ASTM D6640 - 01(2010)

    Standard Practice for Collection and Handling of Soils Obtained in Core Barrel Samplers for Environmental Investigations

    Active Standard ASTM D6640 | Developed by Subcommittee: D34.01.03

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.04


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    Significance and Use

    Often during environmental investigations, soils are analyzed after being collected from the surface, the vadose zone (D653) and sometimes from below the ground water table to identify and quantify the presence of a chemical contaminant. A contaminant is a substance that is typically hazardous and either is not normally present or that occurs naturally but is of an uncharacteristically high concentration (D4687). A three-dimensional spatial array of samples can often provide information as to the source and route(s) of migration of the contaminant. The resultant information is used to direct remedial and corrective actions or can be used for monitoring purposes. Obtaining a soil sample with a core barrel sampler involves driving this device into the ground and then retrieving it for sample processing. Several methods for advancing a core barrel are generally acceptable (e.g., D1586, D1587, D3550, D4700, D5784, D5875, D5876, D6151, D6282, and D6286). Drilling methods that use drilling fluids (liquids or air) should be avoided because they are more susceptible to cross-contamination (See Section 5.1.6).

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers procedures for obtaining soils from core barrel samplers for chemical and physical analysis, with an emphasis on the collection and handling procedures that maintain the representativeness of the chemical contaminants of concern. Core barrel samplers are initially empty (hollow) until they are pushed into the ground to collect and retrieve a cylindrical soil sample with minimal disturbance. The selection of equipment and the sample handling procedures are dependent on the soil properties, the depth of sampling, and the general properties of the chemical contaminants of concern, that is, volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, and inorganic constituents. The sampling procedures described are designed to maintain representative concentrations of the contaminants regardless of their physical state(s), that is, solid, liquid or gas.

    1.2 Four general types of core barrel samplers are discussed in this practice: split-barrel, ring-lined barrel, thin-walled tube, and solid-barrel samplers.

    1.3 This document does not cover all the core barrel devices that are available for the collection of soil samples.

    1.4 The procedures described may or may not be applicable to handling of samples for assessing certain geotechnical properties, for example, soil porosity.

    Note 1—Prior to commencement of any intrusive exploration, the site should be checked for underground utilities.

    1.5 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.


    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

    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

    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

    D4547 Guide for Sampling Waste and Soils for Volatile Organic Compounds

    D4687 Guide for General Planning of Waste Sampling

    D4700 Guide for Soil Sampling from the Vadose Zone

    D5088 Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites

    D5784 Guide for Use of Hollow-Stem Augers for Geoenvironmental Exploration and the Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5792 Practice for Generation of Environmental Data Related to Waste Management Activities: Development of Data Quality Objectives

    D5875 Guide for Use of Cable-Tool Drilling and Sampling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D5876 Guide for Use of Direct Rotary Wireline Casing Advancement Drilling Methods for Geoenvironmental Exploration and Installation of Subsurface Water-Quality Monitoring Devices

    D6051 Guide for Composite Sampling and Field Subsampling for Environmental Waste Management Activities

    D6151 Practice for Using Hollow-Stem Augers for Geotechnical Exploration and Soil Sampling

    D6169 Guide for Selection of Soil and Rock Sampling Devices Used With Drill Rigs for Environmental Investigations

    D6232 Guide for Selection of Sampling Equipment for Waste and Contaminated Media Data Collection Activities

    D6282 Guide for Direct Push Soil Sampling for Environmental Site Characterizations

    D6286 Guide for Selection of Drilling Methods for Environmental Site Characterization


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.01 (Soil quality in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41113909(Soil core sampling apparatus); 11111501(Soil)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6640-01R10

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