What Do Geotechnical Investigations Cover?

Geotechnical engineers perform geotechnical studies to définir les caractéristiques des sols et des eaux souterraines a well as repair distressed earthworks and structures that result from subsurface conditions. These investigations must be carried out before structures are constructed. Engineers may need to conduct subsurface exploration to get information on the conditions of soil below the surface. The nature and extent of the investigation will depend on the kind of structure to build, how tough the structure is, and the expected ground conditions. Geotechnical investigations can include the following:

Earthworks Design and Specifications

Often, construction includes excavating and moving materials, making earthworks a routine civil engineering operation. Earthwork operations include removing overburden to hit structurally capable soil, excavating underground structures like basements, and compact filling materials for structural support. Before these operations are performed, a geological study must be conducted to evaluate local ground conditions. If the project requires the use of locally available material, the soil must be analyzed to check if it can achieve the required strength and compaction parameters.

Slope Stability Analysis

During site investigations, the ability of the soil to withstand ground movement should be analyzed. The stability of a slope can change because of some factors. And once a previously stable slope can become unstable, it can result in a mass movement. This movement can result from increased shear stress. Also, shear strength may be reduced because of weathering effects and pore water pressure changes.

Analysis of slope stability investigates the possible failure mechanism and determines how a slope can be sensitive to triggering mechanisms. It includes designing optimal slopes with consideration to safety, economics, and dependability, as well as designing potential remedial measures.

To come up with a slope design, geological data must be obtained and site characterization should be determined. Slope stability can be significantly affected when water is present. The shear strength is also reduced because of pore space water pressure and fractures.

Foundation Engineering

When foundations are designed, engineers must be concerned about the soil’s bearing capacity and the possible settlements under the foundations. Bearing capacity refers to the ability of soil to support the imposed load. Often, the allowable bearing capacity is based on the allowable settlement. Every geotechnical study must be site-specific and tailored to achieve the project’s engineering requirements. The study’s scope depends on the expected ground conditions, as well as design and construction proposals. and Foundation engineering solutions can include shallow spread foundations, ground improvement, rafts, as well as load-bearing and settlement-decreasing piles.