Significance and Use
Direct push methods of soil sampling are used for geologic investigations, soil chemical composition studies, and water quality investigations. Examples of a few types of investigations in which direct push sampling may be used include site assessments, underground storage tank investigations, and hazardous waste site investigations. Continuous sampling is used to provide a lithological detail of the subsurface strata and to gather samples for classification and index or for chemical testing. These investigations frequently are required in the characterization of hazardous waste sites. Samples, gathered by direct push methods, provide specimens necessary to determine the chemical composition of soils, and in most circumstances, contained pore fluids (3).
Direct push methods can provide accurate information on the characteristics of the soils encountered and of the chemical composition if provisions are made to ensure that discrete samples are collected, that sample recovery is maximized, and that clean decontaminated tools are used in the sample gathering procedure. For purposes of this guide, “soil” shall be defined in accordance with Terminology D653. Using sealed or protected sampling tools, cased boreholes, and proper advancement techniques can assure good representative samples. Direct push boreholes may be considered as a supplementary part of the overall site investigation or may be used for the full site investigation if site conditions permit. As such, they should be directed by the same procedural review and quality assurance standards that apply to other types of subsurface borings. A general knowledge of subsurface conditions at the site is beneficial.
Soil strata profiling to shallow depths may be accomplished over large areas in less time than with conventional drilling methods because of the rapid sample gathering potential of the direct push method. More site time is available for actual productive investigation as the time required for ancillary activities, such as decontamination, rig setup, tool handling, borehole backfill, and site clean-up is reduced over conventional drilling techniques. Direct push soil sampling has benefits of smaller size tooling, smaller diameter boreholes, and minimal investigative derived waste.
The direct push soil sampling method may be used as a site characterization tool for subsurface investigation and for remedial investigation and corrective action. The initial direct push investigation program can provide good soil stratigraphic information depending on the soil density and particle size, determine groundwater depth, and provide samples for field screening and for formal laboratory analysis to determine the chemical composition of soil and contained pore fluids. Use of this method, results in minimum site disturbance and no cuttings are generated.
This guide may not be the correct method for investigations in all cases. As with all drilling methods, subsurface conditions affect the performance of the sample gathering equipment and methods used. Direct push methods are not effective for solid rock and are marginally effective in partially weathered rock or very dense soils. These methods can be utilized to determine the rock surface depth. The presence or absence of groundwater can affect the performance of the sampling tools. Compact gravelly tills containing boulders and cobbles, stiff clay, compacted gravel, and cemented soil may cause refusal to penetration. Certain cohesive soils, depending on their water content, can create friction on the sampling tools which can exceed the static delivery force, or the impact energy applied, or both, resulting in penetration refusal. Some or all of these conditions may complicate removal of the sampling tools from the borehole as well. Sufficient retract force should be available to ensure tool recovery. As with all borehole advancement methods, precautions must be taken to prevent cross contamination of aquifers through migration of contaminants up or down the borehole. Regardless of the tool size, the moving of drilling and sampling tools through contaminated strata carries risks. Minimization of this risk should be a controlling factor in selecting sampling methods and drilling procedures. The user should take into account the possible chemical reaction between the sample and the sampling tool itself, sample liners, or other items that may come into contact with the sample (3, 4).
In some cases this guide may combine water sampling, or vapor sampling, or both, with soil sampling in the same investigation. Guides D6001 and D4700 can provide additional information on procedures to be used in such combined efforts.
1.1 This guide addresses direct push soil samplers, which also may be driven into the ground from the surface or through prebored holes. The samplers can be continuous or discrete interval units. Samplers are advanced by a combination of static push, or impacts from hammers, or vibratory methods, or a combination thereof, to the depth of interest. The guide does not cover open chambered samplers operated by hand such as augers, agricultural samplers operated at shallow depths, or side wall samplers. This guide does not address single sampling events in the immediate base of the drill hole using rotary drilling equipment with incremental drill hole excavation. Other sampling standards, such as Test Methods D1586 and D1587 and Practice D3550 apply to rotary drilling activities. This guide does not address advancement of sampler barrel systems with methods that employ cuttings removal as the sampler is advanced. Other drilling and sampling methods may apply for samples needed for engineering and construction applications.
1.2 Guidance on preservation and transport of samples, as given in Guide D4220, may or may not apply. Samples for chemical analysis often must be subsampled and preserved for chemical analysis using special techniques. Practice D3694 provides information on some of the special techniques required. Additional information on environmental sample preservation and transportation is available in other references (1, 2). Samples for classification may be preserved using procedures similar to Class A. In most cases, a direct push sample is considered as Class B in Practice D4220 but is protected, representative, and suitable for chemical analysis. The samples taken with this practice do not usually produce Class C and D (with exception of thin wall samples of standard size) samples for testing for engineering properties, such as shear strength and compressibility. Guide D4700 has some information on mechanical soil sampling devices similar to direct push techniques, however, it does not address most direct push sampling methods. If sampling is for chemical evaluation in the Vadose Zone, consult Guide D4700 for any special considerations.
1.3 Field methods described in this guide, include the use of discreet and continuous sampling tools, split and solid barrel samplers and thin walled tubes with or without fixed piston style apparatus.
1.4 Insertion methods described include static push, impact, percussion, other vibratory/sonic driving, and combinations of these methods using direct push equipment adapted to drilling rigs, cone penetrometer units, and specially designed percussion/direct push combination machines. Hammers providing the force for insertion include drop style, hydraulically activated, air activated and mechanical lift devices.
1.5 Direct push soil sampling is limited to soils and unconsolidated materials that can be penetrated with the available equipment. The ability to penetrate strata is based on hammer energy, carrying vehicle weight, compactness of soil, and consistency of soil. Penetration may be limited or damage to samplers and conveying devices can occur in certain subsurface conditions, some of which are discussed in 5.5. Successful sample recovery also may be limited by the ability to retrieve tools from the borehole. Sufficient retract force must be available when attempting difficult or deep investigations.
1.6 This guide does not address the installation of any temporary or permanent soil, groundwater, vapor monitoring, or remediation devices.
1.7 The practicing of direct push techniques may be controlled by local regulations governing subsurface penetration. Certification, or licensing requirements, or both, may need to be considered in establishing criteria for field activities.
1.8 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard: however, dimensions used in the drilling industry are given in inch-pound units by convention. Inch-pound units are used where necessary in this guide.
1.9 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.
1.10 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document 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 ASTM standard 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 document be applied without consideration of a projects'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.
D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids
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
D2488 Practice for Description and Identification of Soils (Visual-Manual Procedure)
D3550 Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling of Soils
D3694 Practices for Preparation of Sample Containers and for Preservation of Organic Constituents
D4220 Practices for Preserving and Transporting Soil Samples
D4700 Guide for Soil Sampling from the Vadose Zone
D5088 Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites
D5092 Practice for Design and Installation of Ground Water Monitoring Wells
D5299 Guide for Decommissioning of Groundwater Wells, Vadose Zone Monitoring Devices, Boreholes, and Other Devices for Environmental Activities
D5434 Guide for Field Logging of Subsurface Explorations of Soil and Rock
D6001 Guide for Direct-Push Ground Water Sampling for Environmental Site Characterization
decontamination; direct push; groundwater; sealing; soil sampling: Soil sampling; Water quality monitoring; Borehole drilling; Borehole samples; Closed barrel sampling; Decontamination; Direct push sampling; Geological investigations; Ground-water monitoring/sampling; Open-barrel samplers; Soil chemical composition;
ICS Number Code 13.080.99 (Other standards related to soil quality)
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