Cone Penetration Testing: Cost Effective Soil Exploration

by Carl M. Brown, Harza Engineering Co, Chicago, United States,
Michael J. Newbery, Harza Engineering Co, Chicago, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


On reviewing the 1987 Part 12 Dam Safety Inspection Reports for the Wisconsin River Power Company's Petenwell and Castle Rock Dams, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requested that additional embankment stability analyses be performed. The 1987 stability analyses were performed using representative cross-sections of the embankment and based on soil parameters from a conventional site investigation program. The soil parameters had been conservatively estimated and FERC guideline safety factors were not met for some embankment loading cases. This paper will discuss the development and implementation of a Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) program which proved to be a cost effective means for widespread soil testing of the several-mile-long embankments. The extent of testing required would have presented a time consuming exploration program using conventional methods. The results of nearly 3,000 feet of soil testing confirmed that the embankments are well constructed, consisting of homogeneous dense sand with no significant variation in strength characteristics with location or depth. Correlation of CPT data results with shear strength parameters was performed to develop representative values for the internal angle of friction of the

Subject Headings: Penetration tests | Parameters (statistics) | Earthfill dams | Soil analysis | Site investigation | Load factors | Soil strength | Material tests

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