Standard Practice for Collection and Handling of Soils Obtained in Core Barrel Samplers for Environmental Investigations
4.1 Often during environmental investigations, soils are analyzed after being collected from the surface, the vadose zone (Terminology D653) and sometimes from below the ground water table to identify and quantify the presence of a chemical contaminant. A contaminant is a substance that is typically hazardous and either is not normally present or that occurs naturally but is of an uncharacteristically high concentration (Guide D4687). A three-dimensional spatial array of samples can often provide information as to the source and route(s) of migration of the contaminant. The resultant information is used to direct remedial and corrective actions or can be used for monitoring purposes. Obtaining a soil sample with a core barrel sampler involves driving this device into the ground and then retrieving it for sample processing. Several methods for advancing a core barrel are generally acceptable (for example, Test Method D1586, Practice D1587, Practice D3550, Guide D4700, Guide D5784, Guide D5875, Guide D5876, Practice D6151, Guide D6282, and Guide D6286). Drilling methods that use drilling fluids (liquids or air) should be avoided because they are more susceptible to cross-contamination (See 5.1.6).
1.1 This practice covers procedures for obtaining soils from core barrel samplers for chemical and physical analysis, with an emphasis on the collection and handling procedures that maintain the representativeness of the chemical contaminants of concern. Core barrel samplers are initially empty (hollow) until they are pushed into the ground to collect and retrieve a cylindrical soil sample with minimal disturbance. The selection of equipment and the sample handling procedures are dependent on the soil properties, the depth of sampling, and the general properties of the chemical contaminants of concern, that is, volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, and inorganic constituents. The sampling procedures described are designed to maintain representative concentrations of the contaminants regardless of their physical state(s), that is, solid, liquid or gas.
1.2 Four general types of core barrel samplers are discussed in this practice: split-barrel, ring-lined barrel, thin-walled tube, and solid-barrel samplers.
1.3 This document does not cover all the core barrel devices that are available for the collection of soil samples.
1.4 The procedures described may or may not be applicable to handling of samples for assessing certain geotechnical properties, for example, soil porosity.
Note 1: Prior to commencement of any intrusive exploration, the site should be checked for underground utilities.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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