Geotechnics is the application of scientific methods and engineering principles to the acquisition, interpretation, and use of knowledge of materials of the Earth’s crust and earth materials for the solution of engineering problems. It is the applied science of predicting the behavior of the Earth and its various materials towards making the Earth more habitable to human activities.
Geotechnics embraces the fields of soil mechanics and rock mechanics, and many of the engineering aspects of geology, geophysics, hydrology, and related sciences. Geotechnics is practiced by both engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers.
Examples of the application of geotechnics include: the prediction, prevention or mitigation of damage caused by natural hazards such as avalanches, mud flows, landslides, rockslides, sinkholes, and volcanic eruptions; the application of soil, rock and groundwater mechanics to the design and predicted performance of earthen structures such as dams; the design and performance prediction of the foundations of bridges, buildings, and other man-made structures in terms of the underlying soil and/or rock; and flood control and prediction.