Soil Samplers: The 10 Most Commonly Used

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Soil Samplers – This article is about Soil Samplers. In this article we are trying to provide you complete information about Soil Samplers. We have arranged the information in this post to make you understand it easily. We hope that you can understand it well. Please check the information below.

Soil Samplers

Soil samples are taken using a variety of soil samplers; some provide only disturbed samples, while others can provide relatively undisturbed samples. Please check these following soil samplers:

Shovel. Samples can be obtained by digging out soil from the site. Samples taken this way are disturbed samples.

shovel - soil samplers -

Trial Pits are relatively small hand or machine excavated tranches used to determine groundwater levels and take disturbed samples from.

trial pit - soil samplers

Hand/Machine Driven Auger. This sampler typically consists of a short cylinder with a cutting edge attached to a rod and handle. The sampler is advanced by a combination of rotation and downward force. Samples taken this way are disturbed samples.

Hand-Machine Driven Auger

Continuous Flight Auger. A method of sampling using an auger as a corkscrew. The auger is screwed into the ground then lifted out. Soil is retained on the blades of the auger and kept for testing. The soil sampled this way is considered disturbed.

Continuous Flight Auger - soil samplers

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Split-spoon / SPT Sampler. Utilized in the ‘Standard Test Method for Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Split-Barrel Sampling of Soils’ (ASTM D 1586[1]). This sampler is typically an 18″-30″ long, 2.0″ outside diameter (OD) hollow tube split in half lengthwise. A hardened metal drive shoe with a 1.375″ opening is attached to the bottom end, and a one-way valve and drill rod adapter at the sampler head. It is driven into the ground with a 140-pound (64 kg) hammer falling 30″. The blow counts (hammer strikes) required to advance the sampler a total of 18″ are counted and reported. Generally used for non-cohesive soils, samples taken this way are considered disturbed.

SPT_sampler

Modified California Sampler. in the ‘Standard Practice for Thick Wall, Ring-Lined, Split Barrel, Drive Sampling ofSoils1’ (ASTM D 3550). Similar in concept to the SPT sampler, the sampler barrel has a larger diameter and is usually lined with metal tubes to contain samples. Samples from the Modified California Sampler are considered disturbed due to the large area ratio of the sampler (sampler wall area/sample cross sectional area).

Shelby Tube Sampler. Utilized in the ‘Standard Practice for Thin-Walled Tube Sampling of Soils for Geotechnical Purposes’ (ASTM D 1587). This sampler consists of a thin-walled tube with a cutting edge at the toe. A sampler head attaches the tube to the drill rod, and contains a check valve and pressure vents. Generally used in cohesive soils, this sampler is advanced into the soil layer, generally 6″ less than the length of the tube. The vacuum created by the check valve and cohesion of the sample in the tube cause the sample to be retained when the tube is withdrawn. Standard ASTM dimensions are; 2″ OD, 36″ long, 18 gauge thickness; 3″ OD, 36″ long, 16 gauge thickness; and 5″ OD, 54″ long, 11 gauge thickness. It should be noted that ASTM allows other diameters as long as they are proportional to the standardized tube designs, and tube length is to be suited for field conditions. Soil sampled in this manner is considered undisturbed.

shelby tube sampler - soil samplers

Piston samplers. These samplers are thin-walled metal tubes which contain a piston at the tip. The samplers are pushed into the bottom of a borehole, with the piston remaining at the surface of the soil while the tube slides past it. These samplers will return undisturbed samples in soft soils, but are difficult to advance in sands and stiff clays, and can be damaged (compromising the sample) if gravel is encountered.

The Livingstone corer, developed by D. A. Livingstone, is a commonly used piston sampler. A modification of the Livingstone corer with a serrated coring head allows it to be rotated to cut through subsurface vegetable matter such as small roots or buried twigs.

Pitcher Barrel sampler. This sampler is similar to piston samplers, except that there is no piston. There are pressure-relief holes near the top of the sampler to prevent pressure buildup of water or air above the soil sample.

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