Prof. Bailey Willis, engineering geologist (Stanford faculty 1915-1949)
Bailey Willis, NAS (1857-1949) was born in Idyllwild, New York. He attended Columbia School of Mines, where he was granted diplomas as Engineer of Mines in 1878 and Civil Engineering in 1879, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Berlin in 1910. His scholastic training in mining geology and civil engineering probably made him the first formally trained engineering geologist in America. He worked for the U.S. Geological Survey between 1884-1916, carrying out field work in many parts of the United States. After working as a special agent to the 10th U.S. Census (1879-1881), he was given charge of the Pacific Division of the Northern Transcontinental Survey of the U.S. Geological Survey between 1884-89; from which he became geologist in charge of the Appalachian Division, USGS, between 1889-91; thence editor of geologic maps for folios of the Geologic Atlas of the United States (1891-93). In 1895-97 he was given charge of USGS studies in the Cascade Range and Puget Sound Basin, then returned to his duties on the Geologic Atlas of the U.S. between 1897-1902. In 1897 he was one of the four original civil servant geologists hired by the USGS as permanent appointees (Ransome, Mendenhall, Spencer, and Willis).
In 1902 he embarked on an overseas career, travelling to China under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington during 1903-04. He was a lecturer at Johns Hopkins (1895-1902), the University of Chicago (1909), and detached himself to the Ministry of Public Works of Argentina in 1911-15.
In 1915 he succeeded John Branner as Head of the Department of Geology and Mining at Stanford until 1922, from whence he retained his residence and position as professor emeritus, until his death 27 years later. During his remarkable retirement Willis continued to work all over the world, and published extensively on the structure of East Africa and Patagonia. He was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences in 1920, the second professsor from California to be so honored.
He served as President of the Seismological Society of America between 1920-25. In 1923 Willis authored a series of articles on Earthquake Risk in California in the SSA Bulletin. In these Willis asserted that the underwriters of insurance in California should estimate a severe earthquake occurring somewhere in California more or less loss, every 25 years. Additional articles followed, mostly within the insurance underwriting literature, over the next few years. He particularly emphasized measurements of crustal strain and dilation being made by the USGS in vicinity of Palmdale, which were suggestive of increasing strain along the southern San Andreas Rift (these turned out to be incorrect, but Willis didn’t know that).
Willis’ assertions received an enormous boost in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Santa Barbara in late June 1925. The quake damage and Willis’ dire predictions caused earthquake insurance rates to skyrocket between 100% and 2,200% in a single year (in 1927-28). In 1927 the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce hired retired USGS geologist Robert T. Hill to prepare a formal response to Willis’ doomsday assertions, summarized in a book titled Southern California Geology and Los Angeles earthquakes, released by the Southern California Academy of Sciences in late March 1928. Despite the fact that Hill’s book was stuffed with nonsensical arguments (e.g. there is…”absolutely no risk of damaging earthquakes to Los Angeles and vicinity,” etc.), it had the desired impact of lifting the embargo on construction loans in the Los Angeles area. It would be several more decades (after the Imperial Valley earthquake of 1940) before Willis’ dream of seismic provisions in building codes would be adopted in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In 1934 Willis and Berkeley geology Professor Andrew Lawson got into a heated debate about the stability of the serpentine foundation supporting the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. Lawson had been named consulting geologist for the bridge project in the late 1920s and had supervised the initial exploration of the anchor and tower sites in 1929-30, which included six exploratory holes and a plate load test of the South Tower, beneath 65 feet of water, about 1,125 ft off Fort Point. The plate load test employed a 20 inch square steel post, which withstood a normal force of 33 tsf before bearing failure, which was more than double the intentioned structural load. In early 1934 excavations for the south Tower began, and over 60,000 yds3 of rock was removed with aid of explosives. The excavations were carried down to a depth of approximately -100 feet below sea level, to create a suitable socket in the Franciscan Mélange. Additional core borings were carried out at this time, including one hole taken to -259 ft below sea level. Once the foundation socket was excavated, new plate load tests were carried out using 12-inch square columns of wood, loaded with iron ingots on a steel plate. These tests indicated a bearing capacity of 33 tsf, while the towers design load was only 11 tsf. After the caisson was de-watered Willis made a personal inspection of the mélange exposed in the excavation. He felt that the seams of serpentine could serve as planes of weakness that could cause a catastrophic failure of the South Tower. This criticism from such a respected luminary of engineering geology created considerable consternation, but Lawson’s views prevailed because he was project geologist and the Board of Consultants (O.H. Ammann, Charles Derleth, and Leon S. Moisseiff) felt that the margin of safety for bearing (FS = 3) was adequate. The two giants of Bay Area geology never collaborated or served on any panels again. Willis continued writing books of structural geology with his son Robin Willis (BA Geol 1920; MA 1923 Stanford) and teaching geology courses at Stanford until he died in 1949, at the age of 92.
Prof. Eliot Blackwelder (Stanford faculty 1922-45)
Like C.F. Tolman, Eliot Blackwelder, PhD, NAS (1880-1969) was born in Chicago and attended the University of Chicago from 1897-1901, working under R. D. Salisbury. He taught at Chicago for two years before embarking for China with Bailey Willis as part of the geological expedition sponsored by the Carnegie Institution. Upon his return he taught geology at the University of Wisconsin from 1905 until 1916, during which time he spent his summers mapping various parts of the western US and working on his doctorate at the University of Chicago, which he completed in 1914. From 1916-19 he taught at the University of Illinois, spending his summers in Alaska mapping for the USGS. He came to Stanford as a visiting professor in the summer of 1919, but cut his anticipated stay short when he accepted a position as chief geologist of Argus Oil Co. in Denver. The lure of academia, with summer studies in new locations and writing up his thoughts, brought him to Harvard’s faculty in 1921. When Bailey Willis retired in 1922, he enticed Blackwelder to succeed him as chair of the geology program at Stanford, a position he held until his retirement in 1945.
