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NATIONAL NCHRP SYNTHESIS 357 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Use of Geophysics for Transportation Projects A Synthesis of Highway Practice

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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2006 (Membership as of March 2006) OFFICERS Chair: Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology Vice Chair: Linda S. Watson, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS MICHAEL W. BEHRENS, Executive Director, Texas DOT ALLEN D. BIEHLER, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT JOHN D. BOWE, Regional President, APL Americas, Oakland, CA LARRY L. BROWN, SR., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT DEBORAH H. BUTLER, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Atlanta, GA ANNE P. CANBY, President, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, DC DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN NICHOLAS J. GARBER, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville ANGELA GITTENS, Vice President, Airport Business Services, HNTB Corporation, Miami, FL GENEVIEVE GIULIANO, Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Research and Technology, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, and Director, METRANS National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research, USC, Los Angeles SUSAN HANSON, Landry University Professor of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University JAMES R. HERTWIG, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL ADIB K. KANAFANI, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley HAROLD E. LINNENKOHL, Commissioner, Georgia DOT SUE MCNEIL, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware DEBRA L. MILLER, Secretary, Kansas DOT MICHAEL R. MORRIS, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments CAROL A. MURRAY, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT JOHN R. NJORD, Executive Director, Utah DOT SANDRA ROSENBLOOM, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson HENRY GERARD SCHWARTZ, JR., Senior Professor, Washington University MICHAEL S. TOWNES, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA C. MICHAEL WALTON, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas at Austin MARION C. BLAKEY, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JOSEPH H. BOARDMAN, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) REBECCA M. BREWSTER, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA (ex officio) GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering (ex officio) SANDRA K. BUSHUE, Deputy Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) J. RICHARD CAPKA, Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) THOMAS H. COLLINS (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard (ex officio) JAMES J. EBERHARDT, Chief Scientist, Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, U.S. Department of Energy (ex officio) JACQUELINE GLASSMAN, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) EDWARD R. HAMBERGER, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads (ex officio) JOHN C. HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ex officio) JOHN E. JAMIAN, Acting Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) J. EDWARD JOHNSON, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (ex officio) ASHOK G. KAVEESHWAR, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) BRIGHAM MCCOWN, Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.DOT (ex officio) WILLIAM W. MILLAR, President, American Public Transportation Association (ex officio) SUZANNE RUDZINSKI, Director, Transportation and Regional Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ex officio) ANNETTE M. SANDBERG, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT (ex officio) JEFFREY N. SHANE, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT (ex officio) CARL A. STROCK (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ex officio) NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Transportation Research Board Executive Committee Subcommittee for NCHRP MICHAEL D. MEYER, Georgia Institute of Technology (Chair) ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., Transportation Research Board J. RICHARD CAPKA, Federal Highway Administration C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas at Austin JOHN C. HORSLEY, American Association of State Highway LINDA S. WATSON, LYNX--Central Florida Regional and Transportation Officials Transportation Authority JOHN R. NJORD, Utah DOT

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 357 Use of Geophysics for Transportation Projects A Synthesis of Highway Practice CONSULTANT PHIL C. SIRLES Sirles Consulting, LLC Lakewood, Colorado S UBJECT A REAS Soils, Geology, and Foundations Research Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2006 www.TRB.org

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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP SYNTHESIS 357 Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Price $36.00 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local Project 20-5 (Topic 36-08) interest and can best be studied by highway departments ISSN 0547-5570 individually or in cooperation with their state universities and ISBN 0-309-09764-9 others. However, the accelerating growth of highway transportation Library of Congress Control No. 2006922158 develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to 2006 Transportation Research Board highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research. In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation COPYRIGHT PERMISSION Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for program employing modern scientific techniques. This program is obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Department of Transportation. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit was requested by the Association to administer the research Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment understanding of modern research practices. The Board is uniquely of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee material, request permission from CRP. structure from which authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research NOTICE Council is an insurance of objectivity; it maintains a full-time The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National research correlation staff of specialists in highway transportation Cooperative Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are in Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National a position to use them. Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that The program is developed on the basis of research needs the program concerned is of national importance and appropriate with respect identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and areas of research needs to be included in the program are proposed with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. to the National Research Council and the Board by the American The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of the qualified research agencies are selected from those that have Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the American submitted proposals. Administration and surveillance of research Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal contracts are the responsibilities of the National Research Council Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. and the Transportation Research Board. Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical The needs for highway research are many, and the National committee according to procedures established and monitored by the Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW NOTE: The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the Washington, DC 20001 National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the individual and can be ordered through the Internet at: states participating in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both the Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. William A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is a division of the National Research Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation. The Board's varied activities annually engage more than 5,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org

