Soil Exploration
Symbols for Soil Exploration
CB STP correction factor for the boreholes diameter.
CR STP correction factor for the rod length.
CS STP correction factor for the sampler type used.
cu Soils undrained cohesion.
Df Depth of the foundations invert.
Em The efficiency of the STP hammer.
N The raw value of the STP (as obtained in the field).
po The original vertical stress at a point of interest in the soil mass.
S The number of stories of a building.
SPT Stands for Standard Penetration Test.
N60 Corrected STP assuming 60% efficiency in the field.
N70 Corrected STP assuming 70% efficiency in the field.
m Correction factor for the shear vane test using the clays Plasticity Index PI.
A four story reinforced concrete frame office building will be built on a site where the soils are
expected to be of average quality and uniformity. The building will have a 30 m x 40 m footprint
and is expected to be supported on spread footing foundations located about 1 m below the ground
surface. The site appears to be in its natural condition, with no evidence of previous grading.
Bedrock is 30m below the ground surface. Determine the required number and depth of the
borings.
Solution:
A reinforced concrete building is heavier than a steel framed building of the same size. Hence, the
design engineer will want soil conditions that are at least average or better. From Table1 below, one
2
boring will be needed for every 300 m of footprint area. Since the total footprint area is 30 m x 40 m
2
=1,200 m , use
four
borings.
0.7
0.7
Table2 provides the minimum depth required for the borings, 5 S + D = 5(4) + 1 = 14 m. Most
design engineers want one boring to go to a slightly greater depth to check the next lower stratums
strength.
In summary, the exploration plan will be 4 borings to a depth of 14 m.
Table1  Spacing of the exploratory borings for buildings on shallow foundations.
Subsurface Conditions
(m )
(ft )
200
2,000
Average
300
3,000
600
6,000
(ft)
0.7
+D
20S
0.7
+D
6S
Average
5S
0.7
+D
15S
0.7
+D
3S
0.7
+D
10S
0.7
+D
The most common soil and soft rock sampling tool in the US is the Standard Split Spoon.
Split spoon tubes split longitudinally into halves and permit taking a soil or soft rock sample. The
tube size is designated as an NX. The NX outside diameter is Do = 50.8 mm (2 inches) and its
inside diameter is Di = 34.9 mm (13/8 inches). This small size has the advantage of cheapness,
because it is relatively easy to drive into the ground. Ho wever, it has the disadvantage of
disturbing the natural texture of the soil. In soft rocks, such as young limestone, it will destroy the
rock to such a degree that it may be classified as a sand.
A better sampler is the Shelby (or thintube sampler). It has the same outside diameter of 2 inches
(although the trend it to use 3 inches).
Compare the degree of sample disturbance of a US standard splitspoon sampler, versus the two
Shelby thintube samplers (2 and 3 outside diameters) via their area ratio Ar (a measure of
sample disturbance).
Solution:
A standard penetration test (SPT) has been conducted in a loose coarse sand stratum to a depth of
16 ft below the ground surface. The blow counts obtained in the field were as follows: 0 6 in = 4
blows; 6 12 in = 6 blows; 12 18 in = 8 blows. The tests were conducted using a USstyle donut
hammer in a 6 inch diameter boring with a standard sampler and liner. The effective unit weight
of the loose sand stratum is about 93.8 pcf.
Determine the corrected SPT if the testing procedure is assumed to only be 60% efficient.
Solution:
The raw SPT value is N = 6 + 8 = 14 (that is, only the last two sets of 6 penetrations).
The USstyle donut hammer efficiency is Em = 0.45, and the other parameters are obtained from the
Tables provided on the next page: CB = 1.05, CS = 1.00, CR = 0.85.
