Where can cone penetrometer technology be applied? Development of a map of Europe regarding the soil penetrability.

M Fleischer, C.C.D.F. van Ree, C Leven

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over the past decades, significant efforts have been invested in the development of push-in technology for site characterization and monitoring for geotechnical and environmental purposes and have especially been undertaken in the Netherlands and Germany. These technologies provide the opportunity for faster, cheaper, and collection of more reliable subsurface data. However, to maximize the technology both from a development and implementation point of view, it is necessary to have an overview of the areas suitable for the application of this type of technology. Such an overview is missing and cannot simply be read from existing maps and material. This paper describes the development of a map showing the feasibility or applicability of Direct Push/Cone Penetrometer Technology (DPT/CPT) in Europe which depends on the subsurface and its extremely varying properties throughout Europe. Subsurface penetrability is dependent on a range of factors that have not been mapped directly or can easily be inferred from existing databases, especially the maximum depth reachable would be of interest. Among others, it mainly depends on the geology, the soil mechanical properties, the type of equipment used as well as soil-forming processes. This study starts by looking at different geological databases available at the European scale. Next, a scheme has been developed linking geological properties mapped to geotechnical properties to determine basic penetrability categories. From this, a map of soil penetrability is developed and presented. Validating the output by performing field tests was beyond the scope of this study, but for the country of the Netherlands, this map has been compared against a database containing actual cone penetrometer depth data to look for possible contradictory results that would negate the approach. The map for the largest part of Europe clearly shows that there is a much wider potential for the application of Direct Push Technology than is currently seen. The study also shows that there is a lack of large-scale databases that contain depth-resolved data as well as soil mechanical and physical properties that can be used for engineering purposes in relation to the subsurface. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9016-9027
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research International
Issue number15
Early online date16 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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