
type of deposit is dunes etc, and sheet or blanket like is loess.
Spectacular seas of sand known as ergs occur in Sahara.
LOESS: This is a sheet or blanket like deposit consisting of very fine particles like silt
and clay. Commonly 1oe3§ has the following properties: it is buff-coloured cliff forming
unconsolidated non-layered, fresh or slightly weathered and is made of angular grains
chiefly of silt size. Loess consists of quartz and with lesser amounts of feldspar, mica and
calcite. it forms vertical walls on erosion dr spite the fineness of particles. Loess in

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thickness are up to a few metres but some exceeds 60 m (Ex: in China). Loess deposits do
not give distinct
The aeolian origin of loess is evidenced by the fc ing:
1. Land snails are found in some deposits 2". Vertical tubes representing roots of
vegetation (later decayed) and 3. They spread over both hills and
depressions alike as blankets.
VOLCANIC ASH AND DUST: Volcanic explosions | vide a huge amount of ash and
dust of fine partie They got deposited elsewhere as sheets.
SAND DUNES
Sand dunes are mounds or ridges of formed by wind action. Ripples are found on the face
of a dune. They are formed by moving sariffi moderate winds. Coarse sediments would
lie on of ripples. Dunes are larger than ripples and of shapes and sizes. Sand dunes are
not restricted deserts only. They may be found along coasts, dunes are cross bedded.
Since quartz is available in sand size and at dant and stable most of the dunes are
composed quartz sands. However dunes of other minerals occur. Ex.: The calcite dunes
on Bermuda and the
tides are dropped there. Once accumulation has started the dune is likely to grow. Height
of dunes vary between 30 m to 100 m but some attains a height of 200 m. A cross
bedding structure is developed as sand is deposited on leeward side of the dune. Dunes
are asymmetrical in cross section with gentler slope on one side and steeper slope on
other side. The saltating sand particles build a gentle slope on windward side and on
leeward side a steep slope. Beyond the crest in leeward side the sand pile assumes the
angle of repose about 34 degree.
MIGRATION OF DUNES
Dunes migrate in the direction of wind. The sand is picked up and by saltation it moves
up to the crest. Beyond the crest sand is dropped, the repeated lifting of sand from
windward side and dropping of them on leeward side causes the migration of sand dune
from one place to another. Sand dunes migrate at the rate of a few metres to 15 km per
year
LONGITUDINAL DUNES: These form where sand is rn short supply and the direction
of wind is constant. They are,more or less parallel to wind direction. They are continuous
and parallel for several kilometres. Their crests may be sharp or rounded (Fig 14.8b).
SEIF: This dune is similar to the barchan except one wing is not developed. The oc-
casional shift in wind direction may develop a seif. They attain heights upto 200 m and in
length many kilometres (Fig. 14.8c).
TRANSVERSE DUNES: These are perpendicular to wind direction. This type.is formed
when the source of sand is an elongated one and transverse to wind direction. This
condition is found along coasts and lakes, shores. They are not more than 5 m in height
but may be very
TYPES OF SAND DUNES
Sand dunes assume different forms. The size and shape of a dune is controlled by the
following factors:
1. Quantity of sand supply
2. Velocity of wind
3. Constancy of wind direction
4. The rate of supply of sand

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5. Amount and distribution of vegetation


DIFFERENT FORMS
BARCHANS: These are the crescentic shaped dunes with the points or wings or horns or
arms directed leeward side. In plan they are concave in leeward side and convex in
windward side. They are common where the wind direction is constant and moderate and
the ground being more or less flat with a limited sand supply. They form colonies or
swarms.
A heap of sand is formed. Central region of this sandy hill offers more resistance to wind
than the end regions. Hence sand from the margins of the hill attain a greater vt >city t .an
sand of central regions.
PARABOLIC DUNES: These result where vegetation rs truck and at least partially
covers the sand. Sand from vegetation less parts are blown out which results in parabolic
dunes. Its horns point upwind or windward side. In plan it is convex in leeward side and
concave in windward side A variety of parabolic dune is hair pin dune whose form
resembles a hair pin
BLOWOUT DUNES: Blowout dunes commonly occur on beaches. They are formed
when there is an abundant supply of sand moderately blowing constant directional wind
and vegetation. In shape it is an elongated hill with a blow out on the windward side. If
vegetation lacks it groups into parabolic dune
STAR DUNES: These dunes appear as stars with spikes. They are mounds of
sand having a peak and from which radiating arms or ridges. They are developed
when wind is blowing from three or four directions. They are found in North
Africa and Saudi Arabia

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UNIT - II

Minerals

The Earth is composed of rocks. Rocks are aggregates of minerals. Minerals are
composed of atoms. In order to understand rocks, we must first have an understanding of
minerals. In order to understand minerals we must have some basic understanding of
atoms - what they are and how they interact with one another to form minerals. We'll
start with the definition of a Mineral.

Definition of a Mineral:

 Naturally formed it forms in nature on its own (some say without the aid of
humans]

 Solid ( it cannot be a liquid or a gas)

 With a definite chemical composition (every time we see the same mineral it has
the same chemical composition that can be expressed by a chemical formula).

 and a characteristic crystalline structure (atoms are arranged within the mineral in
a specific ordered manner).

Examples

 Glass - can be naturally formed (volcanic glass called obsidian), is a solid, its
chemical composition, however, is not always the same, and it does not have a
crystalline structure. Thus, glass is not a mineral.

 Ice - is naturally formed, is solid, does have a definite chemical composition that
can be expressed by the formula H2O, and does have a definite crystalline
structure when solid. Thus, ice is a mineral, but liquid water is not (since it is not
solid).