With these values, the SPT corrected to 60% efficiency can use Skemptons relation,
Em C B C S C R
N
60
0.45
0.60
1 .0 5
1 .0 0
0.60
0.85
14
60
2, 000 lb / ft 2
depth
effective unit w eight
N 60
9
2, 000 lb / ft
10
ft
93.8 pcf
16
Hammer Type
Release Mechanism
Hammer Efficiency
Argentina
donut
cathead
0.45
Brazil
pin weight
hand dropped
0.72
China
automatic
trip
0.60
donut
hand dropped
0.55
donut
cathead
0.50
Colombia
donut
cathead
0.50
Japan
donut
Tombi trigger
0.78  0.85
donut
0.65  0.67
UK
automatic
trip
0.73
US
safety
2turns on cathead
0.55  0.60
donut
2turns on cathead
0.45
donut
cathead
0.43
Venezuela
Correction Factors for the Boring Diameter, Sampling Method and Boring Rod Length
(adapted from Skempton, 1986).
Correction Factor
Equipment Variables
Value
1.00
150 mm (6 in)
1.05
200 mm (8 in)
1.15
Standard sampler
1.00
1.20
3 4 m (10 13 ft)
0.75
4 6 m (13 20 ft)
0.85
6 10 (20 30 ft)
0.95
1.00
A raw value of N = 40 was obtained from an SPT at a depth of 20 feet in a sand stratum that has a
3
unit weight of 135 lb/ft . Correct it only for depth.
Solution:
Any of these three methods will provide acceptable answers. Notice how similar their results are from
each other:
1. Using the Bazaraa Method (1967):
'
if p0 d 1.5 kips / ft and
4N
2
N corrected 1 2
po
'
4N
3.25 0.5
po
N corrected
if p0 t 1.5 kips / ft 2
3
( 20 ft )(135 lb / ft )
2
2
2.70 kips / ft ! 1.5kips / ft
1000 lb / kip
'
4(40)
4N
corrected
35
therefore N
3.25 0.5(2.70 kips / ft 2 )
3.25 0.5
po
but
p0
'
NC
corrected
where C
or
10
is in tons / ft
if p
p0
2
0.77 log 1915
is in kN / m
if p0
10
p0
CN
3
but
( 20 ft )(135 lb / ft )
p0
1.35 tons / ft
2.70 kips / ft
2000 lb / ton
0.77 log
20
?
CN
10
0.90 ?
1.35 tons / ft
(40)(0.90)
36
corrected
p
o
96.1 kN / 2m
(1.35 tons / ft )
1 ton / ft 2
129.7 kN / m
40
corrected
100 kN / m
129.7 kN / m 2
35
Correct the SPT values shown below for an energy ratio of 60% using a highefficient UStype
donut hammer in a 2diameter boring. The invert (bottom) of the mat foundation is at elevation
+5.2 feet.
+20
Ground Surface
+13.2
+10.9
+8 7
Water Table
+5.2
invert
+10.0
Sand+ gravel
N =26
N =25
+4.1
+0.0
Soft clay
Medium sand
10.0
20.0
T = 3.5
Hard clay
N =24
N =30
N =31
of
Solution:
Skempton proposed in 1986 the following correction for the sampling methods to the raw SPT value,
N 60
assuming that only 60% of the energy of the hammer drives the sampler,
Em C B C S C R
N
0.60
where: N60 = SPT Nvalue corrected for field procedures assuming 60% efficiency
Em = 0.60 o
CB = 1.00 o
CS = 1.00 o
2, 000 lb / ft 2
depth
effective unit weight
N 60
(0.60)(1)(1)(0.75)(26)
20 and N
0.60
At +4.1
At+2.0
At 1.0
At 5.0
At 10
At 21
N 60
N 60
N 60
(0.60)(1)(1)(0.75)
(25)
0.60
(0.60)(1)(1)(0.75)
(24)
0.60
(0.60)(1)(1)(0.85)
(30)
0.60
20
60
19 and N
60
19
127
18 and N
60
18
60
26
35
31
11 ft
125
62.4 pcf
2, 000 lb / ft
26 and N
39
14 ft
126
62.4 pcf
2
60
26
N 60
(0.60)(1)(1)(0.95)(30)
29 and N
0.60
60
29
2, 000 lb / ft
18 ft
126
62.4 pcf
34
2, 000 lb / ft
34
23 ft
126
62.4
pcf
2
43 and N
60
62.4 pcf
9 ft
127
62.4 pcf
2, 000 lb / ft
(0.60)(1)(1)(0.85)(31)
26 and N
0.60
(0.60)(1)(1)(1)
(43)
0.60
8 ft
2, 000 lb / ft
N 60
N 60
2, 000 lb / ft 2
43
2, 000 lb / ft
33 ft
130
62.4 pcf
Notice that the depth correction does not affect the deeper layers.
