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A modified empirical CPT-SPT correlation method for soils from Sudan

Une méthode de corrélation empirique TPC-TPS modifiée pour les sols soudanais

Abdul Karim M. Zein


Building and Road Research Institute, University of Khartoum, Sudan, karimzein2000@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT: Many CPT- SPT correlation relationships have been proposed worldwide to enable estimating either soil parameter
from available data of the other. In Sudan, the first SPT-CPT correlation was reported in 1980 and revised in 2003. This paper aims at
modifying the generalized CPT-SPT correlation for local soils developed in 2003 with the intention to improve the prediction
accuracy and reliability. The soils studied covered a variety of types including clayey, silty, and sandy soil deposits. The CPT
soundings were performed by a mechanical adhesion jacket cone to determine cone resistance qc and friction ratio Rf parameters at the
same depths where the SPT were made in adjacent boreholes. An empirical CPT-SPT relationship of fairly high correlation has been
developed based on statistical regression analysis of data pertaining to three soil types representing sands, silts and clays. The
developed CPT-SPT correlation is a modified version of the 2003 method can readily be used to estimate the corrected SPT Ncorr
parameter for soils of known net cone resistance (qc - σve) and friction ratio Rf values or vice versa for local soils of different types and
characteristics.

Résumé: De nombreuses relations de corrélation TPC-TPS (test de pénétration de cône-Test de pénétration standard) ont été
proposées à travers le monde afin de permettre d'estimer le paramètre du sol à partir des données disponibles de l'autre. Au Soudan, la
première corrélation TPC-TPSa été rapportée en 1980 et révisée en 2003. Ce document vise à modifier la corrélation TPC-TPS
généralisée pour les sols locaux développée en 2003 avec l'intention d'améliorer la précision et la fiabilité des prédictions. Les sols
étudiés couvraient une variété de types, y compris les dépôts argileux, limoneux et sablonneux. Les sondages de TPC ont été
effectués par un cône d'adhérence mécanique pour déterminer les paramètres de résistance de cône qc et de coefficient de friction
Rf aux mêmes profondeurs où les TPS ont été réalisés dans des trous de forage adjacents. Une relation empirique TPC-TPS de
corrélation assez élevée a été développée sur la base d'une analyse de régression statistique de données concernant trois types de sols,
représentant les sables, les limons et les argiles. La corrélation TPC-TPS développée est une version modifiée de la méthode 2003 qui
peut être facilement utilisée afin d’estimer le paramètre corrigé du TPS Ncorr pour les sols de résistance connue au cône net (qc-σve) et
de coefficient de frottement Rf, ou vice versa pour les sols locaux de différents types et caractéristiques.
KEYWORDS: CPT-SPT relationship corrected N value, net cone resistance, friction ratio, overburden pressure.

1. INTRODUCTION
2. PREVIOUS CPT-SPT RELATIONSHIPS
The in-situ testing of soils is being more frequently considered
in conducting geotechnical site investigations for design of The relationship between the CPT and SPT has been discussed
foundations for various civil engineering infrastructures. Of the in many previous studies and several methods have been
different in-situ testing techniques the standard penetration proposed to correlate the data from the two penetration tests.
test, SPT, and the cone penetration test CPT, are the most The usefulness and validity of a certain correlation may be
commonly used geotechnical investigation methods. Methods checked for soils and testing techniques different from those
of design based on the SPT and the CPT data have been used for developing it and if necessary, a new correlation
developed to estimate the bearing capacity and settlements of which gives a good comparison between qc and N may be
soils and to assess their liquefaction potential. proposed in each locality.
The results of the SPT and CPT are influenced by several The CPT cone resistance qc was directly related to the SPT
factors which include the equipment used, test procedure N-value according to the following general linear equation:
followed and the type and condition of the soil tested. The SPT q = n N
N-value is heavily dependent on the magnitude of incident (1)
energy required to drive the SPT tube into the soil. On the
other hand, the static CPT data is largely dependent on the type The values of the constant n ranged between 2 and 18
of equipment and the procedure of pushing the cone into the depending on the soil type and condition as reported in some
soil. previous investigation (Schmertmann1970, Sanglerat1972,
In some countries, the geotechnical engineers are more Clayton et al 1985).
familiar and experienced with the interpretation of the results In several other studies, qc and N were related to each other
of either the SPT or the CPT but may know little about the through one or more soil parameters that are believed to have a
other. In such cases, they cannot apply the design methods significant effect on their values. From a review of published
based on the results of both tests unless a simple and fairly literature, the mean grain size D50, the friction ratio Rf and the
accurate correlation is established to relate the data from the fines content FC were used as the most important variables
two test methods. By establishing such a relationship, the which may be considered in developing the qc-N correlation.
results from either test can be converted to those likely to be For instance, the following relationship was proposed between
obtained from the other. In fact, this has been the subject in the qc/N ratio and the mean grain size D50for alluvial soils with
many investigations carried in several countries since 1956. D50 values in the range of 0.0015 to 0.5mm ([Muromachi and
Kabayashi1982):