 Halite (salt) - is naturally formed, is solid, does have a definite chemical


composition that can be expressed by the formula NaCl, and does have a definite
crystalline structure. Thus halite is a mineral.

Atoms

Atoms make up the chemical elements. Each chemical element has nearly identical
atoms. An atom is composed of three different particles:

 Protons -- positively charged, reside in the center of the atom called the nucleus

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 Electrons -- negatively charged, orbit in a cloud around nucleus

 Neutrons -- no charge, reside in the nucleus.

Each element has the same number of protons and the same number of electrons.

 Number of protons = Number of electrons.

 Number of protons = atomic number.

 Number of protons + Number of neutrons = atomic weight.

Isotopes are atoms of the same element with differing numbers of neutrons. i.e. the
number of neutrons may vary within atoms of the same element. Some isotopes are
unstable which results in radioactivity.

 Example:
o K (potassium) has 19 protons. Every atom of K has 19 protons. Atomic
number of K = 19. Some atoms of K have 20 neutrons, others have 21,
and others have 22. Thus atomic weight of K can be 39, 40, or 41. 40K is
radioactive and decays to 40Ar and 40Ca.

Types of bonding:

Ionic bonding- caused by the force of attraction between ions of opposite charge

Covalent bonding - Electrons are shared between two or more atoms so that each atom
has a stable electronic configuration (completely filled outermost shell) part of the time.

Metallic bonding -- Similar to covalent bonding, except innermost electrons are also
shared. In materials that bond this way, electrons move freely from atom to atom and are
constantly being shared. Materials bonded with metallic bonds are excellent conductors
of electricity because the electrons can move freely through the material.

Van der Waals bonding -- a weak type of bond that does not share or transfer
electrons. Usually results in a zone along which the material breaks easily (cleavage)

Several different bond types can be present in a mineral, and these determine the physical
properties of the mineral

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Crystal Structure

Packing of atoms in a crystal structure requires an orderly and repeated atomic


arrangement. Such an orderly arrangement needs to fill space efficiently and keep a
charge balance. Since the size of atoms depends largely on the number of electrons,
atoms of different elements have different sizes

The structure of minerals is often seen in the shape of crystals. The law of constancy of
interfacial angles --- Angles between the same faces on crystals of the same substance
are equal. This is a reflection of ordered crystal structure

Crystal structure depends on the conditions under which the mineral forms. Polymorphs
are minerals with the same chemical composition but different crystal structures. The
conditions are such things as temperature (T) and pressure (P), because these effect ionic
radii.

At high T atoms vibrate more, and thus distances between them get larger. Crystal
structure changes to accommodate the larger atoms. At even higher T substances changes
to liquid and eventually to gas. Liquids and gases do not have an ordered crystal structure
and are not minerals.

Increase in P pushes atoms closer together. This makes for a more densely packed crystal
structure.

Examples:

The compound Al2SiO5 has three different polymorphs that depend on the temperature
and pressure at which the mineral forms. At high P the stable form of Al2SiO5 is kyanite,
at low P the stable from is andalusite, and at high T it is sillimanite.

Carbon (C) has two different polymorphs. At low T and P pure carbon is the mineral
graphite, (pencil lead), a very soft mineral. At higher T and P the stable form is diamond,
the hardest natural substance known

Composition of Minerals

The variety of minerals we see depend on the chemical elements available to form them.
In the Earth's crust the most abundant elements are as follows:

1. O, Oxygen 45.2% by weight


2. Si, Silicon 27.2%
3. Al, Aluminum 8.0%
4. Fe, Iron 5.8%

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5. Ca, Calcium 5.1%


6. Mg, Magnesium 2.8%
7. Na, Sodium 2.3%
8. K, Potassium 1.7%
9. Ti ,Titanium 0.9%
10. H, Hydrogen 0.14%
11. Mn, Manganese 0.1%
12. P, Phosphorous 0.1%

Note that Carbon (one of the most abundant elements in life) is not among the top 12.
Because of the limited number of elements present in the Earth's crust there are only
about 3000 minerals known. Only 20 to 30 of these minerals are common. The most
common minerals are those based on Si and O: the Silicates. Silicates are based on SiO4
tetrahedron. 4 Oxygens covalently bonded to one silicon atom

Properties of Minerals

Physical properties of minerals allow us to distinguish between minerals and thus


identify them, as you will learn in lab. Among the common properties used are:

 Habit - shape
 Color
 Streak (color of fine powder of the mineral)
 Luster -- metallic, vitreous, pearly, resinous (reflection of light)
 Cleavage (planes along which the mineral breaks easily)
 Density (mass/volume)
 Hardness: based on Mohs hardness scale as follows:

1. Talc
2. gypsum (fingernail)
3. calcite (penny)
4. fluorite
5. apatite (knife blade)
6. orthoclase (glass)
7. quartz
8. topaz
9. corundum
10. Diamond

Formation of Minerals

Minerals are formed in nature by a variety of processes. Among them are:

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 Crystallization from melt (igneous rocks)

 Precipitation from water (chemical sedimentary rocks, hydrothermal ore deposits)

 Biological activity (biochemical sedimentary rocks)

 Change to more stable state - (the processes of weathering, metamorphism, and


diagenesis).

 Precipitation from vapor. (not common, but sometimes does occur around
volcanic vents)

Since each process leads to different minerals and different mineral polymorphs, we can
identify the process by which minerals form in nature. Each process has specific
temperature and pressure conditions that can be determined from laboratory experiments.
Example: graphite and diamond, as shown previously.

Rocks - Mixtures of Minerals

Mixtures or aggregates of minerals are called rocks. There are three basic kinds of rocks,
each type is determined by the process by which the rock forms.

 Igneous Rocks - form by solidification and crystallization from liquid rock, called
magma.

