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    A Lightweight 12-m Cone Penetrometer

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    This paper describes a remotely operated, bottom resting cone penetrometer for testing to soil depths of 12 m (40 ft) in un-cemented sands, silts, and soft to medium stiff clays. It is lightweight (less than 4.5 kN [10 000 lb]) and can achieve 12-m penetration with a 4.5 kN (10 000 lb). The force necessary to push the cone rod into the seafloor was reduced by jetting.

    The device is called the XSP for experimental static penetrometer. It is capable of performing electric friction-cone penetration tests to 12-m depths in soils at water depths of 60 m. The XSP is 15 m (50 ft) tall, weighs about 4.5 kN (10 000 lb), and uses an electric friction cone conforming to ASTM Method for Deep, Quasi-Static, Cone and Friction-Cone Penetration Tests of Soil (D 3441). Friction on the push rod has been sharply reduced by using a water-jet to flush sediment away from it.

    Test results from four different soil types are presented. Comparison is made between side by side tests conducted with and without the water jet. Core data are also presented for comparison with the cone data.


    cone penetrometer, marine geology, soil tests, seafloor cone penetrometer, marine sediment, strength electric friction cone

    Author Information:

    Johnson, BA
    Civil engineer, Naval Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, CA

    Beard, RM
    Civil engineer, Buena Engineers, Ventura, CA

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP36333S