ASTM D5220 - 08

    Standard Test Method for Water Mass per Unit Volume of Soil and Rock In-Place by the Neutron Depth Probe Method

    Active Standard ASTM D5220 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.08

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    ASTM D5220

    Significance and Use

    This test method is useful as a rapid, nondestructive technique for the calculation of the in-place water mass per unit volume of soil and rock at desired depths below the surface.

    This test method is useful for informational and research purposes. It should only be used for quality control and acceptance testing when correlated to actual water mass per unit volume using procedures and methods described in A1.2.3.

    The non-destructive nature of this test method allows repetitive measurements to be made at a single test location for statistical analysis and to monitor changes over time.

    The fundamental assumptions inherent in this test method are that the material under test is homogeneous and hydrogen present is in the form of water as defined by Test Method D2216.

    Note 1—The quality of the result produced by this standard test method is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection, and the like. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the calculation of the water mass per unit volume of soil and rock by thermalization or slowing of fast neutrons where the neutron source and the thermal neutron detector are placed at the desired depth in the bored hole lined by an access tube (see Note 3).

    1.1.1 For limitations see Section 6 on Interferences.

    1.2 The water mass per unit volume, expressed as mass per unit volume of the material under test, is calculated by comparing the thermal neutron count rate with previously established calibration data (see Annex A1).

    1.3 A precision statement has not been developed for this standard at this time. Therefore, this standard should not be used for acceptance or rejection of a material for purchasing purposes unless correlated to other accepted ASTM methods.

    1.4 The values expressed in SI units are regarded as the standard. The inch-pound units given in parentheses may be approximate and are provided for information only.

    1.5 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guide for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.5.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected, recorded, and calculated in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that should generally be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the users objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of this standard to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific hazards are given in Section 8.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D1452 Practice for Soil Exploration and Sampling by Auger Borings

    D1586 Test Method for Penetration Test (SPT) and Split-Barrel Sampling of Soils

    D1587 Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Soils for Geotechnical Purposes

    D2113 Practice for Rock Core Drilling and Sampling of Rock for Site Investigation

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2937 Test Method for Density of Soil in Place by the Drive-Cylinder Method

    D3550 Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling of Soils

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4428/D4428M Test Methods for Crosshole Seismic Testing

    D5195 Test Method for Density of Soil and Rock In-Place at Depths Below Surface by Nuclear Methods

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    D6938 Test Method for In-Place Density and Water Content of Soil and Soil-Aggregate by Nuclear Methods (Shallow Depth)


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.40 (Hydrological properties of soil)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    DOI: 10.1520/D5220-08

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