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Dilatmetro Ssmico (SDMT)

Fundamentos bsicos, parmetros geotcnicos, y software

Bogot 8 de Mayo 2015 Eng. Diego Marchetti

SDMT Equipment


Seismic Dilatometer (2004)
SDMT Test Layout

Top Sensor
Seismic probe

Acquisition Board

Bottom Sensor
Shear Wave Source (SWS)
Plays a crucial role for:
quality of test results
maximum test depth (SNR Signal to Noise Ratio)

Usually a Mechanical SWS: hammer + shear beam

Shear Wave Source (SWS)
Pendulum Hammer

Automated Hammer (Autoseis)

Shear Wave Source (SWS)

Geometry & weight: influence only wave shape and max

test depth (not Vs results)

Remove pavement under

SWS (if present)
Apply load on SWS (i.e.
truck jacks). SWS transmits
shear wave only if good
adherence with soil
Use rubber for decoupling
vertical load energy to
soil not to load
Shear Wave Source (SWS)

Distance from SWS to rods

SWS Placement and Orientation

SDMT Sensor Orientation

Shear vs Compression wave

Shear Wave


propagation direction

Compression Wave
S and P waves generated by hammer + shear beam
Shear Beam head

soil vibration P-wave

P-wave direction


When the hammer head strikes the shear beam, the

corresponding soil vibration generates both a compression
wave (P) and a shear wave (S).
Minimize distance from Shear Beam to Rods (DSBR)
Shear Beam head

soil vibration P-wave




Z S-Wave
Sensors record shear wave if: Z >> DSBR
If not, sensors record combination of S and P wave
Place shear beam as close as possbile to rods (no contact)
SWS Placement & Orientation
Correct Placement Acceptable Placement
The hitting direction of the hammer
should be perpendicular to the line from
the rods to the center of shear beam


90 rods
Shear 50

hammer hitting direction

SDMT Sensor Orientation
SDMT has mono-axial sensors, soil movement detected
only in one direction
Once SWS is placed, correct sensor orientation is
determined: the hitting direction of the hammer must be
(approximately) parallel to the axis of the sensors



beam rod

axis sensor axis
hammer hitting direction
SWS Placement and Orientation (1/2)
soil irregularity (i.e. wall)
Shear Beam

soil vibration


P-wave S1
(reflected) Sum of direct S wave and
reflected P wave.

Hammer hitting direction towards soil irregularity (wall, ditch, ..)

Sensor S1 receives direct S-Wave and reflected P-wave
Difficult Interpretation
SWS Placement and Orientation (2/2)
soil irregularity (i.e. wall)
Direct Reflected
head S wave S wave


S-wave S1
Reliable interpretation

Hammer hitting direction is parallel to soil irregularity

Sensor S1 receives direct S-Wave and reflected S-wave
Time delay similar for direct and reflected wave
SDMT Equipment
Seismic Acquisition Unit - connections
DMT cable

clamp to rods


Shear wave seismogram acquisition
Shear wave seismogram acquisition
depth of DMT blade (user deals only with 1 depth)
Z: depth of midpoint between sensors
Vs assigned at Z
Vs repeated at Z (independent)

variation coefficient



current Vs interpretation
Shear wave seismogram acquisition
Shear wave seismogram acquisition parameters

signal amplification in depth

sample time (microseconds)
n samples (800-1800)
distance hammer - rods
trigger type

time shift after trigger event

Shear wave velocity measurement
Pendulum hammer generating shear wave
Data Acquisition is rapid ( 5 sec)
Vs interpretation real time
Automatic delay evaluation

t = wave delay

shift red signal back

towards blu signal, until
best superimposition is

Cross-correlation algorithm


Recommended Test Sequence

DMT tests every 20 cm

Seismic test every 50 cm
Chart Pattern (DMT depth)
When both tests, DMT first
SDMT main features
SDMT Vs interpretation
operator independent
real time

Accuracy of delay (t) calculation

true-interval (2 receivers instead of 1)
Trigger offset no influence on t calculation
Same wave to both receivers
Signals are amplified and digitized in depth
clean waves delay t very clear

Test execution is rapid

no hole
no wait for cementation (e.g. crosshole, downhole)
Vs validations

Bothkennar Treporti-Venezia Zelazny Most

(UK) (Italia) (Polonia)
Vs (m/s)
0 100 200 300 400

10 SDMT P.I.
SDMT pseudo-interval
SDMT T.I. true-interval
SCPT P.I. pseudo-interval
Z (m)






Hepton McGillivray & Mynarek et al.

