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ECG 353

SOIL ENGINEERING

Chapter 5:
Subsurface Exploration

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this lecture, students should be able to:
Discuss the propose site investigation (scope and
objective of site investigation). (CO1,PO1)
Categorize site investigation methods (boring and soil
sampling). (CO1,PO1)
Describe the principle of geophysical exploration.
(CO1,PO1)
Execute and interpret site investigation data for in-situ
testing (JKR Probe and vane shear test). (CO1,PO1)
Proposed suitable construction from acquired data.
(CO1,PO1)

Introduction
DEFINITION OF SITE INVESTIGATION (S.I):
The field and laboratory investigation required to obtain
important information such as soil physical characteristic and
strength required in design of geotechnical structures.

Objectives of S.I
1. To assess general suitability of the site and environment for the
proposed works including implications of previous use or
contamination
2. To enable an adequate and economic design to be prepared
including the design of temporary works
3. To plan the best method of construction; to foresee and provide
against difficulties and delays that may arise during construction
due to ground and other local conditions
4. To determine the changes that may arise in the ground and
environmental conditions, and the effect of such changes on the
works and adjacent works.
5. To advise on the relative suitability of different site or different
parts of the same site if alternatives exist.

Stages of S.I
DESK STUDY

SITE RECCONAISSANCE

GROUND
EXPLORATION

LABORATORY
TESTING

DESIGN

REVIEW DURING
CONSTRUCTION &
MONITORING

PLANNING
PROGRAM AND
SCOPE OF SI

PREPARATION OF SI
REPORT

Subsurface Exploration Method

SUBSURFACE
EXPLORATION
METHOD

1. TRIAL PITS

2. HAND AUGER BORING

3. PERCUSSION RIG BORING

4. WASH BORING

5. ROTARY AUGER BORING

6. CORE DRILLING

Typical
Borelog
Report/Result

Factors Affecting Selection of S.I


Method

Sampling Techniques & Soil


Testing

Degree of Soil Disturbance

Soil Samplers

1.OPEN DRIVE SAMPLER

2. THIN WALL TUBE SAMPLER

3. PISTON SAMPLER

4. STANDARD SPLIT SPOON SAMPLER

In Situ Soil Testing


MEASUREMENT OF
PERMEABILITY

MEASUREMENT OF
SHEAR STRENGTH

MEASUREMENT
OF
COMPRESSIBILITY

Measurement of insitu stress,


preconsolidation
pressure

Borehole
permeability
test

Shear vane
test

Flat
dilatometer
test

Hydraulic
fracturing
test

Piezometer
permeability
test

Standard
Penetration
test (SPT)

Cone
Penetration
Test

Total
pressure cell

Large scale
pumping test

Pressure
meter test

Plate loading
test

Infiltration
test

Cone
Penetration
Test

Piezometer

Self-boring
permeameter

Screw plate
test

1. JKR PROBE TEST

2. STANDARD PENETRATION TEST (SPT)

65 kg hammer
760 mm drop
anvil

drill rod

split spoon sampler


32

SPT CORRELATION

Table: Correlation between SPT, JKR/Mackintosh Probe and Unconfined Compressive Strength for fine
soil
SPT N (Blow/FT)

CONSISTENCY

UNCONFINED
COMPRESSIVE
STRENGTH
(Ton/sqft)

JKR OR
MACKINTOSH
PROBE

Very soft

0-0.25

0-10

2-4

Soft

0.25-0.50

10-20

4-8

Medium (firm)

0.50-1.00

20-40

8-15

Stiff

1.00-2.00

40-70

15-30

Very stiff

2.00-4.00

70-100

Over 30

Hard

4.00

100

Table: Correlation between SPT, JKR/Mackintosh Probe and allowable Soil Pressure for granular
soil
SPT N
(Blow/FT)

CONSISTENCY

ALLOWABLE
SOIL
PRESSURE
(Ton/sqft)

INTERNAL
FRICTION
ANGLE ()

JKR OR
MACKINTOSH
PROBE

0-4

Very loose

Not suitable

0-28

0-10

4-10

Loose

0-0.8

28-30

10-30

10-30

Medium

0.8-2.8

30-36

30-80

30-50

Dense

2.8-4.7

36-41

80-110

Over 50

Very dense

4.7

>41

110
(After Mitchell and Katti, 1981)

3. SHEAR VANE TEST

4. CONE PENETRATION TEST (CPT)

Typical results of mechanical cone


penetration test (CPT)

SPT Hollow (split spoon)

CPT

Solid (no samples)

CPT CORRELATION

Geophysical Methods

1. GEOELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY METHOD

Typical image of geoelectrical resistivity survey

Table: Geoelectrical Resistivity Value Of Various Materials, Ohm-m


SOIL

MINIMUM

AVERAGE

MAXIMUM

Ashes, Cinders, Brine,


Waste

5.9

23.7

70

Clay, Shale, Gumbo,


Loam

3.4

40.6

163

Same with varying


proportions of sand
and gravel

10.2

158

1350

Gravel, Sand, Stones


with little Clay or Loam

590

940

4280

Limestone

500

5000

10000

Sandstone

300

2500

8000

Granite

900

6000

11000

Concrete

300

3000

5000
(After Sverko,1999)

2. SEISMIC REFRACTION METHOD