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New seismic test set to improve foundation design

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Beside the Kaiapoi RiverLankelma’ s new, improved seismic cone penetration test (CPT) to help engineers better design earthquake-resistant foundations. The new seismic equipment is now being used by our 21 tonne 6×6 CPT rig, which has carried out more than 90 investigations in New Zealand since May 2012 as part of work to rebuild the city devastated by earthquakes in February 2011. “The seismic cone test is an excellent way to help refine the design of foundations and assess liquefaction potential of underlying soils,” explained Lankelma Operations Director Ben Magee, who visited Christchurch in early October. “This new test is even more accurate and data quality, and therefore foundation design, should be improved as a result.” Seismic cone penetration testing is a rapid and cost-effective way of predicting ground movements that may occur during earthquakes. Shear waves are created by a Lankelma-designed seismic wave generator positioned next to the CPT rig and waves are detected by the seismic cone at various depths to build up a seismic profile of the ground and predict ground movements. “Along with standard geotechnical measurements taken by the seismic cone, this information is crucial for foundation design and liquefaction assessment, to help reduce the risk of structural damage of new buildings in an earthquake,” Magee said.