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Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Seoul 2017

= 5.48 + 1.36 Log The present study aims at updating and improving the accuracy
(2) and reliability of the generalized qc-N correlation relationship
developed by the author in 2003 for Sudanese soils based on
A more popular graphical relationship between qc/N and Equation and illustrated graphically in Figure 1.
D50was proposed in 1983using data collected from sixteen The same database utilized for developing the 2003 qc-N
sources for a variety of soil types (Robertson et al 1983)]. The correlation method for Sudanese soils was used for the purpose
SPT N-values were corrected to about 55-60 % of the of this study. Several sites mainly located in Khartoum State
theoretical maximum SPT energy (475 J). were covered in the study. The soils comprised a variety of
A relationship was proposed for saturated cohesionless types including the clayey, silty and sandy deposits located
soils from Taiwan between the qc/N ratio and FC as follows above and below the ground water table. The CPT was carried
(Chin et al 1988): out by a static machine equipped with a mechanical adhesion
jacket cone. The CPT and SPT were measured at the same
= 4.7 - 0.05* depths with a lateral distance of about 3 to 5m between their
(3) locations.
The N values were corrected to a 55% of the standard
maximum energy. This equation indicates that the qc /N is
linearly and inversely related to the FC of the soil tested.
The friction ratio Rf, defined as the ratio of the side friction
to the cone resistance (fs/qc) measured in a mechanical or
electrical cone penetration test. The Rf was used by some
authors (Robertson 1986, Schmertmann1971, Ismail and Zein
1987) as a parameter in relating the qc and N data as expressed
by Equation 4 below in which A and B are constants
(Schmertmann 1971):
N = (A + B ∗ R ) ∗ q
(4)
It appears from the above review that there is no general
rule which should be followed for developing a reliable qc-N
correlation because none of the assumed relationships proved
to be satisfactory for all soil types and conditions.
Nevertheless, the need for establishing such relationships has
been emphasized by researchers in several countries. It is Figure 1 Generalized qc-Rf-N correlation method for Sudanese soils
generally recommended to develop such relationships [Zein 2003]
whenever and wherever the required data are made available.
In Sudan, the first study was carried out in 1980 (Zein 4. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
1980) to develop a qc-N correlation using data collected for
various local soil. Two regions, each comprising a number of As stated in section 2, the friction ratio Rf may be considered
sites, were chosen for the study, namely Khartoum State and as the best soil parameter compared to D50 and FC which
the Jonglie State in Southern Sudan. An evaluation study was accounts for soil type variability and was therefore adopted
also carried out to compare between the indirect CPT-CPT herein for the development of a modified CPT-SPT correlation.
correlation relationships based on the three soil parameters Two main aspects were considered in the analysis of the CPT
considered by previous authors as expressed by Equations 2, 3 and SPT data to meet the objective of this study. Firstly; the
and 4 (Zein 2003).The study results revealed that the CPT 2003 method was based on data pertaining to soils of different
friction ratio Rf seems to be superior to the mean grain size D50 types and a nonlinear equation (Equation 5) was used to
and the fines content FC in developing correlation equations develop the CPT-SPT correlation chart depicted in Figure 1.
with the qc/N ratio. A nonlinear CPT-SPT relationship has Due to its generalized nature, the method is not expected to be
been established from analysis of data for fine and coarse as accurate as any other method developed a soil or soil group
grained soils based on the Rf values based on statistical of given type and characteristics. Therefore, it was intended in
analysis of data as expressed in the following polynomial this study to establish separate SPT-CPT correlation equations
equation: for different soil subgroups. Secondly, the SPT N and CPT
cone resistance qc data used in analysis for developing the
= - 0.0038( ) + 1.5975( ) + 10.292 correlation chart in Figure 1 were those actually measured
(5) during field explorations and have not been corrected for
overburden pressure effects. As the values of N and qc are
The qc and N in Equation 5 were measured in kg/cm2 and known to be affected by the effective overburden pressure σv it
the blow count/305mm respectively. A graphical solution was deemed important to consider such effects. This has been
based on the above equation was produced as shown in Figure accounted for by correcting the measured SPT N values to
1 to enable estimating N directly from known qc values ,or vice values of σv corresponding to samples depths and using the
versa, for arbitrarily assumed values of Rf from 1.0 to 8.0%. CPT net cone resistance (qc-σve) in analysis instead of the total
Several other empirical SPT-CPT relationships have also qc values. The tendency to correct the measured SPT and CPT
been proposed in some recent studies for various soil types values for overburden pressure effects conforms to the trend
tested by electrical and mechanical cone types (Akca 2003, followed for data analysis in current research works. Following
Bashar 2014, Fauzi et al 2015). this approach anew analysis was made using the same data of
the previous study to search a sound and reliable relationship
3. STUDY OBJECTIVESAND METHODOLOGY between (qc-σve) and Ncor that is applicable to different soil

