What is the difference between Dynamic Probing and Standard Penetration test?

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Standard Penetration Test (SPT) is an in-situ dynamic penetration test to provide information on the properties of soil. It may also collect a disturbed soil sample for grain-size analysis and soil classification. SPT involves the driving of a standard sampler through a distance of 450mm into the bottom of a borehole using the standard weight of 63.5kg falling through 760mm.


Dynamic Probing Test as per BS1377: Part 9: 1990 involves the driving of a metal cone into the ground through a series of 1-metre length steel rods. These rods are driven from the surface by the hammer system on the rig which drops 63.5 kg weight onto the rods through a fall of 760mm. The number of blows that is required to drive the cone down each 100mm increment is then recorded until a required depth is reached or a refusal is achieved. Dynamic Probing has many applications. For instance, it may be used to estimate the depths of at the interface between hard and soft strata and to trace the outline of objects buried underground.

SPT test is used to provide valuable information on soil properties. However, the main use of dynamic probing is to interpolate information between boreholes/trial pits swiftly and to supplement information found from boreholes and trial pits at a low cost. For instance, dynamic probing is carried out close to a borehole where the underground conditions are identified. As such, by using the dynamic probing, the result of borehole can be extended to other areas in between two boreholes.


This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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