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Typical geological profile

Typical geological profile

I am arguing with my idiot boss who have little background in geological field, about the variation of geology even within meters. I stated that important variation ( layers can change shape , orientation , pockets of materials can be found, geological structures etc) but he won't listen .
Can anyone provide me with a practical example of a geological profile especially from a book ?

RE: Typical geological profile

What is the purpose? An old saying is "The boss may be wrong, but he still is the boss".

As to a book, I'd more likely get into the subject of pedology, even though it is only to shallow depths. Generally given soil series can be found over given geologic formations, including glacial deposits. Also a fun one to spring on a geotech engineer is to ask them for a definition of "structure" of soil deposits. A soils prof I once knew was buffaloed by that in a legal case.

RE: Typical geological profile

Check out Terzaghi, Peck and Mesri - they have a few figures in the investigation chapter that shows how erratic certain soil properties can be. I've seen a cross section in the past (but can't find it now) that shows a valley soil condition from one abutment to another of a long bridge - it might be in the T&P 1967 version - but check out the one above.

A true story - one of my senior engineers told me that on his first job he had drilled a hole and hit bedrock at 10 ft or so . . . told his boss (he had another hole to drill) that he'd finish the next day - the borehole was fairly close to the one he had drilled. Well the next day turned into next week where the bedrock had dropped off by some 100 ft. I've seen that to along the Humber River in Toronto.

RE: Typical geological profile

I understand the examples you are giving me but i am dealing with an idiot and a dictator kind of boss. The kind that will behave like an idiot when there is a true expert teaching us things *we should know* , but will argue harshly with his engineers even though you have references as proofs.

About the Terzaghi book , yes i do have that book and the figures you mentioned . But my Dog i mean boos will require heavier doses of figures to yield .

RE: Typical geological profile

I'm sort of curious in playing out the discussion, however. Let's say the boss, "sees the light." Then what? Drill more? Test more? Design more conservatively? You may be feeling reluctance from the idiot because the idiot doesn't know what's next and the course of action to address the unknown is well. . . uncertain.


ípapß gordo ainÆt no madre flaca!

RE: Typical geological profile

Yes my bad, i didn't take time to explain what the arguing was all about
When we want to study slope stability , we need to align at least 3 bore holes to obtain a nice soil profile . Any considerable misalignment can give erroneous ideas about what's under the surface. For my project , we could not achieve such a task for constrains however. We did use 2 bore holes that were not perpendicular to the slope and this was the subject of our debate.

With a distance of say 20 m between 2 bore holes and none of them was above the crest , how in the hell could you consider yourself right in stating that we can make a soil profile out of this ?! then he proceed by saying if i could return back in time , i would not recruit you !

RE: Typical geological profile

Who takes ultimate responsibility for job problems later? If the practice is to then blame the workers, it would seem that a different employment location should be one of your options. Legally these sort of conditions can affect your future. In my past employment something similar happened, but my records of the work progress and communications came in handy in resolving the blame. Written records are a necessity in engineering.

RE: Typical geological profile

Do a search on Karst topography and show him what you find. No matter how much soils and rock investigation you may do, it probably isn't enough to accurately determine the ground conditions. It doesn't get much more variable than Karst!

RE: Typical geological profile

Another place for variations is in glacial country, mostly in ground and terminal moraines. Some sedimentary despots that have had a series of erosion and then deposition events in the past.

RE: Typical geological profile

Another area needing a thorough investigation is along rivers. The ground conditions can change considerably when going inshore from the river.

RE: Typical geological profile

I am well aware of all this , i am not one of the imbeciles of my fellow engineers and bosses who can't liberate themselves from the shackles and traditions of the third world.
For instance , English is not my primary language but yet i still read from time to time and understand how complex yet wonderful geotechnical engineering is ( when i was a kid i wanted to be an astrophysicist but now i love geotechnique ) . All that being said , you cannot fight the ultimate enemies where i live , which are stagnation and the unwillingness to accept others opinions and that's why wars emerge ....

Anyway,thank you all for the contribution .

RE: Typical geological profile

I learned one thing from this. Remember who not to try to help next time. By the way, how is that PHD thesis coming?

RE: Typical geological profile

it seems that if you are going to debate with your idiot boss that you should be prepared to back up your assertions with something to prove it. I am surprised that you are not able to produce a geologic profile of your own that would prove your point. a google search yielded many complex profiles that could have been used to support your argument.

RE: Typical geological profile

Suggestion for what it is worth . . . don't use disparaging remarks about bosses, colleagues, others - in any such professional (and, to be clear, social such as in facebook) forum. It can and often does comes back to haunt you. As a professional forum, we should act so and such remarks do not fit. My further suggestion - hit the weight room; you can take a lot of aggression out on the "iron" and then come back prepared to act/post in a better tone.

RE: Typical geological profile


This all seems to fit the story of a young man in his teens who had an awful time trying to convince his father the corrections of the many problems facing them. Then once he turned into the early 20's he was very pleased to see how much the old man learned in a few years.

RE: Typical geological profile

By the sounds of things you'll just be banging your head against a wall in this game of one-upmanship. I'd recommend looking for a new job.

RE: Typical geological profile

When you get sued for a slope stability failure, have your boss explain why only two boreholes were used to create a soil profile.

RE: Typical geological profile

I can only be sad while reading the comments , because i bet the country you guys live in is not called Algeria ...
Just to give a clarification , we still use the ruler to draw layers between boreholes . yes we do have geologist but they are contaminated themselves with corrupted misconceptions.
I know that when we will get sued for the death of people , only the signature of the engineers matters but in my country we are not so ...lets say advanced to possess Standard limitations of liability clauses for instance , nor do we have technical and normative guides . We also don't have geotechnical lawyers , and rarely does anyone get sued for anything!!! yes welcome to the third world .

@oldestguy : well i changed the thesis title and the prof , i am currently working on the behavior of soils treated with Pozzolan.

RE: Typical geological profile

Nothing wrong with using "rulers to draw layers between boreholes" - Karl Terzaghi did it, Ralph Peck did it - all the "Legends" have done it - and it still works but knowing the risks involved. Read an interesting article a few weeks ago - will try to find it and link it.

As to the point at hand - insufficient information . . . we've all been there and done that. A good reason to be well read about case histories and what others have done - and to take advice of people like oldestguy and PEinc - and to formulate - not necessarily the most elegant and cost effective solution - but one that is robust and can take into account potential variations. By the way - I have worked in Asia for over 20 years now and empathize with you.

RE: Typical geological profile

@bigH Thank you sir , but Terzaghi himself advised to be cautious about stratigraphy, you never know when to find lenses or pockets of materials somewhere.

RE: Typical geological profile

True - but as I said, knowing the risks involved

RE: Typical geological profile

To help him understand he need practical and not from the book. During field works you can invite him when you encounter such scenario. I had working at a site and just 10m apart i encountered something completely different. Tell him nature is very complex. Teach him how the rocks are formed and the processes which happen later how it can modify the rocks.

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