Near Surface Laboratory Testing Protocol Development

Geotechnical laboratory testing focuses on the behavior of soils subjected to confining pressures in excess of those experienced within the near-surface environment (the upper 1 m of the soil profile). Such standardized protocols have set-up stresses, e.g., seating loads and stabilization vacuum pressures, in excess of the failure strength observed at low confinement. Therefore, effective stress principles are often used to infer low confinement behavior within a laboratory setting. Neither the standardized protocols nor the use of effective stress principles encapsulate the near-surface environment or the true behavior. The purpose of this technical report is to provide laboratory-testing protocols for physical experimentation within the near-surface environment. For standardized testing equipment, e.g., triaxial and simple shear devices, existing protocols have been modified. New testing protocols have been designed for experimental equipment, e.g., the Ultrasonic Near-Surface Inundation Testing device (UNIT) or for unconfined drained self-supporting testing (UD). The protocols presented herein are for commercial and prototype equipment used in the ERDC Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL) and are readily adaptable to other equipment manufacturers’ devices.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

    Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, 3909 Halls Ferry Road
    Vicksburg, MS  United States  39180-6199

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Berry, Woodman W
    • Cunningham, Amy L
    • Winters, Katherine E
    • Taylor, Oliver-Denzil S
    • Rowland, Wesley R
    • Antwine, Mark D
  • Publication Date: 2018-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 112p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01677610
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: ERDC/GSL TR-18-12
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 2018 10:21AM