n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - Correlating Standard Penetration Test and Dynamic Probe Super Heavy penetration resistance values in sandy soils : technical paper

Volume 53, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-2019



This paper presents a statistical method used to develop an empirical equivalence between the Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and the Dynamic Probe Super Heavy (DPSH) in sandy material. Penetration resistance values from the two tests are often taken as equivalent for design purposes, as the same drive energy is used in both. SPT and DPSH resistance values from different geological depositional and weathering environments were examined. The data came from the following areas across southern Africa: Matola in Mozambique, Gope in Botswana, Umdloti and Cape Town in South Africa, and Illha de Luanda in Angola. It was apparent that energy losses were greater in the DPSH test than in the SPT, leading to higher resistance values in the former. The SPT is carried out within a borehole, whereas the DPSH is continuously driven into the soil. The dynamic force applied to the DPSH rods causes soil to fill the small air annulus around the rods, exerting a frictional resistance. The different geological settings of the test sites revealed that, although different factors cause the friction, the equivalence varied in a similar manner. Hence a single correlation formula is suggested to determine equivalent SPT values from raw DPSH resistance values.

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