(1988) Mayne (2004) (2006)
Vs in Moss Landing California USA
Site underwent immediate liquefaction during Loma Prieta (1989) earthquaqe

Feb 2008 2008

Soils testable by DMT vs SDMT

Very soft soils (Cu = 2-4 kPa, M=0.5 MPa)
Hard soils/Soft Rock (Cu = 1 MPa, M=400 Mpa)

All penetrable soils (DMT)
Also in non penetrable soils (gravel, rock, ..):
inside a gravel backfilled borehole (grain size 5-15 mm)
Max depth today: 135 m in LAquila (2009)
Vs in non-penetrable soils
Method (downhole):
Drill borehole
careful backfill of borehole with
gravel (grains D = 5-15 mm)
Vs in borehole

Travelpath includes short path in the

the sand
sand backfill similar for both receivers
is similar
delay t does not change

Totani (2009)
SDMT validation in non-penetrable soils

In penetrable soils both

procedures are possible

results same

(only Vs in sandfilled borehole - no DMT !!!)

SDMT in borehole (140m) Aquila (ITALY)
Aquila (Earthquake 2009)
Fill Material

Calcareous Breccia

Depth (m)
Vs in addition to DMT results
grain size compressibility strength stress history Vs and G0

GO= Vs2

DMT Seismic DMT

SDMT used in over 70 countries () (> 200 in USA)

() Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech
Republic, China, Chile, Cyprus, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Estonia,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guadalupe, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy,
Japan, Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherland, New Zeland, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru,
Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka,
Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, Vietnam.
Some SDMT test sites...
Underground in Rome - Line C

Via Fori Imperiali Piazza Venezia

SDMT - NASA Cape Kennedy (USA)
Juan Santamaria Intnl. Airport Costarica
SDMT in SE LAGO Mexico city
Palazzo Esposizioni - Rome


SDMT 1 (front) SDMT 2 (front) SDMT 3 (back)

This building experienced a

crack in the ceiling due to
differential settlements
SDMT at Zelazny Most Poland
Tests performed for monitoring copper waste dam
EUROCODE 7 (2007). Standard Test Method, European Committee for
Standardization, Part 3: Design Assisted by Field Testing, Section 9: Flat
Dilatometer Test (DMT), 9 pp.

ASTM (2007). Standard Test Method D6635-01, American Society for Testing
and Materials. The standard test method for performing the Flat Dilatometer
Test (DMT), 14 pp.
TC16 (1997). The DMT in soil Investigations, a report by the ISSMGE
Technical Committee tc16 on Ground Property, Characterization from in-situ
testing, 41 pp.

ASTM (2011) Standard Test Method D7400 08, Standard Test Methods for
Downhole Seismic Testing, 11 pp.

Italy: Consiglio Superiore Lavori Pubblici (2009), Protezione Civile (2008)
Sweden: Swedish Geotechnical Society SGF report (1994)
France: ISO/TS 22476-11:2005(F)
China: TB10018 (2003), GB50021 (2003), DGJ08-37 (2012)
Freely downloadable papers
3rd International Conference on the
Flat Dilatometer (DMT)
Rome 14th-16th June 2015

Official web site: Papers: Contact Info:
Highlights of the conference include

Prof. Roger Frank (ISSMGE president) Welcome

Prof. J. Schmertmanns dinner talk
Prof. M. Jamiolkowski: use of SDMT in the
Zelazny Most dam in Poland
Prof. F. Schnaid: use of DMT and SDMT in
tailings dam

120 abstracts from 32 Countries

Conference venue in the town center
Rome Touristic Attractions
St. Peters and Pope Francesco
Rome: Booking June 2015

