Table 1.2.

Types of geotechnical risk (from Baynes 2010)

Type of geotechnical riskHazardSource
Project managementPoor management of entire geo-engineering processAn inadequate understanding of the importance of ground conditions, for example a decision to submit a tender price with no risk weighting for geotechnical factors.
ContractualPoor management of site investigation and contract documentationAn inadequate understanding of the importance of ground conditions resulting in poor acquisition, understanding and/or communication of site investigation information; this often leads to claims based on unforeseen ground conditions.
Technical: analyticalUnreasonable or unsuitable analytical model chosenAn inadequate understanding of the importance of ground conditions and analytical methods.
Technical: propertiesUnreasonable design values chosenAn inadequate understanding of the importance of ground conditions and field and laboratory testing of materials.
Technical: geologicalUnforeseeable geological detailsGeological conditions that are very variable (although it is accepted that any ground investigation will only sample a small part of the site and an investigation that obtains all geological and geomorphological details is impossible).
Inherently hazardous ground conditionsGeological conditions and geological/geomorphological processes that involve hazards such as large ground movements, voids, aggressive soil and groundwater chemistry, volcanoes, etc.
Unforeseen ground conditionsAn inadequate understanding of the importance of high-quality ground investigation, resulting in unforeseen ground conditions being encountered during construction.