Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mehmet T. Tumay


This dissertation introduces the Louisiana State University Calibration Chamber System (LSU/CALCHAS) for calibrating electronic cone penetrometers and other in situ testing equipment. It permits the simulation of the K$\sb{\rm o}$ consolidation and the four (4) traditional boundary conditions commonly referred in the literature. The calibration chamber system encompasses a 304 stainless steel cylindrical calibration chamber which can house a soil sample.55 m (20 21/32 in.) in diameter and.79 m (31 1/16 in.) in height. A fully computerized control panel, a data acquisition and reduction system, a large dimension automatic tamper for preparing compacted soil samples, and accessories comprise the complete system. Compacted soil samples can presently be prepared in the LSU/CALCHAS, but capability for testing pluviated sand and preconsolidated clay samples are also available. In addition, the dissertation includes a preliminary test program to calibrate in the LSU/CALCHAS the 1.27 cm$\sp2$ Fugro-McClelland miniature electronic cone penetrometer (MQSC). This cone is expected to be used in engineering design and construction control of transportation facilities in the State of Louisiana, U.S.A. The laboratory verification phase of the research involved the compaction of a mixture of 80% of fine sand and 20% of kaolinite by weight, K$\sb{\rm o}$ consolidation of the soil sample at 210 kPa (30 psi), and penetration of the sample via the MQSC at the penetration rate of 2 cm/sec. under boundary conditions 1 and 3. A sister field study is presented in order to examine the scale effect topic when comparing sounding data obtained with the standard 10 cm$\sp2$(reference) Fugro electronic friction cone penetrometer versus the MQSC and the 15 cm$\sp2$ Fugro electronic friction cone penetrometer. Five (5) representative sites in the State of Louisiana were selected for the field testing program, encompassing the range of sandy, silty and clayey soils. Compacted embankments and natural grade soils were investigated. Sounding 10 m deep were performed in two (2) highway embankments and three (3) natural ground sites. The statistical evaluation of the field testing program data and the corrective measures recommend for their proper cross-correlation are presented.