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Field Compaction Methods for Soils

Vincent D. Reynolds, MBA, P.E.

Course Outline

This one hour online course discusses the methods involved in Field Compaction for Soils. The subgrade is the first line of support for roadways, bridges, runways, etc. It is important that during the placement of earth backfill that the subgrade be compacted to the minimum requirements as determined by the engineer. This course will introduce the engineer to the most widely used methods for compacting subgrades and their importance in the construction of various structures.

This course requires that the readers have access to the following AASHTO or ASTM standards: Standard Test for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified effort, (ASTM D-698 and AASHTO T-180) or Standard Test for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Standard effort (ASTM D-1557 and AASHTO T-99).

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

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student would have learned the following:

Intended Audience and Benefit

This course is intended for those wanting an understanding of the basics of soil compaction. It could be especially useful for professionals working in Transportation, site design and geotechnical engineering, as well as construction professionals.

This course is designed so that the intended audience will benefit immediately with the information to make intelligent decisions related to soil field-testing.

Course Introduction

Earthwork occurs during the beginning stages of a construction project. The importance of earthwork cannot be stressed enough as it is the foundation for the remainder of the structure. The process of earthwork encompasses; Soil classification Mass Hauling, Grading, foundation construction and Subgrade compaction. In this course we will focus on the latter.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file (15 K) Field Compaction Methods for Soils. You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

The Subgrades is arguably the most important support for a structure therefore the correct placement and compaction of soil is essential to a safely designed structure. It is always suggested to check with a Geotechnical Engineer to specify the correct soil types and compaction methods for earth backfill. With a properly designed and constructed subgrade one can rest assure that the remaining structural supports will be built on solid and sturdy ground.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites:


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.