ASTM D6168 - 97(2010)

    Standard Guide for Selection of Minimum Set of Data Elements Required to Identify Locations Chosen for Field Collection of Information to Describe Soil, Rock, and Their Contained Fluids

    Active Standard ASTM D6168 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    ASTM D6168

    Significance and Use

    Adequately documented geoscience data are beneficial to studies utilizing traditional and computer technology for conducting resource surveys and in analyzing environmental concerns.

    Geoscience data that include the standard coordinates pinpoint the location of the information on or below the earth's surface and by that establish the dimensional relationship to data of a similar nature (see 5.2).

    Note 6—Some investigations destroy the sample in the process. As such, the information cannot be duplicated by resampling. The data and the original location of the tested sample may be the only remaining result.

    Geoscience data that include key information has an enhanced capability for acceptable verification, as each additional data item strengthens the uniqueness for singular identification.

    Key data categories included for unique identification of the geoscience information consist of political regimes, source of data, and location characteristics (see 5.3).

    Use of a standardized minimum set of data elements by project investigators increase the usefulness of the geoscience information, in that the material can more easily be interchanged.

    Data verification, essential in quality control, can be more routine when geoscience locations are accurately identified.

    Key items allow for ease of selection by placing the geoscience data into logical categories, such as counties, resource extraction locations, and source agencies.

    Data files organized by use of key data elements, whether stored in cabinets or a computer file, are less complicated to find.

    Geoscience data are usually collected for an ongoing project, however, the value is greatly increased when these data are available for future studies.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide covers factors to consider for the selection of the minimum set of data elements required for the accurate location and cataloging of information collected for geological science (geoscience) investigations, which includes geoecology.

    1.1.1 Geoscience investigations include soil surveys, foundation investigations, geologic studies, hydrologic evaluations, environmental appraisals, contamination inquiries, archaeological surveys, and other studies that involve the soil, rock, and contained fluids from the lands surface to any explored depth underground.

    1.2 A unique geoscience data location, on or below the earth's surface, can be described by X, Y, and Z coordinates and by that method establish the dimensional relationship to data of a similar nature. Additional location information needed depends upon the type of geoscience data collection locality.

    1.2.1 The basic type is a single position described by finite X, Y, and Z coordinates. The X, Y, and Z coordinates uniquely position the location on or below the earth's surface.

    Note 1—An example is the latitude and longitude in horizontal coordinates and the altitude (or elevation) in vertical distance of a groundwater location or site. Data collected at the site, for example, water levels, are measured by the vertical interval as referenced to the altitude.

    1.2.2 Another type of location is described by finite X and Y coordinates that has multiple vertically positioned Z coordinates. This is equivalent to the location type described in 1.2.1, except that multiple vertical dimensions are stated as Z coordinates, rather than vertical intervals.

    Note 2—An example is latitude, longitude, and multiple altitudes of a soil sampling location or site. Each altitude represents a different sampling position that has the same latitude and longitude coordinate. The upper and lower limit of a sampling interval can be expressed by altitudes.

    1.2.3 Another type is a location described by finite X and Y coordinates with multiple Z coordinates that are not vertically oriented from X and Y coordinates.

    Note 3—An example is a slanted borehole where the top is at a different latitude and longitude coordinate than the sampling positions in the hole. Methods of describing these sampling points are: treat each position as a separate location with finite latitude, longitude, and altitude values; describe the horizontal deviation of the sampling point from the finite latitude and longitude coordinates at the top of the borehole.

    1.2.4 Another type is a location with considerable horizontal dimension that cannot be described by a finite X and Y coordinate, however, a single Z coordinate may be acceptable.

    Note 4—Examples are sinkholes, waste disposal pits, septic systems, underground injection facilities, mines, archaeological sites, and some ponds or lakes. These locations can be described by including additional information that gives the horizontal components of the location along with the latitude, longitude, and altitude coordinates or by multiple sets of X and Y coordinates that encompass the location.

    1.3 Additional key data elements are needed to simplify the identification and cataloging of the geoscience data.

    1.3.1 These elements describe political entities, data sources, and individual characteristics of the location.

    Note 5—The data assist in file organization by placing the information into logical categories and to further identify the geoscience location by use of familiar terminology. A carefully designed minimum set of data elements contributes to the recoverability and the future value of the entire data file.

    1.4 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.

    1.5 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This guide cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This guide is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this guide be applied without consideration of a project's many unique aspects. The word Standard in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.


    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

    D420 Guide to Site Characterization for Engineering Design and Construction Purposes

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)

    D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)

    D2607 Classification of Peats, Mosses, Humus, and Related Products

    D3282 Practice for Classification of Soils and Soil-Aggregate Mixtures for Highway Construction Purposes

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

    D4083 Practice for Description of Frozen Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)

    D4220 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Soil Samples

    D4427 Classification of Peat Samples by Laboratory Testing

    D4448 Guide for Sampling Ground-Water Monitoring Wells

    D4700 Guide for Soil Sampling from the Vadose Zone

    D4879 Guide for Geotechnical Mapping of Large Underground Openings in Rock

    D5092 Practice for Design and Installation of Ground Water Monitoring Wells

    D5254 Practice for Minimum Set of Data Elements to Identify a Ground-Water Site

    D5299 Guide for Decommissioning of Groundwater Wells, Vadose Zone Monitoring Devices, Boreholes, and Other Devices for Environmental Activities

    D5408 Guide for Set of Data Elements to Describe a Groundwater Site; Part One--Additional Identification Descriptors

    D5409 Guide for Set of Data Elements to Describe a Ground-Water Site; Part Two--Physical Descriptors

    D5410 Guide for Set of Data Elements to Describe a Ground-Water Site;Part Three--Usage Descriptors

    D5434 Guide for Field Logging of Subsurface Explorations of Soil and Rock

    D5474 Guide for Selection of Data Elements for Groundwater Investigations

    D5911 Practice for Minimum Set of Data Elements to Identify a Soil Sampling Site


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.01 (Soil quality in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6168-97R10

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