ANALYSIS OF CONSOLIDATED MATERIAL (ROCKS)
In this lesson, you will learn to analyze terrain to determine basic rock types.
TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE:
Identify the basic concepts of consolidated geologic materials, to include available
information sources, rock classification and identification, engineering resource potential, and
importance to military operations and planning.
You will be given information on the analysis of rock material.
Demonstrate the competency of the skills and knowledge involved in identifying and
interpreting elements of basic rock identification according to FM 5-33 and TMs 5-545 and
The material contained in this lesson was derived from the following publications: FM 5-33,
TM 5-545, and TM 5-330.
The earth is made up of both consolidated material (rock) and unconsolidated material (soil). This lesson deals
with the formation, mineral composition, classification, and identification of rocks. (Similar soil parameters are
discussed in Lesson 3.) An understanding of the composition and properties of various rock types is important in
assessing the location, quality, and quantity of construction resources; in siting roads and airfields; in rating the
suitability of a site for construction of buildings and underground installations; in estimating the ease of
excavation of shallow defensive positions as well as obstacles and barriers; in locating groundwater supplies; and
in predicting soil types in areas where no direct data is available.
Because it is impossible to predict the ultimate military value of geologic information, all available information
concerning the area of interest should be collected as standing operating procedure (SOP). Then, during
operations, the actual geologic conditions encountered should be noted in order to update, verify, or modify the
existing data bases and also to update intelligence estimates in cases where the new information has an impact on
current operations. This type of information may have an important bearing on ongoing or future projects.