41
39
A shear vane tester is used to determine an approximate value of the shear strength of clay. The
tester has a blade diameter d = 3.625 inches and a blade height h = 7.25 inches. In a field test, the
vane required a torque of 17.0 ftlb to shear the clay sample, which has a plasticity index of 47%
(PI = LL PL). Determine the undrained cohesion cu corrected for its plasticity.
47
S (d 2h/ 2) (d3 / 6)
17.0 ft lb
168 psf
2
6
The plasticity index helps correct the raw shear vane test value (Bjerrum, 1974) through the graph
shown above. For a plasticity index of 47% read a correction factor P = 0.80. Therefore,
cu
corrected
psf
Read the boring log shown below and determine, (1) the location of the phreatic surface, (2) the
depth of the boring and (3) the number of samples taken.
Solution:
(1) The phreatic surface (the water table) was not encountered in this boring and is noted at the bottom
of the report;
(2) The boring was terminated at 21 feet in depth; and
(3) Five samples were taken. Only one sample (#2) was used for laboratory tests (dry density and
moisture content). Samples #1 and #3 were complete splitspoon samples. Samples #4 and #5 were
incomplete splitspoon samples.
Using the boring log and the SPT versus Soil Engineering Parameters Table shown on the next two
pages, answer these four questions:
(1) Correct the values of the SPT of Sample S4 to a 70% sampling efficiency with a standard
sampling method and a USdonut hammer at elevation 17 feet;
(2) Correct the same sample S4 for depth assuming the unit weight is = 126 pcf;
(3) What are your estimates for the angle of internal friction and unit weight ?
(4) What is the elevation (above sea level) of the groundwater and the elevation of the bottom of
the boring?
Solution:
(1) The log shows a value of N = 15 (Sample S4) at elevation 16.5; at elevation 17 it has dropped a
small amount to N = 14. Notice that the Legend portion denotes that the sampler was a 2 O.D. split
spoon. Therefore, the sampling correction is,
N70
ECBCS CR
N
0.45
1.0
0.70
1.0
0.70
0.85
14

8
8
J h
126
17
psf
(3) What are your estimates for the angle of internal friction and unit weight ?
The log identifies this level at 17 as a brown and grey fine to medium SAND. Use the Table
provided on page 23 to obtain an estimate of some of the engineering parameters for granular soils. Read
the SPT for medium sands; then go to the Medium column and read the value of N = 8 to obtain the
values:
2
 The bottom of the boring was at 36.5 from the surface, or 347.0 36.5 = +310.5.
12
Correlation between SPT values and some Engineering Parameters of Granular Soils
Description
Loose
Medium
Dense
Very
dense
0.85
Dr
Relative
density
0.15
0.35
0.65
SPT
fine
12
36
7  15
16  30
(N'70 )
medium
23
36
47
59
8  20
10  25
21  40
26  45
26  28
27  28
28  30
28  30
30  32
30  34
30  34
32  36
33  40
33  38
36  42
40  50
70  102
89  115
108  128
108 140
11  16
14  18
17  20
17  22
coarse
I
fine
medium
coarse
Jwet
Note
Note
Note
Note
Very loose
pcf
Correlation between SPT values and some Engineering Parameters of Cohesive Soils
13
SPT  N70
Compressive Strength qu
Description
02
< 25 kPa
35
25  50 kPa
69
50  100 kPa
Medium
10  16
17  30
> 30
> 40
< 50
128 147
20 23
**Exploration09. Find the shear strength of a soil from the CPT Report.
(Revision: Sept.08)
Classify a soil from the data provided by the Cone Penetration Test (CPT) shown below at a depth
3
of 11 m. The clay samples recovered from that depth had = 20 kN/m and PI = Ip = 20. Compare
your estimate of the shear strength versus the lab test value of 550 kPa.
