Earth + Work = Earthwork?

Earthwork pertains to working in the earth. Obvious I know, but it makes you sound very knowledgeable when you refer to it as earthwork rather than saying 'digging'. Earthwork generally relates to excavation (taking dirt out of an area), hauling (moving dirt from one place to another), and placing (literally dumping the dirt).

So Much More Than Dirt & Dumptrucks

Earthwork can be tedious for a project, and it often governs the schedule, because on a typical site, the earthwork happens first. For tall skyscrapers, earthwork sometimes involves digging down twenty stories to install foundations. On a crowded lot in downtown Chicago, where do you put all this dirt? Before you can answer that question, you need to quantify the dirt.

In this section, we'll talk about how to quantify the dirt based on certain conditions. In the US, we use cubic yards to identify the volume of the dirt. The tricky part is, dirt can have different characteristics, so this volume is not an easy number to come up with. Soil isn't quite a liquid with constant properties (like concrete - you always know you'll get about 10 yards in each truck). Because of this, the industry has devised a common way of calculating dirt quantities.

Here's a list of some of the pertinent topics related to Earthwork:

The Breakdown
  1. Swell and Shrinkage
  2. Cut and Fill
  3. Field Measurement
  4. Measurement of Piles
  5. Measurement of Volume?
  6. Average End Area Method?
  7. Prismoidal Formula Method?
  8. Borrow Pit?
  9. Mass Diagrams?



Electrical Engineering


General Engineering




Water Resources


edit SideBar