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Subsurface Soils Exploration

CETCO offers a full range of geotechnical engineering consulting and field testing services including subsurface explorations for foundation evaluations, shallow explorations for pavement and roadway design, and well installations for groundwater flow studies.

A typical scope of work for a subsurface investigation includes a field exploration consisting of a visual reconnaissance of the site and staking of field test locations by our field engineer, exploratory soil test borings with standard penetration testing performed in accordance with ASTM D-1586 to determine soil layering relative to building foundation requirements, and shallow hand auger borings in planned paving areas to develop shallow topsoil / muck / groundwater profiles pursuant to site preparation evaluations and pavement design.

CETCO’s drilling capabilities include drills mounted on several different platforms so that we can access desired exploration locations in virtually any conditions. For firm, stable sites, our most economical exploration platform is a truck or trailer-mounted drill. For softer or more inaccessible sites, our all-terrain-vehicle-mounted drill can generally get the job done. For extremely wet or soft sites or swamps, our track-mounted drill is called upon to go where others cannot. For wooded sites, we have the capability to perform light, selective clearing with a dozer to gain access to desired exploration locations.

The samples obtained by the field sampling and testing procedures listed are analyzed in our fully-equipped soils testing laboratory by our Project Engineer to determine visual soil classifications and assign applicable laboratory test procedures. Although our engineers are very familiar with local soil conditions and the typical reactions of various soils to construction and structural loading, it is sometimes deemed necessary to perform laboratory classification and strength testing on representative soils to determine more exact quantitative strength information. In these situations, our laboratory is equipped to perform the following procedures:

 · Natural Moisture Content

 · Grain Size Analysis (mechanical sieve analysis or hydrometer analysis)

 · Atterburg Limits

 · Coefficient of Consolidation

 · Unconfined Compressive Strength

 · California Bearing Ratio (CBR)

 · Modulus of Subgrade Reaction (k)

 · Permeability

 · Other


The results of the field and laboratory testing program are analyzed by our Project Geotechnical Engineers to develop engineering evaluations and recommendations. Evaluation procedures are performed in accordance with Standard Industry Practice for Geotechnical Engineering Investigations.

Our procedures, findings, evaluations, and conclusions are presented in a formal engineering report. Typically, our report includes recommendations for all or part of the following elements:

 · appropriate site preparation procedures (grading, undercutting, fill placement, etc.).

 · surface water and groundwater control.

 · foundation design parameters (shallow foundations vs. deep foundations including driven piles, auger-cast piles, caissons, deep soil improvement).

 · seismic (liquefaction) susceptibility analysis.

 · settlement analysis.

 · pavement design


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