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BFC 43103












Question 1

Wash boring:

For test boring over 3 meter in depth, this method can be conveniently used. In this
method a hollow steel pipe known as casing pipe or drive pipe is driven into the ground for a
certain depth. Then a pipe usually known as water jet pipe or wash pipe, which is shorter in
diameter, is lowered into the casing pipe. At its upper end, the wash pipe is connected to
water supply system while the lower end of the pipe is contracted so as to produce jet action.
Water under considerable pressure is forced down the wash pipe. The hydraulic pressure
displaces the material immediately below the pipe and the slurry thus formed is forced up
through the annular space between the two pipes. The slurry is collected and samples of
material encountered are obtained by settlement. In this process the particles of finer material
like clay, loam etc. do not settle easily and the larger and heavy particles of the soil may not
be brought up at all. Moreover, the exact position of a material in the formation cannot be
easily be located. How ever the change of stratification can be guessed from the rate of
progress of driving the casing pipe as well as the colour of slurry flowing out. Yet the results
obtained by wash boring process give fairly good information about the nature of the sub-soil
strata. This method can be adopted in soft to stiff cohesive soils and fine sand.
Auger boring:

The examination of the sub-soil conditions for simple buildings to be erected in

clayey or sandy soil can be best performed by a post hole auger. The auger is held vertically
and is driven into the ground by rotating its handle by applying leverage. The auger is pressed
down during the process of rotation. At every 30 cm of depth penetrated, the auger is taken
out and the samples of the soils are collected separately for examination. This method can be
conveniently used for soil penetration up to 15 m depth. The type of augers commonly used
are shown below. For deeper holes or in grounds where gravel, boulders or comp act material
is present, this method is not adopted.
Percussion Drilling

In case of hard soils or soft rock, auger boring or wash boring cannot be employed.
For such strata, percussion drilling is usually adopted. Here advancement of hole is done by
alternatively lifting and dropping a heavy drilling bit which is attached to the lower end of the
drilling bit which is attached to the cable. Addition of sand increases the cutting action of the
drilling bit in clays. Whereas, when coarse cohesionless soil is encountered, clay might have
to be added to increase the carrying capacity of slurry. After the carrying capacity of the soil
is reached, churn bit is removed and the slurry is removed using bailers and sand pumps.
Change in soil character is identified by the composition of the outgoing slurry. The stroke of
bit varies according to the ground condition. Generally, it is 45-100cm in depth with rate of
35-60 drops/min.It is not economical for hole of diameter less than 10cm. It can be used in
most of the soils and rocks and can drill any material. One main disadvantage of this process
is that the material at the bottom of the hole is disturbed by heavy blows of the chisel and
hence it is not possible to get good quality undisturbed samples. It cannot detect thin strata as
Question 2

Disturbed sample

Disturbed soil samples do not retain the in-situ properties of the soil during the
collection process. Engineers do not consider these samples to be representative of
underground soils except for tests that do not rely on the structure of the soil itself. Scientists
commonly test disturbed soil samples for soil type and texture, moisture content, and nutrient
and contaminant analysis, among other evaluations. The majority of soil samples engineers
and geologists collect are disturbed samples because they are easier to collect and the
precision necessary for collecting an undisturbed sample is not required for many soil tests.

Type of sampler

1. Thick wall sampler

2. Shovel

3. Trial pit

Undisturbed sample

Undisturbed soil samples retain the structural integrity of the in-situ soil and have a
high recovery rate within the sampler. Collecting a perfectly undisturbed sample is difficult
and the samplers may contain a small portion of undisturbed soil at the top and bottom of the
sample length. Undisturbed samples allow an engineer to determine the geotechnical
properties of strength, permeability, compressibility and fracture patterns among others.
Results of these analyses are instrumental in the design of a new building.

Type of sample

1. Open driver sampler

2. Piston sampler
3. Rotary sample

Question 3


In situ testing is a division of field testing corresponding to the cases where the ground is
tested in-place by instruments that are inserted in or penetrate the ground. In-situ tests are
normally associated with tests for which a borehole either is unnecessary or is only an
incidental part of the overall test procedure, required only to permit insertion of the testing
tool or equipment. The role of specialized in-situ testing for site characterization and the
research and development of in-situ techniques have received considerable attention over the
last 15 years or so. The use of specialized in-situ testing in geotechnical engineering practice
is rapidly gaining increased popularity. In Europe, specialized in-situ testing has been
commonly used for more than 25 years. Improvements in apparatus, instrumentation, and
technique of deployment, data acquisition and analysis procedure have been significant. The
rapid increase in the number, diversity and capability of in-situ tests has made it difficult for
practicing engineers to keep abreast of specialized in-situ testing and to fully understand their
benefits and limitations.


 Tests are carried out in place in the natural environment without sampling disturbance
, which can cause detrimental effects and modifications to stresses, strains, drainage,
fabric and particle arrangement

 Continuous profiles of stratigraphy and engineering properties/characteristics can be


 Detection of planes of weakness and defects are more likely and practical

 Methods are usually fast, repeatable, produce large amounts of information and are
cost effective
 Tests can be carried out in soils that are either impossible or difficult to sample
without the use of expensive specialized methods

 A large volume of soil may be tested than is normally practicable for laboratory
testing. This may be more representative of the soil mass.


