American Society of Civil Engineers

Evaluating Site Investigation Quality using GIS and Geostatistics

by R. L. Parsons, M.ASCE, (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045. E-mail: and J. D. Frost, M.ASCE, (Prof., School of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA 30332)

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 128, No. 6, June 2002, pp. 451-461, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Discussion: by Gregory B. Baecher E-mail: and et al.    (See full record)
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Abstract: Current practice in the characterization of subsurface conditions usually involves the interpretation of data from laboratory and in-situ tests using deterministic analysis methods. These deterministic methods do not reflect the uncertainty inherently associated with the estimation of geotechnical parameters. In addition there are no commonly accepted methods for evaluation of the quality of the investigation or estimation of the impact of additional sampling in a quantitative manner. In this paper the development and implementation of a performance-based investigation and monitoring approach for assessing the quality, or thoroughness, of site investigation and monitoring activities in a quantitative, spatially sensitive manner is described. Thoroughness images are based on probability values generated using geostatistics and are designed to enable users to better assess the likelihood that design or regulatory criteria will be satisfied. This approach has been implemented within a geographic information system and was evaluated using an existing geotechnical data set.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Geographic information systems
Site evaluation
Quality control