River erosion, directly linked to subsurface sediment stability, significantly influences the design and construction of any foundation, from natural riverbanks to man-made structures. The factors such as sediment composition, density, and moisture content contribute to the overall stability.
Cone Penetration Testing, or CPT, emerges as a convenient and effective method for investigating subsurface conditions. This approach is instrumental in evaluating sediment stability, providing necessary insights for appropriate foundation support.
Why Cone Penetration Testing?
CPT is a relatively non-invasive way to test the stability of a foundation, and it can be used in both natural and human-made settings. CPT involves advancing a probe into the ground at various depths and collecting data about the sediment at intervals as close as three millimetres. This data is then analyzed by engineers and contractors to determine what remediation needs to be done.
In the case of river erosion, CPT applications can be used to assess the stability of the sediment along the bank. This is important because river erosion can pose a severe threat to both public safety and the environment.
By using CPT, engineers can determine if the sediment is stable enough to support the weight of the bank or if it is susceptible to erosion. This saves projects money by avoiding high human and financial costs associated with failed riverbank stabilization. This is also important because river erosion can threaten public safety and the environment through flooding and landslides. Vertek offers a variety of low-ground pressure tracked CPT systems designed to access sites with loose sediment like riverbanks and nearshore beaches.
Mitigating Risk with CPT
Using CPT, engineers can avoid costly repairs by identifying ground instability that can threaten humans, infrastructure, and/or the environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
“Increased sediment and erosion in rivers, lakes and streams can also affect water quality and availability of drinking water sources. For example, increased sedimentation can affect the storage capacity of reservoirs and increase the need for treatment at water utilities.”
Further, the British Geological Survey reported in 2022:
“Recent studies have shown that, in the UK, river erosion and associated impacts exacerbate flood damage by £336 million ($410 million USD) a year and are a considerable source of water pollutants, costing £238 million ($290 million USD) a year to remediate. River erosion further increases the costs of water treatment and maintenance of drainage networks by £132 million ($161 million USD) a year and accounts for 25 percent of valid subsidence insurance claims (Li et al., 2021, Pritchard et al., 2013).”
Thanks to Vertek’s high-efficiency CPT systems, operators can conduct multiple site investigations over a wide area daily. This allows engineers to get a full picture of the subsurface area in question in a short amount of time.
Choosing a Trusted Partner
With nearly 40 years of experience working with government agencies, drilling companies, and engineering firms, Vertek is your go-to source for Cone Penetration Testing. Based on your scope of work, we can help you determine the best CPT system to get the job done.
Contact us today to discuss your needs and our solutions.