Subject: Engineering Geology and Topography

Scientific Area:

Civil Engineering


80 Hours

Number of ECTS:

7,5 ECTS



Overall objectives:

1 - The student will understand the earth as dynamic planet. They will recognize and value the role of geological and geotechnical knowledge for sensible decision making in civil engineering works.
2 - The student should: be able to use and interpret plans and topographical maps, or any other elements of cartography; acquire knowledge necessary for the use of equipment for surveying and perform a survey of an area, zone or territory.


1 - Introduction to geology: Earth's internal structure; Lithosphere dynamics; Magmatism; Sedimentogenesis; Metamorphism; Material deformation of the lithosphere; Petrogenetic cycle. Identify the fundamental lithological types of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks through macroscopic criteria, and recognize the strategic importance of geological materials.
2 - Engineering geology: geology of Portugal and the Madeira archipelago. Applied geology to civil engineering. Geological cartography. Rock masses' classifications for civil engineering purposes. Discontinuities. Slope stability. Geological and geotechnical survey and characterization: methodology, sources of information, geophysical prospection, mechanical prospection and in situ testings
3 - Topography: Notions of geodesy and cartography; coordinate systems and projection; terrain fundamental shapes and its representation in plan; terrain representation methods; areas and volumes evaluation; direct and indirect measurement of distances; measurements of gaps, methods and corrections to be made; geometric and trignometric leveling ; planimetric survey simple and compound; polygonal, compensation of closed polygonal.


L. González Vallejo, M. Ferrer, I. Ortuño, C. Oteo , 2002 , Ingeniería Geológica , Prentice Hall
J Casaca, J Matos, M Baio , 2005 , Topografia Geral (5ª Edição) , Lidel
WK Hamblin, EH Christiansen , 2004 , Earth's Dynamic Systems (10th edition) , Prentice Hall
Instituto Geográfico do Exército "IGEOE" , 2004 , Manual de leitura de cartas ,
Instituto Geológico e Mineiro , 1999 , As Cartas Geológicas ao Serviço do Desenvolvimento ,

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
2 Exams (40% each): The evaluation includes two exams that covers several topics of the curricular unit to assess the capacity of the student to relate different concepts of the curriculum. 2 Pratical works (10% each): These works will be evaluated by a written report, presentation or discussion. It lets the student to develop writting competences, presentation of results and to develop oral communication competences and team-work.