Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 1-2

Date: Latest Version


  • António B. PinhoAffiliated withGeoBioTec Research Centre (UID/GEO/04035/2013), Department of Geosciences, School of Sciences and Technology, University of Évora Email author 
  • , Pedro Santarém AndradeAffiliated withGeosciences Centre (UID/Multi/00073/2013), Department of Earth Sciences, University of Coimbra


Resistance to deterioration or wear


Durability can be defined as the resistance of geomaterials to deterioration caused by physical, chemical, and biological agents acting in a specific environment. Resistant materials maintain their original and distinctive characteristics and appearance over a period of time.


Geomaterials such as natural stones in buildings and historic monuments, concrete aggregate, and road aggregate can deteriorate and disintegrate at different rates when exposed to weathering agents. The decay rate depends on the mineralogical composition and the physical and mechanical properties of rock materials. Geotechnical characteristics are closely related to their geological origins and degree of weathering.

Durability is the capacity of a geomaterial to resist either to weathering processes or the decay caused by anthropogenic activities in a given period of time. Durability is a time-based concept in which ...

This is an excerpt from the content