 Samples are not obtained; the soil tested cannot be positively identified. The
exception to this is the SPT in which a sample, although disturbed, is obtained.

 The fundamental behavior of soils during testing is not well understood.

 Drainage conditions during testing are not known

 Consistent, rational interpretation is often difficult and uncertain

 The stress path imposed during testing may bear no resemblance to the stress path
induced by full-scale engineering structure

 Most push-in devices are not suitable for a wide range of ground conditions

 Some disturbance is imparted to the ground by the insertion or installation of the


 There is usually no direct measurement of engineering properties. Empirical

correlations usually have to be applied to interpret and obtain engineering properties and

Advantages Disadvantages

 Tighter control of variables. Easier  Demand characteristics - participants

to comment on cause and effect. aware of experiment, may change
 Relatively easy to replicate.
 Artificial environment - low realism.
 Enable use of complex equipment.
 May have low ecological validity -
 Often cheaper and less time- difficult to generalise to other
consuming than other methods. situations.

 Experimenter effects - bias when

experimenter's expectations affect

Question 4

The standard penetration test

The standard penetration test (SPT) was developed circa 1927 and is perhaps the most
popular field test. The standard penetration test is done using a split- spoon sampler in a
borehole / auger hole. This sampler consists of a driving shoe, a split- barrel of circular cross-
section (longitudinally split into two parts) and a coupling. The main purpose of the test is to
provide an indication of the relative density of granular deposits, such as sands and gravels
from which it is virtually impossible to obtain undisturbed samples. The great merit of the
test, and the main reason for its widespread use is that it is simple and inexpensive. The soil
strength parameters which can be inferred are approximate, but may give a useful guide in
ground conditions where it may not be possible to obtain borehole samples of adequate
quality like gravels, sands, silts, clay containing sand or gravel and weak rock. In conditions
where the quality of the undisturbed sample is suspect, e.g., very silty or very sandy clays, or
hard clays, it is often advantageous to alternate the sampling with standard penetration tests
to check the strength. If the samples are found to be unacceptably disturbed, it may be
necessary to use a different method for measuring strength like the plate test. When the test is
carried out in granular soils below groundwater level, the soil may become loosened. In
certain circumstances, it can be useful to continue driving the sampler beyond the distance
specified, adding further drilling rods as necessary. Although this is not a standard penetration
test, and should not be regarded as such, it may at least give an indication as to whether the
deposit is really as loose as the standard test may indicate. The usefulness of SPT results
depends on the soil type, with fine-grained sands giving the most useful results, with coarser
sands and silty sands giving reasonably useful results, and clays and gravelly soils yielding
results which may be very poorly representative of the true soil conditions. Soils in arid areas,
such as the Western United States, may exhibit natural cementation. This condition will often
increase the standard penetration value.

The cone penetration test

Cone Penetration Test (CPT) is an in-situ test done to determine the soil properties and to get
the soil stratigraphy. This test was initially developed by the Dutch Laboratory for Soil
Mechanics (in 1955) and hence it is sometimes known as the Dutch cone test. On a broad
scale, the CPT test can be, divided into two – Static Cone Penetration Test (BIS-4968, Part -
3, 1976) and Dynamic Cone Penetration Test.

Static Cone Penetration Test: The cone with an apex angle of 60° and an end area of 10 cm 2
will be pushed through the ground at a controlled rate (2 cm/sec). In static test, the cone is
pushed into the ground and not driven. During the penetration of cone penetrometer through
the ground surface, the forces on the cone tip (qc) and sleeve friction (fs) are measured.

The measurements are, carried out using electronic transfer and data logging with a
measurement frequency that can secure the detailed data about soil contents and its
characteristics. The Friction Ratio (FR = fs/qc) will vary with soil type and it is, also an
important parameter.
Dynamic cone Penetration Test: Dynamic test will be, conducted by driving the cone using
hammer blows. The dynamic cone resistance will be, estimated by measuring the number of
blows required for driving the cone through a specified distance. Usually, this test will be,
performed with a 50 mm cone without bentonite slurry or using a 65 mm cone with bentonite
slurry. The hammer weighs 65 kg and the height of fall is 75 cm. The test will be, done in a
cased borehole to eliminate the skin friction

Strength and compressibility testing

Strength and compressibility parameters are generally required for engineering calculations,
many forms of test have been developed with the specific purpose of determining them in
particular soil or rock types. These tests are not as widely used as the penetration tests, but
nonetheless many are in common usage. In situ strength and compressibility tests are
sometimes very much more expensive than laboratory tests. They suffer from the
disadvantage that the soil under load has no drainage control (i.e. the true state of drainage
during the test is not normally known because, unlike a triaxial test, there is no far drainage
boundary), but they are often used because of the many types of soil which do not lend
themselves to good- quality sampling.

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