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Module 2
(Lecture 7)
NATURAL SOIL DEPOSITS AND SUBSOIL EXPLORATION

Topics
1.17 CONE PENETRATION TEST
1.18 PRESSUREMETER TEST (PMT)
1.19 DILATOMETER TEST
1.20 CORING OF ROCKS
1.21 PREPARATION OF BORIN LOGS
1.22 DETERMINATION OF HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY IN
THE FIELD
1.22.1Open End Test








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CONE PENETRATION TEST
The cone penetration test (CPT), originally known as the Dutch cone penetration test, is a
versatile sounding method that can be used to determine the materials in a soil profile and
estimate their engineering properties. This test is also called the static penetration test, and no
boreholes are necessary to perform it. In the original version, a 60

cone with a base area of


10 cm
2
was pushed into the ground at a steady rate of about 20 mm/sec, and the resistance to
penetration (called the point resistance) was measured.
The cone penetrometers in use at present measure (a) the cone resistance (

) to penetration
developed by the cone, which is equal to the vertical force applied to the cone divided by its
horizontally projected area, and (b) the frictional resistance (

) which is the resistance measured


by a sleeve located above the cone with the local soil surrounding it. The frictional resistance is
equal to the vertical force applied to the sleeve divided by its surface area-actually, the sum of
friction and adhesion.
Generally, two types of penetrometers are used to measure

and

:
a. Mechanical friction-cone penetrometer (figure 2.25). In this case the penetrometer tip is
connected to an inner set of rods. The tip is first advanced about 40 mm giving the cone
resistance. With further thrusting, the top engages the friction sleeve. As the inner rod
advances, the rod force is equal to the sum of the vertical force on the cone and sleeve.
Subtracting the force on the cone gives the side resistance.









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Figure 2.25 Mechanical friction-cone penetrometer (after ASTM 1992)

b. Electric friction-cone penetrometer (figure 2.26). In this case the tip is attached to a
string of steel rods. The tip is pushed into the ground at the rate of 20 mm/sec. wires from
the transducers are threaded through the center of the rods and continuously give the cone
and side resistance.





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Figure 2.26 Electric friction-cone penetrometer (after ASTM 1992)
Figure 2.27 shows the results of penetrometer tests in a soil profile with friction measurement by
a mechanical friction-cone penetrometer and an electric friction cone penetrometer.


Figure 2.27 Penetrometer tests with riction measurement (after Ruiter, 1971)
Several correlations that are useful in estimating the properties of soils encountered during an
exploration program have been developed for the point resistance (

) and the friction ratio (

)
obtained from the cone penetration tests. The friction ratio,

, is defined as

=
friction resistance
cone resistance
=

[2.24]
Lancellotta (1983) and Jamiolkowski et al. (1985) showed that the relative density of normally
consolidated sand,

, and

can be correlated as

(%) = + log
10

[2.25]

Where
, = constants

= vertical effective stress


The values of and are
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A B Unit of

and


-98 66 metric ton/m
2

Figure 2.28 shows the correlations obtained for several sands. Baldi et al. (1982), and Robertson
and Campanella (1983) also recommended an empirical relationship between vertical effective
stress (

), relative density (

) and

for normally consolidated sand. This is shown in figure


2.29.

Figure 2.28 Relationship between

and

(based on Lancellotta, 1983, and Jamiokowski et


al., 1985)
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Figure 2.29 Variation of

and

for normally consolidated quartz sand (based on Baldi et


al., 1982, and Robertson ad Campanella, 1983)








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Figure 2.30 Variation of

and for normally consolidated quartz sand (after Robertson ad


Campanella, 1983)

Figure 2.30 shows a correlation between

, and the peak friction angle for normally


consolidated quartz sand. This correlation can be expressed as (Kulhawy and Mayne, 1990).
tan
1
0.1 +0.38 log

[2.26]
Robertson and Campanella (1983) also provided a general correlation between

, friction and

, and the type of sol encountered in the field (figure 2.31). Figure 2.32 shows the general
range of

for various types of soil.



