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Course Description

Schoolcraft is excited to offer traditional credit face-to-face, hybrid, online, and remote classes. We are committed to providing students a safe experience based on recent COVID-19 concerns.

Please see the COVID-19 web page to learn more. Keep checking the schedule for additions on our New, Added, and Late Starting Courses web page.

Environmental Studies - ENVR 107

Soil Mechanics

4 Credit Hours
3 Lecture Hours
2 Laboratory Hours

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to soil mechanics and foundations and emphasizes practical applications that are supported by theory. The course concentrates on analytical techniques currently used by the environmental industry to understand the behavior of soils and to classify soils. Soil characteristics are explored by means of laboratory examination and testing techniques. Soils are classified using the US Department of Agriculture Classification System, the Unified Soil Classification System, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials System. Other topics include the fundamentals of groundwater, sanitary landfills and remediation and soil erosion.


(A requirement that must be completed before taking this course.)

Course Competencies

Upon successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Explain the origins of soil and the relevant concepts of geology.
  • Summarize the major developments in the field of geoenvironmental engineering.
  • Evaluate methods of subsurface exploration, including drilling techniques, exploratory trenches, and soil sampling techniques (Shelby Tube Sampler and Heavy Wall Sampler).
  • Compare in situ testing techniques, such as the Standard Penetration Test, Cone Penetration Test, and Pressure Meter Test.
  • Interpret weight - volume relationships using a phase diagram, which illustrates the relative proportions of solids, water, and air in a soil.
  • Explain the three Atterberg limits, used to evaluate the relationship between the consistency of the soil and moisture content.
  • Determine the classification of a soil sample using the United States Department of Agriculture Classification System, the America Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Classification System, and the Unified Soil Classification System.
  • Develop a hands-on knowledge base of soil mechanics.
  • Determine the physical characteristics of soil, including the Atterberg limit, moisture content, and moisture density.
  • Compare construction techniques to see how these techniques depend on the physical properties of soils.
  • Perform basic calculations that are currently used in engineering firms.
  • Calculate the flow of groundwater through a piezometer using the elevation head, pressure head, and the velocity head.
  • Explain the importance of Darcy's Law, which describes the movement of water though a permeable material.
  • Evaluate a hypothetical situation to determine sources of contamination and remediation strategies.
  • Compare several strategies for improving the properties of soil for geotechnical engineering projects.

Course Schedule

Currently no sections of this class are being offered.

Key: Day of the Week

  • T = Tuesday
  • R = Thursday
  • S = Saturday
  • X = Sunday