Soil and Rock Descriptions

by Elizabeth Withington 25/06/2015 filed under Engineering


Geotechnical Engineering Limited trains its graduate engineering geologists to log soils and rocks by using a process of formal instruction alongside onsite mentoring.  We have personnel dedicated to training our geologists from Directors with technical responsibilities, Chartered Engineers with checking responsibilities, and a Senior Engineering Geologist in a dedicated training manager role.  By using dedicated staff we can ensure that the skills individuals need are identified and enacted through a formal training plan.



The formal training takes place via training manuals which are presented in a classroom setting.  We then take the graduate into our dedicated soil and rock logging facilities and introduce them to the practical aspects of logging. 


Our training manager Edward Crimp has recently been introducing some of our graduates to chalk logging.  For chalk logging our SARD manual (Soil and Rock Descriptions) is used in conjunction with additional referenced publications from CIRIA C574, Lord et al (2002) Engineering in Chalk, and BS5930: 1999+A2 Code of practice for Site investigations.  For ease of reference in the field the pertinent tables have been summarised in to a single field sheet and include chalk density, description, fracture aperture, fracture spacing, chalk grade and the description of structureless chalk.


The geologists are then introduced to samples of chalk in our logging facility.  Samples from light cable percussion, dynamic sampling and rotary cored boreholes are used.  The practical aspect of chalk logging then starts alongside the expert help of our training manager.


Once Geotechnical Engineers training manager is satisfied that the individual is competent in a particular activity this is recorded in their training plan at a “competent to carry out grade”.  Their competency is then reassessed at regular intervals until they reached a standard where they are considered to be “competent to teach others” for that particular activity. 

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