The term soft ground refers to weaker ground; anything from peat and running sands to weak clays and silts – something with a very low SPT (Standard Penetration Test). When it comes to soft ground site investigations, there are certain things that must be considered.
If the softer ground isn’t properly investigated beforehand, however, a developer’s plans can easily be put on hold. A thorough site investigation must be carried out first to ensure development in the area is appropriate. Here, the Borehole Solutions team have discussed to specifics of working on softer conditions.
Why Are Soft Ground Site Investigations Necessary?
Soft ground site investigations are arguably more crucial than their firm ground alternative. This is due to the myriad of geological issues that may arise from this land-type. If ignored, these will ultimately cause major problems further down the line. Working with knowns is far preferable to working with unknowns.
Consider the phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’. This may well apply to soft, seemingly weak, ground that, in fact, has development-ready characteristics upon further inspection. Alternatively, however, ground that only appears slightly soft might end up being incredibly weak. In this case, development may no longer be an option. Site investigations are the only way to determine which scenario you’re working with.
How Are Soft Ground Characteristics Identified?
Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) is the most commonly used method of testing for soft ground. A staple of every geotechnical firm; CPT testing provides incredibly accurate results.
Once the results are secured, it may be immediately apparent that the ground is completely unsuitable for development. They may indicate, however, that further testing is required. It’s worth noting that the results may lead to essential alterations to your development plans. Deeper installation of the foundations/piles, for example.
Final Considerations For Soft Ground Site Investigations
It doesn’t take a genius to work out the soft ground conditions are incredibly vulnerable to rain and heavy machinery. With this in mind, choosing the right equipment for the investigation is a necessity. Track mats are a helpful addition in waterlogged conditions, too. Additionally, flotation tyres will ensure the minimum impact is made to the site during the investigation.
Aside from soft ground site investigations, the team at Borehole Solutions provides a comprehensive geotechnical testing service. This includes CPT, SPT and Vane Shear testing. As a geotechnical drilling firm, it will come as no surprise that we also offer a wide range of borehole drilling services. This includes rotary, sonic and cable percussion options. You can use us directly or hire our rigs for yourself
If you would like to find out more about the site investigation services we offer, please get in touch! You can contact us today on 01733 200 501