Blackwelder’s professional interest centered around field geology, with particular emphasis on the geomorphology of desert landforms and alpine glaciation. His work on debris flows in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah (in the 1920s), agents of rock weathering and exfoliation, sand blasting, moraines, landslides, fault scarps, alpine lakes, Pleistocene lakes in the Great Basin (like Lake Manley, which became playas), desert varnish, talus slopes, and even meteor craters had an enormous impact on geomorphology and engineering geology practice in the western United States. His work on the evolution of the Colorado River across Utah and Arizona influenced many of the engineering decisions of his era, when major dams were being planned. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1936 and served as president of the Geological Society of America in 1940 and Seismological Society of America in 1947-49. After he stepped down as geology department chair in 1945 he focused his energies on helping achieve a lasting peace between developed nations by aligning himself with the Atlantic Union, rebuilding Europe after the Second World War.
Prof. Siemon W. Muller (Stanford faculty 1930-70) – originator of the term permafrost
Siemon William (“Si”) Muller (1900-70) was born near the border between Siberia and Manchuria in 1900, where his Danish father was working on the Trans-Siberian Railway’s telegraph line. At the time of the Russian Revolution in 1917 Si was enrolled in the Russian Naval Academy at Vladivostok. He later escaped to Shanghai, where he was employed by an American firm and learned to speak English. He immigrated to the United States in 1921 and followed his older brother Bill to the University of Oregon where he received his BS in geology in 1927. He then received a graduate assistantship at Stanford, working for Prof. James Perrin Smith in paleontology and stratigraphy, receiving his master’s in 1929 and PhD in 1930. He was the geologist who discovered the enormous fossilized Ichthyosaurus fossils near the old mining town of Berlin, Nevada, where more than 40 of these creatures were documented, some over 50 feet long (now preserved with Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park). He immediately joined the Stanford geology faculty as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate in 1936 and professor in 1941, his career focusing on paleontology to interpret the origins and history of stratified deposits of the Mesozoic and Paleozoic in western North America, with particular emphasis on the stratigraphy of the Triassic Period.
With America’s entry into the Second World War in December 1941, the United States and Canada undertook construction of airfields and a trans Alaska-Canada (Alcan) Highway, the pioneer road of which was blazed during 1942. They encountered numerous problems with construction of frozen ground which became thawed, ruining their efforts. The Army Corps of Engineers turned to the U.S. Geological Survey, who upon during literature searches, soon found that the only published works on construction on frozen ground had been by the Russians in Siberia, so they searched for a competent and experienced American geologist fluent in Russian. This trail soon led to Si Muller at Stanford, and he was more or less “drafted” into federal service, as an employee of the USGS for the duration of the war.
With the Survey’s help in Washington, DC, Muller compiled an exhaustive summary of the Soviet literature on permanently frozen ground. By early 1943 Miller had translated and digested the available Russian literature and developed a brief for use by Army and US Bureau of Public Road engineers who were working to complete the Alcan Highway. Muller then conducted extensive field surveys of the Alcan Highway and the various locations proposed for American and Canadian airfields. He was accompanied by USGS geologists Robert F. Black, Robert E. Wallace, and Max Elias. It was at this time that Mueller coined the English term “permafrost” to describe permanently frozen ground, and it quickly took hold. The “permafrost research program” was then turned over to the USGS, which they have continued ever since. Muller was cited by the Army for his distinguished contributions to the war effort and received the Freedom Medal, the highest award then available to civilians (now called the Presidential Medal of Freedom). During the war everything Muller prepared was classified. After the war he sought to get his reports declassified so that other scientists could benefit from the considerable experience and expertise the Americans and Canadians had made during the war. In 1947 he privately published these notes as “Permafrost or Permanently Frozen Ground and Related Engineering Problems” (J. W. Edwards, Inc., Ann Arbor). This 231 page tome became most cited text on that subject of all time, in large part because of Muller’s beautiful pen and ink drawings, which include numerous illustrative cross sections, as well as his technical summaries of the Russian literature, including their photos and drawings. .
During the post-war period Muller’s increasing international notoriety for his work in permafrost interrupted his work with stratigraphy and paleontology. One of his students, Troy L. Pewe, CEG completed a doctoral dissertation on permafrost in the Fairbanks area in 1952, working with the USGS. Pewe became one of the academic experts on the subject for the balance of his career. Sometime in the early to mid-1950s Muller began preparing a more comprehensive manuscript on the subject of permafrost and related engineering problems, which he appears to have worked up through 1962-63, but not thereafter (the latest references he cites are in 1962). Muller retired from the Stanford faculty in 1964, and died unexpectedly in his sleep on September 9, 1970.
In the fall of 1970 Muller’s papers and research materials on permafrost were passed onto his protégée Professor Pewe at Arizona State University, who then passed them onto Prof. Hugh M. French at the University of Ottawa in July 1996. French dove into Muller’s papers and was delighted to discover the typed manuscript, which he and Prof. Frederick E. Nelson at the University of Delaware eventually appeared in 2007, 37 years after Muller’s death. The book was titled “Frozen in Time: Permafrost and Engineering Problems,” and was published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (it is more elegantly illustrated than Muller’s 1947 text).
Prof. Stanley N. Davis, CEG (Stanford faculty 1954-1966)
Stanley Nelson Davis (1924-2007) was born of American parents in Rio de Janeiro, but grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. He served in the Army in the Pacific Theater from 1943-46. He then attended the University of Nevada-Reno on the GI Bill, receiving his BS in geology in 1949. He continued his education at the University of Kansas working under John C. Frye (MS 1951), then taught at the University of Rochester, while working on his doctorate at Yale under Richard Foster Flint.
He began teaching at Stanford in 1954 and secured his Ph.D. in 1955. His scientific interests spanned many different aspects of applied geology and hydrogeology, including microstrains produced by the withdrawal of ground water, groundwater tracers, examining natural radionuclides in groundwater, and the history of hydrogeology. Beginning in 1958 he served on numerous panels and committees examining the disposal of radioactive waste below ground, at Savannah River, Hanford, Oak Ridge, and the Nevada Test Site. He credited his Stanford colleague Konrad B. Krauskopf for encouraging him to find the right balance between scholarship, research, and teaching. Davis is best remembered for his textbook Hydrogeology, co-authored by Princeton Hydrogeology Professor Roger DeWiest (PhD civil engineering ’59 Stanford), which appeared in 1966. It was the seminal text on the subject for three decades, and was translated into Spanish, Russian, and Japanese. He supervised the theses of dozens of master’s students and 20 PhDs. Some of his PhD students at Stanford included Francis R. Hall and Ray Pestrong, who went onto academic careers.
