Subsurface Exploration

When you start a new project, the first step is knowing what’s already in place. With proper planning, logistical concerns can be considered and dealt with before construction begins — both for your team and for the public.

Subsurface utility mapping, also known as subsurface utility engineering, provides that information by determining the location of existing utilities and plotting them on maps. Then, a team can engage in vacuum excavation to make more precise measurements to display in a map using CAD or GIS software. You will likely use subsurface utility exploration during the design portion of the project.

When you start a new project, the first step is knowing what’s already in place. With proper planning, logistical concerns can be considered and dealt with before construction begins — both for your team and for the public.

Subsurface utility mapping, also known as subsurface utility engineering, provides that information by determining the location of existing utilities and plotting them on maps. Then, a team can engage in vacuum excavation to make more precise measurements to display in a map using CAD or GIS software. You will likely use subsurface utility exploration during the design portion of the project.

Why Is Subsurface Exploration and Investigation Important?

You need to know what is underneath your construction site before you start digging. This means performing a subsurface investigation, like drilling holes and taking samples to identify the rocks, soil, water and other materials present below the surface.

After performing subsurface exploration, a geotechnical engineer can make recommendations in different areas, such as how much capacity the land can bear, settlement estimations, stability problems, groundwater location and more.

When you are aware of any potential problems or limitations during the design process, your team can make better decisions. Finding out about them later can lead to project delays and budget problems.

Why Is Subsurface Exploration and Investigation Important?

You need to know what is underneath your construction site before you start digging. This means performing a subsurface investigation, like drilling holes and taking samples to identify the rocks, soil, water and other materials present below the surface.

After performing subsurface exploration, a geotechnical engineer can make recommendations in different areas, such as how much capacity the land can bear, settlement estimations, stability problems, groundwater location and more.

When you are aware of any potential problems or limitations during the design process, your team can make better decisions. Finding out about them later can lead to project delays and budget problems.

What Are Investigation and Subsurface Exploration Methods?

There are a few methods for subsurface exploration and investigation. Your geotechnical engineer could choose to start the investigation using various techniques, such as:

There are a few methods for subsurface exploration and investigation. Your geotechnical engineer could choose to start the investigation using various techniques, such as:

Conventional Soil Boring

The engineer will start with a drill rig to gather soil and rock cores to take a Standard Penetration Test (SPT). This reading provides the values for soil strength, which gives you an idea of bearing capacity and settlements.

Cone Penetrometer Testing

With this method, you will use sensors to gather information about the land’s subsurface. The sensor has a cone-shaped tip that you push through the soil, allowing you to collect information about the tip and sleeve resistance, seismic shear wave velocity and pore water pressure.

Conventional Soil Boring

The engineer will start with a drill rig to gather soil and rock cores to take a Standard Penetration Test (SPT). This reading provides the values for soil strength, which gives you an idea of bearing capacity and settlements.

Cone Penetrometer Testing

With this method, you will use sensors to gather information about the land’s subsurface. The sensor has a cone-shaped tip that you push through the soil, allowing you to collect information about the tip and sleeve resistance, seismic shear wave velocity and pore water pressure.

Test Pits

Your tester will create a pit that is 12 feet in depth or less. This method is quite visual in that you will be able to clearly see what is going on beneath the surface of your work area.

Ground-Penetrating Radar

Ground-penetrating radar is another less-invasive approach to subsurface exploration. Your geotechnical engineer will use pulsating electromagnetic energy to understand what is beneath the surface. This method is beneficial for jobs with limited access or other restrictions that do not allow drilling and excavating.

Your tester will create a pit that is 12 feet in depth or less. This method is quite visual in that you will be able to clearly see what is going on beneath the surface of your work area.

Ground-Penetrating Radar

Ground-penetrating radar is another less-invasive approach to subsurface exploration. Your geotechnical engineer will use pulsating electromagnetic energy to understand what is beneath the surface. This method is beneficial for jobs with limited access or other restrictions that do not allow drilling and excavating.

Contact ECS for Subsurface Utility Exploration and Investigation Services

Engaging in subsurface utility engineering is an important part of the process for construction and engineering projects. When you work with ECS, you can receive this service and more, as we serve as a one-stop geotechnical engineering provider for multiple aspects of your construction process. We create open communication lines to allow our teams to collaborate easily and efficiently so your project stays on course.

ECS can offer subsurface exploration services for workers in multiple industries. Please contact us online today with your questions or request a quote.

Engaging in subsurface utility engineering is an important part of the process for construction and engineering projects. When you work with ECS, you can receive this service and more, as we serve as a one-stop geotechnical engineering provider for multiple aspects of your construction process. We create open communication lines to allow our teams to collaborate easily and efficiently so your project stays on course.

ECS can offer subsurface exploration services for workers in multiple industries. Please contact us online today with your questions or request a quote.