Geotechnics is the application of scientific methods and engineering principles to the acquisition, interpretation, and use of knowledge of materials of the Earth's crust and earth materials for the solution of engineering problems and the design of engineering works. It is the applied science of predicting the behavior of the Earth, its various materials and processes towards making the Earth more suitable for human activities and development.
Geotechnics embraces the fields of soil mechanics and rock mechanics, and many of the aspects of geology, geophysics, hydrology, and other related sciences. Geotechnics is practiced by both engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers.
Examples of the application of geotechnics include: the prediction, prevention or mitigation of damage caused by natural hazards such as avalanches, mud flows, landslides, rockslides, sinkholes, and volcanic eruptions; the application of soil, rock and groundwater mechanics to the design and predicted performance of earthen structures such as dams; the design and performance prediction of the foundations of bridges, buildings, and other man-made structures in terms of the underlying soil and/or rock; and flood control and prediction.