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Technical Committee 102 / Comité technique 102

types. It is important to consider each soil subgroup separately Figure 4 Relationship between CPT net cone resistance
in establishing such relationships because the qc/N ratio varies (qc- σve) and SPT corrected Ncor for clay soil subgroup
considerably for different soil types. Normally it is difficult to
determine the type of soil without testing but for convenience The following linear relationships have been obtained from
three main soil groups were considered in establishing direct regression analysis between the net cone resistance (qc - σve)
(qc-σve)-Ncor correlation equations as presented below. expressed in kPa and the corrected SPT Ncorr values in blows
The soil database was divided into three main subgroups per 305mm soil penetration for the Rf ranges assumed to
on the basis of assigned friction ratio ranges of Rf= 0.5 to 2.5% represent the three main soil types considered:
for sandy soils, Rf = 2.6 to 4.5% for mixed clay-silt-sand soils ( - )=390.0* +2656.7 for = 0.5–2.5%
and Rf = 4.5 to 7.5% for clay soils. The values of (qc-σve) and (5)
Ncorr were determined for the samples in each soil subgroup
and plotted against each other as shown in Figures 2, 3 and 4 ( - )=236.3* +248.4 for =2.5–4.5%
for the sand, sand-silt-clay mixtures and claysoil types (6)
respectively.
( - )=117.7* +557.5 for =4.5–7.5%
Linear regression analysis was performed to establish the
(7)
relation between (qc- σve) and Ncor and determine the
correlation strength using the same data set for each soil The coefficient of determination, R2 measures the strength
subgroup. of the correlation between two variables and tells whether or
25000
not a sound relationship exists between them. The R2 values for
Net CPT cone resistance (kPa)

Rf = 0.5-2.5% Equations 5, 6 and 7were 0.76, 0.79 and 0.80 respectively


20000 which indicate reliable linear correlation relationships between
(qc- σve) and Ncor for the different soil subgroups.
15000 As stated earlier, the friction ratio Rf may be considered as
a useful index which accounts for soil variability in the CPT-
10000 SPT relationship for local soils and it was therefore adopted as
an indicative of the soil type. The mean values of the friction
5000 ratio Rf calculated from CPT data at the depths of soil samples
were 1.6% for the clay soils, 3.7% for mixed soils and 6.2%
0 for sand soil groups. The best fit lines corresponding to
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 equations 5, 6 and 7 were combined as shown in Figure 5.
Corrected SPT N value (blows/305mm)
30000
Figure 2 Relationship between CPT net cone resistance Mean Rf = 1.6%
Net cone resistance (qc - σv) kPa

(qc- σve) and SPT corrected Ncor for sandy soil subgroup 25000
Mean Rf = 3.7%
20000
20000
Net CPT cone resistance (kPa)

Rf = 2.5-4.5%
15000
15000 Mean Rf = 6.2%
10000

10000 5000

5000 0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

0 Corrected SPT N value (blows/305mm)


0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Figure 5 CPT-SPT best fit regression lines of (qc- σve) versus corrected
Corrected SPT N value (blows/305mm) Ncor relationships for sand, mixed and clay soil subgroups

Figure 3 Relationship between CPT net cone resistance


(qc- σve) and SPT corrected Ncor for mixed soil subgroup It seems reasonable to assume that the regression lines in
Fig. 5 represent the data pertaining to sand, mixed and clay soil
10000 subgroups having mean Rf values i.e. 1.6, 3.7 and 6.2%
respectively. These lines were used to establish new (qc-σve)
kPa

Rf =4.5-8.5%
8000 versus Ncor lines corresponding to assumed Rf values of 1% to
7% with 1% intervals and produce the chart illustrated in Fig.
Net cone resistance

6000 6. This was done by interpolation and extrapolation between


the three lines in Fig. 5 of estimated mean Rf values and Ncor
4000 values computed from Equations 5, 6 and 7 for assumed (qc-
σve). In this manner it is possible to obtain new sets of (qc-σve)
2000 and Ncorr values which can be used to draw new lines
corresponding to the above specified Rf values.
0 The chart in Fig. 6 can readily be used to estimate the
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 corrected SPT’s Ncorr values for soils of known (qc - σve) and Rf
Corrected SPT N value (blows/305mm)
values. The latter CPT soil parameters should be determined
from field testy data using a mechanical friction jacket cone.
The same chart can also be used to predict (qc-σve) values from

