Introduction to Ground Modelling

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 Introduction to Ground Modelling (Online)The online training option, available to you anytime, anywhere. Concise, consolidated training programmes suitable for those with time, location and/or financial constraints who are still wishing to benefit from ICE’s high standard of training for professional development.

Introduction to Ground Modelling (Online):
£308.00 +VAT
You are not able to order this product on behalf of a delegate. This product will be linked to your email address for use by you as an individual.

 Enterprise LicenceEnterprise licence: A multi-licence online package. Purchase an annual licence to the modules of your choice across your company.

Enterprise Licence:
For more information, please call +44 (0)20 7665 2306 or email

If your organisation has specific time, location, and learning and development objectives, we can tailor this programme to suit your needs.

To discuss the tailored training options available to you with one of our In-house training account managers, fill out the enquiry form below or call +44 (0)20 7665 2498

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The purpose of a site investigation is to identify the ground conditions which may affect a particular development and to arrive at an understanding of the site and immediate surroundings which will allow safe and economic development. (AGS Guidelines for Good Practice in Site Investigation (Issue 2) Published by the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists).

GroundModels provides a unique inter-active learning system designed to raise the competence of those in Ground Engineering who have to arrive at an understanding of the site and immediate surroundings.


Learning of this kind was initiated by Dr Herbert Lapworth in his original course of Geology for Engineers for the Institution of Civil Engineers in London in 1907; Dr Lapworth was awarded the Institution’s Gold Medal for this work. His course was then transferred to what is now Imperial College London where it formed the roots for Engineering Geology.

Making such exercises inter-active was later developed at Delft University by Prof. David Price who incorporated the means of “purchasing” ground investigation data. The exercises were tested, used and developed at Imperial and proved to be immensely powerful instruments for teaching.


Please note that the eLearning licence is valid for 12 months only from date of purchase.


The online training option, available to you anytime, anywhere. Concise, consolidated training programmes suitable for those with time, location and/or financial constraints who are still wishing to benefit from ICE’s high standard of training for professional development.


Bespoke training programmes. These are delivered by our tutors at a time, in a location and based on a curriculum completely tailored to your needs. Ideal for organisations that have several employees wishing to take training in the same subject area, and/or have organisation-specific ideas for learning and development.

Programme Overview
GroundModels presents a series of exercises using typical site data to which further data can be added by purchasing virtual boreholes, to answer practical problems about the ground on site.

Also using geological and geotechnical data of the sort encountered in ground engineering projects; maps of geology & topography, air photos & sensed images, borehole logs, pictures from site, all usually of different ages, and the interactive opportunity to drill virtual bore holes.

Three levels of prior knowledge are addressed by the exercises within the Modules.

The Introduction to Ground Modelling elearning falls under:

Basic is targeted at engineers and environmental scientists working with geology and geologists for the first time, and at geologists who have just started to work with ground engineers. For the non-geologist it assumes no prior qualification in geology other than an acquaintance with the subject. For the geologist it assumes an ability to deliver quantified and unambiguous illustrations for basic geology at a site scale.

Other learning levels are: Advanced and Developed.

Basic, Advanced and Developed modules each provide the user with training in the logic, understanding and practice required to deliver validated geological components of a Ground Investigation Report and a Geotechnical Design Report as now required by:
  • BS5930:2015 Code of practice for ground investigations.
  • BS EN 1997-1:2004+A1:2013 Eurocode 7. Geotechnical design. Part 1. General rules.
  • UK National Annex to BS EN 1997-1:2004+A1:2013 Eurocode 7. Geotechnical design. Part 1 General rules.
  • BS EN 1997-2:2007 Eurocode 7. Geotechnical design. Part 2. Ground investigation and testing.
  • UK National Annex to BS EN 1997-2:2007 Eurocode 7. Ground investigation and testing.


To gain the best experience of this course, please use a mobile device such as a laptop, mobile or tablet to view the course contents.  You will also need to use a pencil and paper to complete drawings required for the solutions.

This training module does not support screen readers. Please contact 02076652458 for further advice.

Michael H de Freitas
PhD. DIC. C.Geol, C.WEM.

Emeritus Reader in Engineering Geology at Imperial College London and Distinguished Research Fellow with over 50 years’ experience in the practice, consulting and teaching of geology for ground engineering, both in the UK and overseas, with numerous books and papers to his name.

