Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Earth Sciences Master Information
Major in Engineering Geology
Compulsory Modules Engineering Geology
Engineering Geology: Fundamentals
Courses for this Module take place in autumn semester.
Engineering Geology: Methods
651-4061-00LHydrogeological Field Course Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 15.

Prerequisite: Grundwasser I (102-0455-01L)

Due to the extraordinary conditions, we cannot allow a large number of students, therefore MSc students majoring in Engineering Geology are given priority.
O3 credits7PB. Brixel, N. Gholizadeh Doonechaly
AbstractThe course covered a variety of hydrogeological investigation methods with both theory and application at an experimental site in unconsolidated sediments and fractured rock. Included were aquifer well tests and estimation of natural hydraulic heads. The students had to sample, display, evaluate and assess own data and write a report.
Objective- To be able to choose an appropriate (goal, hydrogeological environment, logistic boundary conditions) investigation method and plan experiments accordingly.
- To acquire own experiences in handling typical instruments, e.g. pump, pressure transmitter, data logger, inductive flowmeter, etc.
- To understand the theoretical background of important hydrogeological field investigation methods.
- To master typical data presentation and evaluation methods, e.g. diagnostic plots, type curve fitting etc.).
- To be able to assess the quality and importance of the achieved results in view of theoretical and practical limitations.
ContentCovered methods are
- Aquifer and well tests (constant pressure, constant flow, step pumping tests, drawdown and build-up, single hole and crosshole, double packer and open hole),
- Slug & bail tests (pneumatic and bailer techniques, double packer intervals and open hole).
- Hydraulic head profiling (natural conditions)
- Tracer tests.
Lecture notesA script will be provided for download as pdf.
LiteraturePlease visit the course homepage (Main Link).
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisite course 102-0455-01L Grundwasser I
Schedule: The course will take place in Mels (SG) and in Thur (Widen).

Students registering for the course confirm having read and accepted the terms and conditions for excursions and field courses of D-ERDW Link
651-4064-00LEngineering Geological Field Course I (Soils) Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 20.
O3 credits6PK. Thuro
AbstractApplication of geotechnical soil classification techniques in outcrops and core samples, including geomorphological and geological field mapping. Imparts knowledge for an understanding of Quarternary processes and their consequences on building (under)ground.
Supplements lectures in soil mechanics and geological site investigation techniques.
Objectivea) Students are able to perform a geotechnical characterization of soils according to international standards.
b) Students are able to identify different types of soils in samples and in the field. They can interprete geological origin, formation and history of different soil types.
c) Students are able to recognize geomorphological structures in the field and analyze their geological formation.
d) Students can present their research results in an appropriate way (written and oral).
ContentThe course starts with an introduction lecture on soil classification (USCS and Swiss standards), field testing and sampling techniques, borehole logging, mapping techniques and Quaternary geology of Zurich. The main part is an extensive field course which includes a quarry mapping exercise, borhole logging and field maping by geomorphlogical features. Student teams get a mandate for geotechnical investigations on a certain question and have to write a report about their findings. Teaching in the field will primarily consist in guiding the students in their mapping work. Subsequently, the field and laboratory data is analyzed by the students.
Lecture notesCourse notes and field manual. All documents will be made available from the web.
LiteratureKNAPPETT, J. & CRAIG, R.F. (2019): Craig's Soil Mechanics. - 600 p., 9th ed., London, New York (CRC Press).
LANG, H.-J., HUDER, J.,AMAN, P. & PUZRIN, A.M. (2011): Bodenmechanik und Grundbau. Das Verhalten von Böden und die wichtigsten grundbaulichen Konzepte. - 336 p., 9. Aufl., Berlin (Springer).
Prerequisites / NoticeOther necessary equipment or material:
Geological field equipment: Geologic compass, GPS receiver, soil hammer, field notebook (water resistant), field bag, coloured pencils, felt tipped pens (permanent), hand lens, straight edge (scale), meter, tri-angle, tracing paper, hydrochloric acid (in small bottle), string, computer notebook for report preparation

Students registering for the course confirm having read and accepted the terms and conditions for excursions and field courses of D-ERDW Link
651-4066-00LEngineering Geological Field Course II (Rocks) Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 18.
O3 credits6PM. Ziegler
AbstractThis course focuses on characterizing and classifying rock masses in the field as done in preliminary and advanced stages of site assessments.
ObjectiveThe objectives of this course are to provide the student the necessary skills to carry out field mapping investigations and rock mass data acquisitions for assessing the rock mass conditions, focusing on quantifying geologic elements that have a primary influence on the project at hand, and processing and interpreting the acquired data in order to developing a geomechanical site model.
ContentThis course covers methodologies and techniques to characterize and classify rock masses in the perspective of specific engineering objectives. This includes field characterization of intact rock types and properties (lithology, rock and rock mass strength, degree of weathering, etc.), quantifying their associated discontinuity networks, mapping and characterization of faults in terms of their engineering relevance, and the use of geomorphology in engineering geology field investigations.