Solution.
Reading the data, q s ~ 400 kPa and q c ~ 11 MPa which results in a fR ~ 3%.
From the next chart, the soil appears to be a silty clay.
14
14
14
14
15
15
15
15
su
po
qc
Nk
16
16
220
16
16
Chapter 2
Phase Relations of Soil
Symbols for Phase Relations of soils
e
GS
Voids ratio.
Specific gravity of the solids of a soil.
Porosity.
Degree of saturation.
Va
Volume of air.
VV
VS
Volume of solids.
VW Volume of water.
w
WS
Weight of solids.
WW Weight of water.
g
gd
gb
1.  Voids ratio e
e
VV
VS
21
VV
V
100%
2.2
23
VW
x100%
VV
24
ranges from 0% to 100%.
WW
x100%
WS
25
J
WW
V
WS
VS
VA
26
VW
The unit weight may range from being dry to being saturated.
Some engineers use bulk density to refer to the ratio of mass of the solids and water
3
contained in a unit volume (in Mg/m ). Note that,
W
m
J
U g
g which is the equivalent of F ma.
V
V
6.  Dry unit weight d
J
d
J
WS
V
27
1
w
J
w
J
where J
62.4 pcf
1g/
ml
U g (F
1 kg /
liter
26
ma)
9.81 kN / m
Note that the above is for fresh water. Salt water is 64 pcf, etc.
8.  Saturated unit weight of a soil sat
WS
WW
V
V
0
SAT
28
J ' J
J w
29
SAT
J
S
G
S
210
J
w
Typical Values for the Specific Gravity of Minerals in Soils and Rocks
Mineral
Composition
Anhydrite
CaSO4
2.90
Barites
BaSO4
4.50
Calcite, chalk
CaCO3
2.71
Feldspar
KALSi3O8
2.60 to 2.70
Gypsum
CaSO4 2H2O
2.30
Hematite
Fe2O3
5.20
Kaolinite
Al4Si4O10(OH)8
2.60
Magnetite
Fe3O4
5.20
Pb
11.34
SiO2
2.65
Organic
1.0 or less
Skeletons of plants
2.00
Lead
Quartz (silica)
Peat
Diatomaceous earth
wGS
1
J
dry
e
1
e
1
G
JJ
J
n
SAT
d
w
w)GS J
(1
GS J (1
n)(1
w)
1
w GS
S
1 w
J
n J
s
w
J '
J w
1
1
w
wG
GJ
s
SAT
J
nJd
J
SAT
20
20
1
e
(1
e)w
SAT
eS J
GS J
e
e
e Gs J w
(S
wGs )
J
w
20
20
A cohesive soil sample was taken from an SPT and returned to the laboratory in a glass jar. It was
3
found to weigh 140.5 grams. The sample was then placed in a container of V = 500 cm and 423
3
cm of water were added to fill the container. From these data, what was the unit weight of the soil
3
in kN/m and pcf?
Solution.
Notice that the 140.5 grams is a mass. Therefore, the ratio of mass to volume is a density ,
Uf
m
V
3
J
Ug
140.5 g
(500
423)cm
1.82
gf
3
cm
f
f
1 kg
1.82
9.806
3
3
cm
10 g
2
m 1 k N 1 0 cm
3
sec 10 N
f
2
17.9
1m
3
kN 1000 N
1m
0.2248 lbs
f
J
114 pcf (US units )
17.9
m 1 kN
35.3 ft 3
1N
3
kN
( SI units )
m
A contractor has compacted the base course for a new road and found that the mean value of the
3
test samples shows w = 14.6%, GS = 2.81, and J = 18.2 kN/m . The specifications require that e
d
0.80. Has the contractor complied with the specifications?
Solution:
GS J
J
1
w
1
2.81
9.81
e 1.74
e
0.146
m
18.2
?