Former Vice-President of the Geological Society of London, Chairman of its Engineering Group and Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology & Hydrogeology, Glossop Lecturer and William Smith medallist of the Geological Society, and Chevalier des Palmes académiques.

Member of revision committees and working parties for NERC, BSI, CIRIA , IAEG and Geological Society.

Andrew W Thompson

A geographer and cartographer since 1980, Andrew Thompson has managed geographic and mapping projects for central government departments, urban redevelopment corporations, and numerous geographic information publishers.

In his work for Groundwork Maps he specialises in project planning, geospatial analysis and geovisualisation. Recent work includes street networks, analysis for infrastructure planning, cartography (his maps have won a British Cartographic Society's Design Award medal) and the production of atlases, and ground modelling training courses.

He is a long-time Fellow of The Royal Geographic Society, and The British Cartographic Society.

Learning Objectives

The following skills are attained site scale and far-field scale by successfully completing the Modules.

  • Read, understand and interpret geological maps and stratigraphical successions.
  • Integrate topographic and land use information of different ages with the geology.
  • Incorporate data on rivers and springs into the geology.
  • Relate borehole data and vertical profiles to the local geology.
  • Interpret vertical profiles from borehole records.
  • Form an informed view of water tables on site.
  • Construct vertical cross sections in different directions so as to define basic site geology in 3D.
  • Develop a working knowledge of the concepts of dip and strike.
  • Construct 3-point solutions for defining and predicting geological and hydrogeological surfaces across a site in 3D space. 
  • Use 3-point solutions for predicting sub-outcrop maps for the geology on site including those of mined coal
  • Detect the likely presence and location of faults and assessment of their likely displacement.
Who Should Enrol?

Ground models are inter-disciplinary tools for ground engineering. The exercises therefore cater for:

  • Civil Engineers (including geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineers and hydrogeologists) who need to understand how such models are made and thus the sensible limits to their use.
  • Geoscientists and geologists who need to be able to justify and verify for the purposes of design, construction and risk, the model they have proposed and to present their model in terms that are useable for geotechnical, geoenvironmental and hydrogeological practice.
Additional Information
  • The answers to the questions require the maps of the sites to be printed and the graphical solutions required to be superimposed either directly onto the maps or onto tracing paper overlays; these then provide the paper basis for a hard-copy file of work demonstrating the competences of the user.
  • The hard-copy file of work can usefully be augmented by print-outs of the Resources provided including the Questions and the Answers, as the latter demonstrate the correctness of the user’s constructions and calculations based on them.
  • Use of the Geo-browser (the inter-active part of the exercises) can also be tabulated by downloading the vertical profiles obtained by using it and the notional cost of that data; a correct answer at low cost will reflect either a good understanding of both the problem and its means of solution, or luck. It is very unlikely that luck will play a significant part of the 4 problems in each of the three Modules.
  • Answers to the Self Assessment Questions should also be printed together with the evidence used to answer the question.
  • Each Module will probably take 8 hours of effort; the three Modules taken together will probably require 24 hours' work for most users.  The learning curve is steep but the problems increase in severity both within a Module and between one Module and the next.
Additional Information - Self Assessment Test


Your Certificate for Completing the Course of Study will display the mark you achieved completing these self-assessment tests.

In order to do well it is advised that you check your ability with the following competences before starting a test. You can do that by reading the notes below.

If you are unsure of some competence then return to the CPD work if needed – there’s no hurry; this is personal study. The test questions are extensions of the exercises you have completed so the more you study the site in question and its geology the better prepared you will be to cope with the questions asked.

Test for the Basic level

The questions will expect you to be able to:
  • Read a simple geological map
  • Interpret a simple geological map and stratigraphic succession
  • Draw vertical cross sections to display geology
  • Create a three-point solution to determine dip and strike from BH locations you have chosen
  • Integrate subsurface data with data from geological maps to provide the basis for a conceptual model of the ground on site.


Completion of each module is recognised by the award of a certificate confirming the following:

The candidate has completed a course of interactive study that has required
  • Reading geological maps and integrating their data with other relevant data;
  • Creating geological cross sections from borehole and map data;
  • Generating conceptual models of sub-surface geology which can be justified at site scale.

Copyright © 2014 Thomas Telford Ltd. All rights reserved. Registered company in England and Wales No. 2556636

Institution of Civil Engineers Thomas Telford

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