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Figure 2.31 Robertson and Campanellas correlation (1983) between

, and the soil type



Figure 2.32 General range of variation of

for various types of soil (after Robertson and


Campanella, 1983)
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The correlations for

as proposed in figures 2.30, 2.31, and 2.32, equations 25 and 26 are for
normally consolidated sands. In fact, for a general condition,

is a function of

, relative
density, and vertical and lateral initial effective stress. A more rational theory for that correlation
has been provided by Salgado, Mitchell, and Jamiolkowski (1997), and readers may refer to that
paper for further information.
According to Mayne and Kemper, (1988), in clayey soil the undrained cohesion

,
preconsolidation pressure

and the overconsolidation ratio can be correlated as

[2.27]
Or

[2.27a]
Where

= bearing capacity factor (N


K
= 15 for electric cone and N
K
= 20 for mechanical cone)

= vertical stress

= effective vertical stress


Consistent units of

, and

should be used with equation (27):


= 0.243(

)
0.96


MN/m
2


MN/m
2

[2.28]
And
= 0.37


1.01
[2.29]
Where

and

= total and effective stress, respectively



PRESSUREMETER TEST (PMT)
The pressuremeter test is an in situ test conducted in a borehole. It was originally developed by
Menard (1956) to measure the strength and deformability of soil. It has also been adopted by
ASTM as Test Designation 4719. The Menard-type PMT essentially consists of a probe with
three cells. The top and bottom ones are guard cells and the middle one is the measuring cell, as
shown schematically in figure 2.33a. The test is conducted in a re-bored hole. The pre-bored
hole should have a diameter that is between 1.03 to 1.2 times the nominal diameters of the probe.
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The probe that is most commonly used has a diameter of 58 mm and a length of 420 mm. the
probe cells can be expanded either by liquid or gas. The guard cells are expanded to reduce the
end-condition effect on the measuring cell. The measuring cell has a volume (

) of 535 cm
3
.
Following are the dimensions for the probe diameter and the diameter of the borehole as
recommended by ASTM:


Figure 2.33 (a) Pressuremeter; (b) plot of pressure versus total cavity volume

Probe diameter (mm)
Borehole diameter
Nominal (mm) Maximum (mm)
44 45 53
58 60 70
74 76 89
In order to conduct a test, the measuring cell volume,

, is measured and the probe is inserted


into the borehole. Pressure is applied in increments and the volumetric expansion of the cell is
measured. This is continued until the soil fails or until the pressure limit of the device is reached.
The soil is considered to have failed when the total volume of the expanded cavity (V) is about
twice the volume of the original cavity. After the completion of the test, the probe is deflated and
advanced for test at another depth.
The results of the pressuremeter test is expressed in a graphical form of pressure versus volume
as shown in figure 2.33b. in this figure, Zone I represents the reloading portion during which the
soil around the borehole is pushed back into the initial state (that is, the state it was in before
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drilling). The pressure,

, represents the in situ total horizontal stress. Zone II represents a


pseudo-elastic zone in which the cell volume versus cell pressure is practically linear. The
pressure,

, represents the creep, or yield, pressure. The zone marked III is the plastic zone. The
pressure,

, represents the limit pressure.


The pressuremeter modulus,

, of the soil is determined using the theory of expansion of an


infinitely thick cylinder. Thus

= 2(1 +)(

[2.30]
Where

2

=


= Poisson

sratio (which may be assumed to be 0.33)


The limit pressure,

, is usually obtained by extrapolation and not by direct measurement.


In order to overcome the difficulty of preparing the borehole to the proper size, self-boring
pressuremeters (SBPMT) have also been developed. The details concerning SBPMTs can be
found in the work of Baguelin et al. (1978).
Correlations between various soil parameters and the results obtained from the pressuremeter
tests have been developed by various investigators. Kuljawy and Mayne (1990) proposed that

= 0.45

[2.31]
Where

= preconsolidation pressure
Based on the cavity expansion theory, Baguelin et al. (1978) proposed that

=
(

[2.32]
Where

= undrained shear strength of a clay

= 1 +in


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Typical values of

vary between 5 to 12, with an average of about 8.5. Ohya et al. (1982) (see
also Kulhawy and Mayne, 1990) correlated

with field standard penetration numbers (

) for
sand and clay as follows:
Clay:

(kN/m
2
) = 1930
F
0.63
[2.33]
Sand:

(kN/m
2
) = 908
F
0.66
[2.34]

