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Field Testing and Instrumentation

Field Testing/ instrumentation

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Geotechnical Field Testing and Instrumentation



Resources pertaining to geotechnical field testing and instrumentation includes the following.


Field Testing and Instrumentation Publications Available for Downloading

FHWA NHI-00-044 - Corrosion/ Degradation of Soil Reinforcements for Mechanically Earth Stabilized Walls and Reinforced Soil Slopes. Discusses corrosion of metals, corrosive soil environments, geosynthetic durability and degradation, monitoring and testing for soil reinforcements.

NAVFAC 7.01 - Soil Mechanics. This publication includes soil/ rock identification and properties, field exploration, field testing, instrumentation, laboratory testing, distribution of stresses, settlement analysis, volume expansion, seepage, erosion control, drainage filters, slope stability and slope protection.

NAVFAC 7.03 - Soil Dynamics and Special Design Aspects. Main topics include soil dynamics, earthquake engineering and special design aspects. Information pertaining to these topics include machine foundations, impact loadings, dynamic soil properties, slope stability, bearing capacity, settlement, vibratory compaction, pile driving analysis and field testing, ground anchor systems, seismic design parameters, liquefaction, sheet pile walls and laboratory testing.

USACE TM 5-818-7 - Foundations in Expansive Soils. Note: This publication does not have an appendix. For link to appendix, click here.

USACE EM 1110-1-1804 - Geotechnical Investigations. Note: This publication does not have an appendix. For link to appendix, click here.

USACE TM 5-818-1 - Soils and Geology Procedures for Foundation Design of Buildings and Other Structures (Except Hydraulic Structures)


References to Geotechnical Laboratory Testing in other Publications

Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, Cold Climate Utilities Manual, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, Montreal, 1986. An in-depth publication concerning water facilities. Also has excellent information pertaining to foundations, roadways, runways, dams, earthwork and soil properties.

Lamb, T.W., and Whitman, R.V., Soil Mechanics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1969.

Means, R.E., Parcher, J.V., Physical Properties of Soils, Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, Columbus, OH, 1963.

Phukan, Arvind, Frozen Ground Engineering, Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1985. This publication has information on soil classifications including a frost susceptibility soil classification, ice descriptions, as well as physical, mechanical and thermal properties of frozen soils. Drilling, sampling and testing are discussed. This book also includes a foundation design philosophy, and analysis of thaw settlement, shallow foundations, pile foundations, roadways, airfields, utility systems, and slope stability.

Terzhaghi, K., Peck, R.B., and Mesri, G., Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice, 3rd ed. , John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1996.


Field Testing and Instrumentation Software

None available at this time. Do a web search for the specific type of software needed, such as "boring log software."


Field Testing and Instrumentation Technical Guidance

Standard Penetration Test (SPT)

One of the most common field tests is the Standard Penetration Test (SPT). This test provides N-values that are indicative of the soil's relative density and consistency. Usually, the N-value is the number of blows required to drive the last 0.30 m (12 in) of an 0.46 (18 in) in length, 51 mm (2 in) diameter split spoon sampler with a 140 pound hammer free falling 0.76 m (30 in). The N-value is sometimes derived from using a brass ring sampler, and reducing the recorded N-value by 2/3. Many applications require a corrected N-value, which may be determined in a number of ways depending on the application.

Field Density

Another common field test is checking relative density of the soil. This is done with a sand cone, nuclear densiometer, or balloon method. A cone penetrometer or dynamic cone penetrometer is frequently used in fine grain soils. The following powerpoint is a procedure for estimating relative density in the field with hand tools. Relative Density. These procedures should only be done by experienced geotechnical professionals. Sometimes soils feel hard, but are not compact.


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