Standard Guide for Installing and Operating Settlement Points for Monitoring Vertical Deformations
5.1 Earthen fills are often constructed as engineered structures, for example, dams, or to support engineered structures, for examples, roads or buildings. The weight of the fill may compress or deform the supporting soil or rock foundation resulting in settlement of the soil throughout and beneath the embankment. Temporary embankments or surcharge fills are constructed to increase the strength and/or reduce the compressibility of foundation soils prior to placement of the actual foundation or structure. The designers often monitor the settlement of the earth structure as a function of time to document the magnitude and rate of settlement, to evaluate the potential for future settlement, or to confirm the effectiveness of the surcharge and the schedule for its removal. The monitoring is performed using settlement points installed prior to or during the embankment construction. A settlement point provides an accessible survey point that settles with a selected soil horizon within or below the embankment. Careful design and installation of the settlement point can isolate the survey point from extraneous sources of movement such as frost-induced heave, compression within the embankment, or volume changes caused by moisture gain or loss.
5.2 Various settlement point designs have been developed by the agencies and practitioners that use them. This standard guide provides designs and procedures that can be referred to in design guidelines, specifications and reports.
5.3 This standard guide is not meant to restrict the use of other equally appropriate designs and procedures for the fabrication, installation, operation, and reading of settlement points to monitor deformations in earthen deposits during and after construction.
Note 2: Notwithstanding the statements on precision and bias contained in this guide, the precision of this guide is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing. Users of this guide are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not itself ensure reliable testing. Reliable testing depends on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of these factors.
1.1 This guide provides recommended designs and procedures for the fabrication, installation, operation, and reading of settlement point(s) to determine the magnitude and rate of foundation, fill settlements, or both generally under a fill or embankment load. Two types of settlement points are described – those being monitored by elevation surveys from an external bench mark and those that include an internal reference system supported on unyielding soil or rock beneath the compressible layer(s) of interest.
1.2 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
1.3 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgement. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a project's many unique aspects. The word “standard” in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.
1.4 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
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