GIS Applications in Geotechnical Engineering

Download Final Report

CAIT project no.: 60 31 RU847

Fiscal Year: 1999/2000

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Trefor Williams, Patrick Szary

External Author(s): Thomas Thomann, Clifford Konnerth, Emery Nemeth, Nicholas Vitillo



The NJDOT Bureau of Geotechnical Engineering currently maintains a large database of boring location plans and corresponding test boring logs. These plans and logs are in hard copy format and are stored in boxes, file cabinets, and plan drawers. Locating specific boring location plans and test boring logs can be a very time consuming process that also relies on the memory of the personnel that are responsible for maintaining the database. This report presents the results of a successful pilot study to investigate the development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) to better manage and disseminate soils information, as developed from test boring results.

The Rutgers Soil Series is used within and outside the NJDOT to assist in designing roadways and performing preliminary assessments of soil conditions at a bridge or structure. Since the original soil series maps were developed in the 1950s, the base maps used then are not representative of the transportation system as it is today. As such, it is sometimes very difficult to locate a roadway or bridge project using the soil series maps alone. In addition, once the soil type(s) has been identified, the user must go to a soil series book to obtain engineering information regarding the soil type. By placing the scanned soil series maps on the NJDOT base map and digitizing the areas of the soil types, the pilot study presented herein has resulted in an GIS system that makes it easier to obtain information regarding soil types at a specific project location.