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NCHRP COMMITTEE FOR PROJECT 20-5 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM STAFF ROBERT J. REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Programs CHAIR CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Manager, NCHRP GARY D. TAYLOR, CTE Engineers EILEEN DELANEY, Director of Publications MEMBERS NCHRP SYNTHESIS STAFF THOMAS R. BOHUSLAV, Texas DOT STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Information Services DONN E. HANCHER, University of Kentucky JON WILLIAMS, Manager, Synthesis Studies DWIGHT HORNE, Federal Highway Administration DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer YSELA LLORT, Florida DOT DON TIPPMAN, Editor WESLEY S.C. LUM, California DOT CHERYL KEITH, Senior Secretary JAMES W. MARCH, Federal Highway Administration JOHN M. MASON, JR., Pennsylvania State University TOPIC PANEL CATHERINE NELSON, Oregon DOT MURAD ABU-FARSAKH, Louisiana State University LARRY VELASQUEZ, New Mexico DOT MARC FISH, New Hampshire Department of Transportation PAUL T. WELLS, New York State DOT G.P. JAYAPRAKASH, Transportation Research Board MOHAMMED A. MULLA, North Carolina Department of FHWA LIAISON Transportation WILLIAM ZACCAGNINO BILL OWEN, California Department of Transportation DAN REID, Wisconsin Department of Transportation TRB LIAISON DICK SYLWESTER, Golder Associates, Inc. STEPHEN F. MAHER KHAMIS Y. HARAMY, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) SAM MANSUKHANI, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison) ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the following who tance, Cecelia Slivick and Merrie Jones who were instrumental in each helped make this NCHRP Synthesis a quality product: the technical phase of the work, and Zonge Engineering & Research Organization, Inc., panel who were terrific to work with and thorough in their assis- for their support in completing the Synthesis. Cover photograph courtesy of Bay Geophysical, Inc., Traverse City, Michigan.

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FOREWORD Highway administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which infor- By Staff mation already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and prac- Transportation tice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, Research Board full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviat- ing the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to highway administrators and engineers. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and eval- uating such useful information and to make it available to the entire highway community, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials--through the mechanism of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program--authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, NCHRP Proj- ect 20-5, "Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems," searches out and syn- thesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an NCHRP report series, Synthesis of Highway Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. PREFACE This synthesis presents the state of the practice regarding the use of geophysics for trans- portation projects. The report focuses on U.S. state and Canadian provincial departments of transportation (DOTs), and U.S. federal transportation agencies. The main points addressed include who is using geophysics and why, which methods and applications are the most commonly used, the use of in-house expertise compared with contracting private consultants, and how geophysical service contracts are procured and implemented. The scope was limited to how geophysics is being applied by geotechnical engineers during highway planning and construction activities. The information included in this synthesis was obtained from a review of the published literature, a survey of all 50 state DOTs, the District of Columbia, Canadian provinces, and selected federal government agencies, and follow-up telephone interviews designed to clar- ify or expand on particular aspects of some survey responses. Phil C. Sirles, Sirles Consulting, LLC, Lakewood, Colorado, collected and synthesized the information and wrote the report. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the prac- tices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.

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CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 5 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 5 Objective, 6 Scope, 6 Organization, 6 8 CHAPTER TWO GEOPHYSICAL METHODS Introduction, 8 Literature Search and Training Resources, 8 Methods, Techniques, Applications, and Standards, 9 13 CHAPTER THREE INFORMATION SOURCES AND GENERAL RESPONSES 16 CHAPTER FOUR AGENCY PRACTICE--METHODS AND APPLICATIONS Geophysical Methods and Techniques, 16 Applications for Geophysical Investigations, 16 Selection Criteria and Approval for Geophysical Investigations, 16 18 CHAPTER FIVE AGENCY PRACTICE--BUDGETING, COSTS, AND CONTRACTING Budgeting and Costs, 18 Contracting, 19 23 CHAPTER SIX AGENCY PROJECT EXPERIENCE Successes and Failures, 23 Case Histories, 24 Project Costs, 24 27 CHAPTER SEVEN CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDS 29 GLOSSARY 32 REFERENCES 33 TOPICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY 43 APPENDIX A METHODS AND TECHNIQUES

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61 APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE 79 APPENDIX C SURVEY RESULTS 100 APPENDIX D CASE HISTORIES