Difficult booking ( Hotel, Flights ):

June is high season

High popularity of the Pope

EXPO 2015 (Milan-Rome)

Driven Pile Setup testing and the Dilatometer Early Applications of SDMT in Dubai in Two Perception of Overconsolidates States of
P. J. Bullock Main Projects for Natural Artificial Earthfill Silty Coarse-Grained Soils using DMT Results
Design of Retaining Structures in a Tropical Soil Sand H. Choo, W. Lee, C. Lee, Y.-S. Kim & M.-J. Lee
with the Use of the Marchetti Dilatometer E. Sharif Redesign of Shallow Foundations using
R. P. Cunha & A. Reyes Evaluation of Geotechnical Parameters of Clay Dilatometer Tests More Case Studies after
Estimation of Lateral Earth Pressure on Built in Dam Core based on DMT DMT'06 Conference
Cantilever Sheet Pile using Flat Dilatometer Test Z. Skutnik & S. Krysiak R. Failmezger, P. Till, J. Frizzell & S. Kight
(DMT) Data: Numerical Study Long-term Settlements of an Avalanche Geotechnical Characterization for the Magneti
K. Deb & S. Konai Gallery on Loose Soil Marelli Factory in Crevalcore (Bologna): DMT,
Settlements Analysis using the Dilatometer: W. Steiner & M. Schulte CPTu and Lab Tests Comparisons
Embankment over Soft Marine Clay Deposit Application of SCPTU and SDMT in the F. Fiorelli, M. Franceschini & R. Carbonella
in Dover, New Hampshire, USA Assessment of Settlement of Tailings Development of the Soil Classification by
A. Getchell, J. R. Blair, A. J. Santamaria & J. by Trial Embankment Material Index (ID)
Benoit W. Tschuschke, W. Swidzinski, S. Gogolik I. Guskov & A. Gayduk
Practical Use of the Dilatometer Tests Some & M. Walczak Comparisons of DMT with In-Situ and Laboratory
Case Studies from Poland Application of Modern Ground Investigation Tests in Soft Estuarine Clay
T. Godlewski Techniques To Characterise Quaternary R. Kelly, L. Bates & J. Pineda
Predicting Settlement and Stability of Wet Coal Sediments in Kempsey, NSW Peak Friction Angle of Undisturbed Sands using
Ash Impoundments using Dilatometer Tests J. Varcoe, K. Nation, K. Nunn & S. Terzaghi DMT
C. Hardin, R. Failmezger & B. Roth Use of SDMT Testing for Measuring Soil P. W. Mayne
A 400-ft (122 m) Deep Dilatometer Sounding in Densification by Ground Improvement in Soil behavior Type using the DMT
Atlantic Coastal Plain Soils Christchurch, New Zeland P. K. Robertson
N. Massoudi, R. Failmezger & J. A. Padgett S. Amoroso, K. M. Rollins, P. Monaco & A. Comparison of SPT and DMT/SDMT for
Thorp Liquefaction Potential of Soft Alluvial Soil at
Flat Dilatometer Tests for Verification of Ureteks
Resin-Injections Vibroflotation Control of Sandy Soils British Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar
R. Niederbtucker, W. Wu & A. Pasquetto L. Balachowsky & N. Kurek T. Sein
Using Combination of SPT, DMT and CPT to Set-Up in Heavy Tamping compaction of Geotechnical Characterization of Shallow
Estimate Geotechnical Model for a Special Sands Foundation and Wide Area:
Project in Turkey N. Kurek & L. Balachowski the Case Study of Venice Airport (Italy)
F. Orhun Onal & G. Ozmen Combination of SDMT and CPT Results for P. Simonini, M. Schiavo, A. Manganaro & S.
The Use of a DMT to Monitor the Stability of the Effective Analysis of Soils Parameters at a Site Amoroso
