ASTM D7046-04

    Standard Guide for Use of the Metal Detection Method for Subsurface Investigation


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    1. Scope

    1.1 Purpose and Application—This guide summarizes the equipment, field procedures, and interpretation methods for the assessment of subsurface materials using the metal detection method. Metal detectors respond to the presence of both ferrous and nonferrous metals by inducing eddy currents in conductive objects. Metal detectors are either frequency domain (continuous frequency or wave) or time domain (pulsed) systems. A wide range of metal detectors is commonly available.

    1.1.1 Metal detectors can detect any kind of metallic material, including both ferrous metals such as iron and steel, and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and copper. In contrast, magnetometers only detect ferrous metals.

    1.1.2 Metal detector measurements can be used to detect the presence of buried metal trash, drums (Tyagi et al, 1983) (1) and tanks, abandoned wells (Guide D 6285); to trace buried utilities; and to delineate the boundaries of landfill metal and trench metal. They are also used to detect metal based unexploded ordnance (UXO).

    1.1.3 Benson (1982) (2) and U.S. EPA (1993) (3) provide an overview of metal detectors.

    1.2 Limitations:

    1.2.1 This guide provides an overview of the metal detection method. It does not provide or address the details of the theory, field procedures, or interpretation of the data. References are included for that purpose and are considered an essential part of this guide. It is recommended that the user of this guide be familiar with the references cited and with the ASTM standards D 420, D 653, D 5088, D 5608, D 5730, D 5753, D 6235, D 6429, and D 6431.

    1.2.2 This guide is limited to metal detection measurements made on land. The metal detection method can be adapted for a number of special uses on land, water, airborne and ice.

    1.2.3 The approaches suggested in this guide for the metal detection method are commonly used, widely accepted, and proven. However, other approaches or modifications to the metal detection method that are technically sound may be substituted.

    1.2.4 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, 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 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.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are inch-pound units, which are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.4 Precautions:

    1.4.1 It is the responsibility of the user of this guide to follow any precautions in the equipment manufacturer's recommendations and to establish appropriate health and safety practices.

    1.4.2 If the method is used at sites with hazardous materials, operations, or equipment, it is the responsibility of the user of this guide to establish appropriate safety and health practices and to determine the applicability of any regulations prior to use.

    1.4.3 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 requirements 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

    D420 Guide to Site Characterization for Engineering Design and Construction Purposes

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

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

    D5088 Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites

    D5608 Practices for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Low Level Radioactive Waste Sites

    D5730 Guide for Site Characterization for Environmental Purposes With Emphasis on Soil, Rock, the Vadose Zone and Ground Water

    D5753 Guide for Planning and Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging

    D6235 Practice for Expedited Site Characterization of Vadose Zone and Groundwater Contamination at Hazardous Waste Contaminated Sites

    D6285 Guide for Locating Abandoned Wells

    D6429 Guide for Selecting Surface Geophysical Methods

    D6431 Guide for Using the Direct Current Resistivity Method for Subsurface Investigation

    D6639 Guide for Using the Frequency Domain Electromagnetic Method for Subsurface Investigations

    D6820 Guide for Use of the Time Domain Electromagnetic Method for Subsurface Investigation


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.99 (Other standards related to soil quality)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 81151902(Geophysical exploration); 41111903(Metal detectors)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D7046-04

    Citation Format

    ASTM D7046-04, Standard Guide for Use of the Metal Detection Method for Subsurface Investigation, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2004, www.astm.org

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