In 1966 Davis left Stanford to become chair of the geology program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, then onto Indiana University at Bloomington. In 1975 he moved to the University of Arizona to assume the chair of the Department of Hydrology & Water Resources, where he remained until his retirement. In 1976 he co-authored the text Geology, Our Physical Environment with his former Stanford student Ray Pestrong and University of Buffalo Dean Paul H. Reitan. In 2000 he prepared notes for the Chester C. Kisiel Memorial Lecture titled “Our heroes in hydrogeology and their messages for today,” a concise overview of how hydrogeology evolved and the role that many Stanford faculty and students contributed to it.
Prof. Richard H. Jahns, CEG – Dean, School of Earth Sciences (1965-83)
A native of Los Angeles, Richard H. “Dick” Jahns, CEG (1915-83) grew up in Seattle. He entered Caltech at age 16 (1931), while living with his grandparents in Alhambra. He received his BS in geology in1935, followed by an MS at Northwestern in 1937. He then took a position with the USGS while working on his doctorate at Caltech in 1939, which he completed in 1943. He joined the geology faculty at Caltech in 1946, where he remained until 1960. During that time, he was part of the team that evaluated the subsidence of the Wilmington Oil Field, which impacted the Baldwin Hills Reservoir. While teaching at Caltech he began working with Caltech soil mechanics Professor Fred Converse, and developed a course in engineering geology for geology and civil engineering students. He also developed a life-long relationship with Los Angeles home builder Barney Morris, who later endowed the Morris Chair in Geology at Stanford (1985).
Dick accepted the position as department chair at Penn State in 1960, then Dean of the College of Mineral Industries, in 1962. In the summer of 1965 he moved to Stanford to become the Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, and his first administrative action was to establish a separate Department of Applied Earth Sciences, which included engineering geology. Dick’s course in engineering geology was one of the most popular on campus, and he continued teaching it every fall, even after his retirement in 1979.
Dick Jahns had an enormous impact on the development of grading and excavation codes during the 1950s, when Los Angeles was bursting with hillside development. He served on the first ad hoc Geologic Hazards Committee appointed by the City of Los Angeles in January 1956. This led to the establishment of the City of Los Angeles Engineering Geologist Qualifications Board in February 1958, to which he was appointed Chairman. The board prepared a document titled “Desired Content of Geological Reports,” which was edited by Jahns and widely distributed, beginning in May 1960. In June 1962 Jahns refined this with a follow-on document titled “Desired content of geological reports submitted to the Department of Building & Safety, City of Los Angeles.”
After moving to Stanford, he was one of the original members and elected the first Chairman of the California Seismic Safety Commission when it was formed in 1975, serving until his death in 1983. He possessed a vibrant sense of humor and self-demeaning character that endeared him to most everyone he met. He passed away on December 31, 1983 at the age of 68, much to everyone’s regret. Some of Dick’s students who went onto distinguished careers in engineering geology included: Clarence R. Allen, Gordon Eaton, Gene Shoemaker, Perry Rahn, Tom Holzer, John Williams, Karl Vonder Linden, Jim Baker, Kerry Sieh, Gary Holzhausen, Rex Upp, Betsy Mathieson, Peter Davies, and Randy Jibson, among others.
Prof. Arvid M. Johnson, CEG (Stanford faculty 1965-78)
Arvid Johnson grew up on a ranch near Dee, Oregon, north of Mt Hood. He studied geology at Portland State and the University of Oregon (BA Geol ’58). He then mapped the geology of Malhuer County in eastern Oregon for his master’s thesis (MA ‘61 Oregon). He did his doctorate on debris flow mechanisms under Gene Williams at Penn State, graduating in 1965. Dick Jahns was on his thesis committee, which helped him secure a faculty position at Stanford, both men moving west in the late summer of 1965. Arvid was a true “renaissance man,” whose interests were broad rather than narrow. His initial research emphases were in structural geology, geomechanics, engineering geology, and surficial processes. His first book, titled Physical Processes in Geology was published by W.F. Freeman in 1970, and considered the classic work in this field for many years thereafter. His pioneering work on debris flow mechanisms was of tremendous import to applied geology and geomorphology. In 1974 he co-authored Analysis of the Mobilization of Debris Flows (with Jim Rodine and Ernie Rich), which became an oft-cited reference by the next generation of researchers, who included a number of Johnson’s former students, such as Monty Hampton and Dick Iverson.
Arvid was a registered geologist and certified engineering geologist in California and served as the first municipal geologist in the Bay Area when he was named the Town Geologist for Portola Valley in 1969. He established respected standards for geologic peer review and geohazard mapping, emulated by other municipalities for many years afterwards. Johnson enjoyed teaching courses on engineering and geological seismology and landslides. In the late summer of 1978 he left Stanford to take a position at the University of Cincinnati as Professor of Geomechanics and Dynamics. While there he worked with Atilla Kilinc to develop an innovative year long course called “Physical and Chemical Processes in Geology.” He also convinced the City of Cincinnati to hire their first engineering geologist (one of Arvid’s MS students, Rich Pohana) to help them evaluate the recurring problems with slope instability. He remained there until June 1988, when he accepted the position as Chairman of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University. During his Purdue years he undertook detailed studies of surface deformation during large earthquakes, documenting and explaining how surface cracking could be used as a guide to interpret deep seated tectonic deformation. He and colleague Ray Fletcher wrote a book titled "Folding of Viscous Layers," which is probably the most advanced mechanical analysis yet of the folding of layered rocks. He retired from Purdue in June 2003. Some of his graduate students who went onto notable careers in engineering geology included: David Pollard, Steve Ellen, Bob Fleming, James Rodine, Syd Peng, Monty Hampton, David Keefer, Alexander Soto, David Hoexter, Russ Dyer, Larry Murdoch, Bill Haneberg, Rex Baum, Rich Pohana, Kaj Johnson, and many others he influenced significantly, such as Gary Holzhausen and Richard Iverson.
