SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Research and Standardization Needs for Direct Push Technology Applied to Environmental Site Characterization


Research and standardization needs in the area of direct push sampling and testing is reviewed. Direct push testing and sampling is a rapidly growing area in environmental site characterization. Direct push active soil gas sampling techniques are well accepted for environmental site investigations in the vadose zone. Standardization efforts are underway. Better guidance is needed on purging, sealing, and avoidance of cross contamination. The cone penetration test is gaining popularity due to it's excellent stratigraphic mapping capability and water pressure information. Research is needed to refine hydrostatic pressure measurement capability and prediction of hydraulic conductivity. Discrete point water sampling using protected screen samplers has gained wide acceptance. Research is needed concerning water sample protection, effective sealing, use of vacuum in low hydraulic conductivity soils. Comparison studies should be done in the laboratory and in the field. The greatest area of research interest is in development of chemical sensors for use in direct push testing. Several promising methods using fiber optic laser technologies are being developed. Successful technology transfer to everyday application in private industry will require sensors be developed into fully tested, rugged, simple modules to be housed in a penetrometer body. Full scale testing under laboratory controlled conditions will help in validation of advanced sensor systems.

Author Information

Farrar, JA
Earth Sciences Laboratory, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado
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Developed by Committee: D34
Pages: 93–107
DOI: 10.1520/STP16566S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5336-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2043-3