Site Characterization and Investigation

To predict how an excavation or structure will behave, an understanding of the site ground properties is required. Itasca engineers work with clients to determine any data gaps and sufficiency of the existing geotechnical and hydrogeological information for design, and where and how much additional data may be necessary to collect. Itasca engineers can interpret and model earth and engineered-material behavior for any given range of anisotropies, scales, properties, and conditions, which gives Itasca a clear understanding of the client site. Itasca engineers collaborate across offices or work with third parties, using best-practices, to perform or facilitate a wide range of laboratory and in-situ geomechanical, hydrogeological, and microseismic testing. Site characterization is performed in compliance with the relevant ISRM (International Society for Rock Mechanics) suggested methods and/or ASTM Standards.

Site characterization for soils may include:

  • review existing geotechnical logs and reports from consultants,
  • assessment of soil stratigraphy,
  • identification of soil types,
  • review of CPTu properties,
  • estimation of water table and consolidation parameters,
  • liquefaction potential, and
  • estimation of parameters for empirical assessment and calibrated numerical modeling for engineering design.

Site characterization for the rock mass may include:

  • review existing geotechnical logs and reports from consultants,
  • lineament analysis,
  • precise structural mapping,
  • drill core logging, core photos, and televiewer analysis,
  • point load testing,
  • photogrammetry and stereophotos,
  • hydrogeological studies,
  • intact strength distributions based on available laboratory tests,
  • in-situ stress measurements, and
  • seismic studies.
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