Estimation of Pressuremeter Modulus From Shear Wave Velocity In the Sonoran Desert

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Laterally-loaded short rigid drilled shaft foundations are the primary foundation used within the electric power transmission line industry. Performance of these laterally loaded foundations is dependent on modulus of the

Laterally-loaded short rigid drilled shaft foundations are the primary foundation used within the electric power transmission line industry. Performance of these laterally loaded foundations is dependent on modulus of the subsurface, which is directly measured by the Pressuremeter (PMT). The PMT test provides the lateral shear modulus at intermediate strains, an equivalent elastic modulus for lateral loading, which mimics the reaction of transmission line foundations within the elastic range of motion. The PMT test, however, is expensive to conduct and rarely performed. Correlations of PMT to blow counts and other index properties have been developed but these correlations have high variability and may result in unconservative foundation design. Variability in correlations is due, in part, because difference of the direction of the applied load and strain level between the correlated properties and the PMT. The geophysical shear wave velocity (S-wave velocity) as measured through refraction microtremor (ReMi) methods can be used as a measure of the small strain, shear modulus in the lateral direction. In theory, the intermediate strain modulus of the PMT is proportional to the small strain modulus of S-wave velocity. A correlation between intermediate strain and low strain moduli is developed here, based on geophysical surveys conducted at fourteen previous PMT testing locations throughout the Sonoran Desert of central Arizona. Additionally, seasonal variability in S-wave velocity of unsaturated soils is explored and impacts are identified for the use of the PMT correlation in transmission line foundation design.