Slopes of a Clay Exploitation Pit in the Boom near Piacenza, Italy Governolo (Italy) Experimental Sites: In-Situ
Clay in Belgium K. Bandyopadhyay, S. Saraswati & S. Tests Comparisons and Mutual Conversions
H. Peiffer Bhattacharjee G. Togliani, L. Calzolari & A. Menghin
Pile Capacity Prediction (Class C): DMT vs Comparison of DMT, CPT, SPT and Vs SDMT a Tool for In-Situ Identification of
CPT G. Togliani & G. Reuter Based Liquefaction Assessment on Collapsible Soils
Preliminary Liquefaction Studies for Seismic Treasure Island during the Loma Prieta D. Berisavljevic, D. Rakic & N. Susic
Microzonation of Avezzano, Italy Earthquake DMT Tests at Sarapui Soft Clay Deposit:
S. Amoroso, P. Boncio, D. Famiani, S. K. Rollins, S. Amoroso & R. Hryciw from 1985 to 2012
Hailemikael, M. R. Manuel, G. Milana, P. Comparison of Soil Test Data, Obtained F. A. B. Danziger, G. M.
Monaco, M. Vassallo & G. Vessia with Different Probes FaquimJannuzzi, M. V. C. Mello Vieira
Liquefaction Evaluation of Aveiro Sands G. Boldyrev, I. Guskov, S. Lavrov, V. Toniazzo & T. Lunne
from SCPTU and SDMT Tests Sidorchuk & D. Skopintsev Dilatometer Tests in Sensitive Champlain
S. Amoroso, A. Viana da Fonseca, C. Instrumented DMT: Review and Analysis Sea Clay: Stress History and Shear
Rodrigues & N. Cruz H. Shen, W. Haegeman & H. Peiffer Strength
Evaluation of Liquefaction Potential by Analysis of Dilatometer Test in Clay A.J. Lutenegger
CPTU and SDMT L. Cao, M.-F. Chang & C. The Comparisons of the Cyclic resistance of
E. Anamali, L. Dhimitri, N. Shkodrani & D. Soil Stiffness Constitutive Model Calcareous Sand Deposit from Puerto
Ward Parameters for Geotechnical Problems: a Rico from Seismic Dilatometer (SDMT)
Soil Characterization of Catania Harbour by Dilatometer Testing Approach and Seismic Cone Penetration Tests
the Seismic Dilatometer Marchetti Test (SCPTu)
C. Cox & P. Mayne
(SDMT) A.C. Morales-Velez, C. D.P. Baxter, M. A.
Evaluation of DMT and CPT Parameters to
A.Cavallaro, P. Capilleri & M. Maugeri Pando & L. Brian Anderson
be Used in Numerical Modeling of Piles
Site Response Analysis and Liquefaction Use of Dilatometer in Unusual Difficult
J. R. Garcia & P. J. Rocha de
Hazard Evaluation in the Catania Harbour Soils a Case Study
(Italy) A. Ferraro, S. Grasso & M. R. Geotechnical Parameters of Loess Soils M. Mulabdic & K. Minazek
Massimino Seismic DMT Test in a Non-Text Book
from CPTU and SDMT
SDMT Based Analysis of the Liquefaction Type Geomaterial
Z. Mlynarek, J. Wierzbicki & M. Manka
Phenomena Induced by the April 6, 2009 B. P. Rocha, B. A. C. Castro & H. L.
SDMT Testing for the Estimatioon of In-Situ
Earthquake at Ponte Rasarolo, LAquila Giacheti
G Decay Curves in Soft Alluvial and
(Italy) Re-appraisal of the Dilatometer for In-Situ
Organic SoilsG. Pepe, G. Coen, A.
P. Monaco, G. Totani & S. Amoroso Assessment of Geotechnical Properties of
Pagliaroli, F. Stigliano, M. Mancini, G,
SDMT Based Site Characterization and Lanzo & M. Scarapazzi Swedish Glacio-Marine Clays
Liquefaction Analysis of Canal Banks T. Wood
Application of the MCC Model for the
Damaged by the 2012 Emilia (Italy) Seismic Estimation of Undrained Geotechnical
Sequence Parameters of Clays from Dilatometer
L. Tonni, G. Gottardi, M. Marchi, L. TestsV. Silvestri & C. Tabib
Martelli, P. Monaco, L. Simeoni & S.