Enhanced In-Situ Geotechnical Testing

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Requirements & Materials

Enhanced In-Situ Geotechnical Testing

Course Description

This course provides an overview on the types of in-situ geotechnical tests and geophysical methods. Special emphasis is placed on the utilization of the expedient seismic cone penetration testing (SCPTu) for efficient collection of site-specific data for geotechnical investigations. Perform up to five independent readings on soil response and review interpretative methods for obtaining a suite of soil parameters and properties often required in geotechnical analyses, especially numerical modeling simulations. Gain hands-on experience and evaluate numerous case studies, which are interwoven throughout the course to show the general applicability of the approaches in soil behavior, as well as direct applications to full-scale foundation response.

Course Content


  • Geophysics: Seismic refraction, crosshole, downhole, Rayleigh waves, electromagnetics
  • In-situ tests: standard penetration, vane shear, flat dilatometer, pressuremeter, cone penetrometer, piezocone, seismic cone, seismic dilatometer


  • Friction angle of sands via relative density and limit plasticity theory for cone penetration (CPT)
  • Evaluation of effective friction angle of clays via NTH CPTu solution
  • Other tests: standard penetration test (SPT), DMT, and pressuremeter testing (PMT)


  • SCE-CSSM analytical model for CPTu in clays
  • Large calibration chamber testing of sands
  • Generalized CPT approach for all soils
  • Special considerations for organic soils, sensitive clays, and structured soils


  • Ground motions and cyclic stress ratio (CSR) during earthquakes
  • Cyclic soil liquefaction evaluated by SPT, CPT, DMT, and Vs
  • Flow liquefaction assessment by CPT
  • Critical state soil mechanics and yield stress ratio (YSR) approach


  • Undrained shear strength
  • Dissipation tests for permeability
  • Stiffness of soils and stress-strain-strength behavior


  • Shallow footing evaluation by CPT
  • Axial piling foundation response by SCPTu
Requirements & Materials


  • Hard copy notes of PowerPoint slides
  • PDF versions of:
    • Manual on Subsurface Investigations (2002)
    • Circular on Interpretation of Soil & Rock Properties (2002)
    • Synthesis on Cone Penetration Testing (2007)
    • Additional documents prepared by Georgia Tech

Session Details

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for geotechnical engineers, site planners, foundation designers, tract developers, and construction engineers involved with building sites, foundation installation, land construction, numerical analyses, and real estate development.

Working professional attending an engineering course

What You Will Learn

  • In-situ testing introduction
  • Geophysical methods
  • Effective friction angle from in-situ tests
  • Critical state soil mechanics for dummies
  • Profiling consolidation ratio in clays by the piezocone test (CPTu) and the flat dilatometer test (DMT)
  • First-order pre-consolidation stress evaluation from in-situ tests
  • Undrained shear strength
  • Evaluation of Ko in soils
  • Permeability and coefficiency of consolidation from piezo-dissipation tests
  • Piedmont residual soils
  • Equivalent elastic soil modulus
  • Stiffness and stress-strain-strength response of soils
  • Application to shallow and deep foundations
  • New developments
Civil engineers reviewing construction plans on job site

How You Will Benefit

  • Learn various methods to determine soil stratigraphy.
  • Evaluate geotechnical design parameters for analytical and/or numerical simulation of foundation response.
  • Use up-to-date methods for assessing ground conditions and soil parameters for shallow and deep foundation systems from in-situ test data.
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    Taught by Experts in the Field
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The course schedule was well-structured with a mix of lectures, class discussions, and hands-on exercises led by knowledgeable and engaging instructors.

- Abe Kani


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