DILATOMETER TEST
The use of the flat-plate dilatometer test (DMT) is relatively recent (Marchetti, 1980;
Schmertmann, 1986). The equipment essentially consists of a flat plate
measuring220 mm (length) 95mm (width) 14mm (thickness)(8.66 in. 3.74in.
0.55 in. ). a thin flat circular expandable steel membrade having a diameter of 60 mm (2.36 in.)
is located flush at the center on one side of the plate (figure 2.34a). The dilatometer probe is
inserted into the ground using a cone penetrometer testing rig (figure 2.34b). Gas and electric
lines extend from the surface control box through the penetrometer rod into the blade. At the
required depth, high-pressure nitrogen gas is used to inflate the membrane. Two pressure
readings are taken. They are


Figure 2.34 (a) Schematic diagram of a flat-plate dilatometer; (b) dilatometer probe inserted into
ground

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1. The pressure A to lift off the membrane, and
2. The pressure B at which the membrane expands 1.1 mm (0.4 in.) into the surrounding soil
The A and B readings are corrected as follows (Schmertmann, 1986)
Contact stress,

= 1.05( +

) 0.05(

) [2.35]
Expansion stress,
1
=

[2.36]
Where
= vacuum pressure required to keep the membrane in contact with its seating
=
air pressure required inside the membrane to deflect in outward to a center expansion of 1.1mm

= gauge pressure deviation from zero when vented to atmospheric pressure


The test is normally conducted at depths 200 mm to 300 mm apart. The result of a given test is
used to determine three parameters:
1. Material index,

=

1


2. Horizontal stress index,


3. Dilatometer modulus,

(kN/m
2
) = 34.7(
1
kN/m
2

kN/m
2
)
Where

= pore water pressure

= vertical effective stress


Figure 2.35 shows the results of a dilatometer test conducted in Porto Tolle, Italy (Marchetti,
1980). The subsoil consisted of recent, normally consolidated delta deposits of the Po River. A
thick layer of silty clay was found below a depth of 10 ft ( = 0; 28

). The result obtained


from the dilatometer tests have been correlated to several soil properties (Marchetti, 1980). Some
of these correlations are given below.
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Figure 2.35 A dilatometer test result conducted at Porto Tolle, Italy (after Marchetti, 1980)
a.

1.5

0.47
0.6 [2.37]
b. = (0.5

)
1.6
[2.38]
c.

= 0.22 (for normaly consolidated clay) [2.39]


d.

(0.5

)
1.25
[2.40]
e. = (1
2
)

[2.41]
Where

= coefficient of at rest earth pressure (chapter 5)


= overconsolidation ratio
= overconsolidated soil
= normally consolidated soil
= modulus of elasticity
Schmertmann (1986) also provided a correlation between the material index (

) andthe
dilatometer modulus (

) for determination of soil description and unit weight (). This is


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shown in figure 2.36.

Figure 2.36 Chart for determination of soil description and unit weight (after Schmertmann,
1986); Note: 1 /m
3
= 9.81 kN/m
3

CORING OF ROCKS
When a rock layer is encountered during a drilling operation, rock coring may be necessary. For
coring of rocks, a core barrel is attached to a drilling rod. A coring bit is attached to the bottom
of the core bared (figure 2.37). The cutting elements may be diamond, tungsten, carbide, and so
on. Table 8 summarizes the various types of core barrel and their sizes, as well as the compatible
drill rods commonly used for foundation exploration. The coring is advanced by rotary drilling.
Water is circulated through the drilling rod during coring, and the cutting is washed out.


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Figure 2.37 Rock coring: (a) single-tube core barrel; (b) double-tube core barel
Two types of core barrel are available: the single-tube core barrel (figure 2.37a) and the double-
tube core barrel (figure 2.37b). Rock cores obtained by single-tube core barrels can be highly
disturbed and fractured because of torsion. Rock cores smaller than the BX size tend to fracture
during the coring process.
When the core samples are recovered, the depth of recovery should be properly recorded for
further evaluation in the laboratory. Based on the length of the rock core recovered from each
run, the following quantities may be calculated for a general evaluation of the rock quality
encountered.
Recovery ratio =
length of core recovered
theoretical length of rock cored
[2.42]

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Table 8
Standard Size and Designation of Casing, Core Barrel, and Composite Drill Rod
Outside
diameter of
core barrel bit
Outside diameter
of drill rod
Diameter of
borehole
Diameter of
core sample
Casing and
core barrel
designation (mm) (in.)
Drill rod
designation
(mm) (in.) (mm) (in.) (mm) (in.)
EX 36.51
1
7
16

