Foundation Engineering Handbook

pp 1-71

Subsurface Explorations and Sampling

  • John LoweIII
  • , Philip F. ZaccheoAffiliated withEbasco Services Incorporated

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The proper design of civil engineering structures requires adequate knowledge of subsurface conditions at the sites of the structures and, when structures are to consist of earth or rockfill materials, of subsurface conditions at possible sources of construction materials. The structures may be divided into three categories.
  1. 1

    Structures for which the basic problem is the interaction of the structure and the surrounding ground. Such structures include foundations, retaining walls, bulkheads, tunnel linings, and buried pipes. The main point of interest is the load-deflection characteristics of the interface.

  2. 2

    Structures constructed of earth such as highway fills, earth and rockfill dams, bases and subbases for pavements, and backfill behind retaining walls. Besides the interaction of the earth structure with the adjacent ground, properties of the construction materials are required for determining the action of the earth structure itself.

  3. 3

    Structures of natural earth and rock as natural slopes and cut slopes. In this case, knowledge of the properties of the natural materials is required.