Sedimentary Rocks - form by sedimentation of mineral and other rock fragments


from water, wind, or ice and can also form by chemical precipitation from water.

 Metamorphic Rocks - form as a result of increasing the pressure and/or


temperature on a previously existing rock to form a new rock.

Each of these rock forming processes results in distinctive mineral assemblages and
textures in the resulting rock. Thus, the different mineral assemblages and textures give
us clues to how the rock formed

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UNIT - III

Rocks

Igneous Rocks are formed by crystallization from a liquid, or magma. They include two
types

 Volcanic or extrusive igneous rocks form when the magma cools and crystallizes
on the surface of the Earth

 Intrusive or plutonic igneous rocks wherein the magma crystallizes at depth in


the Earth.

Magma is a mixture of liquid rock, crystals, and gas. Characterized by a wide range of
chemical compositions, with high temperature, and properties of a liquid.

Magmas are less dense than surrounding rocks, and will therefore move upward. If
magma makes it to the surface it will erupt and later crystallize to form an extrusive or
volcanic rock. If it crystallizes before it reaches the surface it will form an igneous rock
at depth called a plutonic or intrusive igneous rock. Because cooling of the magma takes
place at a different rate, the crystals that form and their interrelationship (texture) exhibit
different properties

Fast cooling on the surface results in many small crystals or quenching to a glass. Gives
rise to aphanitic texture (crystals cannot be distinguished with the naked eye), or
obsidian (volcanic glass)

Slow cooling at depth in the earth results in fewer much larger crystals, gives rise to
phaneritic texture

Porphyritic texture develops when slow cooling is followed by rapid cooling.


Phenocrysts = larger crystals, matrix or groundmass = smaller crystals

the processes that cause the breakdown of rocks, either to form new minerals that are
stable on the surface of the Earth, or to break the rocks down into smaller particles . This
process is called weathering, and is also the first step in a process that we call erosion.

Geologists recognize two categories of weathering processes

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1. Physical Weathering - disintegration of rocks and minerals by a physical or


mechanical process.

2. Chemical Weathering - chemical alteration or decomposition of rocks and


minerals.

Although we separate these processes, as we will see, both work together to break down
rocks and minerals to smaller fragments or to minerals more stable near the Earth's
surface

Physical Weathering

Physical weathering takes place by a variety of processes. Among them are:

 Development of Joints - Joints are regularly spaced fractures or cracks in rocks


that show no offset across the fracture (fractures that show an offset are called
faults).

o Joints form as a result of expansion due to cooling or relief of pressure as


overlying rocks are removed by erosion.

o Joints form free space in rock by which other agents of chemical or


physical weathering can enter.

 Crystal Growth - As water percolates through fractures and pore spaces it may
contain ions that precipitate to form crystals. As these crystals grow they may
exert an outward force that can expand or weaken rocks.

 Heat - Although daily heating and cooling of rocks do not seem to have an effect,
sudden exposure to high temperature, such as in a forest or grass fire may cause
expansion and eventual breakage of rock. Campfire example.

 Plant and Animal Activities -


o Plant roots can extend into fractures and grow, causing expansion of the
fracture. Growth of plants can break rock - look at the sidewalks of New
Orleans for example.

Animals burrowing or moving through cracks can break rock

Frost Wedging - Upon freezing, there is an increase in the volume of the water (that's
why we use antifreeze in auto engines or why the pipes break in New Orleans during the
rare freeze). As the water freezes it expands and exerts a force on its surroundings. Frost
wedging is more prevalent at high altitudes where there may be many freeze-thaw cycles

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Chemical Weathering

Since many rocks and minerals are formed under conditions present deep within the
Earth, when they arrive near the surface as a result of uplift and erosion, they encounter
conditions very different from those under which they originally formed. Among the
conditions present near the Earth's surface that are different from those deep within the
Earth are:

 Lower Temperature (Near the surface T = 0-50oC)

 Lower Pressure (Near the surface P = 1 to several hundred atmospheres)

 Higher free water (there is a lot of liquid water near the surface, compared with
deep in the Earth)

 Higher free oxygen (although O2 is the most abundant element in the crust, most
of it is tied up bonded into silicate and oxide minerals - at the surface there is
much more free oxygen, particularly in the atmosphere).

Because of these differing conditions, minerals in rocks react with their new environment
to produce new minerals that are stable under conditions near the surface. Minerals that
are stable under P, T, H2O, and O2 conditions near the surface are, in order of most stable
to least stable:

 Iron oxides, Aluminum oxides - such as hematite Fe2O3, and gibbsite Al(OH)3.
 Quartz*
 Clay Minerals
 Muscovite*
 Alkali Feldspar*
 Biotite*
 Amphiboles*
 Pyroxenes*
 Ca-rich plagioclase*
 Olivine*

Note the minerals with *. These are igneous minerals that crystallize from a liquid. Note
the minerals that occur low on this list are the minerals that crystallize at high
temperature from magma. The higher the temperature of crystallization, the less stable
are these minerals at the low temperature found near the Earth's surface

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Weathering Rinds, Exfoliation, and Spheroidal Weathering

When rock weathers, it usually does so by working inward from a surface that is exposed
to the weathering process. This may result in:

Weathering Rinds - a rock may show an outer weathered zone and an inner unweathered
zone in the initial stages of weathering. The outer zone is known as a weathering
rind. As weathering continues the thickness of the weathering rind increases, and thus
can sometimes be used as an indicator of the amount of time the rock has been exposed to
the weathering process

Exfoliation - Concentrated shells of weathering may form on the outside of a rock and
may become separated from the rock. These thin shells of weathered rock are separated
by stresses that result from changes in volume of the minerals that occur as a result of the
formation of new minerals

