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Characterization of the Blessington sand geotechnical test site

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
2 Professor of Subsurface Engineering, Geo-Engineering Section, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Special Issues: Characterization and Engineering Properties of Natural Soils used for geotesting

The paper describes the site characterization of a dense sand test site developed by the authors in an active quarry located near the village of Blessington, Ireland. The site has been used to investigate the field response of a number of foundation systems including jacked closed and open-ended piles, driven concrete and steel open-ended piles, shallow footings, bored axially loaded piles and laterally loaded steel piles. The soil at the location is an over-consolidated, glacially deposited, dense to very dense fine sand with a CPT q c resistance, that increases from ≈10 MPa near the ground surface to 15–20 MPa over a depth of 10 m. The paper describes the geological history of the deposit, composition and mineralogy analyzed through Scanning Electron Microscopy. The results of in-situ tests including CPT, DMT and MASW are presented. Material properties including strength and stiffness derived from laboratory tests are compared to correlation made with in-situ testing. The results of previously unpublished laboratory interface shear box tests to investigate pile ageing effects are presented.
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