Classification of Earth Digging

Classification of Earth Digging

When it comes to the construction sector, a large amount of work involves removing, replacing and moving a large amount of soil or earth. Ever since humans first started digging with primitive tools, the shaping of the earth surface according to our needs has become a major component in any construction related work.

When it comes to digging the soil, it mainly comes across as making holes of various depths and sizes here and there. While it can be described simply as that, earthworks are by far a much more complex and in-depth field that what we think at first. One very good reason for this is the various types of classification of digging. Digging of the soil can in fact be categorized using different parameters. 

One of the most common ways to classify digging work is by the type of soil layer that is being removed or dug out. Accordingly, we can identify:

  • top soil digging,
  • earth digging,
  • rock digging,
  • muck digging, and
  • unclassified digging

As the name implies, top soil digging is the removal of the top, visible soil layer (including any vegetation growing on it), while earth digging is the unearthing of the soil layer just beneath this top layer. Rock digging is typically done when there is the need of removal of hard surfaces such as rocks using specialized equipment. Muck digging is done to remove undesirable or excessively wet soil that is unsuitable for stockpiling or any other use. Finally, when a mixture of the above types of excavating processes are used, or when it is hard to categorize a particular digging work under one of the above types, we classify it as an unclassified digging.

Another popular way to classify excavations is using the reason or purpose for doing such an activity. Digging of the earth is never done without a particular objective in mind, which makes it a good parameter to use as the basis of a classification. Some common reasons for digging is the need to clear some space for construction work – to erect buildings, a plane, or flat surface, is a must. This often requires some kind of digging or filling up of the earth in some places. Roadways often need to have elevated sections, which again makes earth movement pretty much essential. Digging is also going to be necessary for building drainage systems, channels, tunnels and the like.

Other simple reasons for excavating to be necessary are the need to create a landfill, obtain soil for replacement elsewhere or even as a means to clean up the environment.

About the author