0.8
1
e
GS J W 1
w
J
? 1
e
kN
1.74
kN
3
m
1 0.74
0.74
nJ
sat
nJ
sat
1
1
J d J S
Solution:
(1) In a fully saturated soil the relation, Se
1 or GS
e
n
because S
wsat
but J
sat
n GS
1
G
rearranging
wsat 1
Jw
or
J
n
nJ
wsat (1
n)
therefore wsat
n
wsat
sat
wGs
sat
nJ
sat
wsat
J
w
?
V
w V
w
sat
or
WS
WS
wsat
Jw
JV
V
VS
W
S
VV
VV J
VV J
VS
VS 1 WS
GS
VS
VS JS
VV
J
w
WS
VV
WS
VS
WS
VS
A geotechnical laboratory reported these results of five samples taken from a single boring.
Determine which are not correctly reported, if any.
3
Solution:
VV J
VV J
VS
sat
V J
S
J
V
w V
V 1 W
S
W
S
w
S
VV
VV
w
VS
VS
VV
1
1
VS
J
sat
w
w
WS
J S
J
WS
d
The water content is in error if it is greater than the saturated moisture, that is,
w
VS
? wd
wSAT
1) wSAT
2)
9.81 kN / m
1
J
S
14.9
1 kN / m
9.81
18
SAT
3) w
1 9.81
kN / m
SAT
4) wSAT
5)
v
1 18.5%
w
20% WRONG
27
26
1
3
9.81 kN / m
17.3 28
1
3
9.81
kN
/
m
w 30% GOOD
27
30%
!
24%
w
10% GOOD
16
22.1% !
w
22% GOOD
18.5%
22%
WRON
G
SAT
18
27
A soil sample has a unit weight of 105.7 pcf and a saturation of 50%. When its saturation is
increased to 75%, its unit weight raises to 112.7 pcf.
Determine the voids ratio e and the specific gravity Gs of this soil.
Solution:
J
?
and
GS
Se
1 e
105.7 pcf
62.4(GS
0 .5 0 e )
1
e
6 2 .4 (G S
0 .7 5 e )
1
e
112.7 pcf
(1)
(2)
105.7
62.4
e
0.50e
112.7
e 0.814
1
e
and GS
105.7
2 .6 7
62.4
0.25e
The moist unit weight of a soil is 16.5 kN/m . Given that the w = 15% and Gs = 2.70, find:
(1) Dry unit weight d,
(2) The porosity n,
(3) The degree of saturation S, and
3
(4) The mass of water in kgm/m that must be added to reach full saturation.
Solution:
a) J =
d =
16.5
kN
= 14.3
(1 + w)
(1 + 0.15)
m
b) From the table of useful relationships,
2.70
9.81
GJ
GJ
s w
J
? 1
1.85 ?
s w
e
e
d
1
14.3
J d
e
e
46%
0 .8 5
n
100%
1
1 0.85
e
wGs ?
Se
c) Since S
d)
J
=
sat
( G S + e) J
w Gs
e
0.15
100
48%
2.70
0.85
2.70 + 0.85
9 .8 1
0.85
= 18.8
=
1+e
m3
1+0.85
?
m U
m / s
g
m/s
kN
18.
8  16.5 kN 3/ m
U g
1, 000 N
9.81 kg 
9.81kg
1 kN
= 2, 340
kg
m
3
*Phases of soils07: Use the block diagram to find the degree of saturation.
(Revision: Sept.08)
1.87, wN
60%, and GS
2.75 .
moist and S? (Note: All soils are really moist except when dry, that is when w = 0%).
Set VS = 1 m3 (Note: this problem could also be solved by setting V = 1.0 m3).
Solution:
1 .8 7
?
1.87 V
?
VV
e
o
VS
Gs
Ws
Vs
1.87
2.87 m
1
Ww
N
?W
J
s
0.60W
?
w
Ws
3
1 m3
9.81 kN / m
G
s
0.60
W
2.75
26.98 kN
Ww 0.60 Ws
26.98
26.98
W Ws
Ww
?
W
V
43.17 kN
3
2.87 m
moist
Ww
?
Vw
VV
J
w
VV
16.19
9
.8 1
1.87
0.60
15.0
kN
3
m
88.2%
16.19
16.19 kN
43.17 kN
*Phases of soils08: Same as Prob07 but setting the total volume V=1 m3.
