Geotechnical engineering
Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials
Earth materials
Earth materials is a general term that includes minerals, rocks, soil and water. These are the naturally occurring materials found on Earth that constitute the raw materials upon which our global society exists. Earth materials are vital resources that provide the basic components for life,...

. Geotechnical engineering is important in civil engineering
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

, but is also used by military
Military engineer
In military science, engineering refers to the practice of designing, building, maintaining and dismantling military works, including offensive, defensive and logistical structures, to shape the physical operating environment in war...

, mining
Mining engineering
Mining engineering is an engineering discipline that involves the practice, the theory, the science, the technology, and application of extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment. Mining engineering also includes processing minerals for additional value.Mineral...

, petroleum
Petroleum engineering
Petroleum engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the activities related to the production of hydrocarbons, which can be either crude oil or natural gas. Subsurface activities are deemed to fall within the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry, which are the activities of...

, or any other engineering concerned with construction on or in the ground. Geotechnical engineering uses principles of soil mechanics
Soil mechanics
Soil mechanics is a branch of engineering mechanics that describes the behavior of soils. It differs from fluid mechanics and solid mechanics in the sense that soils consist of a heterogeneous mixture of fluids and particles but soil may also contain organic solids, liquids, and gasses and other...

 and rock mechanics
Rock mechanics
Rock mechanics is the theoretical and applied science of the mechanical behaviour of rock and rock masses;also compared to the geology, it is that branch of mechanics concerned with the response of rock and rock masses to the force fields of their physical environment.Rock mechanics itself forms...

 to investigate subsurface conditions and materials; determine the relevant physical/mechanical and chemical properties of these materials; evaluate stability of natural slopes
Slope stability
The field of slope stability encompasses the analysis of static and dynamic stability of slopes of earth and rock-fill dams, slopes of other types of embankments, excavated slopes, and natural slopes in soil and soft rock...

 and man-made soil deposits; assess risks posed by site conditions; design earthworks
Earthworks (engineering)
Earthworks are engineering works created through the moving or processing of quantities of soil or unformed rock.- Civil engineering use :Typical earthworks include roads, railway beds, causeways, dams, levees, canals, and berms...

 and structure foundations; and monitor site conditions, earthwork and foundation construction.

A typical geotechnical engineering project begins with a review of project needs to define the required material properties.