Applied geology for the preservation of archaeological and architectonical heritages

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Lessons are intended to introduce the student to the main geological and geothecnical problems that can effect the archaeological and architectural heritage.

At the end of the course, the student will acquire basic knowledge about the rheology of geological media (soils, rocks and rock masses), of the main geotechnical and geomorphological processes to which they may be subject. The student will therefore be able to formulate reasonable hypotheses on the main issues that may affect the preservation and enjoyment of cultural, landscape and architectural heritage, in relation to their geological and geotechnical context. He will have a geological-technical glossary suitable to understand the content of geological-applicative documents, concerning the main investigation activities, analyzes and monitoring related to the heritage protection, including thematic maps of susceptibility to instability, hazard and risk.
Expected learning outcomes
The course is designed to provide students with the necessary tools for the study of archaeological contexts, of the on land and underwater finds, and to elaborate and to interpret the data through archaeological and archaeometric methods.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Lessons will be held in mixed mode, according to the number of participants, in presence and synchronous telematic mode, maintaining the pre-established time and using the MS Teams platform.
Course syllabus
Introduction: What are Engineering Geology and Applied Geology? Fields of application and survey tools. Which are the geological means?
Soil: Genetic Environments
Physical properties of soils: Properties of individual grains. Properties of aggregate soil. Relative density. Consistency limits. Geotechnical Classification Systems (USCS).
Groudwater flow
Soil Mechanics: Principle of effective stress. Geostatic stress, effect of phreatic and confining aquifer. 1D Consolidation (Oedometer Test). Shear strength behaviour and parameters (Uniaxial and triaxial compression tests. Direct shear test).
Rock Masses: intact rock plus joints. Continuous or discontinuous behavior? Rock mass characterization and classification (Rock Mass rating classification of Bieniawski RMR).Intact rock material: Index properties. Strength and deformability properties. Laboratory tests: point load test; uniaxial compression test and triaxial compression test, Brazilian test, Direct tension test. Mechanical classification of intact rocks.
Joint properties: roughness (JRC); wall compressive strength (JCS). Joint shear strength parameters.

Foundation problems: Types of foundations, failure and settlement problems. Examples applied to architectural heritage.
Geotechnical reasons for the instability of historic monuments: materials degradation, land subsidence, surface settlements due to underground excavations. Case study examples.
Earthquake geotechnics: dynamic liquefaction of sands, dynamic slope stability issues.
Structural surveys: monitoring of structural cracks, settlements and tilting of buildings and foundations.
Soil improvement and underpinning techniques: use of micropiles and other underpinning techniques, grouting and jet-grouting. Case study examples.
Hydrogeological hazard and risk : introductory concepts.
Landslides: zonation of sliding areas. Case study examples.
Erosion: effects on land in different environmental contexts, assessment methods, influence factors.
Floods: definition of buffer zones, assessment methods, influence factors, architectural and landscape constraints.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of mineralogy, petrography and geomorphology is required.
Teaching methods
The course involves traditional lectures where the relevant topics are introduced, and applications are discussed by illustrating practical case studies.
Teaching Resources
· Course handouts/slides
· Scientific papers regarding practical case studies
· Textbook "Geological engineering" Luis Gonzalez de Vallejo ; Mercedes Ferrer. CRC Press, 2011
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral presentation of a selected case study inspired from course topics, followed by an oral examination to evaluate the student's degree of learning.
GEO/05 - ENGINEERING GEOLOGY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Wednesdays 10:30-13:00
Via Mangiagalli 34 (Milano), Level III, or online via MS Teams