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Hot Deserts: Engineering, Geology and Geomorphology: Engineering Group Working Party Report

Product Code: SPE25
Series: GSL Engineering Geology Special Publications - print copy
Author/Editor: Edited by M J Walker
Publication Date: 28 March 2012
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This volume provides an authoritative and comprehensive state-of-the-art review of hot desert terrains in all parts of the world, their geomaterials and influence on civil engineering site investigation, design and construction. It primarily covers conditions and materials in modern hot deserts, but there is also coverage of unmodified ancient desert soils that exhibit engineering behaviour similar to modern desert materials. Thorough and up-to-date guidance on modern field evaluation and ground investigation techniques in hot arid areas is provided, including reference to a new approach to the desert model and detailed specialised assessments of the latest methods for materials characterisation and testing.

The volume is based on world-wide experience in hot desert terrain and draws upon the knowledge and expertise of the members of a Geological Society Engineering Group Working Party comprising practising geologists, geomorphologists and civil engineers with a wealth of varied, but complementary experience of working in hot deserts.

It is an essential reference book for professionals, as well as a valuable textbook for students. It is written in a style that is accessible to the non-specialist. A comprehensive glossary is also included.

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN: 1-86239-342-7
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-342-4
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 440
Weight: 1.24 kg


Members of the Working Party

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1. Deserts
1.2. The Working Party
1.3. Structure of the report: contents

Chapter 2 Desert environments

2.1. Defining deserts
2.2. Distribution of the world’s deserts
2.3. Causes of aridity
2.4. Controls on the diversity of desert environments
2.5. Past climate change in deserts
2.6. Challenges facing desert environments

Chapter 3 Processes and landforms in deserts

3.1. Weathering
3.2. Wind, sand and dust
3.3. Fluvial geomorphology
3.4. Subsurface water, salts and aggressive ground
3.5. Conclusions

Chapter 4 Hazards and the desert ground model

4.1. Desert hazards
4.2. Existing desert ground models
4.3. An Earth systems model for desert landscape classification
4.4. Conclusions and recommendations

Chapter 5 Soil and rock description and characteristics

5.1. Hot deserts surfaces and soils
5.2. Existing soil and rock characterization and classification schemes
5.3. Recommended method for hot desert soil and rock characterization and classification

Chapter 6 Desk study, remote sensing, geographical information systems and field evaluation

6.1. The value of desk study and field evaluation
6.2. Themes for this chapter
6.3. The approach to and scope of desk study and field evaluation
6.4. Desk study
6.5. Remote sensing
6.6. Field evaluation
6.7. Geographical information systems (GIS) and data management
6.8. Reporting of the Stage I investigations (desk studies and field evaluations)
6.9. Case histories
Appendix to Chapter 6: remote sensing and GIS Internet links

Chapter 7 Ground investigation, testing and interpretation of results

7.1. Ground investigation methods
7.2. Sampling
7.3. In situ and laboratory testing
7.4. Review of investigation techniques for individual environments
7.5. Interpretation of results and reporting
7.6. Ground investigation during construction
Appendix to Chapter 7: laboratory and in situ testing procedures

Chapter 8 Engineering behaviour of desert soils

8.1. Mechanics of sands
8.2. Moisture in desert soils
8.3. Mechanics of partially saturated soils
8.4. Dry soils
8.5. Potentially collapsible soils
8.6. Expansive clays
8.7. Salts
8.8. Mechanics of cemented soils
8.9. Soils from sabkha and salina environments

Chapter 9 Materials for construction in deserts

9.1. Engineering materials in the desert environment
9.2. Rock for engineering purposes
9.3. Sand, gravel and crushed rock aggregates
9.4. Materials for road construction
9.5. Concrete and mortars
9.6. Traditional materials for building construction
9.7. Construction and demolition wastes
9.8. Sources of water and water quality

Chapter 10 Engineering design and construction

10.1. Earthworks
10.2. Foundations
10.3. Roads and pipelines
10.4. Coastal development
10.5. Flooding and erosion
10.6. Groundwater changes due to urbanization and development
10.7. Wind-blown sand and dust
10.8. Concrete structures
10.9. Traditional construction
10.10. Environmental protection and sustainability

Glossary of some engineering and geological terms


Review by Robert J. Watters

Dept of Geological Sciences and Engineering, University of Nevada

Published in Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Vol. XIX, No.4, November 2013

….. the book thoroughly discusses the worldwide desert regions, their distinct geomorphology, reflecting water, climate, geology, topography, etc., and the engineering assessment and design required for a successful project.

Figures, illustrations, and photographs in this volume are relevant and of excellent quality. An expanded glossary of engineering and geological terms combined with an extensive index assist readers who may not practice in geology and/or engineering.

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