Marine Geotechnology

Lecturers: Achim Kopf


The field of Marine Geotechnics covers a wide range of natural sciences, most importantly (geo)physics, soil/rock mechanics, and engineering sciences. It responds to the growing need of a better understanding of geoprocesses along continental margins and on the shelf, especially since these areas undergo heavy use by the energy, telecommunication, and hydrocarbon industries.

Lectures and seminars in Marine Geotechnics follow a manyfold approach.
First, the developments of in situ characterization of sediment physical properties are introduced. Second, the soil mechanical background of geoprocesses will be simulated in the laboratory. Here, specific attention is drawn to problems in applied geosciences, such as offshore construction, coastal management, etc.
Third, drilling and logging technology will be introduced.
Fourth, state-of-the-art research on underwater technology, especially long-term observatories will be explained.

The course is given in two parts, one covering general aspects in geotechnical laboratory procedures, logging/drilling techniques, etc. It is held as a series of lectures followed by discussion based on recent research achievements. During the second half, the participants choose topics out of the suite of marine geotechnical subjects and present critical papers and scientific progress to their colleagues and lead the discussion of them.


The student will have basic knowledge concerning the wealth of geotechnical research and applied geotechnology in the marine realm, and to start to learn how research papers built on that knowledge


The grade will largely reflect the quality of the oral presentation (and handout, if provided), but also how the student contributes to discussion of the other presentations and during lecturing.


seminar talk


Maltman (Ed.), 1994. The geological deformation of sediments
Lambe & Whitman, 1969, Soil mechanics
Devereux, 2000. Drilling technology
Dahlin et al. (Eds.), 2006. European operational oceanography: Present and future