A Portable, Electrically-Driven Dutch Cone Penetrometer for Geotechnical Measurements in Soft Estuarine Sediments


  • Daniel Are
  • G. Paul Kemp
  • Francesca Dalla Giustina
  • John W. Day, Jr.
  • Francesco Scarton


Mississippi Delta, Venice Lagoon, wetland soil characteristics


We describe here a portable, electric penetrometer (PEP) for use in soft estuarine sediments. The PEP measures cone resistance, qC, and local unit side friction resistance, fS. It is composed of three components: the cone, the power drive system, and the data acquisition system. This instrument has a larger, more sensitive cone that can measure values of qC and fS in the range of 0-1.5 Kg/cm2. The cone is forced into the sediments by the power drive system and values of qC and fS are logged at 1-4 cm intervals by the data acquisition system. These data can then be used to calculate geotechnical parameters typical of soft clay soils including soil cohesion, cu; compression resistance, qu; Young's modulus, E; stress strain modulus, Eed; over consolidation ratio, OCR; and friction ratio; 100* fS/qC. Several examples of applications are presented from Venice Lagoon and the Mississippi delta.






Technical Communications