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Paper Ground Improvement

Paper Ground Improvement

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    P    R   O   O    F   S
Assessment of ground improvement work usingradioisotope cone penetrometers
A. K. SHRIVASTAVA
 M2C UMR 6143 CNRS, Caen, France
The effectiveness of radioisotope cone penetrometers (RIcones) under various soil conditions is now well estab-lished. This paper briefly describes the design of RI cones,and the advantages associated with their use. Two casehistories are presented in which these cone penetrometerswere utilised to investigate their effectiveness in groundimprovement works. Both case histories involve landreclamation work. In one, reclamation was effected byhydraulically placing the fly ash obtained from a nearbycoal-fired power plant, and in the other, the reclamation ofland from sea was effected by pluviating sand by aconveyor belt system. It has been shown that RI cones candetect any small changes in the density profile, which canresult in large savings in a project involving millions ofcubic metres of sand.
Keywords: ?
French summary
Notation
 A
atomic weight
 A
i
mass number of 
i
th element
c
speed of light in vacuum (299792458 m/s)
e
void ratio
 f 
s
sleeve friction
m
rest mass of electron
Avogadro number (6.022
3
10
23
)
q
T
corrected cone penetration resistance
u
excess pore pressure
w
n
natural water content
Z
atomic number
Z
i
atomic number of 
i
th element
h
í
energy of incident photon
h
í
9
energy of deflected photon
Ł
angle between incident and final direction of the photon
r
e
number of electrons per unit volume
r
i
weight fraction of 
i
th element
r
s
soil density
r
d
dry density
r
m
moist density
r
t
total density
ó 
a
reaction cross-section
Introduction
Geotechnical engineers are always looking for ways toimprove upon existing methodologies and procedures toenhance the efficiency of projects. The author has beeninvolved in developing radioisotope cone penetrometers (RIcones) to measure basic soil properties, namely density (
r
d
)and natural water content (
w
n
), along with regular conepenetration tests with pore pressure measurement, alsoknown as piezocone test (CPTU) data. The RI cones systemis composed of three different types of cone penetrometer:(
a
) a neutron moisture cone penetrometer (NM cone)(
b
) a nuclear density cone penetrometer (ND cone)(
c
) a dummy cone, equipped with a detector to measurethe natural background radiation.The virgin ground is first penetrated using the NM cone tomeasure the natural water content (
w
n
) and soil strengthparameters such as corrected penetration resistance (
q
T
),sleeve friction (
s
) and excess pore pressure (
u
) generation inreal time. The same hole is then used for the ND cone tomeasure the density (
r
)m and for the dummy cone tomeasure the density and the natural background radiation.Their effectiveness under various soil conditions has beenestablished by Shibata
et al.
(1994), Shrivastava (1994) andMimura
et al.
(1995).Geotechnical engineers intuitively associate strength ordensity (
r
d
) with ground improvement work; in recent yearsother parameters, such as soil modulus or stiffness, arecoming to be considered more realistic parameters toindicate the in situ soil conditions; however, the author believes that density is one parameter that has been in usefor a very long time and will be difficult to dispense with.In land reclamation work, where the material requirement
Ground Improvement
(2007)
11
, No. 1, 110 1
www.groundimprovement.com 1751-7621 (Online) 1365-781X (Print)
#
2007
Thomas Telford Ltd
Article number = P4217
(GI 4217) Paper received ?? ?????????? ????; last revised ?? ??????????????; accepted ?? ?????????? ????
 