Prof. Irwin Remson, CEG (Stanford faculty 1968-96)
Irwin Remson (1923-2013) was born in January 1923 and attended Columbia University for all of his education, receiving a BA in physics in 1946 a MA in geology in 1949. He then joined the US Geological Survey, where he helped develop unsaturated flow theory using theoretical methods, coupled with field verification. This work led to his successful completion of a PhD in Geology at Columbia, titled “Hydrologic studies at Seabrook, New Jersey,” awarded in 1954. He then accepted a position as Lecturer in Civil Engineering and Mechanics at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he rose to full professor rank by the time he departed, in 1968. That year he accepted a position as Professor of Geology at Stanford, bringing with him two of his Drexel graduate students, George Hornberger and Fred Molz. At Stanford he soon found hydrologists Ray Linsley and Joe Franzini in the civil engineering department and benefited from the mutual training and interdisciplinary cooperation that were to become Stanford hallmarks. Remson, Hornberger, and Molz collaborated to write the textbook Numerical Methods in Subsurface Hydrology, released by John Wiley & Sons in 1971. This quickly became one of the most most oft-cited references in hydrogeology. In 1970 Remson became a registered geologist and certified engineering geologist in California. In 1975 he was named Chairman of the new Department of Applied Geology at Stanford, which he held until in 1982.
Remson was one of the most productive faculty members at Stanford, pioneering new techniques of groundwater modeling, hydrologic optimization, solute transport, hydrogeology, and unsaturated flow. He taught courses on using the finite difference method, finite elements, hydrogeology, and the year-long course on environmental earth sciences. Remson also did an enormous amount of consulting work, which kept him in contact with the evolving standard-of-practice. His clients included the National Research Council, the Army Corps of Engineers, Oak Ridge National Lab, USGS, DOJ, DOE, MWD, Battelle, Rockwell, and many Bay Area firms. He retired from Stanford in 1996 at age 73, and died in February 2013, at the age of 90. During his career he co-authored more than 80 technical articles and supervised an impressive array of PhD and master’s students who went onto become respected academic leaders of hydrogeology, including: Leland Jan Turk (’70), Maurice D. Veatch (’70), George H. Hornberger (’70), Fred Molz (’70), Steve Egemier (’73), Mary Pikul Anderson (’73), Nick Sitar (’75), Jeff Gilman (’75), Richard Weiss (’80), Joe Poland (’81), John W. Reeder (’81), Steven M. Gorelick (’81), Peter B. Davies (’85), Eric Reichard (’85), Barbara Evans (’85), Richard Iverson (’85), Ken Belitz (’85), Steve Ingebritsen (’86), Jean Marie Bahr (’87), James J. Butler (’87), Hedeff Essaid (’88), Stuart Rojstaczer (’88), and Leah Lucille Rogers (’93).
Department of Applied Earth Sciences
The Department of Applied Earth Sciences was established in 1966, shortly after Dick Jahns arrived to take over the reins as Dean of the School of Earth Sciences. It was comprised of programs in Applied Earth Sciences, Geology, Geophysics, and Petroleum Engineering. The Applied Geology program allowed undergraduate students to emphasize the following specialties: Environmental Earth Sciences, Land Resources Planning, Metallurgy (with the School of Engineering), and Ore Deposits. In 1966 Jahns brought in Fredrick Christian ‘Fritz’ Kruger, RG (PhD ’41 Harvard), Chief Geologist of International Minerals and Chemical Corporation, to lead the applied geology program, which he did until 1975, when he was succeeded by Irwin Remson.
The graduate programs of study leading to MS, Engineer’s degree (The Engineer Degree required 90 quarter units and a thesis), or PhD degrees included: Applied Geomathematics, Applied Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology, Environmental Earth Sciences, Extractive Metallurgy and Materials Processing, Mineral Economics, Ore Deposits and Exploration, Petroleum Exploration, and Remote Sensing-Airborne Exploration.
In the 1970s the Applied Earth Sciences faculty included: Richard H. ‘Dick’ Jahns, CEG, Irwin Remson, CEG, Ronald J.P. Lyon, RG, John W. Harbaugh, RG, George A. Parks, Norman A. Parlee, Marco T. Einaudi, and Bernard Hallet (until 1980). Visiting and affiliated faculty included Paul Switzer, RG, Dick Meehan, PE, GE, George Mader, AICP, Jeffrey A. Gilman, CEG, CHG, and Jacob Rubin (1919-2007) (BS ’39; PhD Soil Physics ’49 Berkeley), chief scientist in the USGS Water Resources Division and founder of the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program.
Others who taught engineering geology at Stanford
Dick Jahns taught the graduate course in Engineering Geology each fall between 1966 until a few weeks before he died, in December 1983. From the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s geotechnical consultant Richard L. ‘Dick’ Meehan (President of Earth Science Associates) taught courses in Geotechnical Practice and Engineering Geology of Quaternary Sediments. A course in Engineering Geologic Mapping was taught by Dick Jahns, CEG, Arvid Johnson, CEG, Ernie Rich, RG, Bill Cotton, CEG, Tim Hall, CEG, and many of the more seasoned PhD students in the Applied Geology program, such as Steve Ellen, John Williams, Bob Fleming, Dave Pollard, Dave Keefer, Rex Upp, Richard Iverson, Randy Jibson, etc. A year-long series of three Environmental Earth Sciences courses were team-taught by hydrogeologist Irwin Remson, CEG and environmental planner George Mader, AICP. Each quarter there was also a graduate Seminar in Engineering Geology, coordinated by Dick Jahns, Arvid Johnson, or Bernard Hallet.
When Dick Jahns died in December 1983, Stanford tried to fill the gap by using engineering geologist Bill Cotton, CEG as an adjunct member of their faculty, because of his teaching abilities (he had taught at Pasadena and DeAnza Colleges for many years). Bill’s firm, Cotton-Shires & Associates, was growing rapidly and Bill was in much demand as an expert witness, so his term was limited to three years (1990-93). The program was more or less carried by Dick Meehan, GE, who had shut down Earth Science Associates in 1985, but maintained a consultancy on Welch Road, adjacent the Stanford campus. He taught courses once a year in engineering geology or geotechnical practice, up thru 2006. They also used Tim Hall, CEG (PhD Geol ’84 Stanford) of Geomatrix to lecture in engineering geology during the 1990s (he had also previously taught geology at DeAnza College).
