Cone penetrometer technology for hazardous waste site investigations
Smythe, Julie Miller
Bedient, Philip B.
Master of Science
The common approach to investigating the extent of contamination at a hazardous waste site is to drill monitoring wells to obtain geotechnical and chemical information. A new technology is now being utilized at various hazardous waste sites in order to facilitate the hydrogeologic data collection process. The use of cone penetration testing has proven to be a relatively quick and inexpensive method for initial site investigations compared to current techniques. Cone penetrometer testing can quickly determine the stratigraphy of an area, the soil properties, and (by taking samples) the extent of contamination. The data are obtained immediately, which allows in-field evaluation and "on the spot" decisions, resulting in enhanced placement of monitoring wells and in some instances a substantial reduction in the number of wells needed. Fewer monitoring wells means a large cost savings. Applications of cone penetrometer testing are presented and recommendations for further research are discussed.