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Active: ASTM D0420-18
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2018 Track Document
ASTM D420-98(2003)

Standard Guide to Site Characterization for Engineering Design and Construction Purposes (Withdrawn 2012)

Standard Guide to Site Characterization for Engineering Design and Construction Purposes (Withdrawn 2012) D0420-98R03 ASTM|D0420-98R03|en-US Standard Guide to Site Characterization for Engineering Design and Construction Purposes (Withdrawn 2012) Standard new BOS Vol. 04.08 Committee D18
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Significance and Use

An adequate soil, rock, and groundwater investigation will provide pertinent information for decision making on one or more of the following subjects:

Optimum location of the structure, both vertically and horizontally, within the area of the proposed construction.

Location and preliminary evaluation of suitable borrow and other local sources of construction aggregates.

Need for special excavating and dewatering techniques with the corresponding need for information, even if only approximate, on the distribution of soil water content or pore pressure, or both, and on the piezometric heads and apparent permeability (hydraulic conductivity) of the various subsurface strata.

Investigation of slope stability in natural slopes, cuts, and embankments.

Conceptual selection of embankment types and hydraulic barrier requirements.

Conceptual selection of alternate foundation types and elevations of the corresponding suitable bearing strata.

Development of additional detailed subsurface investigations for specific structures or facilities.

The investigation may require the collection of sufficiently large soil and rock samples of such quality as to allow adequate testing to determine the soil or rock classification or mineralogic type, or both, and the engineering properties pertinent to the proposed design.

This guide is not meant to be an inflexible description of investigation requirements; methods defined by other ASTM standards or non-ASTM techniques may be appropriate in some circumstances. The intent is to provide a checklist to assist in the design of an exploration/investigation plan.


1.1 This guide refers to ASTM methods by which soil, rock, and groundwater conditions may be determined. The objective of the investigation should be to identify and locate, both horizontally and vertically, significant soil and rock types and groundwater conditions present within a given site area and to establish the characteristics of the subsurface materials by sampling or in situ testing, or both.

1.2 Laboratory testing of soil, rock, and groundwater samples is specified by other ASTM standards not listed herein. Subsurface exploration for environmental purposes will be the subject of a separate ASTM document.

1.3 Prior to commencement of any intrusive exploration the site should be checked for underground utilities. Should evidence of potentially hazardous or otherwise contaminated materials or conditions be encountered in the course of the investigation, work should be interrupted until the circumstances have been evaluated and revised instructions issued before resumption.

1.4 The values stated in (SI) inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard.

1.5 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 project'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.

1.6 This guide 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.08
Developed by Subcommittee: D18.01
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.1520/D0420-98R03
ICS Code: 93.020