The Role of Laboratory Testing in the Determination of Deep-Sea Sediment Engineering Properties

  • Homa J. Lee
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 2)


Engineering properties are needed primarily for engineering activities such as the design of foundations or anchors. They may be evaluated either through direct in situ testing or laboratory testing of samples. Laboratory testing provides a degree of flexibility, control, and economy not usually achieved with in situ testing and is, therefore, given primary attention in this paper. The area of sediment property determination for direct embedment anchor design is considered specifically and two examples are given of possible uses of laboratory testing. The first deals with quantitatively correcting laboratory strength results for sample disturbance. The procedure is evaluated using in situ and laboratory vane shear and residual pore pressure measurements. The second example deals with using triaxial testing to investigate shear strength variation with sub-bottom depth and drainage. Results of tests performed on “red” clay are given. The two examples given provide information for predicting the holding capacity of an embedment anchor. The examples are followed by a discussion of suggested additional research.


Shear Strength Effective Stress Triaxial Test Stress Path Undrained Shear Strength 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bishop, A. W., and D. J. Henkel, The Measurement of Soil Properties in the Triaxial Test, Edward Arnold Ltd., London, 2nd edition, 1962.Google Scholar
  2. Brooker, Elmer W., and H. O. Ireland, Earth pressures at rest related to stress history, Canadian Geotech. J., 11 (1), 1965.Google Scholar
  3. Creager, J. S., D. W. Scholl et al., Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, 19, U. S. Govt. Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1973.Google Scholar
  4. Demars, K. R., and R. Taylor, Naval sea floor sampling and in-place equipment: a performance evaluation, U. S. Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory Tech. Rept. R-730, 1971.Google Scholar
  5. Gibbs, H. J., and C. T. Coffey, Application of pore pressure measurements to shear strength of cohesive soils, U. S. Bureau of Reclamation Rept. No. EM-761, 1969.Google Scholar
  6. Hironaka, M. C., and W. C. Green, A remote controlled sea-floor incremental corer, 3rd Ann. Offshore Tech. Conf. Preprints, Paper No. 1325, 1971.Google Scholar
  7. Hvorslev, M. J., Subsurface exploration and sampling of soils for civil engineering purposes, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, 1949.Google Scholar
  8. Hvorslev, M. J., Physical components of the shear strength of saturated clays, in Am. Soc. Civil Engrs. Res. Conf. Shear Strength of Cohesive Soils, Boulder, Colorado, 1960.Google Scholar
  9. Keller, G. H., Shear strength and other physical properties from some ocean basins, in Civil Eng. in the Oceans, pp. 391–418, Am. Soc. Civil Engrs., N. Y., 1968.Google Scholar
  10. Ladd, C. C., Stress-strain behavior of anisotropically consolidated clays during undrained shear, in Proc. 6th Intern. Conf. Soil Mech. and Fdn. Eng., 1, pp. 282–286, 1965.Google Scholar
  11. Ladd, C. C., and T. W. Lambe, The strength of “undisturbed” clay determined from undrained tests, in Am. Soc. Test. Mat. Std. Tech. Publ. No. 361, pp. 342-371, 1963.Google Scholar
  12. Lambe, T. W., Residual pore pressures in compacted clay, in Proc. 5th Intern. Conf. Soil Mech. and Fdn. Eng., 1, pp. 207–211, Paris, 1961.Google Scholar
  13. Lambe, T. W., and R. V. Whitman, Soil Mechanics, John Wiley and Sons, N. Y., 1969.Google Scholar
  14. Lee, H. J., In situ strength of sea-floor soil determined from tests on partially disturbed cores, U. S. Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory Tech. Note N-1295, 1973a.Google Scholar
  15. Lee, H. J., Engineering properties of a deep sea brown clay, U. S. Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory Tech. Note N-1296, 1973b.Google Scholar
  16. Rosfelder, A. M., and N. F. Marshall, Obtaining large, undisturbed and orientated samples in deep water, in Marine Geotechnique, edited by A. F. Richards, pp. 243–263, Univ. of Ill. Press, Urbana, 1967.Google Scholar
  17. Richards, A., and H. W. Parker, Surface coring for shear strength measurements, in Civil Engineering in the Oceans, pp. 445–489, Am. Soc. Civil Engrs., N. Y., 1968.Google Scholar
  18. Schmertmann, J. M., The undisturbed consolidation of clay, Trans. Am. Soc. Civil Engrs., 120, 1201–1227, 1955.Google Scholar
  19. Skempton, A. W., The pore-pressure coefficients A and B, Géotechnique, 4(4), 143–147, 1954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Taylor, D. W., Fundamentals of Soil Mechanics, John Wiley & Sons, N. Y., 1948.Google Scholar
  21. Taylor, R. J., and H. J. Lee, Direct embedment anchor holding capacity, U. S. Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory Tech. Note N-1245, 1972.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Homa J. Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.U. S. Naval Civil Engineering LaboratoryUSA

Personalised recommendations