Interpretation of impact penetration measurements in soft clays Academic Article uri icon


  • The need for obtaining estimates of undrained shear strength of shallow seafloor sediments often arises in offshore engineering practice. Impact penetrometers offer a promising means of obtaining strength estimates in such sediments. However, variable conditions of embedment and velocity require careful consideration in the interpretation of impact penetration tests. This paper presents an analysis of the expendable bottom penetrometer (XBP), a device that measures acceleration during impact penetration. The analyses indicate that acceleration measurements can be reasonably related to undrained shear strength of soft clays. Further, acceleration measurements can be integrated to obtain velocity and embedment depth data at any point during the penetration analysis, thereby providing a basis for accounting for rate and embedment effects. Applying the proposed analysis to data from a series of test sites in the Gulf of Mexico indicate satisfactory agreement between XBP and reference strength profiles in soft clays. 2006 ASCE.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Aubeny, C. P., & Shi, H.

citation count

  • 49

publication date

  • June 2006