To determine the behavior of earth materials before construction.

Aqua Earth in business since 2002


Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials.

Aqua Earth provide geotechnical engineering services to scientifically investigate existing subsurface conditions and materials to determine their:

  • Physical/mechanical and chemical properties that are relevant to the project considered;
  • Assessing risks posed by site conditions,
  • Designing earthworks and structure foundations; and
  • Monitoring site conditions, earthwork and foundation construction.

This specialist field relies on the use of scientific methods and engineering principles to obtain, interpret and apply knowledge of geological conditions and materials for solving and preventing possible engineering and environmental problems. Investigations typically conducted prior to and in support of the development of all residential and small- to large civil structures and developments.

A typical Aqua Earth geotechnical engineering project starts with a review of the project needs to define the required material properties. Followed by a site investigation of soil, rock, fault distribution and bedrock properties on and below an area of interest to determine its engineering properties, including how it will interact with, on or in a proposed construction.

Site investigations are required to:

  • Gain an understanding of the project area and its properties.
  • Assess possible risks to humans, property and the environment from natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes, soil liquefaction, debris flows and rock falls.

A geotechnical engineer then determines and designs the type of foundations, earthworks, and/or pavement subgrades required for the intended man-made structures to be built. The engineer is required to:

  • Determine the soil conditions for foundations of various size structures that do not allow code-based design such as high-rise buildings, bridges, medium to large commercial buildings, and smaller structures.
  • Investigate and design foundations built for above-ground structures (shallow and deep foundations). These retaining structures include earth-filled dams and retaining walls.
  • Access and design earthworks that include embankments, tunnels, dikes, levees, channels, reservoirs, deposition of hazardous waste and sanitary landfills.

Coastal and Ocean Engineering

Aqua Earth also provide geotechnical engineering related to coastal and ocean engineering such as:

  • Coastal engineering that include the design and construction of wharves, marinas, and jetties.
  • Ocean engineering that can involve foundation and anchor systems for offshore structures such as oil platforms.

The fields of geotechnical engineering and engineering geology are closely related, and have large areas of overlap. However, the field of geotechnical engineering is a specialty of engineering, where the field of engineering geology is a specialty of geology.

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