The integration and correlation of data acquired from different mapping techniques and areas (aerial/terrestrial photograph interpretation, surface outcrop mapping, underground outcrop mapping, core logging) is also part of this course. Relevant software programs will be introduced during the course and applied by the students.
Lecture notesDetails on the course program will be made availbale here:
(-> Master of Science -> Spring Semester -> Engineering Geology Field Course II)
Prerequisites / NoticeGeography and Earth System Sciences students UZH may attend this field course at full costs (no subsidies).

Students registering for the course confirm having read and accepted the terms and conditions for excursions and field courses of D-ERDW Link

The field course is carried out during 2x5 days in mid-July. The student is expected to prepare for the field course in advance. The course structure will be presented to the student at the beginning of the spring semester.
Engineering Geology: Integration
651-4070-00LLandslide Analysis Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 18.
O5 credits3GS. Löw, J. Aaron
AbstractThis course is about the analysis of landslide phenomena, mechanisms, stability and hazard mitigation. The course is focussed on case studies covering major landslide types in the Alps (rock fall, shallow soil slides, rock slides and topples, and deep seated landslides). The course makes use of a new blended e-learning environment and includes compulsory field trips to the study sites.
ObjectiveThe overall aim of the course is to prepare students for dealing with real-world landslide and slope stability problems. Students will gain knowledge and application experience in the field recognition, mapping and monitoring of landslides, the appropriate use of slope stability analysis methods, and the writing of landslide investigation reports. With this experience students may enter the professional workplace or research environment with modern skills and the confidence to tackle similar problems alone.
ContentThe major types of landslides are introduced in face-to-face lectures. For every landslide type a case study is introduced which illustrates typical tasks and approaches of professionals working in the field of landslide hazard analysis and mitigation. All case studies include field visits focussing on geological conditions, morphological features, geotechnical properties and field measurements. In the lab we discuss appropriate geological and kinematic models, triggers, stability, failure processes and mitigation mechanisms. The results of the case studies are documented in reports which are the basis for the course evaluation.
Lecture notesThe course includes self study of landslide fundamentals supported by web-based e-learning materials, and audio-supported power-point-lectures. The case study analyses are supported by field handbooks, field data and analysis programs.
LiteratureSidle, R.C. & Ochiai H. 2006: Landslides, Processes, Prediction and Land use. AGU Books, Water Resources Monograph 18
Transportation Research Board 1996: Landslides, Investigation and Mitigation. Special Report 247. Turner A.K. & Schuster R.L. eds. National Academic Press Washington D.C.
Prerequisites / NoticeExcursions are an integral part of this course. The dates of the excursions are published on
651-4072-00LEngineering Geology of Underground Excavations Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 18.
O5 credits3GS. Löw, O. Moradian
AbstractThis course deals with the geological activities related to underground excavations (field investigations, route selection, geological models and hazards, geotechnical properties, rock mass behavior, groundwater & environmental impacts). The course focuses on problem solving skills (trained in a Lötschberg Base Tunnel case study, including report writing).
ObjectiveIn this course the student shall become familiar with the most important tasks an engineering geologist has to carry out in the context of planning and building an underground excavation or tunnel. The student will learn how to integrate the knowledge gained during the fundamental and methods courses for the design of underground constructions in various project phases (including report writing).
ContentMajor Tasks of Engineering Geologist in Underground Constructions, Project Phases and Logistic Constraints of Various Types Underground Constructions, Ground Behaviour in Underground Constructions (Rock and Soil), Groundwater and Environmental Impacts of Underground Constructions; Exploration Methods. Case Study Lötschberg Base Tunnel.
Lecture notesA script is available in the form of a few review publications.
LiteratureRichard Goodman 1993: Engineering Geology, Rock in Engineering Construction, John Whiley and Sons.
Evert Hoek 2007: Practical Rock Engineering, Course Notes, www
Prerequisites / NoticeThe Lötschberg Case Study forms a key component of this integration course. Students will learn (1) how to carry out preliminary investigations related to tunnel design, (2) how to select the tunnel route, (3) how the describe the geotechnical and hydrogeological conditions, (4) how to qualitatively and quantitatively assess geological hazards, rock mass behavior and environmental impacts, and (5) how write geological, geotechnical and hydrogeological reports. A day field trip to the study area (March 15) and a tunneling site (May 19) is included in the course.
651-4074-00LLandfills and Deep Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 18.