Spheroidal Weathering - If joints and fractures in rock beneath the surface form a 3-
dimensional network, the rock will be broken into cube like pieces separated by the
fractures. Water can penetrate more easily along these fractures, and each of the cube-
like pieces will begin to weather inward. The rate of weathering will be greatest along the
corners of each cube, followed by the edges, and finally the faces of the cubes. As a
result the cube will weather into a spherical shape, with unweathered rock in the center
and weathered rock toward the outside. Such progression of weathering is referred to as
spheroidal weathering

Factors that Influence Weathering

 Rock Type and Structure-


o Different rocks are composed of different minerals, and each mineral has a
different susceptibility to weathering. For example a sandstone consisting
only of quartz is already composed of a mineral that is very stable on the
Earth's surface, and will not weather at all in comparison to limestone,
composed entirely of calcite, which will eventually dissolve completely in
a wet climate.

o Bedding planes, joints, and fractures, all provide pathways for the entry of
water. A rock with lots of these features will weather more rapidly than a
massive rock containing no bedding planes, joints, or fractures.

If there are large contrasts in the susceptibility to weathering within a large body of rock,
the more susceptible parts of the rock will weather faster than the more resistant portions
of the rock. This will result in differential weathering

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 Slope - On steep slopes weathering products may be quickly washed away by


rains. On gentle slopes the weathering products accumulate. On gentle slopes
water may stay in contact with rock for longer periods of time, and thus result in
higher weathering rates.

 Climate- High amounts of water and higher temperatures generally cause


chemical reactions to run faster. Thus warm humid climates generally have more
highly weathered rock, and rates of weathering are higher than in cold dry
climates. Example: limestones in a dry desert climate are very resistant to
weathering, but limestones in a tropical climate weather very rapidly.

 Animals- burrowing organisms like rodents, earthworms, & ants, bring material to
the surface were it can be exposed to the agents of weathering.

 Time - since a rate is how fast something occurs in a given amount of time, time
is a crucial factor in weathering. Depending on the factors above, rates of
weathering can vary between rapid and extremely slow, thus the time it takes for
weathering to occur and the volume of rock affected in a given time will depend
on slope, climate, and animals

 Caliche - Calcium Carbonate (Calcite) that forms in arid soils in the K-horizon by
chemical precipitation of calcite. The Ca and Carbonate ions are dissolved from
the upper soil horizons and precipitated at the K-horizon. In arid climates the
amount of water passing through the soil horizons is not enough to completely
dissolve this caliche, and as result the thickness of the layer may increase with
time.

 Laterites - In humid tropical climates intense weathering involving leaching


occurs, leaving behind a soil rich in Fe and Al oxides, and giving the soil a deep
red color. This extremely leached soil is called a laterite.

 Paleosols - If a soil is buried rapidly, for example by a volcanic eruption, the soil
may be preserved in the geologic record as an ancient soil called a paleosol.

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UNIT –III

Kinds of Igneous Rock


Igneous Rocks are formed by crystallization from a liquid, or magma. They include two
types
Volcanic or extrusive igneous rocks form when the magma cools and crystallizes on the
surface of the Earth
Intrusive or plutonic igneous rocks wherein the magma crystallizes at depth in the Earth.
Magma is a mixture of liquid rock, crystals, and gas. Characterized by a wide range of
chemical compositions, with high temperature, and properties of a liquid.
Magmas are less dense than surrounding rocks, and will therefore move upward. If
magma
makes it to the surface it will erupt and later crystallize to form an extrusive or volcanic
rock.
If it crystallizes before it reaches the surface it will form an igneous rock at depth called a
plutonic or intrusive igneous rock
rate, the crystals that form and their interrelationship (texture) exhibit different properties.
Fast cooling on the surface results in many small crystals or quenching
to a glass. Gives rise to aphanitic texture (crystals cannot be
distinguished with the naked eye), or obsidian (volcanic glass).
Slow cooling at depth in the earth results in fewer much larger crystals,
gives rise to phaneritic texture.
Porphyritic texture develops when slow cooling is followed
by rapid cooling. Phenocrysts = larger crystals, matrix or
groundmass = smaller crystals.
Types of Magma
Chemical composition of magma is controlled by the abundance of elements in the Earth.
Si,
Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, K, Na, H, and O make up 99.9%. Since oxygen is so abundant, chemical
analyses are usually given in terms of oxides. SiO2 is the most abundant oxide.
1. Basaltic or gabbroic -- SiO2 45-55 wt%, high in Fe, Mg, Ca, low in K, Na
2. Andesitic or Dioritic -- SiO2 55-65 wt%, intermediate. in Fe, Mg, Ca, Na, K
3. Rhyolitic or Granitic -- SiO2 65-75%, low in Fe, Mg, Ca, high in K, Na.
Gases - At depth in the Earth nearly all magmas contain gas. Gas gives magmas their
explosive character, because the gas expands as pressure is reduced.
Mostly H2O with some CO2
Minor amounts of Sulfur, Cl , and F
Rhyolitic or granitic magmas usually have higher gas contents than basaltic or gabbroic
magmas.
Temperature of Magmas
Basaltic or Gabbroic - 1000-1200oC
Andesitic or Dioritic - 800-1000oC
Rhyolitic or Granitic - 650-800oC.

Eruption of Magma
When magmas reach the surface of the Earth they erupt from a vent. They may erupt

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explosively or non-explosively.
Non-explosive eruptions are favored by low gas content and low viscosity magmas
(basaltic to andesitic magmas).
Usually begin with fire fountains due to release of dissolved gases
Produce lava flows on surface
Produce Pillow lavas if erupted beneath water
Explosive eruptions are favored by high gas content and high viscosity (andesitic to
rhyolitic magmas).
Expansion of gas bubbles is resisted by high viscosity of magma - results in
building of pressure
High pressure in gas bubbles causes the bubbles to burst when reaching the low
pressure at the Earth's surface.
Bursting of bubbles fragments the magma into pyroclasts and tephra (ash).
Cloud of gas and tephra rises above volcano to produce an eruption column that
can rise up to 45 km into the atmosphere.
Tephra that falls from the eruption
column produces a tephra fall deposit.

