ancient times, Man has taken the soil or ground that is to be
used for the construction of various works such as roads,
buildings, water dams (Fig.
ports and mines into serious consideration.
Geology is a scientific branch of earth sciences which evaluates
the behaviour of the soil and rock where a construction will be
built. It evaluates the stability conditions of any rock mass or
soil which may create hazard or have any potential damage to
existing constructions or infrastructure near or around the
knowledge of the characteristics of the ground is achieved
through a geotechnical investigation, which is divided into site
and laboratory investigations.
aim of the site investigation is to understand the character of
the geological material. The composition and structure of the
geological formations, their thickness and side variations, the
main mechanical properties of the ground and the hydrogeology
of the area are the data obtained by the evaluation.
laboratory investigations include a number of tests (Fig.
and analyses on samples collected during the site investigation.
The aim of the laboratory test is to gain the physical and
mechanical properties of the ground as well as its chemical and
main geotechnical problems that occur in Cyprus are: slope
failures and landslides (Fig.
rock falls (Fig.
and, foundation settlements (Fig.
Slope failures (Photo
M5) may originate from the
structural, mineralogical and hydrogeological conditions of the
rock or soil. This phenomenon has been observed at the dumping
sites of mining areas in Cyprus due to their physical properties
and lack of proper design practices of the dumped material. Rock
falls are observed mainly in the mountainous areas of Cyprus and
in natural and manmade slopes. They are mainly related to
and rainfall conditions.
clays and gypsum are the main soil types in Cyprus that are
related to foundation settlements.
settlements or subsidence of civil structures can also be caused
by the development of void spaces or caves in the ground called
sinkholes (Photo M1). The
foundation settlements are highly related to the geological
conditions and mechanical properties of the ground in the
Limestone is another rock type that sinkholes or caves can be developed in due to its dissolution by water. In Cyprus, the dissolution of limestones appears to be rather limited, forming small, irregular surface caves or complex underground voids and drainage systems leading to the development of karstic springs. Underground dissolution voids are difficult to identify from the surface and constitute a serious potential problem in the stability of civil structures.