Stanford trained engineering geologists
Stanford trained a significant number of engineering geologists who went onto stellar careers. These included: Harry R. Johnson (BA 1905), Robert B. Moran (BA 1907), J. Hyde Forbes (BA 1913), Joseph Poland (BA 1929; MA 1935), Cecil C. Kilingsworth (BA 1929; MA ’31), U.S. Grant, IV (PhD 1929), Edward J. Zielbauer (BA 1931); Ward C. Smith, RG (BA 1931), Ben Page (BA 1933), Bruce McCreary (BA 1939), Laurence B. “Larry” James (BA 1940), Ray Taber (BS ’48), Troy L. Pewe (PhD ’52), C. Eric Lindvall (MS ’58), Reuben Kachadoorian (MS ’58), Phil Burkland (BA ’59), Earl Brabb (PhD ’60), Fred A. Schilling (BA ’62), Doug Hamilton (MS ’62; PhD ’84), Ray Pestrong (PhD ’65), Steve Ellen (BS ’67, PhD ‘71), John Williams (MS ’68, PhD ’70), Tom Holzer (MS ’66, PhD ’70), Scott Burns (MS ’70), David K. Keefer (BS ’71, MS ’71, PhD ‘77), Jim Baker (BS ’71, MS 76), George Plafker (PhD ’72), Karl Vonderlinden (PhD ’72), Marjorie Korringa (PhD ’72), Pat Shires (BS ’72), Robert W. Fleming (PhD ’72), John C. Tinsley (MS ’72, PhD ’75), Tim J. Manzagol (grad studies ’73-’74), James Rodine (PhD ’74), David Hoexter (MS ’75), Nick Sitar (MS ’75; PhD ‘79), Jeffrey A. Gilman (MS ’75), Alexander Soto (MS ’75), Richard H. Hazen (BS ’76), Douglas Yadon (MSGE ’76), Sally Widhelm Bilodeau (MS ’76), Douglas M. Yadon (MS ’76), Charles H. Trautman (MS ’76), Matthew J. Brunengo (BS ’76, MS ’78); Kerry Sieh (PhD ’77), Gary Holzhausen (MS ’73, PhD ’78), Bill Bilodeau (PhD ’79), Patti Sutch (MS ‘79), Richard Weiss (MS ’80), John T. O’Rourke (MS ’80), Horacio Ferriz (MS ’80, PhD ‘84), Walter E. Dibble (PhD ’80), Roger Greensfelder (PhD ’81), Bill Fowler (MS ’82), Rex Upp (PhD ’83), Lauren Jelks Doyel (BS ’83), Betsy Mathieson (MS ’83), Dorothy Merritts (MS ’83), Richard Iverson (MS ’80, ‘81, PhD ’84), David R. Montgomery (BS ’84), Scott C. Lindvall (BS ’84), Steve Martel (MS ’84, PhD 2002), Tim Hall (PhD ’84), Jean Bahr (MS ’85, PhD ’87), David T. Schrier (BS ’85), Randy Jibson (PhD ’85), Linda Bond (MS ’86), Susan Forker (BS, MS ), and many others.
Joe Poland, Larry James, and Ray Taber were three of the ten founding members of the California Association of Engineering Geologists in Sacramento in 1956, which became the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG) in January 1963. Ed Zeilbauer was the last President of CAEG, in 1962 (which became AEG in January 1963).
Hyde Forbes, Consulting Engineer and Geologist (1921-61)
James Hyde Forbes, PE (1889-1961) was a graduate of Stanford University in engineering and geology in 1913, and a devoted protégé of Prof John Branner (1850-1922), who founded the geology and mining programs at Stanford. Forbes worked all over California and served in the Army Corps of Engineers during the First World War. Shortly after the war, he opened a consulting practice in Los Angeles. In April 1921 he moved his practice to San Francisco, where for many years he was based out of the Humboldt Bank Building in San Francisco, until his death in 1961. He consulted on numerous groundwater problems, including cases involving the Los Angeles Bureau of Waterworks & Supply in the early 1920s. He also worked with noted hydrologist Charles H. Lee (profiled below) for many years.
Forbes was the first true engineering geologist in California, but he never called himself by that title, always referring to himself as “consulting engineer and geologist.” He consulted on numerous slope stability problems around the SF Bay area in the 1930s and 40s. Examples would be: Geological report on Upper and Lower Narrows Dam sites on Yuba River, in April 1930; “Geological report on Friant, Fort Miller, and Temperance Flat dam sites on San Joaquin River,” State of California, Dept. of Public Works, Division of Water Resources (1930); and “Effect of Niles-Irvington section of the Haywards fault” in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 1949 v.39: 243-247. Forbes wrote a memorable article in 1947 ASCE Transactions titled “Landslide Investigation and Correction” which received ASCE’s James Laurie Prize in 1948.
His clients included Charles H. Lee, Western Pacific Railroad, California-Oregon Power Co., C&H Sugar, Hawaiian Territory, Dept of the Army, Dept of the Navy, AEC in Hanford, and the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco (after 1934, including the Broadway Tunnel), Oakland, etc.
Hyde Forbes’ son James H. Forbes, Jr., was President of Forbes, Hillendahl and Associates, an economic and planning research firm in the late 1950s-early 1960s. In the later years of his life Hyde Forbes provided expert testimony on water basins in the Oxnard Plain, listing his affiliation with Forbes, Hillendahl and Associates. Hyde Forbes also prepared several consulting reports for Forbes, Hillendahl and Associates, including “The demand for Sespe Creek water” (1961).
Killingsworth, Poland & Smith – Consulting Engineering Geologists (1932-39)
This was the first consulting engineering geology firm in California, established in Palo Alto sometime between 1932-35. It was founded by three Stanford University students of Professor C.F. Tolman: Cecil C. Kilingsworth, RG (AB ’29; MA ‘31 Stanford), Joseph F. Poland, CEG (AB Geol ’29 Harvard; MA ’35; PhD ‘81 Stanford), and Ward C. Smith, RG (AB Geol ’31 Stanford; PhD ’36 Yale). Most of their consultations dealt with developing groundwater supplies across northern California. They had previously worked with Stanford Professor C.F. Tolman on similar consulting assignments, across northern and central California.
