Course Title: 
Environmental Geotechnology
Course Code: 
Year Taught: 
Undergraduate (UG)
School of Engineering

'Environmental Geotechnology' is a course offered in B. Tech. in Civil Engineering program at School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

Unit 1

Environmental cycles - Soil and water - Environmental interaction relating to geotechnical problems - Effect of pollution on soil - water behaviour.

Origin, nature and distribution of soil - Description of individual particle - Soil fabric and structure - Gravitational and surface forces - Intersheet and interlayer bonding in the clay minerals - Basic structural units of clay minerals - Isomorphous substitution - Kaolinite mineral - Montmorillonite mineral - Illite mineral - Electric charges on clay minerals - Ion exchange capacity - Diffused double layer - Adsorbed water - Soil structure - Methods for the identification of minerals (introduction only).

Effect of drying on Atterberg limits - Shrinkage, swelling and cracking characteristics of soil - Electrochemical characteristics of soil-water system - Sensitivity of soil to environment - Soil-water-air interaction - Activity, sensitivity, causes of sensitivity - Influence of exchangeable cations, pH and organic matter on properties of soils - Permeability of soils - Hydraulic conductivity of different types of soils - Darcy’ s law and its validity - Factors affecting permeability

Unit 2

Sources, types and composition of different wastes - Characteristics and classification of hazardous wastes - Generation rates - Potential problems in soils due to contaminants.

Ground water flow - Sources of ground water contamination - Contaminant transport - Pollution of aquifers by mining and liquid wastes - Ground water pollution downstream of landfills - Transport mechanisms.

CPCB rules and regulations on waste handling and management - Criteria for selection of sites for waste disposal - Disposal techniques -Disposal systems for typical wastes.

Ground modification and waste modification techniques in waste management - Ground modification - Mechanical modification, hydraulic modification, chemical modification.

Unit 3

Liners and covers for waste disposal - rigid and flexible liners - Leachate and gas collection system - Engineered landfills (including basal liner and cover liner systems) – components - design criteria.

Hydrological design for ground water pollution control.

Soil contamination and remediation technology for both ground and aquifers.


  • Mitchell J. “Fundamentals of soil behaviour”, John Wiley and Sons., Third Edition, 2005.
  • Robert M. Koerner, “Construction and Geotechnical methods in Foundation Engineering”, McGraw Hill Book Co., 1996.
  • Abdel M. O. Mohamed and Hogan E. Antia, “Developments in Geotechnical Engineering”, Elsevier, 1998.
  • Hari D. Sharma and Krishna R. Reddy, “Geoenvironmental Engineering – Site Remediation, Waste Containment, Emerging waste management technologies”, John Wiley and sons, 2004.
  • Daniel D. E. “Geotechnical Practice for Waste Disposal”, Chapman and Hall. 1993.
  • Hsai Yang Fang and John Daniel, “Introduction to Environmental Geotechnology”, CRC press, Taylor and Francis, Second Edition, 2013