If eruption column collapses a


pyroclastic flow may occur, wherein
gas and tephra rush down the flanks of
the volcano at high speed. This is the
most dangerous type of volcanic
eruption. The deposits that areproduced are called ignimbrites

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Plutons

Igneous rocks cooled at depth. Name comes from Greek god of the underworld – Pluto

Dikes are small (<20 m wide)


shallow intrusions that show a
discordant relationship to the
rocks in which they intrude.
Discordant means that they cut
across preexisting structures.
They may occur as isolated bodies
or may occur as swarms of dikes
emanating from a large intrusive
body at depth

Sills are also small (<50 m thick)


shallow intrusions that show a
concordant relationship with the
rocks that they intrude.

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Sedimentary Rocks
Rivers, oceans, winds, and rain runoff all have the ability to carry the particles washed off
of eroding rocks. Such material, called detritus, consists of fragments of rocks and
minerals. When the energy of the transporting current is not strong enough to carry these
particles, the particles drop out in the process of sedimentation. This type of sedimentary
deposition is referred to as clastic sedimentation. Another type of sedimentary deposition
occurs when material is dissolved in water, and chemically precipitates from the water.
This type of sedimentation is referred to as chemical sedimentation. A third process can
occur, wherein living organisms extract ions dissolved in water to make such things as
shells and bones. This type of sedimentation is called biogenic sedimentation. Thus,
there are three major types of sedimentary rocks: Clastic Sedimentary Rocks, Chemical
Sedimentary Rocks, and Biogenic Sedimentary Rocks

Clastic Sediments

Classification - Clastic sedimentary particles are classified in terms of size

Name of Size Range Loose Consolidated Rock


Particle Sediment
Boulder >256 mm Gravel
Conglomerate or Breccia (depends on
Cobble 64 - 256 mm Gravel
rounding)
Pebble 2 - 64 mm Gravel

Sand 1/16 - 2mm Sand Sandstone

Silt 1/256 - 1/16 mm Silt Siltstone

Clay <1/256 mm Clay Claystone, mudstone, and shale

The formation of a clastic sedimentary rock involves three processes:

Transportation - Sediment can be transported by sliding down slopes, being picked up


by the wind, or by being carried by running water in streams, rivers, or ocean currents.
The distance the sediment is transported and the energy of the transporting medium all
leave clues in the final sediment that tell us something about the mode of transportation

Deposition - Sediment is deposited when the energy of the transporting medium


becomes too low to continue the transport process. In other words, if the velocity of the
transporting medium becomes too low to transport sediment, the sediment will fall out
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and become deposited. The final sediment thus reflects the energy of the transporting
medium

Diagenesis - Diagenesis is the process that turns sediment into rock. The first stage of the
process is compaction. Compaction occurs as the weight of the overlying material
increases. Compaction forces the grains closer together, reducing pore space and
eliminating some of the contained water. Some of this water may carry mineral
components in solution, and these constituents may later precipitate as new minerals in
the pore spaces. This causes cementation, which will then start to bind the individual
particles together. Further compaction and burial may cause recrystallization of the
minerals to make the rock even harder.

Other conditions present during diagenesis, such as the presence of absence of free
oxygen may cause other alterations to the original sediment. In an environment where
there is excess oxygen (Oxidizing Environment) organic remains will be converted to
carbon dioxide and water. Iron will change from Fe2+ to Fe3+, and will change the color of
the sediment to a deep red (rust) color. In an environment where there is a depletion of
oxygen (Reducing Environment), organic material may be transformed to solid carbon in
the form of coal, or may be converted to hydrocarbons, the source of petroleum

METAMORPHIC ROCKS
The mineralogical and structural adjustment of solid rocks to physical and
chemical conditions that have been imposed at depths below the near surface
zones of weathering and diagenesis and which differ from conditions under
which the rocks in question originated.
The word "Metamorphism" comes from the Greek: meta = change, morph = form, so
metamorphism means to change form. In geology this refers to the changes in mineral
assemblage and texture that result from subjecting a rock to conditions such pressures,
temperatures, and chemical environments different from those under which the rock
originally
formed.
� Note that Diagenesis is also a change in form that occurs in sedimentary rocks. In
geology, however, we restrict diagenetic processes to those which occur at temperatures
below 200oC and pressures below about 300 MPa (MPa stands for Mega Pascals), this is
equivalent to about 3 kilobars of pressure (1kb = 100 MPa).
� Metamorphism, therefore occurs at temperatures and pressures higher than 200oC and
300 MPa. Rocks can be subjected to these higher temperatures and pressures as they are
buried deeper in the Earth. Such burial usually takes place as a result of tectonic
processes such as continental collisions or subduction.
� The upper limit of metamorphism occurs at the pressure and temperature where
melting
of the rock in question begins. Once melting begins, the process changes to an igneous

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process rather than a metamorphic process.


Grade of Metamorphism
As the temperature and/or pressure increases on a body of rock we say the rock
undergoes
prograde metamorphism or that the grade of metamorphism increases. Metamorphic
grade is
a general term for describing the relative temperature and pressure conditions under
which
metamorphic rocks form.
� Low-grade metamorphism takes place
at temperatures between about 200 to
320oC, and relatively low pressure.
Low grade metamorphic rocks are
generally characterized by an
abundance of hydrous minerals. With
increasing grade of metamorphism,
the hydrous minerals begin to react
with other minerals and/or break
down to less hydrous minerals.

