Rapid and Continuous Assessment of Soil Conditions along Highway Alignments

For new highway alignments in the southern plains region and around the nation, shallow subsurface investigations are typically conducted using drilling and sampling methods. Drilling and sampling is conducted at discrete locations usually 1,000s of feet apart with the objective of determine the properties (resistant modulus and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) soil classification) and subsurface stratigraphy for design of the new highway. Although this method is effective at determining design values, it is often slow to conduct and expensive. Moreover, it only provides information at discrete locations and can likely only detect major changes in stratigraphy. The purpose of this study is to improve upon this method of characterization, to include geophysical methods, particularly capacitively coupled resistivity (CCR), which can be used to provide a rapid and continuous evaluation of the subsurface soil conditions along a new highway alignment. With this evaluation, localized changes in stratigraphy (expansive clay thickness) and localized anomalies (karst sinkholes, unknown landfills, etc) can be detected along the alignment with less chance of missing the localized features. Ultimately, the project will develop a new testing methodology, which can be used to evaluate subsurface soil conditions for new highway alignments in order to reduce the cost of the investigation and provide more comprehensive results for design.


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    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $96328
    • Contract Numbers:

      SPTC 15.1-33/DTRT13-G-UTC36

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Southern Plains Transportation Center

      University of Oklahoma
      201 Stephenson Pkwy, Suite 4200
      Norman, OK  United States  73019
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

      Board of Trustees
      Fayetteville, AR  United States 
    • Principal Investigators:

      Wood, Clinton

    • Start Date: 20160401
    • Expected Completion Date: 20180720
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01607734
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: University of Oklahoma, Norman
    • Contract Numbers: SPTC 15.1-33/DTRT13-G-UTC36
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Aug 17 2016 6:07PM