Publication Details

Kelly, R. B., Pineda, J. A., Bates, L., Suwal, L. P. & Fitzallen, A. (2017). Site characterisation for the Ballina field testing facility. Geotechnique: international journal of soil mechanics, 67 (4), 279-300.


A soft soil field testing facility has been recently established near Ballina, New SouthWales, on the east coast of Australia, which is aimed at improving design and construction methods for transport infrastructure. Several sampling, laboratory and in situ testing campaigns have been performed to characterise the material properties of the soil. High-quality laboratory testing has been performed at one location through the soil profile and a range of geophysics, cone penetrometer, seismic dilatometer, shear vane and permeability tests have been carried out at other locations. The in situ tests have demonstrated that the stratigraphy and test data are reasonably uniform across the site. Seasonal groundwater variations cause the in situ stress state to vary with time. In situ test data have been compared with laboratory tests in order to estimate soil material properties at the locations of the in situ tests. The accuracy of published correlations was variable and site-specific correlations were found to provide a better outcome. The coefficient of consolidation and the water permeability obtained from small-scale laboratory tests shows good agreement with in situ estimations based on piezocone penetration test (CPTu) dissipation tests and BAT tests, respectively. The correlation between laboratory and in situ data is used to develop a robust geotechnical model for the Ballina site.



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