In Situ (Field) Testing and Monitoring

With over 80 years’ experience of in situ testing, SOCOTEC offer a high level of technical knowledge and practical support.

In situ testing (also known as field testing) provides a complementary means of determining ground conditions and material parameters to supplement testing carried out by sampling and laboratory testing.

The approach has advantages where recovery of undisturbed samples is problematic (eg sands and gravels), and where the ground behaviour may be controlled by structure (eg bedding and discontinuities) on a larger scale than visible in sampling. In situ testing is also used to obtain information for highways pavement design and for earthworks construction validation.

In situ tests are generally quicker to perform and often provide a depth profile rather than just a single result. SOCOTEC offer a wide variety of test types which may be performed within boreholes and installations, and as standalone activities on the surface and intrusively.





  • Wireline geologging (eg televiewer, P-S suspension sonde)
  • Downhole and crosshole seismic
  • Tomography

See Materials Testing

Borehole Tests

Loading Tests

  • Standard Penetration Test (SPT)
  • Borehole vane
  • Permeability (see below)
  • Pressuremeter
  • Geophysics (see below)
  • Plate bearing test
  • Skip test
  • Zone test

See Materials Testing

Permeability Testing


  • Variable (rising and falling) head test
  • Constant head / constant flow test
  • Slug test
  • Packer (water pressure) test
  • Pumping test
  • Soakaway / soil infiltration test
  • California Bearing Ratio (CBR)
  • In situ density (sand / water replacement)
  • Nuclear density gauge
  • Falling weight deflectometer
  • Dynamic Cone Penetration (DCP)

See Materials Testing


Data Processing

  • Groundwater (standpipe, piezometer, VWP, data logger)
  • Groundgas (standpipe, gas clam)
  • Inclinometer
  • Extensometer etc

Also see Geotechnical and Structural Monitoring

Data processing carried out to derive (according to soil type):

  • Soil behaviour type
  • Undrained shear strength, Su
  • Relative density
  • Angle of friction, f'
  • Equivalent SPT N60 value
  • Consolidation parameters (from dissipation tests using piezocone)


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