(Revision: Oct.08)
1.87, wN
60%, and GS
moist and S? (Note: All soils are really moist except when dry, that is when w = 0%).
Solution:
VV
but e
o
but V
1.87
?
1m
V
V
V
S
VS
Ww
w
N
Gs
Ws
Vs
?W
Ws
3
0.60W
0.60 ?
W
0.348 m
3 2.75
kN / m
0.348 and V
2.87V
V
1.87V
9.81
9.39 kN
Ww 0.60 Ws
9.39
9.39
W Ws
Ww
?
W
V
15.0 kN
1 m3
moist
Ww
J
?
Vw
VV
VV
5 .6 3
9 .8 1
0.652
15.0
kN
m
88.0%
0.60
5. 6 3 k N
5.63
15.02 kN
0.652
A soil sample has a unit weight of 105.7 pcf and a water content of 50%. When its saturation is
increased to 75 %, its unit weight raises to 112.7 pcf. Determine the voids ratio e and the specific
gravity Gs of the soil. (NB: This is the same problem as Phase06, but solved with a block
diagram).
Solution:
Set V
J
J
1 ft
1 1 2 .7
7 .0
2
1
1 0 5 .7
V
w
4
V
a
and
2 0 .8 lb
Jw
62. pcf
0 .1 1 ft 3 ?
1
V
3
1
Vv
?
Vs
e
Ww
VV
VS
J
S
o f w a te r
2 1 .0 lb s a r 7 5 o f w a te r
e
%
2 0 .8
9 1 .9 lb
1 1 2 .7
?
WS
lb s a r 2 5
e
%
0 .3 3 ft 3
3
1
0 .4 4
4
0 .5 5
6
0 .4 4 4
V J
0 .8 0
9 1 .9 lb
2 .6 5
0 .5 5 6
w
0 .5 5 6
WS
S
0 .1 1 1
44
( 6 2 .4 )
0 .3 3 3
0 .4
A saturated soil sample has a unit weight of 122.5 pcf and Gs = 2.70. Find J
dry
, e, n, and w.
Solution:
1 WS
V VS
Vw
J
G
WS
W
w
1 2 2 .5
lb
Ww
C
s o 1m b in in g eq u atio n s (1 ) an d (2 ) yield
? W
V
Ww
2 7 .0 lb ?
? W
V S
Jw
WS
9 5 .5 lb ?
S
?
WS
d ry
?
e
VV
VS
VV
V
30
30
GS J w
6 2 .4
p cf
0 .4 3
3
ft 3
6 2 . p cf
4
9 5 .5 lb
2 .7 0
2 .4
2 .7 0
Ww
0 .5 6 ft 3
7
(6 p cf )
9 5 . p cf
5
9 5 .5
lb
1 ft
2 7 .0 lb
1 2 2 .5
0 .7 6 4
0 .4 3
3
0 .5 6
7
?
Ww
WS
0 .4 3 3
27
9 5 .5
0 .4 3 3
0 .2 8 3
30
30
31
31
4 3 .3 %
2 8 .3 %
31
31
Determine the weight of water (in kN) that must be added to a cubic meter of soil to attain a 95 %
3
degree of saturation, if the dry unit weight is 17.5 kN/m , its moisture is 4%, the specific gravity of
solids is 2.65 and the soil is entirely made up of a clean quartz sand.
Solution:
kN
17.5
m
18.2
W
W
W
18.2kN
1
w
W
0.04
wW
m
(1 . 0 4 ) W
and
17.5kN ,
0.70 kN
WS
V
S
G J
17.5 kN
J
S
Ww
V
w
VV
VS
(9.81 k
W e require a
S
w
W
wW
(0.04)
100
2.65
0.49
0.17
kN )
2.98 kN
0.70 kN
?
er
V
s
0.49
( 0 . 1 7 ) (1 7 .
5
already have W
V
a
95% , therefore,
2.65
S
V
V
0.95
0.49
Se
GS
/m )
wGS
e
The existing
S
0.07 m
?