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UNIT – IV

Reading Topographic Maps

Definition of Topographic Maps

1. A graphical representation of the three dimensional shape of the earth’s surface.

2. A reduced, simplified, categorized/classified, symbolized and annotated representation


of the earth’s surface which has been projected on a horizontal plane.

Features of Topographic Maps

TOPOGRAPHY (RELIEF):

- printed in brown

- contour lines shows hills, mountains, plains, etc.

WATER FEATURES:

- printed in blue

- includes oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, canals, etc.

CULTURE:

- printed in black

- human-make works such as roads,

railroads, buildings, land boundaries, etc.

Folds

When rocks are deformed plastically,


they are bent into folds:

Stress and Strain

Stress is the applied force (The pushing and pulling on the rock layers).

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Strain is the bending & twisting that happens to the rock also known as deformation.

Stress can be compressional, tensional or shear.

Compressional stress pushes matter (rock layers) together.

Tensional stress pulls matter (rock and dirt layers) apart.

Shear stress is rotational.the stress is parallel to a face of the material,


All applied stresses cause rock (or any other solid) to deform (strain). Strain can be elastic or plastic.

 Elastic strain disappears on the release of the stress. (like a rubber band)
 Plastic strain is permanent on release of stress. (like clay)

If a material undergoes continuous plastic deformation, it is said to be ductile. If it fractures, it is said to be


brittle.
There are Three Main Types of Folds:

Anticlines: This is when layers are folded upwards in what looks


like an arch. The layers are symmetrical (look alike) to either side
of its center.

Rock layers in anticlines dip away from the center axis.

The oldest rocks are exposed on the center axis.

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Synclines: This is when the rock layers are folded


downward.

The youngest layers of rock are exposed on the center


axis.

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Monocline: This is when the rock layer has a gently


dipping bend in the horizontal rock layer.

Faults:
When rocks are deformed (broken) brittly, they are displaced along fractures
called FAULTS.

Breaks in rock are put into two categories (groups).


Fractures:
When there is no movement along either side of the rock break.
Fault:
When either side of the rock break moves in opposite directions.

FAULT TERMINILOGY

1) "Hanging Wall"- The surface of


block that is ontop of the plane of
the fault.

2) "Footwall"- The surface or

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block that lies below the plane of


the fault.

3) "Strike"- The direction in which


the fault runs.

4) "Dip"- The dip direction is


perpendicular to the strike direction.

Types of faults:

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Dip-Slip Faults:
Movement along dip-slip faults is vertical; one side moves up and the other side moves down.

Imagine that you are in a tunnel that was dug through the fault (break) plane. The wall hanging over you is
called the HANGING WALL. On the other side of the fault, the wall you are standing on is called the
FOOT WALL.

The two types of Dip-Slip Faults are Normal Faults and Reverse Faults:

Normal Fault: The hanging wall has slipped down in


comparison to the foot wall.

Gravity causes the hanging wall to slip down. Normal


Faults are from layers being pulled apart.

Also known as a GRAVITY FAULT.

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ReverseFault: The hanging wall has slipped up in


comparison to the foot wall.

When layers are pushed together this is the kind of fault


that occurs.

Also known as a THRUST FAULT.

Strike Slip Fault: Two layers of rock are shifted


horizontally or parallel to the fault plane.

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UNIT – V

Geological considerations involved in the construction of Roads

• Topography of the region – topographic maps, valleys, hills , slope,

• Hilly region – aerial surveys - contour maps preparation is required

Litho logical characters of the rocks

Type and nature of the rocks and sediments of the area.

• Rock types available for laying roads divided in to 1. massive consolidated

2. loose consolidated

• What type of construction material

• Transport with ease and economy

Massive Group of rocks

• Igneous rocks – granite , Basalt

• Sedimentary rocks – Sand stones, quartzite

• Metamorphic rocks – Gneisses, Marbles, schists, slates.

Unconsolidated group of rocks

Soil investigations – mode of origin, texture, structure, bearing capacity

Residual soils – homogenous and exhibit less complications as compared to


transported soil

Presence of clay – investigated thoroughly in case of residual soil

Clay minerals may swell considerably in contact with water - thus prove to be
dangerous for the stability of the road or railway.

Structural features of the rocks

• Geological structures – sedimentary origin – very important bearing on the design


of the cuts as well as on the stability of a road as a whole.

• Plane of weakeness – joints , bedding planes.

• Dip and strike

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• cut made parallel to dip of beds – little danger – quite safe and preferable.

Structural features

• Cut made parallel to the strike of beds – complications arise

• Firstly – strata plunge steeply across cutting

• Secondly – the slope of cutting is unequal on sides.

• Road made parallel to the dip of the beds – safe – do not need any additional
treatment.

• Cuts are made either parallel or inclined to strike- special measures will have to
taken to stabilise the cut slopes.

• Joints

• Faults –

Ground water conditions of the area

• Determining the position of water table

• Water bearing properties ( porosity and permeability )

• Grounwater in many cases redude the bearing capacity of the foundation soil –
sub grade failures.

Construction of roads and railways in complicated regions.

• Roads in hilly regions

• Roads in Marshy regions

• Roads in water – logged areas.

• Roads in frost regions

BULIDINGS

• Multistoreyed buildings

• pillars transmit the loads to the underground soil through the foundation-
constructed in different shapes – raft foundation , pile foundation- depending
upon the bed rock.

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• The greater is the building load , stronger should be the underground soil, to with
stand the load.

• Basic requirements of a building foundation

• The foundation should be capable of bearing the design loads without exceeding
permissible stresses on the foundation material such as concrete.

• Building load uniformly to the subsoil zone.

