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CE331CH3.pdf - Soils Investigation CHAPTER 3 Soils are...

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Soils Investigation CHAPTER 3
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Soils are inhomogeneous and discontinuous formations that affect the stability of civil engineering work Soil investigation is needed to obtain information about the soil around the project site Unrealized geological conditions may cause failures
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A soils investigation is an essential part of the design and construction of a proposed structural system (buildings, dams, roads and highways, etc.) Usually soil investigations are conducted only on a fraction of a proposed site o because it would be prohibitively expensive to conduct an extensive investigation of a whole site Geotechnical engineers make estimates and judgments based on information from a limited set of observations o from field and laboratory test data that will have profound effects on the performance and costs of structures constructed at a site.
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The purposes of a soils investigation are: 1. To evaluate the general suitability of the site for the proposed project. 2. To enable an adequate and economical design to be made. 3. To disclose and make provision for difficulties that may arise during construction due to ground and other local conditions.
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3.4 Phases of Soils Investigation The scale of a soils investigation depends on: o the type, size, and importance of the structure o the client o engineer’s familiarity with the soils at the site o local building codes Geotech. eng. needs to be cautious about reducing soil investigation below a risky level Some local building codes have provisions that set out the extent of a site investigation
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A soils investigation has three components: 1. prior to design 2. during the design process 3. during construction Second and third components are needed for unforeseen events (project specific) First component is generally more extensive and is conducted in phases as follows: o Phase I : Also called as ‘desk study’. Involves collection of available info such as: site plan; type, size, importance of the structure; loading conditions; previous geotech. reports; maps; photographs; satellite imagery; regional seismicity; climate; hydrology; etc.
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o Phase II: Site visit to provide general picture of the topography and geology of the site. Notes should include: Photographs of the site and neighborhood Access to the site for workers and equipment Sketches of fences, driveways, walkways, drainage system, etc Utility services that are available, such as water and electricity. Sketches of topography including all existing structures, cuts, fills, ground depression, ponds The state of any existing building at the site or nearby Geological features from any exposed area such as a road cut
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o Phase III: Detailed soils exploration. Objectives of a detailed soils exploration are: To determine the geological structure, which should include the thickness, sequence, and extent of the soil strata.
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