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Foundation Design 1. Soil exploration


Arghya Das
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Email: arghya@iitk.ac.in

CPT correlations: Dynamic cone penetration (DCPT): IS:4968 (I & II) ‐ 1976

Dynamic cone penetration test is a relatively quick and economic subsurface soil
exploration technique for the determine the soil resistance.

The device used in this test consists of

a cone (having an apex angle of 60°)
and drilling rod.
The entire attachment is driven into
the soil by hammering with a 60 kg
f weight freely falling from a height of
Rf  s
qc 750 mm.
Number of blows required for every
100 mm penetration is recorded and
blows for the total of 300 mm
penetration is known as dynamic cone
resistance, Ncd.

Ideal test to locate the position of soft

pockets and rock stratum.

DCPT correlations: Vane shear test:
Vane shear test is used for the in‐situ determination of the undrained
strength of intact, fully saturated clays. Generally, this test is only used in
When 50 mm cone is used clays having undrained strengths less than 100 kN/m2.
Ncd = 1.5N for depths upto 3 m
Ncd = 1.75N for depths from 3 m to 6 m
Ncd = 2.0N for depths greater than 6 m
The length of the vane is
equal to twice its overall
width, typical dimensions
When 62.5 mm cone is used as proposed by CBRI being 150 mm by 75 mm
Ncbr = 1.5N for depths upto 4 m and 100 mm by 50 mm.
Ncbr = 1.75N for depths from 4 m to 9 m Preferably the diameter of
the rod should not exceed
Ncbr = 2.0N for depths greater than 9 m
12.5 mm.


Vane shear test: Pressure meter test (PMT):
Torque is applied gradually to the upper end of the rod by means of suitable
The shear modulus (G) can be determined in situ by means of the pressuremeter
equipment until the clay fails in shear due to rotation of the vane. Shear failure
which was originally developed in the 1950s by Menard in an attempt to
takes place over the surface and ends of a cylinder having a diameter equal to the
overcome the problem of sampling disturbance and to ensure that the macro‐
overall width of the vane.
fabric of the soil is adequately represented.

• The central measuring cell is expanded against the

borehole wall by means of water pressure.
Open top end • Measurements of the applied pressure and the
 D 2 H D3  corresponding increase in volume of the cell being
T   cu    recorded.
 2 12 
Close top end
 D 2 H D3 
T   cu   
 2 6 

Pump test for permeability measurement (IS:5529‐1985)
Pressure meter test (PMT):

The pumping out test is an

Determination of shear stiffness accurate method for finding out
and earth pressure at rest in‐situ permeability of the strata
below water table or below river
dp bed. This method is best suited for
G V
dv all ground water problems where
v0  v f accurate values of permeability
V  Vm  Vc  representative of the entire
p aquifer are required for designing
K0  0m cut off or planning excavations.

2 2
2 1

Borehole test for permeability measurement (IS:5529‐1985)
Field permeability: (Open end test)
• Advantages of borehole test Q
• simple test
• cost effective A borehole of radius r is excavated and lined
• less time consuming
with a pipe casing of the same radius up to Ground surface
about the center of the layer whose
• required less man power permeability is to be estimated. The bottom
• applicable to both saturated and unsaturated materials is unlined to allow the flow.

• Disadvantages of borehole test
• less accurate method (leakage, clogging, air locking)

• quality of used water is of primary importance Water is added at a constant rate Q which 
• relatively small area is covered keeps a constant level of water in the pipe
• Types of borehole tests
Open‐end test
Test strata
*Packer test 5.5



Field permeability: (Open end test) Field permeability: (Open end test)

Additional pressure (p) can be added if the

permeability is very low or the groundwater Ground surface For very thick layers, the variable
table is close to the ground surface head tests are more suitable than
the constant head tests.

5.5 8

Test strata