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Procedures for Soil Sampling in Borings

John Huang, Ph.D., PE and John Poullain, PE

This three hour online course discusses the commonly used equipment and procedures for undisturbed and disturbed soil sampling in borings and methods for sampling and recovering soil samples. Visual examination and other measures used during drilling and sample recovery are considered. The types of equipment and drilling methods covered in the course include solid-stem, hollow-stem augers, rotating wash, bucket augers and hand auger boring. Guidelines for a wide variety of samplers including split barrel, thin wall tubes, continuous push, pitcher tube and continuous soil auger are discussed as well as the storage, handling and selection of specimen samples. Basic soil types and factors such as the groundwater table are considered in the selection of appropriate drilling and sampling methods.

This course should serve as a guide for selecting proper drilling methods needed to determine the characteristics of subgrade soil formations in order to protect against potential settlement and ground movement. The advantages and limitations of soil drilling equipment, coring equipment and samplers are discussed and photographs are presented to understand the equipment. Basic soil types are discussed to understand the selection of soil drilling methods. The importance of following proper procedures for sampling is stressed and considers the proper storage, handling and selection of soil specimens for testing programs.

The drilling and sampling equipment must also provide accurate samples and data for a variety of tests. Samples must be handled and stored with care following established standards. Samples should be inventoried, examined and tested as soon as they are received. Sometimes, especially for large testing programs, it may become necessary to store the samples for days or weeks, but no longer than 15 days If possible. If they are stored for a longer time the undisturbed samples should be protected against damage or changes in water content by maintaining at temperatures close to those required for the project.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.