Enhanced Integration of Shear Wave Velocity Profiling in Direct-Push Site Characterization Systems
McGillivray, Alexander Vamie
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Enhanced Integration of Shear Wave Velocity Profiling in Direct-Push Site Characterization Systems Alexander V. McGillivray 370 Pages Directed by Dr. Paul W. Mayne Shear wave velocity (VS) is a fundamental property of soils directly related to the shear stiffness at small-strains. Therefore, VS should be a routine measurement made during everyday site characterization. There are several lab and field methods for measuring VS, but the seismic piezocone penetration test (SCPTu) and the seismic dilatometer test (SDMT) are the most efficient means for profiling the small-strain stiffness in addition to evaluating large-strain strength, as well as providing evaluations of the geostratigraphy, stress state, and permeability, all within a single sounding. Although the CPT and DMT have been in use for over three decades in the USA, they are only recently becoming commonplace on small-, medium-, and large-size projects as more organizations begin to realize their benefits. Regrettably, the SCPTu and the SDMT are lagging slightly behind their non-seismic counterparts in popularity, in part because the geophysics component of the tests has not been updated during the 25 years since the tests were envisioned. The VS measurement component is inefficient and not cost effective for routine use. The purpose of this research is to remove the barriers to seismic testing during direct-push site characterization with SCPTu and SDMT. A continuous-push seismic system has been developed to improve the integration of VS measurements with SCPTu and SDMT, allowing VS to be measured during penetration without stopping the progress of the probe. A new type of portable automated seismic source, given the name RotoSeis, was created to generate repeated hammer strikes at regularly spaced time intervals. A true-interval biaxial seismic probe and an automated data acquisition system were also developed to capture the shear waves. By not limiting VS measurement to pauses in penetration during rod breaks, it is possible to make overlapping VS interval measurements. This new method, termed frequent-interval, increases the depth resolution of the VS profile to be more compatible with the depth intervals of the near-continuous non-seismic measurements of the SCPTu and the SDMT.