Assessment of sample quality in soft clay using shear wave velocity and suction measurements

Shane Donohue, M Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (SciVal)


The characterisation of soils for civil engineering purposes depends on removing sufficiently high-quality samples from the ground. Accurate evaluation of sample quality is therefore important if reliable design parameters are to be determined. This paper describes the use of unconfined shear wave velocity (V(s)) and suction (u(r)) measurements to assess sample quality rapidly in soft clay. Samples of varying quality from three well-characterised soft clay sites are initially assessed using conventional techniques, and their results compared with V(s) and u(r) measurements performed on the same samples. It is observed that the quality of samples indicated by these measurements is very similar to those inferred from traditional disturbance measures, with V(s) being the more reliable indicator. A tentative empirically derived criterion, based on samples tested in this project, is proposed to quantify sample disturbance combining both V(s) and u(r) measurements. Further work using this criterion on different materials is important so as to test its usefulness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-889
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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