0.07
0.257
0.673
(9.8 / m )
2.65
1 kN
0.70 kN
Jw
0.673 m
17.5 kN
2.28 kN
21.6%
0.257 m
w
A project engineer receives a laboratory report with tests performed on marine marl calcareous
silt). The engineer suspects that one of the measurements is in error. Are the engineers suspicions
correct? If so, which one of these values is wrong, and what should be its correct value?
u n it w e ig h t o f s a m 1 8 . k N
G iv e n J p le
4
3
m
kN
J S u n it w e ig h t o f s o
26.
3
m
lid s
1
w w a te r c o n te
nt
e v o id s r a
tio
40%
1 .1 2
S d e g r e e o f s a tu r a
tio n
95%
Solution:
0.4
26.1
w
S
9.81
J
w
but e
VV
? 0
V
1.12
V
a
VS
?
V
?
0.472 m ,
0.95V
0.502 m
0.026 m
kN
26.1
0.472
3
J
?W
m
V
S
S S
3
m
kN
Ww wWS
0.40
3
12.3
m
0.528 m but V
V
1.12V
12.3 kN
4.9 kN
12.3 kN
4.9 kN
17.2 kN
Therefore, the actual unit weight of the soil is,
kN
kN
17.2 kN
z
17.2
18.4
?J
3
3
3
W
m
m
1m
V
You are a Project Engineer on a large earth dam project that has a volume of 5x10 yd of select
fill, compacted such that the final voids ratio in the dam is 0.80. Your boss, the Project Manager
delegates to you the important decision of buying the earth fill from one of three suppliers. Which
one of the three suppliers is the most economical, and how much will you save?
3
Supplier A
Supplier B
Supplier C
3
3
Solution:
Without considering the voids ratio, it would appear that Supplier B is cheaper than Supplier A by $1.37
3
per yd .
3
Therefore: To put 1yd of solids in the dam you would need 1.8 yd of soil.
3
A 6
10
B 6
10
C 6
10
1 .9
yd
1.8
3 .0
yd
1.8
yd
yd
yd
yd
5 .1 9 $
3 .9 1 $
1.8
2 .6
5 .2 8 $
Based on the previous problem (Phases13), if the fill dumped into the truck has an e = 1.2, how
3
many truck loads will you need to fill the dam? Assume each truck carries 10 yd of soil.
Solution:
Set VS
1 e
VV
VV
VS
VV
solids
5x10 yd of soil
solids
1 yd of
2.8x10 yd of solids
3
1.8 yd of soil
Number of Truck
trips
2.8x10 yd of
solids
3
616, 800
trip
*Phases of soils15: How many truck loads are needed for a project?
(Revision: Sept.08)
You have been hired as the Project Engineer for a development company in South Florida to build
610 housing units surrounding four lakes. Since the original ground is low, you will use the
limestone excavated from the lake to fill the land in order to build roads and housing pads. Your
3
estimated fill requirements are 700,000 m , with a dry density equivalent to a voids ratio e = 0.46.
The insitu limestone extracted from the lakes has an e = 0.39, whereas the limestone dumped
3
into the trucks has an e = 0.71. How many truckloads will you need, if each truck carries 10 m ?
Solution:
Assume: VS
3
1m ? e=
V
VV
VS
VV
The required 700,000 m of fill have 1.46 m of voids per each 1 m of solids
3
In order for the trucks to carry 479,000 m of solids they must carry 820,000 m of fill
3
820, 000 m
The number of truckloads =
10 m3
= 82,000 truckloads.
A large housing development requires the purchase and placement of the fill estimated to be
200,000 cubic yards of limerock compacted at 95% Standard Proctor with an OMC of 10%. Two
limerock suppliers offer to fill your order: Company A has a borrow material with an insitu =
115 pcf, w = 25%, GS = 2.70; Standard Proctor yields a maximum d = 112 pcf; at a cost of
3
3
$0.20/yd to excavate, and $ 0.30/yd to haul. Company B has a borrow material with an insitu =
3
120 pcf, w = 20%, GS = 2.70; Standard Proctor yields a maximum d = 115 pcf; a cost of $0.22/yd
3
to excavate, and $ 0.38/yd to haul.
