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The success of the use of geophysical exploration methods in oil and mining prospecting has logically led to the application of the techniques to other engineering fields. The increasing stress on careful foundation design and the consequent importance of thorough subsurface information, coupled with the necessity of accomplishing the subsurface exploration with the least possible expenditure of time and money, has opened a field in which geophysical exploration can render a unique service. This paper discusses the development of one of the seismic techniques—seismic refraction—describes the methods of field operation and interpretation of results, and relates its use to several foundation or subsurface exploration problems.
Applications described include a carefully controlled trial profile study in the city of Detroit, the determination of depth to bedrock for piles under a high office building, a study of the foundation conditions for a housing project, the bounding of a poor foundation material at a plant site in South Carolina, and others. In all instances it was found that the geophysical technique supplied the required information about subsurface conditions in a comparatively short period of time and with an accuracy as shown by several drilling checks. The paper concludes that seismic work has proved itself in highway and foundation work as a supplement to other proven methods.
Morgan Johnson, A.
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Wayne University, Detroit, Mich.
Wesley, Richard H.
Wesley, Stickel and Company, Inc., Detroit, Mich.