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Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Seoul 2017

corrected N values but the Rf of the soil type under cone resistance (qc- σve) and SPT N values corrected for
consideration must be assumed. In a previous study [11] on overburden pressure effect.
similar soil types, it was concluded that the Rf may be used to
predict the main soil types as given in Table 1 below. A new empirical CPT-SPT relationship has been developed
based on regression analysis of data pertaining to three soil
types representing sands, silts and clays. The developed CPT-
Table 1 Soil classification based on CPT friction ratio values SPT correlation is a modified version of the 2003 method and
is presented by the chart shown in Fig. 6.
Soil type Friction ratio (R ) % The proposed method can readily be used to estimate the
Clays of high plasticity 5.8 corrected SPT Ncorr parameter for soils of known net cone
Silty and sandy clays 4.5 resistance and friction ratio Rf values or vice versa for local
Clayey sands and silts 3.5 soils of different types and characteristics. The accuracy of the
proposed method can be further improved by considering
Clean sands 1.7
additional CPT-SPT data as it become available in the future.
The engineer should use his experience to identify the type
6. REFERENCES
of soil penetrated from the inspection of the soil sampled
inside the SPT tube. Accordingly, appropriate Rf value may be Akca, N. 2003. Correlation of SPT-CPT data from the United Arab
assumed for the different soil types from the above table and Emirates. Eng. Geology, Volume 67,: 219-231.
used in conjunction with the proposed qc-N correlation chart. Bashar T. 2014, Correlation of Standard and Cone Penetration Tests
for Sandy and Silty Sand to Sandy Silt Soil. EJGE,Vol. 19 pp.
6717-6727.
Clayton C.R.I.Hababa M.S. and Simons 1985. Dynamic penetration
resistance of a fine grained sand, a laboratory study. Geotechnique
Vol. 35 No. 1, pp 19-31.6. Meyerhof G.G. 1956. Penetration
testing and bearing capacity of cohesionless soils. J. of SMFE,
ASCE, Vol. 82:SM1, pp 1-19.
Chin C.T., Duan S.W. and Kao T.C. 1988. SPT-CPT correlations for
granular soils. Proc. ISOPT-1 Rotterdam pp 35-339.
Fauzi J., AlKaabim S. and Paul C 2015.A New Correlation between
SPT and CPT for various soils. Int. J. of Environmental, Chemical,
Ecological, Geological and Geophysical Engineering Vol. 9, No. 2.
Ismail H. E. and Zein A.K.M. 1987. Prediction of the undrained shear
strength and standard penetration test using the static cone
penetration test data. Proc. 9th Reg. Conf. for Africa on SMFE,
Lagos, pp 185-192.
Muromachi T. and Kabayashi S. 1982. Comparative study of static and
dynamic penetration tests currently in use in Japan. Proc.2nd ESOP
Amsterdam, p 279.
Robertson P.K., Campanella R.G. and Wightman A. 1983.SPT-CPT
correlations.J. Geotech. Eng, ASCE, Vol. 109:No. 11, pp 1449-
1459.
Figure 6 Modified CPT-SPT correlation chart for Sudanese soils
Robertson P.K. 1986. In-situ testing and its application to foundation
engineering.Canadian Geotech. J., Vol. 23, No. 4, pp 573-594.
Sanglerat G. 1972. The penetrometer and soil exploration. Elsevier
5. CONCLUSIONS
Publ. Co., New York.
Schmertmann, J.H. 1970. Static cone to compute static settlement on
This study was conducted to modify a previously developed
sands.J. ofSMFE, ASCE, Vol. 96:SM3, pp 1011-1043.
CPT-SPT correlation relationship for various Sudanese soils. Schmertmann, J.H. 1971. Guidelines for cone penetration test,
Such relationships are needed for the application of some performance and design. Report No. TS 78-209 of the FHWA,
theoretical and empirical solutions of geotechnical engineering Washington DC, 145 p.
problems based on the CPT and SPT results in the absence of Zein A.K.M. 1980. Correlation between static cone penetration and
the data from either test. recognized standard test results for some local soil types. M.Sc.
The following conclusions may be drawn from the analysis Thesis, Univ. of Khartoum
and discussion of study results: Zein A.K.M. 2003. Development and evaluation of some empirical
There is no theoretically sound method which can be used methods of correlation between the cone penetration test CPT and
to describe accurately the CPT-SPT relationship and any the standard penetration test SPT. Building and Road Research
Journal BRRI, Vol. 4.
relationship of this type has to be of empirical nature. Many qc-
N correlation methods have been developed in various
countries but their world-wide application is limited due to the
inherent variability of the test techniques and the nature and
condition of the soils tested.
The analysis of study results revealed that linear
relationships of fairly high correlation can be established for
the Sudanese soil subgroups considered between the CPT net

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