• The building foundation should be laid on stable ,hard soil or hard rock to control
shrinkage of the sub soil zone.

Building foundations on soils

Soil testing

Bearing capacity

Building foundations carried to the Deeper hard rocks

• Geophysical surveys – Resistivity survey

Buildings founded on surface bed rocks

• General distribution of load

• Reduction of differential settlement

• Stability against sliding and overturning

• Reduction of distress against soil movement

Remote Sensing

Definition and Origin

Generally speaking, Remote Sensing is the acquisition and analysis of


information about objects or phenomena from a distance. In regards to the discipline of
geography, it is the acquisition and analysis of information about the Earth (or other
planetary bodies) through the use of computer and sensor systems via electromagnetic
radiation. It could be argued that Remote Sensing originated with any human gaining a
high perspective of an area, but in a more sophisticated sense it began in the 1830s with
the invention of the camera. Major advancements were made during World War II with
the development of RADAR (Radio Amplified Detection and Ranging) and SONAR
(SOund NAvigation and Ranging). Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) was also
invented during World War II and its product is a high resolution image.

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Early Developement

In the Late 1950's, fixed wing aerial photography was extensively developed. In
the early 1960's, the space race had begun between Russia and the United States. Image
based satellite systems were developed, especially with regard to military spy satellites
and civilian weather observation satellites. Radar and was vastly improved
upon. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems were developed was also developed
during this time.

Modern Era

Remote sensing came of age in the 1970's with the refinement of satellite
imaging. In 1972 the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) was renamed to
LANDSAT (NASA). The sensor had an 80 meter/pixel spatial resolution. In 1975,
constant image download was available from LANDSAT, with an 18 day temporal
resolution (passing over the same geographical area every 18 days). So much data
became available, that Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) data center was
established in South Dakota. Initial cost for four band (Red, Blue, Green and Infrared) .

2. Electromagnetic Spectrum

Electromagnetic Spectrum

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Visible

The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is the complete range of wavelengths of


electromagnetic radiation emitted from the sun, ranging from the extremely short Gamma
rays to the longer radio waves. The incident energy emitted from the sun is never
destroyed; it is absorbed, reflected, or transmitted by an object. Of the total EM
spectrum, visible light comprises a tiny sliver. The visible portion of the EM (.4 - .7
micrometers) is especially important in assessing the biomass (health of pigmentation) of
vegetation. Healthy plants tend to have high chlorophyll content. In the visible
spectrum, chlorophyll absorbs red and blue light and reflects green light. Greater
chlorophyll content will result in an increased reflectance in the green portion of the EM,
and producing a visual green appearance of a healthy plant.

Ultra Violet to near Infrared

Multispectral scanners can image from UV through the thermal IR band. The
Near Infrared portion of the EM (.7 1.3 micrometers) is sensitive to leaf structure. The
greatest amount of EM energy reflected the plants is in the Near IR. The variability in
reflectance is associated with the mesophyll layer of plant leaves. Younger plants tend to
have a well defined mesophyll layer resulting in higher Near IR reflectance. As leaves
mature or is stressed by environmental influences (drought, disease), the mesophyll layer
structure deteriorates. This results in a lower reflectance in of Near IR. Using this
knowledge enables scientists to track the state of vegetation coverage without having to
do field analysis. Most often in remote sensing images, healthy vegetation appears red.

Radar

Microwave wavelengths, from 1mm to approximately1 meter, have been imaged using
RADAR, SLAR (Side Looking Airborne Radar), SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), SIR
(Shuttle Imaging Radar), and SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission). Advantages
of RADAR include the ability to penetrate cloud coverage and image surfaces in total
darkness. Because of its ability to penetrate through clouds, RADAR has been used to
map the surface of the planet Venus.

3. Object Recognition

People or Computers

Object identification through remote sensing applications is accomplished through


identification of unique spectral response curves. Land Cover classification through
remote sensing applications involves either unsupervised (computer generated)
interpretation), or supervised (human interpretation) classification. Currently great
strides have made in the arena of artificial intelligence to improve this process. Human
interpretation, when combined with remote sensing applications is still the most effective
classification tool.

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Variability of Reflectance due to Environmental Conditions

In performing a supervised classification, the representation of a single feature


within an image is highly variable as a result of shadowing, terrain, moisture,
atmospheric conditions, and sun angle.

Atmospheric Absorption Bands

4. Photogrammetry

Deffinition and Basic Concepts

Photogrammetry is the technique of measuring objects (2D or 3D) from photo-


grammes (= photographs). Photogrammetric camera systems have automated film
advance and exposure controls, as well as use long continuous rolls of film. Aerial
photographs are taken in a continuous sequence with approximately 60% overlap. This
overlap (conjugate) area of adjacent images enables 3 dimensional analysis for extraction
of point elevations and contours. Parallax is the relative displacement of features on two
overlapping photographs. Overlap can be as much as 60% in the vertical direction and
40% in the horizontal direction. Taking into account parallax, shadows on an image can
be used to determine the heights of vertical features (buildings, trees, towers, cliffs, etc.),
as well as the time of day.

5. Multispectral Pattern Recognition

Definition

Using different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum to identify and to do analysis of


remotely sensed features.

Multiple Band Images

Remote sensing sensors (Landsat, SPOT, AVIRIS, AVHRR, LIDAR, SAR, etc.)
record the relative brightness of an area over specific portions of the electromagnetic

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spectrum. All sensors have spectral sensitivity limitations; this is referred to as spectral
resolution. No single sensor is sensitive to all wavelengths of the electromagnetic
spectrum. Recorded wavelengths are referred to as bands. The number of bands varies
depending on the sensor system (multispectral, hyperspectral, radar). Displaying of a
remote sensing image on a computer monitor is limited to 3 bands. Selected bands are
shown consecutively through the three color monitor guns (red, green, and blue). This
produces a false image. Band color combinations are dependent upon the type of feature
analysis being performed.

