Geotechnical mapping using a geophysical method of investigation

Dr. Ejaz Gul

Site characterization procedures have hitherto overlooked areal mapping of sub-surface geotechnical properties of soil/rock and have instead emphasized conventional “point” testing processes to find and document these properties. On the other hand, the fast pace of construction and advancements in geophysical methods have led to the possibility of developing matching site characterization methods and geotechnical mapping is considered here as the way forward. In many countries around the globe, it is now argued that current lack of geotechnical maps, which could be used as support for planning in new areas, is one of the reasons for the development of areas with less favourable geotechnical conditions. Furthermore, contemporary developments in geotechnical engineering clearly exhibit an agreement with geotechnical mapping, seen as a helpful tool in rapid assessment of sub-soil conditions and hence suitability or otherwise of a particular site for a construction project. Current research is about geotechnical mapping of subsurface soil properties of a selected area in the vicinity of Islamabad with the help of the electrical resistivity method. The research is believed to be the first of its kind on a comparatively new subject.