Cecil Killingsworth (1909-73) was from southern California and had attended Whittier College before transferring to Stanford in 1926. Joe Poland (1908-91) was an instructor in geology at Stanford from 1936-38 and took the U.S. Geological Survey civil service examination in 1938. He was hired by the USGS Ground Water Branch, where he remained until retiring in 1974, working out of Long Beach and Sacramento. While serving as a USGS Research Hydrologist in Sacramento in 1957, he was one of the 12 founding members of what became the Association of Engineering Geologists (AEG). Ward Smith (1906-98) taught geology at Ventura College in 1932-33 and at Stanford’s summer geology field camps in 1931, ’32, ’36, and ’37. After completing his PhD, he taught at Pomona College from 1936-38. He joined the Mineral Deposits Branch of the USGS in 1938, where he remained for the next 33 years and was noted for his work on borates.
University of California – Berkeley threadline
The University of California was chartered on March 23, 1868 as California’s first Land-Grant public institution, which required all male students to receive voluntary military training. The university was originally centered around the Colleges of Civil Engineering, Mechanics, and Mining Engineering. The civil engineering and mechanics colleges were combined in 1931, and mining engineering was combined with the other engineering disciplines to form the university’s College of Engineering in 1942.
The Southern Branch of the University of California was established in 1919 in Los Angeles. It was moved to Westwood in 1927 and was re-named the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), allowing the flagship campus of the University of California system to increasing be referred to as “California,” the University of California, Berkeley, Cal Berkeley, or U.C. Berkeley.
The geology program at Berkeley
In September 1869 Joseph LeConte, NAS (1823-1901) joined the faculty of the new university as a professor of geology and natural history. LeConte had been educated as a physician, but after practicing medicine for three years, became a protégée of Louis Agassiz at Harvard studying geology. After his graduation from Harvard, he accompanied Agassiz on an expedition to explore the Florida Reefs in 1851-52. He taught geology at Franklin College for four years, followed by 12 years on the faculty of the University of South Carolina before moving to Berkeley. He visited Yosemite Valley the following summer (1870) and became fast friends with conservationist John Muir, who lived in nearby Martinez. LeConte was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1874, the first person in California to be so honored. At Berkeley he published his first textbook, Elements of Geology in 1877, which remained in print for 17 years and was used by colleges across the United States.
In 1890 LeConte retired and was succeeded by Andrew Lawson (1861-1952) (BA 1883 Toronto; MA 1885; PhD 1888 Johns Hopkins), who was joined by paleontologist John C. Merriam, NAS (1869-1945) (BS Geol 1891 Berkeley; PhD 1894 Univ Munich) in 1894, and mineralogist Arthur S. Eakle in 1900. One of Lawson’s lasting contributions to engineering geology and geomorphology was his coining of the term “fanglomerate” in 1913, to describe the very coarse deposits he kept finding in upper reaches of alluvial fans across California, which contain subangular blocks that have not been significantly abraded by tumbling down a channel (they are usually deposited by debris flows). These were first described in Lawson’s article The Petrographic Designation of Alluvial Fan Formations (Univ Calif Pubs, Bulletin of Department of Geological Sciences 7:15; 325-34).
Merriam was appointed to lead the new Department of Paleontology when it was established in 1912, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1917, the first professor from California so honored. He became head of the National Research Council in 1919, and ascended to the presidency of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1920, which he held for 18 years. During that time he fostered an unprecedented program of research in seismology on the Pacific Coast (which is why he’s mentioned here).
Although initially small, Berkeley’s geology program turned out some of the most influential geologists of the 20th Century. One of the program’s earliest graduates was Charles Palache, NAS (1869-1954), who took a BS degree in mining geology in 1891. He became Andrew Lawson’s first graduate student, receiving his PhD in geology in 1894. His graduate work included mapping the “Geology of the Berkeley Hills” (which missed identifying the Hayward fault), followed by his more expansive mapping of the San Francisco Peninsula, which was the first work to reveal the presence of the San Andreas Rift (this work was subsequently included in Lawson’s San Francisco Folio for the USGS, released in 1914). In 1902 Palache joined the geology faculty at Harvard, where he remained until retirement, in 1941. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1934.
The university’s first course in seismology was not offered until 1912, by Elmer F. Davis and later, by Jesuit Father James B. Macelwane (who went onto found the seismology program at St Louis University). In 1925 Lawson asked Perry Byerly, NAS (AB 1921; MA 1922, PhD Physics 1924 Berkeley) to join the Berkeley faculty and direct the two seismographic stations. He built up the Berkeley program in seismology and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1946. By the time he retired in 1965, the Berkeley Seismographic Station operated 16 stations.
By 1945 the geology department grew to seven faculty: Perry Byerly, Charles Gilbert, Norman E.A. Hinds, George Louderback, Adolf Pabst, Nicholas L. “Tucky” Taliferro, and Howell Williams. In the late 1940s the department attained international reputation when Williams hired petrologist Francis Turner from New Zealand and geophysicist John Verhoogen from Belgium. In 1963 the name of the department was changed to “Geology and Geophysics.” By 1968 the academic staff had grown to ten faculty in geology, including Garniss H. Curtis, PhD, RG (profiled with Ben Lennert, below), Chuck Meyer, PhD, RG, Clyde Wahrhaftig, PhD, RG, and Lionel Weiss, PhD, RG; and four more in geophysics, including Bruce A. Bolt, PhD, RG, RGP and Tom McEvilly, PhD, RGP.
In 2001 the department’s name was changed again, to “Earth and Planetary Science.” Adding these new fields resulted in further growth, to 21 faculty.
Engineering geology at Berkeley
Andrew C. Lawson, NAS (1861-1952) joined the university in 1891 and immediately began building up the fledgling geology and mining program begun by John Leconte. Shortly after the April 1906 San Francisco earthquake, he was named Chairman of the ‘State Earthquake Investigation Commission’ to make a scientific investigation of the earthquake. This work culminated in the publication of the “The California Earthquake of April 18, 1906. Report of the State Earthquake Investigation Commission,” commonly referred to as the “Lawson Report.” In 1924 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1928 he was named to the Board of Geologists for the design of the ‘Suisun Bay Bridge’ across the Carquinez Straits, between Benicia and Martinez. This board advised the Southern Pacific Railroad on where to locating the bridge across the Carquinez Straits, to avoid crossing the Southampton fault mapped by Lawson and his students. In 1929 Lawson was named to the External Review Panel to evaluate the San Gabriel Forks Dam by the Los Angeles county Flood Control District. Later that year the panel concluded that the proposed dam “cannot be constructed without creating a menace to life and property.” They recommended that an “earth and rock fill dam of conservative design” might be successfully employed at the site (between 1933-38 San Gabriel Dam No 1 was constructed as the world’s highest rockfill dam at a site two miles downstream).
