Shallow penetrometer tests: Theoretical and experimental modelling of the rotation stage

M. A. Schneider, Sam A. Stanier, D. J. White, M. F. Randolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


Shallow penetrometers are a new type of device that measures the properties of surficial offshore sediments via multi-phase tests involving penetration, dissipation, and rotation stages. In fine-grained soils such as silts and clays, these testing stages yield properties relevant to subsea pipeline and shallow foundation design; namely, undrained strength, consolidation, and interface friction. This paper describes the fundamentals of the rotation stage, including models required for data interpretation, encompassing both a total and an effective stress framework. Additionally, new relationships to evaluate the pore pressure scaling factor, which is a key interpretation parameter required to convert discrete measurements of pore pressure on the penetrometers to an average pore pressure over the contact area, are developed based on large-deformation finite element simulations. Results from an experimental campaign using kaolin clay samples are presented, illustrating the potential of the devices to rapidly and repeatably measure interface friction properties of fine-grained sediments offshore. The results compare well with comparative measures obtained from shear box tests conducted at similarly low effective stress levels. Recommendations regarding future in situ applications are given at end of the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-594
Number of pages15
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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