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E – 1405 FHWA Subsurface Investigations: Groundwater

Intended Audience: Geotechnical, Civil, Water and Environmental Engineers



This course covers basic methods and test procedures for determining groundwater levels pressures and soil permeability as well as drawdown and seepage conditions.

Groundwater conditions and the potential for groundwater seepage are fundamental factors in virtually all geotechnical analysis and design studies. The evaluation of groundwater conditions is a basic element of almost all geotechnical investigation programs. Groundwater investigations are of two types: determination of groundwater levels/pressures and measurement of the permeability of the subsurface materials.

This course is based on US FHWA manual: Subsurface Investigations – Geotechnical Site Characteristization Reference Manual: Ch. 6

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

  • Determination of groundwater levels and pressures
  • Info on Existing Wells
  • Measurement of the permeability of the subsurface materials
  • Water Level Measurement
  • Field Methods for Measurement of Permeability
  • Seepage Tests
  • Continuous Pumping Test
  • Pressure “Packer” Test
  • Rising
  • Mechanical Slug Test
  • Piezocone Dissipation Tests
  • Use of Piezometers

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