    P    R   O   O    F   S
is in millions of cubic metres of soil, a precise measurementof density is required to calculate the volume of materialthat is required and, as the work progresses, the material being deposited, and also to assess whether the designcriteria have been met or not. What follows here is a brief description of RI cones, after which two case histories arepresented.
Using neutron and gamma rays tomeasure natural water content anddensity of soil
Physical principle of neutron moderation byhydrogen
When fast neutrons are emitted from a source, they gothrough the process of slowing down, thermalisation anddiffusion. This process of slowing down from the initialenergy to the thermal diffusion energy is governed mainly by elastic collisions of the fast neutrons with the hydrogennuclei present in the water, which are considered to be free.The presence of elements other than hydrogen in the soilis of minor importance in the slowing-down process. None-theless, the neutrons do undergo collisions with the nuclei of these other elements in the vicinity of the fast neutronsource, and their migration is impeded. Therefore the meandistance between the source and the point at which theneutrons reach epithermal energy depends not only on thehydrogen content, but also on the composition of the water-containing matrix. However, apart from the moisture con-tent, for most soils it is mainly the dry bulk density thatdetermines this distance, and thus the chemical compositionof the soil is less important.As the neutrons do not react appreciably with electrons,they are always detected through the effects caused by theircollisions with the nucleus. Over the years various reactionshave been proposed for the detection of neutrons
.
Thereaction used to detect neutrons in the construction of theNM cone is
3
He
þ
n
!
T
þ
p
þ
0
:
764 MeV;
ó 
a
¼
5400 b (1)where
3
He is helium, T is tritium, n is the neutron, p is theproton, MeV is Mega electron volts, and
ó 
a is the reactioncross-section, measured in barns (b) (Knoll, 1979). (SeeAppendix.) For details of the the various aspects of neutrondetection, readers are referred to any basic text book innuclear physics.The fast neutron source is californium-252 (
252
Cf), which isa spontaneous fission source of neutrons with a half-life of 2.65 years. The detector used is a
3
He-filled proportionaltube. Fig. 1 shows a schematic diagram of the NM conepenetrometer. Neutrons are discharged from the conepenetrometer under a constant voltage of 950 V. They moveinto the soil matrix randomly, and, because of the collisionprocess described, above they lose their energy. The
3
He-filled proportional tube captures the slowed-down, orthermal, neutrons. The effective zone of measurement isabout 30 cm in diameter. The steel casing of the penetro-meter does not impede the movement of the neutrons. TheNM cone is capable of measuring the following soil proper-ties simultaneously in real time: the cone penetrationresistance; the excess pore pressure (through the ceramicfilter); the sleeve friction; and the natural water content of the soil,
w
n
. The type of reaction described in equation (1)takes place in the
3
He-filled proportional tube). This isdesigned so that it detects only the slow neutrons. Fordetails of the various aspects of cone penetration testing seeLunne et al. (1997).
Physical principle of 
ª
-ray interaction withmatter 
It is well known that a photon can interact with atomsthrough scattering, losing some or none of its energy(Compton or elastic scattering respectively) or it can dis-appear in a single interaction (by the photoelectric effect or by pair production). Each process that contributes to theattenuation is a function of 
Z
, the atomic number of theabsorbing material. Therefore, considering the chemicalcomposition of the soil, almost all interactions lead to theCompton process and depend on the electron density.Compton scattering occurs when a photon interacts withan electron and its incident energy is considerably greaterthan the binding energy of the electron. Applying the lawsof conservation of momentum and energy, the followingrelation can be obtained.
h
í
9
¼
h
í
1
þ
h
í
=
mc
2
À Á
1
À
cos
Ł
ð Þ
(2)where
h
is Planck’s constant (6.626
3
10
À
34
 Js or 4.135
3
10
À
15
eVs);
í
is the frequency;
h
í
9
is the energy of thedeflected photon;
h
í
is the energy of the incident photon;
c
is the speed of light in vacuum (299792458m/s),
Ł
is theangle between the incident and the final direction; and
m
isthe rest mass of the electron (511 keV).For high-energy
ª
-rays, each electron participates in thescattering process. Consequently, the number of scatteredphotons is proportional to
r
e
, the number of electrons perunit volume. The mass density
r
is related to
r
e
through theequation
r
e
¼
rr
i
Z
i
 A
i
(3)where
is Avogadro’s number,
r
i
is the weight fraction of the
i
th element,
Z
i
is the atomic number of the
i
th element,and
A
i
is the mass number of the
i
th element.The value of 
Z
i
/
 A
i
is roughly equal to 0.5 for all thecommonly occurring elements in the soil except for hydro-gen (about 1.0). However, hydrogen does not exist in a freestate in the soil, and is usually present in the form of water,whose
Z
i
/
 A
i
ratio is 0.5521 (Shrivastava, 2005).The source of the
ª
-photons employed in the ND cone iscaesium-137 (
137
Cs), which has a half-life of 36.5 years. Fig. 2shows a schematic diagram of the NaI(Tl) (thallium-dopedsodium iodide) scintillator mounted on the photomultipliertube used in the ND cone to detect incoming photons. A
35·6
Porousceramic
 
filter 1184
3
He-filledproportionaltubePre-amplifier 
252
Cf fastneutronsourceCableleadingto datacollectionsystem
48·6
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of NM cone (all dimensions in mm)
2
 A. Shrivastava
 
    P    R   O   O    F   S
lead (Pb) shield is placed between the
ª
-source and theNaI(Tl) scintillator and photomultiplier to prevent directmeasurement of 
ª
-photons. The small blocks shown betweenthe various components are mechanical connections tomaintain the components in their respective positions. Asdescribed above in the NM cone section, the
ª
-photons aredischarged randomly under a constant voltage of 950 V.These photons interact randomly with the soil matrixaround the cone penetrometer, and the incoming
ª
-photonsare detected by the NaI(Tl)-mounted photomultiplier tube.The incoming
ª
-photons hit the NaI(Tl) crystal, causingscintillation. This can be described as the flashes of lightmade by ionising radiation upon striking a crystal detector.These flashes of light must be converted into a correspond-ing electrical signal, as these signals are otherwise too faintto be detected. The photomultiplier tube is used to convertthe light signals into a usuable current pulse without addinga large amount of random noise to the signal. For furtherdetails of both the NM and ND cones see Shrivastava (2005).
Advantages of cone penetrationtesting
Technology based on cone penetration testing (CPT) offersmany advantages over sampling, and many researchers havealready listed these; even so, authorities in many countriesare still reluctant to use CPT-based technology. Some of theadvantages related to the projects described in the followingcase histories are sunnarised below.(
a
) It provides continuous subsurface data to aid rapid sitecharacterisation.(
b
) It disturbs the subsurface conditions the least.(
c
) It requires no drilling fluid or mud.(
d
) It is cheaper than drilling and sampling operations.(
e
) Real-time data are obtained.
35·6
137
Csgammasource
 
Cableleadingto datacollectionsystem
48·6
Pre-amplifier NaI(T1)-mountedphotomultiplier tubeLeadshield1184
Fig. 2. Schematic diagram of ND cone (all dimensions in mm)
5·2
5·21·3
6·0 6·0 6·0 6·81·31·5
1·56·05·020·0
Zone A1·7
1·76·8
6·0Zone B1·5
6·01·5
Sand compaction piles (SCP)Sampling before SCPSampling after SCPNM and ND cone testingbefore SCPNM and ND cone testingafter SCPLegend
Fig. 3. Field investigation plan at fly-ash-enabled reclamation site (all dimensions in m)
3
 Assessment of ground improvement work using radioisotope cone penetrometers

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