Characteristic Reflectance Values

Reflectance values are a result of "...energy reflected and emitted back from an object
that is detected by a sensor. The measure of reflected energy is referred to a radiometric
resolution. By analyzing energy received by the sensor, information about features can
be derived." (Arnoff, p. 63). The energy that is reflected or emitted back represents
characteristic of a feature at that particular moment. All features have unique reflectance
characteristics. This is useful when identifying features represented within any type of
image (pan chromatic, remotely sensed, or radar). Reflectance values can be easily
imported into a GIS.

Spectral Signature

At one time it was thought that each


object had its own spectral signature. This
would mean that a birch tree would have
one reflectance value and a maple tree
would have a totally separate reflectance
value. In the 1970's it was realized that
this could not be achieved for two main
reasons: 1.there are a variety of factors
that may change an objects reflectance
patterns such seasonal changes,
environmental moisture content, and 2.
data format. When dealing with raster
based information mixed pixels (mixels) are inevitable. All sensors have in inherent
limitation to just how small of an object on the Earths surface can be identified from its
surroundings. The measure of size is referred to as spatial resolution. Spatial resolution
reflects the smallest object that can be detected by a sensor. As an example, Landsat TM
has a spatial resolution of 30 X 30 meters. The sum of all of the spectral reflectance of
all features within the 30 X 30 meter footprint comprises a spectral response pattern that
is detected by the sensor. If an operator want to identify features that are less then 30 X
30 meters, a different sensor with a resolution <30 meters must be selected.

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Image Classification Algorithm


This is a sophisticated program that uses statistical techniques to discriminate between
land cover types from remotely sensed imagery (i.e. determining if an area is a forest or
wetland using reflectance values).
Land cover classification from remotely sensed imagery that requires minimal operator
input is referred to as unsupervised classification.
Land cover classification from remotely sensed imagery that requires significant operator
input is referred to as supervised classification.

Probability Analysis

This is a program procedure that is based on probability analysis to identify or classify


what features are. It is an image classification algorithm. When used it says there is a
60% (or whatever the percentage is) that the object is what it is. This value can be
calculated by performing statistical measures and weighting the data. Today, probability
analysis along with image classification algorithms are used to distinguish features and
analyze data compared to when object recognition was the preferred method. This new
method became known as multispectral pattern recognition; the different spectral
responses are used to tell about the image versus the shape of features.

6. Sensors

LANDSAT MSS

The first Landsat launched by the United Sates was on July 23, 1972. They were used in
an effort to collect data about the earth's resources from a satellite as stated by
Arnoff. The multi spectral scanner (MSS) provided digital images that could be used for
computer analysis. It had four bands (4, 5, 6, and 7) in the visible and near infrared part
of the spectrum. The sensors spatial resolution was approximately 79m by 56m as stated
by Arnoff. It also had a return orbit period of 18 days. The orbit was sun synchronous (in
its orbital path, the satellite will always pass over a given location of the earth at the same
local sun time).

LANDSAT TM

Landsat TM is more advanced multispectral scanner than the MSS system. The spectral
resolution encompasses seven bands that range from visible blue to thermal infrared.
Included is a Mid Infrared (MIR) band. Please note band seven is out of the spectral
sequence because it was added after band 6 had been developed. Not only does TM cover
more of the spectrum, but it has a higher spatial resolution of 30m x 30m. Images may
have a "true" or "false" color. True reflects actual surface colors seen by the human
eye. False color results from selected band combinations being consecutively displayed
on the color monitor through the red green blue (rgb) color guns. The features will not
look like they do to the naked eye. In a Landsat 7 TM 4 (Infrared), 3 (red visible), 2
(green visible) color combination; the infrared band will be shown through the red gun,
the red visible band will be shown through the green gun, and the green visible band will

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be shown through the blue gun. In this combination, healthy vegetation will appear red
(not green) in the image.

Landsat 7 TM Sensor

SPOT

Systeme Pair l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) started in France in 1978. It originated as


a commercial program. SPOT has two HRV push broom scanners that can produce either
a panchromatic (a single visible band black and white) with a 10 meter spatial resolution
or a multi spectral 3 bands (2 visible, 1 infrared) with a 20 meter spatial resolution. The
sensor orbit is sun synchronous with a 26 day nadir and 1-5 days off nadir temporal
resolution. The sensor also has the capability to produce full scene stereo images which
can be used to create topographic maps. SPOT 5, launched in 2002 has improved spatial
resolution for both panchromatic (2.5 and 5 meter) and multispectral images (10 meter
visible, 10 meter Near IR). Overall the Landsat TM has greater spectral resolution and
SPOT has better spatial resolution.

7. Relationship to GIS

Orthophoto Phenomenon

Orthophotography first came into use in the 1960's, but they did not become
commonplace until the 1970s due to cost. Digital Orthophotos are commonly used as a
backdrop for vector digitizing. Orthophoto show the actual land feature of an area as
opposed to the generalizations found on a map.

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EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING DEPT OF CIVIL ENGG

Change Analysis

Change analysis refers to the process of comparing changes to the same area
using remotely-sensed images that are temporally separated. Change analysis developed
in the 1970s at a time when GIS was in its early, developmental stages. Raster based data
laid the ground-work for GIS and remote sensing analysis. "Vegetation indices" and
Dana Tomlin's "Map Algebra" were developed in this era.

Software Vendor Dominance

Prominent software vendors who have dominated the GIS and remote sensing
arena are ESRI (vector based data display) and ERDAS (multi spectral data
manipulation). ERDAS dominates the Remote Sensing market.

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