E 33.34
1
5
16

38.1
1
1
2

22.23
7
8

AX 47.63
1
7
8

A 41.28
1
5
8

50.8 2 28.58
1
7
8

BX 58.74
2
5
16

B 47.63
1
7
8

63.5
2
1
2

41.28
1
5
8

NX 74.61
2
15
16

N 60.33
2
3
8

76.2 3 53.98
2
1
8

Table 9 Relation between in situ Rock Quality and RQD
RQD Rock quality
0-0.25 Very poor
0.25-0.5 Poor
0.5-0.75 Fair
0.75-0.9 Good
0.9-1 excellent

Rock quality designation (RQD)=
length of recovered pieces equal to or larger than 101.6 mm (4 in.)
theoretical length of rock cored
[2.43]
A recovery ratio of 1 will indicate the presence of intact rock; for highly fractures rocks, the
recovery ratio may be 0.5 or smaller. Table 9 presents the general relationship (Deere, 1963)
between the RQD and the in situ rock quality.



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PREPARATION OF BORIN LOGS
The detailed information gathered from each borehole is presented in a graphical form called the
boring log. As a borehole is advanced downward, the driller generally should record the
following information in a standard log:
1. Name and address of the drilling company
2. Drillers name
3. Job description and number
4. Number and type of boring and boring location
5. Date of boring
6. Subsurface stratification, which can be obtained by visual observation of the soil brought
out by auger, split-spoon sampler, and thin wall Shelby tube sampler
7. Elevation of water table and date observed, use of casing and mud losses, and so on
8. Standard penetration resistance and the depth of SPT
9. Number, type, and depth of soil sample collected
10. In case of rock coring, type of core barrel used, and for each run, the actual length of
coring, length of core recovery, and the RQD
This information should never be left to memory, because that often results in erroneous boring
logs.
After completion of the necessary laboratory tests, the geotechnical engineer prepares a finished
log that includes notes from the drillers field log and the results of tests conducted in the
laboratory. Figure 2.38 shows a typical boring log. These logs have to be attached to the final
soil-exploration report submitted to the client. Note that figure 2.41 also lists the classifications
of the soils in the left-hand column, along with the description of each soil (based on the United
Soil Classification System).
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Figure 2.38 A typical boring log
DETERMINATION OF HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY IN THE FIELD
Several types of field test are now available to determine the hydraulic conductivity of soil. Two
fairly easy test procedures described by the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (1974) are the open end
test and the packer test.
Open End Test
The first step in the open end test (figure 2.39) is to advance a borehole to the desired depth. A
casing is then driven to extend to the bottom of the borehole. Water is supplied at a constant rate
from the top of the casing, and it escapes at the bottom of the borehole. The water level in the
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casing must remain constant. Once the steady state of water supply is established, the hydraulic
conductivity can be determined as

Figure 2.39 Hydraulic conductivity-open end test (redrawn after U. S. Bureau of Reclamation,
1974)

=

5.5
[2.44]
Where
= hydraulic conductivity
= constant rate of supply of water to the borehole
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= inside radius of the casing
= differential head of water
Any system of consistent units may be used in equation (44).
The head, H, has been defined in figure 2.42. Note that for pressure tests (figure 2.42c and 2.42d)
the value of H is given as
=
(gravity )
+
(pressure )
[2.45]
The pressure head,
(pressure )
, given in equation (45) is expressed in meters (or feet) of water
(1 kN/m
2
= 0.102m; 1 lb/in.
2
= 2.308 ft).
Packer Test
The packer test (figure 2.40) can be conducted in a portion of the borehole during drilling or
after drilling has been completed. Water is supplied to the portion of the borehole under test
under constant pressure. The hydraulic conductivity can be determined.

Figure 2.40 Hydraulic conductivity determination-packer test (redrawn after U. S. Bureau of
Reclamation, 1974)

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=

2
log

(for 10) [2.46]


=

2
sinh
1

2
(for 10 > ) [2.47]
Where
= hydraulic conductivity
= constant rate of flow into the hole
= length of portion of the hole under test
= radius of the hole
= diferential pressure head
Note that the differential pressure head is the sum of the gravity head [
(gravity )
] and the
pressure head [
(pressure )
]. The packer test is used primarily to determine the hydraulic
conductivity of rock. However, as mentioned previously, it and also be used for soils.