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Evaluating shear wave velocity and pore pressure data from the seismic cone penetration test Gillespie, Donald G. (Donald Gardner)


Recent developments in cone penetration testing have resulted in the addition of both pore pressure measurements and seismometers. The seismometers allow shear wave velocity testing to be performed at designated intervals. Both of these additions were researched to improve their application and interpretation. The significant factors effecting the pore pressure generated during cone penetration tests are discussed. The importance of various factors is especially dependent upon permeability, strength, and stiffness. For all sands tested, pore pressures lower than static were recorded behind the tip and higher than static were recorded on the face of the cone. It is believed that the large compressive stresses on the cone face result in positive pore pressures. As the cone tip passes a soil element unloading and continued shearing generate pore pressures lower than static in all sands. The sign of this pore pressure (higher or lower than static) was therefore considered primarily a function of the test equipment. Pore pressure response and the rate of dissipation of excess pore pressures were found useful in distinguishing fine granular soils and explaining soil stratigraphy. In cohesive soils the details of pore pressure measurement were found to be important only in stiff soils. Pore pressures at all measurement locations were found to increase with soil strength in soft to firm clays but may be negative of static in very stiff clays. Pore pressures behind the cone tip were often negative of static in stiff clays. Measurement techniques were refined to improve the accuracy of downhole shear wave velocity measurements. Comparisons of downhole and crosshole measurements were made at three well documented sites validating the technique. At several sites it was found useful to consider the Gmax values determined from shear wave velocity and density to distinguish soil type. Gmax to cone resistance ratios were shown to vary systematically with cone resistance values in sands. A wide range in Gmax to cone resistance was observed in clays. The dependence of both cone penetration resistance and Gmax to increased stress level or overburden stress is discussed.

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