Evaluation of Geotechnical Parameters using Geophysical Data

Olusegun Adewoyin, Emmanuel Oluwagbemi Joshua, Idowu Isaac Akinwumi, Maxwell Omeje, Emmanuel Sunday Joel


The financial implications and the time required for carrying out a comprehensive geotechnical investigation to characterize a site can discourage prospective private residential building developers, especially where a large area of land is to be investigated for construction purposes. Also, most of the geotechnical test procedures utilized during site investigation only provide information on points tested in the subsurface. This research method suggests an approach of investigating the subsurface condition of a site in order to obtain key subsoil geotechnical properties necessary for foundation design for proposed engineering facilities. Seismic wave velocities generated from near surface refraction were combined with percussion drilling and cone penetration tests to obtain a comprehensive geotechnical investigation. From the results of the seismic refraction method, the bulk density of the soil, Young’s modulus, bulk modulus, shear modulus and allowable bearing capacity of a competent layer that can bear structural load at the particular study site were determined. The most competent layer was found within the depth observed by geotechnical methods. In addition, regression equations were developed in order to directly obtain the bulk density of the soil, Young’s modulus, bulk modulus, shear modulus and allowable bearing capacity from the primary wave velocities.


characterization; environment; geophysical; geotechnical; seismic.

Full Text:



Soupios, P.M., Papazachos, C.B., Vargemezis, G. & Fikos, I., Application of Seismic Methods for Geotechnical Site Characterization, International Workshop in Geoenvironment and Geotechnics, pp. 1-7, 2005.

Bery, A.A. & Saad, R., Correlation of Seismic P-wave Velocities with Engineering Parameters (N Value and Rock Quality) for Tropical Environmental Study, International Journal of Geosciences, 3, pp. 749-757, 2012.

Karaman, K. & Kesimal, A., Correlation of Schmidt Rebound Hardness with Uniaxial Compressive Strength and P-wave Velocity of Rock Materials, Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, 40 (7), pp. 1897-1906, 2015.

Altindag, R., Correlation Between P-wave Velocity and Some Mechanical Properties for Sedimentary Rocks, The Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 112, pp. 229-237, 2012.

Kahraman, S., The Correlations between the Saturated and Dry P-wave Velocity of Rocks, Ultrasonics, 46, pp. 341-348, 2007.

Yagiz, S., P-wave Velocity Test for the Assessment of Some Geotechnical Properties of Rock Materials, Bull. Mater. Sci. 34, pp. 943-957, 2011.

Atat, J.G., Akpabio, I.O. & George, N.J., Allowable Bearing Capacity for Shallow Foundation in Eket Local Government area, Akwa Ibom State, Southern Nigeria, International Journal of Geosciences, 4(2013), pp. 1491-1500, 2013.

Tezcan, S.S., Ozdemir, Z. & Keceli, A., Seismic Technique to Determine the Allowable Bearing Pressure for Shallow Foundations in Soils and Rocks, Acta Geophysica, 57(2), pp. 1-14, 2009.

Anderson, N. & Croxton, N., Geophysical Methods Commonly Employed for Geotechnical Site Characterization, Transportation Research Circular, E-C130, pp.1-13, 2008.

Fitzallen, A., An Improved Approach to Site Characterization Combining Geophysical and Geotechnical Data, Australian Geomechanics, 45(1), pp. 77-88, 2010.

Uyanik, O., Compressional and Shear Wave Velocity Measurements in Unconsolidated Top-soil and Comparison of the Results, International Journal of the Physical Sciences, 5(7), pp. 1034-1039, 2010.

Nastaran, S., Correlation between Geotechnical and Geophysical Properties of Soil, Master on Philosophy Thesis, Stoke-on-Trent: University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2012.

Mohd, H.Z.A., Rosli, S., Fauziah, A., Devapriya, C.W. & Mohamed, F.T.B., Seismic Refraction Investigation in Near Surface Landslides at the Kindasang Area in Sabah, Malaysia, Sciverse Science Direct, Procedia Engineering, 50(2012), pp. 516-531, 2012.

Adegbola, R.B. & Badmus, O.G., Estimation of Shear Wave Velocity for Near-surface Characterization: Case Study Ifako/Gbagada area of Lagos State, S.W. Nigeria, British Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 4(5), pp. 831-840, 2014.

Aizebeokhai, A.P. & Oyeyemi, K.D., Application of Geoelectrical Resistivity Imaging and VLF-EM for Subsurface Characterization in a Sedimentary Terrain, Southwestern Nigeria, Arabian Journal of Geosciences, DOI 10.1007/s12517-014-14282-z, 2014.

Akintorinwa, O.J. & Adesoji, I.J., Application of Geophysical and Geotechnical Investigations in Engineering Site Evaluation, International Journal of Physical Sciences, 4(8), pp. 443-454, 2009.

Obasi, R.A. & Ikubuwaje, C.O., Analytical study of rainfall and temperature trend in catchment States and stations of the Benin-Owena River basin, Nigeria, Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 2(3), pp. 9-21, 2012.

Clayton, C.R.I., Stiffness at Small Strain: Research and Practice, Geotechnique, 61(1), pp. 5-37, 2011.

Keary, P., Brooks, M. & Hill, I., An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration, Blackwell Publishing Company, third edition, pp. 21-40, 2002.

Hunt, R.E., Geotechnical Engineering Investigation Handbook, 2nd edition, pp. 1-3, 2005.

Look, B.G., Handbook of Geotechnical Investigation and Design Table, Taylor and Francis, pp. 12-78, 2007.

Sarsby, R.W., Environmental Geotechnics, Thomas Telford Publishing, pp. 35-48, 2000.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5614%2Fj.eng.technol.sci.2017.49.1.6


  • There are currently no refbacks.