Environmental Geomechanics is a rather new topic in the field of Mechanics. Only in recent years some scientific conference dealing with this topic have been held. Environmental problems in geomechanics are essentially multi-physics problems and often involve transport of some substance. Transport phenomena alone have been well studied but much less their effects in connection with the deformation of the solid matrix. This connection is peculiar to environmental geomechanics. Typical problems belonging to the area of environmental geomechanics are now listed. Some deal with soil pollution due to chemical pollutants, heavy metals, and non-aqueous phase liquids. Pollutant transport in the aquifers has received much attention while its transport in the partially saturated zones is a rather recent topic of research. This zone is however important because contaminants enter groundwater through it or may be released into the atmosphere. Coupling of mechanical effects with transport phenomena is important in the vadose zone because the nature of the soil and the capillary effects. Another issue of concern is the confinement of industrial, municipal and nuclear waste, where the design of appropriate barriers is important. Common materials for such barriers are soil, rock or concrete. The behaviour of these materials in deep and in surface disposal conditions has to be studied from the point of view of safety and durability. Finally an important topic with environmental implications is surface subsidence due to groundwater withdrawal or as experienced above exploited hydrocarbon reservoirs.
The course is in most parts a dissemination in appropriate from of the most recent research findings which are directly applicable to a better understanding of many phenomena in environmental geomechanics and improve predictive capabilities by means of numerical models. The link with experiments is also be emphasised. Most of the information is actually only available through scientific publications scattered throughout many journals and conferences.