Between 1929-37, Lawson also served as ‘Consulting Geologist’ on the Golden Gate Bridge. In 1934 Willis and Berkeley geology Professor Andrew Lawson got into a heated debate about the stability of the serpentine foundation supporting the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. Lawson had been named consulting geologist for the bridge project in the late 1920s and had supervised the initial exploration of the anchor and tower sites in 1929-30, which included six exploratory holes and a plate load test of the South Tower, beneath 65 feet of water, about 1,125 ft off Fort Point. The plate load test employed a 20 inch square steel post, which withstood a normal force of 33 tsf before bearing failure, which was more than double the intentioned structural load. In early 1934 excavations for the south Tower began, and over 60,000 yds3 of rock was removed with aid of explosives. The excavations were carried down to a depth of approximately -100 feet below sea level, to create a suitable socket in the Franciscan Mélange. Additional core borings were carried out at this time, including one hole taken to -259 ft below sea level. Once the foundation socket was excavated, new plate load tests were carried out using 12-inch square columns of wood, loaded with iron ingots on a steel plate. These tests indicated a bearing capacity of 33 tsf, while the towers design load was only 11 tsf. After the caisson was de-watered Willis made a personal inspection of the mélange exposed in the excavation. He felt that the seams of serpentine could serve as planes of weakness that could cause a catastrophic failure of the South Tower. This criticism from such a respected luminary of engineering geology created considerable consternation, but Lawson’s views prevailed because he was project geologist and the Board of Consultants (O.H. Ammann, Charles Derleth, and Leon S. Moisseiff) felt that the margin of safety for bearing (FS = 3) was adequate. The two giants of Bay Area geology never collaborated or served on any panels again.
F. Leslie Ransome, NAS (1868-1935) received his AB degree in geology in 1893 and his PhD in 1896. He was one of the four original civil servant geologists hired by the U.S. Geological Survey (Ransome, Mendenhall, Spencer, and Willis). He achieved considerable fame as a USGS economic geologist, based in Washington, DC, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 (the first Berkeley alumnus so honored, and 8 years before Andrew Lawson). During the last 15 years of his life Ransome served as the principal geologic consultant on an impressive array of engineering projects, including geologic mapping of the Boulder Canyon and Black Canyon Dam sites (1921-23), examination of the St. Francis Dam failure (1928), the design and construction of Hoover Dam (1931-32), and the feasibility studies for the massive Colorado River Aqueduct (1933-35).
George D. Louderback (1874-1957) received his AB in geology from Berkeley in 1896 and began teaching mineralogy in 1897, while working on his PhD, conferred in 1899. He then taught at Nevada-Reno and the Carnegie Institute for six years before returning to Berkeley in 1906 as an assistant professor of geology, remaining on the faculty until his retirement in 1944 (serving as Dean of Letters & Sciences from 1930-39). Louderback was a pioneering figure in applied geology and engineering geology, serving as the first secretary of the Seismological Society of America when it was established shortly after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. He served as SSA president in 1914 and in 1929-35, and as editor of the SSA Bulletin for many years, beginning in1935 and continuing without compensation, until he died in 1957. Professor Louderback was a member of many investigative boards, including the Governor’s Commission to Investigate the Failure of the St. Francis Dam in 1928. Some of his memorable contributions to engineering geology include: Geologic conditions at the St. Francis Dam site (1928); Geological conditions at Lafayette Dam (1930); Geologic report on Kennett, Iron Canyon, and table Mountain sites on Sacramento River (with F.L. Ransome) in 1933; Characteristics of active faults in central Coast Ranges of California with application to the safety of dams (1937); Characteristics of the Haywards fault (1939); Faults and earthquakes (1942); Faults and engineering geology (1950); and Geologic history of San Francisco Bay (1951).
Another early faculty member was John P. Buwalda (1886-1954), who received his AB degree from Berkeley in 1912, followed by a PhD in 1915. He taught geology at Yale (1917-21) before returning to Berkeley as part of their faculty from 1921-25. He was the first geologist to recognize the existence of the Hayward fault running through the Berkeley campus after mapping foundation excavations for Memorial Stadium, in 1921-22. Buwalda was lured to Caltech in 1925 to development their new Earth Sciences Division, which became the largest geology program in the world by the time he retired in 1947. Buwalda was a major figure in the development of engineering geology in the Western United States, mostly on water supply and public works projects. These included the Colorado River Aqueduct, numerous dams in southern California (including Garvey Reservoir, which was not built according to his recommendations, and was subsequently abandoned). One of Bulwalda’s last consultations was San Bernardino State College, which the State of California constructed astride the active strand of the San Andreas Fault, over Bulwalda’s vociferous objections.
In 1972 Luna Leopold, PE, RG, NAS (BSCE ’36 Wisconsin, MS Meteorology ’44 UCLA; PhD Geol ’50 Harvard) joined the faculty after stepping down as Chief Hydrologist of the USGS (from 1956-66). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1968 and recipient of the National Medal of Science in 1991. His work in hydrology and fluvial geomorphology influenced engineering and environmental geology.
In 1982 William E. “Bill” Dietrich, NAS (BA Geol ’72 Occidental; MS ’75, PhD ’82 Washington) joined the geology faculty. Trained as a hydrologist and fluvial geomorphologist with Bill Dunne at the University of Washington, he made significant contributions to understanding the evolution of colluvial filled bedrock ravines, debris flow triggering mechanisms, and developing new techniques for mapping and assessing slope stability in forested watersheds, which have influenced engineering geology practice, world-wide. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003.
