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SAMPLING IN GEOTECHNICAL INVESTIGATION

27 NOVEMBER 2010

I.V. Anirudhan Geotechnical Solutions, Chennai

Types of samples
Disturbed samples - DS
Does not imply remoulded samples Supposed to retain the texture Supposed to retain the moisture Can be collected in bulk

Undisturbed samples - UDS


Implies samples with least disturbance Requires a confinement (tube or box)

Sampling Methods
Disturbed samples - DS

Sampling using SPT sampler (Split Spoon sampler) Bulk sampling from trial pits Sampling using smaller diameter tubes Sample for auger cuts
Auger cuts are mixed / remoulded / with severe alteration in water content

These samples are usually representative samples

Sample from drilling wash


Severe loss of fine particles and any other binding material

Sampling Methods
Undisturbed samples - UDS

By pushing thin walled tubes of 80 to 100mm dia Using piston samplers in soft deposits Using Shelby tubes By hand cut cube samples in trial pits By driving sampling tubes
severe sampling disturbance

These samples are supposed to be with least disturbance

Undisturbed sampling in sand Undisturbed sampling in Expansive and other residual soils
Core drilling is not very successful, Tube sampling causes severe disturbance Freezing techniques, etc., highly expensive, not very successful

Undisturbed Sampling
Thin Walled Tube Sampling
Sampler Head

Sampling Tube

Undisturbed Sampling
Thin Walled Tube Sampler

100mm dia MS tube

Sampler Head Ball

Provision for bolt

Vent holes 4 Nos

Wax second layer Wax first layer Polythene sheet UDS tube Sample

Undisturbed Sampling
Thin Walled Tube Sampling
Using ordinary light rigs and tripod Pushing the sampler is possible only when the shear strength is less than 20 kPa Driving of the sampler is resorted for stiffer soil

Undisturbed Sampling
Thin Walled Tube Sampling
In the field Disturbances during sampling
1. Disturbance to the structure during pushing the sampler 2. Alteration in stress levels when withdrawn

During transporting and storing


1. Migration of moisture during transport and storing 2. Change in shape by self weight in the case of very soft soil

In the lab
1. Disturbance to the structure during pushing the tubes 2. Alteration in stress levels when withdrawn 3. Further disturbance while trimming to the size

Pushing Sampling tube into the soil (Field)

Pushing Smaller dia tubes for test specimens (Lab)

Undisturbed Sampling
Effect of sampling disturbance
UNDRAINED SHEAR STRENGTH (Kg/cm )
2

0.0 0.0 2.0 4.0


DEPTH (m)

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

Near Karaikkal
VST UCC TRIAXIAL

6.0 8.0 10.0 12.0 14.0


Pushing Smaller dia tubes for test specimens (Lab)

Undisturbed Sampling
Effect of sampling disturbance

LAB SHEAR STRENGTH KG/CM2

Undisturbed Sampling
Thin Walled Tube Sampling
Ways to reduce the disturbance In the field and during transport
1. Use very thin samplers and preferably piston samplers only by pushing the sampler using a hydraulic system 2. Place the sample filled tubes in a box with shock absorber packing

In the lab
1. Carry out the tests without time delay 2. Use very thin sampling tubes 3. The test specimens shall be initially confined to the field stresses (Requires three to four days extra for each sample and also requires more sensitive confining pressure application) 4. Saturation of specimen with back pressure

Require more time and fund

Disturbed sampling
Methods of sampling
More important because of the difficulties related to UDS The sample shall be representative and the collection shall be more frequent to present relatively thin layers along the depth Common method is collection using SPT sampler Collection of auger cuts is very common Collection of bulk samples form shallow trial pits Collection of samples using tubes of smaller diameter which is successful in the case of sand layers also.

Disturbed sampling
Methods of sampling & their influence
SPT samples
SPT samples are more representative with regard to texture Natural Moisture content Good for index property tests and grain size analysis

Auger cut samples


Usually remolded and mix with other layers Alters the natural moisture content Not very good for index properties and grain size

Tube samples
These samples are most representative with regard to texture and Natural Moisture content Good for index property tests and grain size analysis Long sampler can be sued for continuous sampling

Disturbed sampling
Method of Boring

Boreholes are usually 150mm diameter Disturbance at the borehole bottom is critical Most of the procedures leave 200 to 300mm disturbed bottom resulting bad sampling (and even SPT N) My experience with rotary boring and mud circulation with side discharge causes less disturbance

Disturbed sampling
Rotary wash boring procedure

Disturbed sampling
Using SPT sampler

BALL CHECK VALVE IN THE HEAD PORTION

TIP SPLIT HALVES

HEAD

Disturbed sampling
Using SPT sampler

Disturbed sampling
Using SPT sampler

Disturbed sampling
In highly weathered rock using SPT sampler

SPT blow count 50 blows /12cm SPT blow count 50 blows /12cm

Disturbed sampling
In highly weathered rock using SPT sampler

SPT blow count 50 blows /10cm

Disturbed sampling
In highly weathered rock using SPT sampler

SPT blow count 50 blows /7cm

SPT blow count 50 blows /6cm

Disturbed sampling
In highly weathered rock using SPT sampler

SPT blow count 50 blows /5cm Same, fines washed off

Disturbed sampling
Effect of washing (wash samples during drilling)
CLAY SILT FINE MEDIUM COARSE FINE SAND MEDIUM COARSE FINE GRAVEL MEDIUM

100 90

GRAIN SIZE DISTRIBUTION CURVES

80 70

PERCENTAGE FINER

60 50 40 30 20 Wash samples 10 0 0.001 0.01 0.1 PARTICLE SIZE MM 1 10 100

Natural samples

Sampling in Geotechnical Investigation


Concluding remarks
Undisturbed sampling is mostly using thin walled tubes Most common method of sampling is while conducting SPT Use of light rigs calls for driving of tubes causing sever disturbance More disturbance during transport Reduction of disturbance and correction is time consuming and expensive Auger cut samples are not good quality disturbed samples SPT samples from well drilled holes produce good disturbed samples. Tests are frequent intervals is good practice

Wash samples are misleading

Thank you for your attention

anirudhen@eth.net geotechnicalsolutions@airtelmail.in www.geotechnicalsolutions.biz