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Soil Exploration Part II. T.E. Civil 2009-2010 G.E.- I. Topics Covered. Introduction Methods of investigation Methods of boring Soil samplers and sampling Location and number of pits and borings Penetrometer tests Borehole logs Geophysical methods. Methods of Sampling. Samples

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soil exploration part ii

Soil Exploration Part II

T.E. Civil 2009-2010

G.E.- I

topics covered
Topics Covered
  • Introduction
  • Methods of investigation
  • Methods of boring
  • Soil samplers and sampling
  • Location and number of pits and borings
  • Penetrometer tests
  • Borehole logs
  • Geophysical methods
methods of sampling
Methods of Sampling


Disturbed Undisturbed

(The structure of the soil is disturbed (The true in-situ structure and water content

to a considerable degree) is retained as closely as possible)

Remoulded Representative Block Drive


methods of sampling4
Methods of Sampling
  • Disturbed samples used for determining index properties (ex. gsd, consistency, etc.)
  • Undisturbed samples used for determining engineering properties (ex. Density, water content, shear strength parameters, etc.)
  • Wash samples obtained from wash boring water or mud.
  • Representative sample retains all constituents of the soil, but is disturbed from natural state and structure. (ex. Split spoon sampler)
  • Block samples are carved out form sides or bottoms of excavations, sealed in a box and taken to lab.
  • Open drive samplers consist of thin walled tubes which are driven or pushed into the soil at the bottom of the hole. (ex. Shelby Tube sampler)
methods of sampling6
Methods of Sampling
  • Thin-wall open-tube samplers (Shelby Tube Samplers) are used for soils that are particularly sensitive to sampling disturbance. They are suitable for fine soils up to a firm consistency, and free from large particles.
  • Shelby Tubes are available in carbon steel and in stainless steel. Usual diameters are 3" or 4" OD.
methods of sampling10
Requirements to minimize disturbance to samples

Area ratio = (D2w-D2e) x 100%


Area ratio should be as low as possible. (<10%).

It represents the amount of soil displaced.

Inside clearance = (Ds-De) x 100%



Methods of Sampling
methods of sampling11
Methods of Sampling
  • The inside clearance allows elastic expansion of the sample and minimizes frictional drag on the sample.
  • The inside clearance should be between 0.5% to 3%.
  • The outside clearance = (Dw-Dt) x 100%


  • Outside clearance is necessary to reduce the driving force and resistance to withdrawal.
  • The outside clearance should be between 0% and 2%.
  • Diameter of samples should not be less than 38mm. (Generally between 50-150mm).
  • Piston sampler (Osterberg sampler) not covered. Please refer to any book.
rock coring
Rock coring
  • Sampler consists of core barrel and bit is coring bit.
  • Core barrel – single tube or double tube of various dia: EX, AX, BX, NX, etc.
  • Recovery = Length of sample recovered x 100%

Length of run

  • RQD = Length of samples >= 4” x 100 %

Length of run

spt standard penetration test
SPT (Standard Penetration Test)
  • IS:2131 – 1981 Method for Standard Penetration Test for Soils.
  • Most important and most commonly used field test
  • Typical equipment: drill rig, split spoon sampler, hammering equipment, casing pipe.
spt procedure
SPT Procedure
  • Procedure:
    • Drive a section of casing pipe.
    • Complete wash boring and clean the hole
    • Replace driving bit by split spoon sampler at the bottom end of the driving rod
    • Drive the sampler by dropping a hammer of 63.5kg weight through a height of 75 cm
    • The number of blows required to penetrate three successive lengths of 15 cm are noted.
    • The first 15 cm drive is considered as seating load and is ignored. The total number of blows required to penetrate the remaining 30 cm is called the blow count or penetration number N.
    • Raise the sampler to the surface, open it and extract the sample.
    • Drive the next length of casing and repeat the process until required depth is reached.
    • At the end of the borehole, note the gwt after it stabilizes and then backfill the borehole.
corrections to n value
Corrections to N value
  • Overburden Correction applied to N value based on chart by Peck, et. al. (varies from 0.45 to 2)
    • N’=Cn * N where Cn is correction factor
  • Correction due to dilatancy for fine sand and silt below gwt having N’ > 15
    • N” = 15 + 0.5*(N’-15)
other test methods
Other test methods
  • DCPT – Dynamic cone penetration test IS:4968 -1976 (Method for subsurface sounding for soils: Parts I and II)
  • CPT – Static Cone Penetration Test (Method for subsurface sounding for soils: Part 3 Static cone penetration test)
  • Plate Load Test (Method of Load Test on Soils)