Essential Step 1:
THE USE AND MISUSE OF THE UNIFIED SOIL CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM:
Improving Field Procedures, Techniques and Characterization
Taking the Mystery Out of the Subsurface® is the single most important factor for:
- Meaningful well screen design and placement
- Reliable potentiometric-surface maps
- Ground-water-monitoring system design
- Optimum remediation-system design
- Excavation and foundation design
- Field management of unanticipated subsurface conditions
The Challenge We Face
Soil classification is poorly understood and often misused for the basis of "hydrostratigraphic units" which can lead to monsterous mistakes.
Professionals struggle with basic field procedures and subsurface analysis skills...in large part because the process is not easy but most of us lack the training to do more than just interpret - or guess at - sedimentary relationships.
The first essential step is to accurately classify the soil using the Unified Soil Classification (USCS) and give some context to subsurface units. It's not always simple to correlate sediments according to it's depositional and stratigraphic context.
It's easier to try and rationalize secondary observations such as N-values from blow counts, soil classifications, CPT values, geophysical measurements, water level correlations, hydraulic testing or geochemistry indicators - but various degrees of uncertainty remain about subsurface properties on every scale....and as you're likely aware, this is the weakest part of "site characterization."
Help is on the way. In the webinar, we will:
- Examine the purpose behind the USCS,
- Assess the USCS strengths and weaknesses,
- Teach how to correctly and efficiently classify soils in the USCS, and
- Share some common ways our industry mistakenly uses the USCS.
Unfortunately, the industry's state-of-practice overlooks simple improvements to make the classification a useful characterization tool and often misuses the classification in site evaluation.
- Background of the USCS
- Coarse-Grained vs. Fine-Grained Sediments
- Laboratory Methods vs. Field Classification Techniques
- Particle Size Curves and how to understand them
- Poorly-Graded vs. Well-Graded
- Understand the Coefficient of Uniformity and the Coefficient of Curvature
- Lean Clay vs. Fat Clay vs. Silt
- Plasticity Chart and how it applies to fine-grained sediments
- Common mistakes and confusing terms
- How the USCS applies to building the geologic framework, and how it doesn't
- A simple Case Study that illustrates stratigraphic context for soil classification
Learn more than just how to properly classify soil and describe sediments on boring logs.
Discover field procedures and techniques that truly help you decipher the story that the sediments are telling.
Reap the benefits of a positive bottom line
and a personal achievement.
"Working with the soil kit was by far the most useful training we have had in years. This is such a fundamental skill, but most of us haven't actually studied soil texture since college. It was great to get our hands on known standards and refresh our memories on proper soil characterization methods. Now I know our soil logs will be accurate and reproducible. Worth every penny!"
- Betsy Schamberger, President/Owner. Moonstone Environmental.
Tim Kemmis, PhD, PG is a Senior Hydrogeology Consultant and Project Manager for large-scale subsurface investigations. His unique experience as both an applied researcher and consultant has enabled Tim to effectively teach staff at all levels how unravel sedimentary complexities by making fundamentally sound observations, preparing complete and accurate boring logs and confidently correlating geologic units.
Tim worked 14 years for the Iowa Geological Survey, during which he received his Ph.D., and where he:
- Carried out glacial sedimentologic investigations
- Remapped the Des Moines Glacial lobe
- Established the formal glacial stratigraphy for the lobe based on depositional environments
- Discovered a new type of hummocky glacial topography
- Determined the geometry and origin of jointing in glacial tills
- Developed a lithofacies code to decipher the history of glacial outwash and alluvial sequences
Tim worked 15 years for Earth Tech, on a variety of hydrgeologic and geotechnical projects, where he:
- Created project standards for soil boring logging and subsurface characterizations
- Provided technical and expert witness support
- Managed hydrogeologic and geotechnical projects around the world
- Mentored and trained staff
- Helped clients achieve their financial objectives when faced with technical challenges
Tim is a co-founder of Midwest GeoSciences Group and has successfully taught many courses and webinars dedicated to improving boring logs and helping geologists think on their feet.
Tim received his bachelor's degree in agricultural soil science from the University of Illinois and his master's degree in glacial geology while working as a graduate assistant at the Illinois State Geological Survey.