Ground Modelling for Eurocode 7 (2nd Generation): Level 2

Ground Modelling for Eurocode 7 (2nd Generation): Level 2
Eurocode 7 (EC7) now mandates that all ground engineering requires a model of the ground to be made - the “Ground Model”. Level 2 provides training in how the data to generate such a model can be sensibly used to quantify volumes of material, directions of groundwater flow, maps of sub-surface boundaries, and identify risks associated with the ground described by the model; in general, the limits and application of a Ground Model for engineering purposes and its usefulness in hand-checking and constraining similar predictions made by software.

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Level 2 uses and builds upon the knowledge gained and used in Ground Modelling for Eurocode 7 (2nd Generation): Level 1.

The course provides training in predicting the answers to commonly asked questions of site geology. The exercises use real data of the sort normally available at the early stages of a ground engineering project: guidance on how the models are generated from such data is provided in Level 1 and that knowledge will be required to solve the problems in Level 2.

A unique feature of these modules is that they allow a learner to interact with ground data for each site and thus develop understanding and judgement in the subject. Guidance on crucial stages in using such models is provided and interactive visual displays of the ground models generated in answer to the questions enable a learner to see their model in 3D. Illustrated worked solutions are provided for each question so that they become part of the learning process making the training in Level 2 suitable for geologists and engineers.

By completing the course, leaners with gain a practical competence in the subject and an ability to hand-check digital models of the ground generated by software.

Upon completing this course, leaders are recommended to enrol on Ground Modelling for Eurocode 7 (2nd Generation): Level 3, which naturally builds on the knowledge attained during this course.


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 020 7665 2458 for further advice.

Basic skills in creating a ground model are developed through four modules of increasing complexity, each for a different site in a different geological setting. The four modules together provide experience in establishing vertical profiles for a site and their use to create a 3D model of site geology. Each ground model is then used to answer questions on volumes to be excavated, risks perceived for tunnelling, direction and velocity of groundwater flow, and contours of subsurface boundaries.

For each site a map of the surrounding topography and geology is provided plus an air photo, together with photographs from an Agent’s walk-over survey and a borehole log from existing records; these form the basic Resources for an exercise. Boreholes can be virtually drilled across a site to achieve depth to strata boundaries and a record of such intrusive investigations can be made.

Levels 1 to 3 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.


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 50years’ 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.


In total the exercises will require approximately 24 hours of study to complete.

Please note that the eLearning licence is valid for 6 months only from date of purchase.

Level 2 builds on these skills attained in Level 1 to provide training in the use of data and for establishing ground models at both site scale and at scales that go beyond site boundaries, as required by EC7. The exercises illustrate how to:

  • Quantify volumes of ground between differently inclined geological boundaries.
  • Identify the risks for excavation through the ground as modelled.
  • Calculate the direction and velocity of groundwater flow across the ground as modelled.
  • Contour uneven geological surfaces below ground level separating different materials and those above or below a water table.
  • Hand-check the reasonableness of such calculations generated by software from digital models of the ground.


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.

The knowledge and techniques used in Level 1 will be required to complete the exercises in Level 2; these are listed in the Programme and Learning objectives for Level 1. The exercises in this Level are suitable for:

  • Civil Engineers with some experience in ground engineering (including geo-environmental engineers and hydrogeologists) who now seek a clear understanding of how such models are made, how they can be used in practice, the sensible limits to their use and their ability to provide a hand-check on predictions made by software from digital models of the ground.
  • Engineering geologists and other geoscientists who need to justify a ground model for the purposes of design, ground investigation, analyses, assessment of ground-based risk, and construction, quantify their model in terms that are useable for geotechnical, geo-environmental and hydrological practice, and provide a hand-check on predictions made by software from digital models of the ground.

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