Berkeley-trained engineering geologists
U.C. Berkeley trained a significant number of engineering geologists who went onto stellar careers. These included: Leslie Ransome (BA 1893), George Louderback (BA 1896), Chester Marliave (BS 1907), John Buwalda (BA 1912), Parker Trask (PhD ’23), Ulysses S. Grant IV (grad work ’26-’27), Bill Gardner (BA ’27), Alfred Livingston (MS ’29), Gordon Oakeshott (MS ’29), Elmer C. Marliave (BA ’32), Burton H. Marliave (’39), Dick Merriam (PhD ’40), ‘Doc’ Bonilla (BA ’43), Chuck Welby (MS ’49),Cole McClure (BA ’50), Roy Hoffman (BA ’50), Alan O’Neill (BA ‘51), Chuck Winterhalder (BS ’51), Dick Mills (BA ’51), Ed Margason (BA ’52), Salem Rice (MA ’52), Burt Slemmons (PhD ’53), Don Weaver (BA ’54), Marv McCauley (BA ’54), George Plafker (MS ’56), Frank Kresse (BA ’56), Steve Korbay (BA ’57), Sandy Hay (BA ’57; MA ’61), Tom Rogers (MA ’57), Dave Snow (MS ’57), Jim Berkland (BA ’58), Shell Medall (BA ’58), Ernie Solomon (BA ’59), Bob Perry (BA ’61), Mike Huffman (BA ’62), Keith Howard (MS ’62), Bud McRae (BSCE ’62), Paul Davis (BA ’63), Dick Goodman (PhD ’63), Tim Hall (MA ’65), Ross Wagner (BA ’67), Roy Shlemon (PhD ’67), Marc Seeley (BA ’69), John Clague (MA ’69), John Cadman (PhD '70), Earl W. Hart (MA ’71), Gene Kojan (PhD ’72), Mark Peterson (BA ‘73), Terry Howard (PhD ’73), Don McEdwards (MS ’73; PhD ’79), Mike Perkins (MS ’74), Joel Sturm (BA ’74), Dean Ostenaa (BA ’74), Gil Lawton (BA ’75), Patrick Hubbard (BA ’76), Paul Studemeister (BA ’77), Pam Irvine (MS ’77), Diane Wolfgram (PhD ’77), Nancy Tannaci Bice (BA ’79), Gerry Wieczorek (PhD ’79), John Wakabayashi (BA ’80), Jon Y. Kaneshiro (BA ’80), Eric A. “Rick” Swanson (MS ’80), Neil Thomsen (MS ’81), Ted Sayre (BA ’81), Frank Groffie (BA ’82), Dave Rogers (PhD ’82), Bill Lettis (PhD ’82), John Sturman (BA ’84), Deni Chambers (BA ’85; MS ‘88), Janet Sowers (PhD ’85), Eric Swenson (BA ’87), Chip Gribble (BS ’87), Steven Reneau (PhD ’88), Mark Caruso (BA ‘89), David R. Montgomery (PhD ’91), Victor S. Romero (MS ’91), Lucas Goldstein (BA ’94, MA ’95), Vincent J. Romano (BS 2006), and many more.
The mineral technology and geological engineering programs at Berkeley
In 1947 Edward H. Wisser joined the Berkeley faculty as Professor of Mineral Exploration in the Department of Mineral Technology. He was joined by Parker Trask in 1951, and Paul Witherspoon in 1957. In 1958 Trask began a geological engineering program, which was absorbed into the geotechnical engineering program of civil engineering after Trask died in 1961and Wisser retired in 1963.
Some of the mineral engineering and mineral technology programs’ graduates who made significant contributions to engineering geology and geotechnical engineering included: Charles Palache (1891), Joseph N. Leconte (1891), Eugene C. Larue (1906), Chester Marliave (1907), Alfred Livingston (’24), Gordon Oakeshott (’28), Burton H. Marliave (’39), Chuck Welby (’48), Chuck Winterhalder (’51), Roger S. Rhodes (’54), Burt Sleemons (‘56), Jacob Bear (’60), Keith A. Howard (’61), Michael S. King (’61), Richard Appuhn (’63), Richard E. Goodman (’63), David T. Snow (’65), and Rex Upp (’66).
Parker D. Trask (Berkeley faculty 1951-61)
Parker Davies Trask (1899-1961) was one of the most eclectic American geologists of the 20th Century. He graduated from the University of Texas at the age of 18 in 1917, majoring in mathematics, with a minor in paleontolgy. The following year his family moved to California and he enrolled in the University of California Medical School in San Francisco. After two years of med school he dropped out to [pursue his fascoination with paleontology, enrolling in the graduate program at Berkeley, where he examined the Briones Formation in the Berkeley Hills for his master’s thesis, awarded in 1920. He went onto complete his PhD in geology in 1923, mapping the Geology of the Point Sur Quadrangle, under the supervision of Andrew Lawson.
In 1924 he was awarded a traveling fellowship that to him to northern and central Europe, Greece, and North Africa, studying mineral despoits and acquiring linguistic talents that would serve him well in the years to come. He then spent two years as an instructor of geology at Yale, followed by five years as a research associate for the American Petroleum Institute (1926-31), which culminated in his book Origin and Environment of Source Beds of Petroleum, released in 1932. He then spent 15 years (1931-46) with the USGS, which included three years service with the Office of Naval Intelligence during World War II, predicting subsurface conditions for submarines in teyh seas surrounding japan. He then joined the geology faculty at the University of Wisconsin in 1946, but left after one year, returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1947, as Supervising Geologist of the State Division of Mines. His personality didn’t agree with those of his supervisors and a year later (1948) he moved to the State Division of Bay Toll Crossings, where he played an important role in characterizing the engineering geology of the San Francisco Bay region, until 1951. The latter positions were both located in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
His most widely cited work was as editor-in-chief of “Applied Sedimentation” prepared by the Committee on Sedimentation of the National Research Council in 1947-50, which included contributions by Professors Karl Terzaghi of Harvard, Heinrich Ries of Cornell, Ralph E. Grim of Illinois, Arthur Cleaves of Washington University-St Louis, Thomas Middlebrooks, Gail Hatheway and Willard J. Turnbull of the Army Corps of Engineers, Roger Rhoades (Chief Geologist) and Arthur R. Golze (Director) of the Bureau of Reclamation, and David J. Varnes of the USGS. This 707 page tome is one of the most oft-cited references in engineering geology.