Estimating soil resistance at unsampled locations based on limited CPT data

Yongmin Cai, Jinhui Li, Xueyou Li, Dianqing Li, Limin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


An assessment of soil properties at unsampled locations is a common requirement during the design of a geotechnical structure/system. Such an assessment is challenging due to inherent soil variability and the limited number of in situ tests currently available. Here we present a three-dimensional conditioned random field approach for the estimation of anisotropic soil resistance at unsampled locations based only on data from a limited number of cone penetration tests (CPT). The novelty of this work is that the measured CPT data at arbitrary locations can be combined with random field theory to update the estimated soil properties in three dimensions. The accuracy of the estimation can be improved significantly using the proposed method. A case study in Australia is conducted to illustrate the procedure and to assess the capability of the method. The results indicate that the mean values of the conditioned random fields are good estimates of the soil resistance at unsampled locations. The prediction error of the normalized cone penetration resistance is about 0.08 when there are only six CPT tests. A unique feature of this method is its ability to obtain high-resolution results of soil properties in three-dimensional space using a limited number of CPT tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2018

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