(1) What volume would you need from company A?
(2) What volume would you need from company B?
(3) Which would be the cheaper supplier?
Solution:
(1)
(2)
e
The key idea: 1 yd of solids from the borrow pit supplies 1 yd of solids in the fill.
3
Pit B: WS = 100 lb, WW = 20 lb, VW = 0.321 ft3, VS = 0.594 ft3, Va = 0.08 ft3
VV 0.401
? 1.68 yd 3of soil contains 1.0 yd 3of solids.
0.68
VS 0.594
Pit A: WS = 92 lb, WW = 23 lb
VW = 0.369 ft , VS = 0.546 ft , Va = 0.085 ft
VV 0.454
3
3
0.83 ? 1.83 yd of soil contains 1.0 yd of solids.
VS 0.546
VV
VS
0.37
0.63
0.59
106.4 lb,
Ww
10.6 lb
? Site A requires
fill
200, 000 yd of
1.59
J
w
VV
VS
0.35
0.65
109.1 lb,
yd 3 of solids
? Site B requires
fill
200, 000 yd of
1.54
Ww
10.9 lb
125,
800 yd
$0.50
$ 115,100
1.83
yd
130,
000 yd
$0.60
B
$ 131,100
1.68
yd
A contractor obtains prices for 34,000 yd of compacted borrow material from three pits: Pit #3
is $11,000 cheaper than Pit #2 and $39,000 cheaper than Pit #1. The fill must be compacted down
3
3
to a voids ratio of 0.7. Pit #1 costs $ 6.00/yd and Pit #3 costs $ 5.50/yd . Pits #2 and #3 reported
their voids ratios as 0.88 and 0.95 respectively. Use a matrix to find,
a) The missing unit cost C2 for Pit #2;
b) The missing voids ratio e for Pit #1;
c) The missing volume of fill V required from each pit; and
d) The amount paid by the contractor for each pit.
Solution:
A summary of the data provided is herein shown in matrix form,
The volume of solids Vs contained in the total volume of fill V = 34,000 yd can be found from,
3
34, 000 20, 000 yd 3 of solids
0.7V
V
0.7
34, 000 yd ?
V
1
V
V V
V
V
V3
At Pit #3,
1 e ?
V
3
V3
1
0.95
V
S
1.7
20, 000 yd
39, 000 yd
$ 214, 500
$ 5.50 / yd
V2
At Pit #2:
1
e
V
?V
2
0.88
TC 1
At Pit #1: V
1
But, V
1
$ 6.00 / yd
1
e
V 1
e
S
$ 11,
TC 2
V2
TC3
$ 225, 500
3
37, 600 yd
TC2
000
3
20, 000 yd
28, 000
$ 6.00 / yd
3
20, 000 yd
1
?
TC2
$ 214, 500
$ 6.00 / yd
225, 500
28,
3
$ 6.00 / yd
3
?
42, 250 yd
e
1
$ 225, 500
1.11
**Phases of soils18: Find the voids ratio ofmuck (a highly organic soil).
(Revision: Sept.08)
You have been retained by a local municipality to prepare a study of their muck soils. Assume
that you know the dry unit weight of the material (solids) sm and the dry unit weight of the
organic solids so. What is the unit weight s of the combined dry organic mineral soil whose
organic content is M0? (The organic content is the percentage by weight of the dry organic
constituent of the total dry weight of the sample for a given volume.) What is the voids ratio e of
this soil if it is known that its water content is w and its degree of saturation is S?
Solution:
Js =
Ws
1
= (Vso + Vsm )
Vs
J
so
Therefore J
1  M
o
so
so
J sm
)+ J
 J
M
o
sm
so
so
sm
volume of water
Vv
(b) e = Vs =
=
Vs
J S
1
weight of water w
J wS
Vs
weight of solids
J wS
Vs
40
40
wJ sm J so
Therefore e =
M
o
J so
J
J
1  M
S M
w
sm
J
so
so
sm
41
41