Geography and Earth System Sciences students UZH may attend this field course at full costs (no subsidies).
O3 credits3GT. Vietor, P. Huggenberger
AbstractThis course focuses on the integration of geo-scientific and technical knowledge for the assessment of long-term safety and engineering feasibility of shallow and deep repositories for hazardous and radioactive wastes and for the clean-up of contaminated sites.
ObjectiveThe students learn about the requirements for safe storage/disposal of different types of waste that. They learn that - according to the different chemical and physical properties - there are different requirements for the performance of the waste, engineered and geological barriers. They learn the criteria that are necessary in landfill planning, site evaluation and/or characterization projects or when they are involved in a critical review of a proposed project. The students understand that waste disposal in landfills and in deep geological repositories are interdisciplinary projects and that it implies a high degree of interdisciplinary communication between earth scientists (all sub-disciplines, e.g. mineralogy, sedimentology, rock mechanics, hydrogeology, geophysics, geochemistry), engineers and safety assessment modellers.
The students understand that there may be interactions between the repository components (waste and engineered barriers) and host rock, and, in the case of landfills, repositories act as chemical reactors influencing the technical and geosphere barriers. They are able to take this into account when designing experimental programs designated to understand these processes.
Based on knowledge the students have gained from other courses (hydrogeology, basic principles of contaminant transport, underground excavations etc.) they are able to build up project-oriented geological models of shallow and deep disposal sites. They learn to take this into account when designing geological investigation and Monitoring programs in order to acquire all data that are necessary for an assessment of the performance and the long-term safety of a repository.
The students are aware that long-term safety has an influence on repository design and construction. They realize that this has to be taken into account in engineering and are able to design appropriate investigation programs.
ContentThis lecture course comprises a series of lectures with exercises and excursions. The course is subdivided in two parts: Part 1, Landfills and contaminated sites (lecturer Peter Huggenberger), Part 2, Deep Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste (lecturer Andreas Gautschi). Topics addressed in the course are
- principles of environmental protection in waste management and how this is applied in legislation.
- role and character of heterogeneities of frequently used geological barriers
- chemistry underlying the leaching of contaminants from the landfilled/contaminated material
- Technical barrier design and function
- Contaminated site remediation: Site evaluation, concepts and methods, advanced monitoring, remediation technologies
- Concepts and long-term safety in radioactive waste management
- Clay rocks and fractured hard rocks as transport barriers for contaminants
- Engineering geology in deep geological disposal
- Investigation methods in deep boreholes (data acquisition for the assessment of long-term safety and data relevant for repository layout and construction)
Lecture notesElectronic copies of overheads
LiteratureA list of recommended literature and internet links will be made available.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is compulsory for the MSc Earth Science Engineering Geology.

Recommended background for other geoscientists: Basic knowledge in geochemistry, hydrogeology, (borehole) geophysics, engineering geology
Engineering Geology: Industrial Internship
651-4071-00LIndustrial Internship Restricted registration - show details
Prerequisites: successful participation in the Compulsory Modules Fundamentals, Methods and Integration.

The Industrial Internship of the Engineering Geology Major should take place in the second MSc year after consultation with Dr. Ernst Kreuzer. Detailed regulations of this practical are published on the Engineering Geology Website.
O12 creditsexternal organisers
AbstractThe industry practical is supervised both from the industry partner and ETH and consists of technically and/or scientifically challenging work in the engineering geology domain. The regular duration of the practical is 2.5 month. The practical is is pre-defined in a work plan and concluded with a report written by the student.
ObjectiveThe goals of the industry practical are to become familiar with technical, economic, legal and communication issues of real-life work in private industry or technical administration.
  •  Page  1  of  1