•   Anthony C. Nwanya

  •   O. C. Okeke


Using dynamic cone penetrometer tester (DCPT) to determine the CBR and bearing pressure of subsurface soils in parts of Owerri, southeastern Nigeria were investigated in this study. Six (6) DCPT were measured to the depth of 6 m. The data obtained from field DCP test was plotted on the graph of penetration resistance (mm/blow) versus penetration depth (m); which revealed the soil profile of three layers with different penetration consistencies and resistances. The highest PR (mm/blow) recorded was 11.4 mm/blow and the lowest is 55.5 mm/blow.  The layers encountered during the measurement ranges from loose, medium and dense soils, where the average thicknesses of loose layers ranges from 0.1 to 0.5 m, medium layers 0.5 to 3.0 m and dense layers 3.0 to 6 m. The average CBR values recorded at interval of 1m to 6 m depths are as follows: 5%, 8%, 12%, 15%, 16% and 16%. Accordingly, the averages bearing pressures calculated were 104.8 KN/m2, 165.5 KN/m2, 231.9 KN/m2, 283.3 KN/m2, 291.5 KN/m2 and 301.1 KN/m2. It shows significant increase in strength with depths.

Keywords: Dynamic Cone Penetrometer, Bearing Pressure, CBR, Strata Characteristics


Abam, T. K. S; Akpe, A. C. and Oba, T. (2016). Topography and Particle Size Gradation Characterization of Benin Formation in the Lower Niger Delta, Nigeria. Journal of Earth Science and Geotechnical Engineering, Volume 6, No 2, pp. 63 - 71G.

Abu-Farsakh, M. Y., Alshibli, K., Nazzal, M. D., and Seyman, E. (2004). Assessment of In-situ Testing Technology for Construction Control of Base Course and Embankments, LTRC Project No.02-1GT, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Allen, J. R. L (1970). Sediments of the Modern Niger Delta: A summary and Review, In the Proceedings of Society of Economic Paleontologist and Mineralogist (SEPM) Deltaic Sedimentation, Modern and Ancient (SP15)

Amajor, L. C. (1991). Aquifers of Benin Formation (Miocene – Recent), Eastern Niger Delta, Nigeria: Lithostratigraphy, Hydraulic, and Water Quality. Environmental Geology and Water Sciences, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp. 85 - 101

Ampadu S. I. K, (2005). A Correlation between the Dynamic Cone Penetrometer and Bearing Capacity of a Local Soil Formation, 16th ICSMGE, Osaka, Japan, pp. 655 – 659

Ampadu, S. I. K.,and Arthur, T., (2006). The Dynamic Cone Penetrometer in Compaction Verification on Model Road Pavement. Geotechnical Testing Journal, Volume 29, No. 1, 2006, pp. 70 – 79.

Arua, I, (1986). Paleoenvironment of Eocene Deposits in Afikpo Syncline, Volume 5 (3). pp. 279-284

AASHTO (1986). Guide for Design of Pavement Structures. AASHTO, Washington, DC, 1986, Appendix J.

ASTM D 6951/D 6951 – 09 (2015). American Standard Test Method for Use of the Dynamic Cone Penetrometer in Shallow Pavement

Avbovbo, A. A (1978). Tertiary Lithostratigraphy of Niger Delta: Bulletin of American Association Petroleum Geology, Volume 62: pp. 297-306.

Braja, M. D., (1985). Principles of Foundation Engineering, PWS Publishers Boston.

Brevik, E., (2006). Comparison of a Dynamic and Static Penetrometer for Reproducibility of Readings. The ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings, Indianapolis.

BS 8004, (2015). Code of Practice for Foundations, British Standard

Building Code (BC, 2008). Soil and Foundation, Section BC 1804. New York City Building Code

Cearns, P., J., and Mckenzie, A., (1988). Application of Dynamic Cone Penetrometer Testing in East Angelia. Symposium Penetration Testing UK, Thomas Telford, London, pp. 123 – 137

Crovetti, J. A., and Schabelski, J. P. (2001). Wisconsin Department of Transport. Comprehensive Subgrade Deflection Acceptance Criteria. WI/SPR 02-01.

Harison, J. A. (1987). Correlation between California Bearing Ratio and Dynamic Cone Penetrometer Strength Measurement of Soils, Proceeding of Institute of Civil Engineers, London, Part 2, Technical Note 463, pp. 833 - 844

Herrick, J.E., Jones, T.L., (2002). A Dynamic Cone Penetrometer for Measuring Soil Penetration Resistance. Soil Science Society of America Journal 66, pp. 1320–1324.

Ibe, K. M., Nwankwor, G.I. and Onyekuru, S. O. (2007). Assessment of Groundwater Vulnerability and its Application to the Development of Protection Strategy for the Water Supply Aquifer in Owerri, South-Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Mon and Assess Volume 67: pp. 323-360

Kleyn, E. G., Maree, J. H., and Savage, P. F. (1982). The Application of a Portable Pavement Dynamic Cone Penetrometer to determine In-situ Bearing Properties of Road Pavement Layers and Subgrades in South Africa. The European Symposium on Penetration Testing, Amsterdam,Netherlands, 57p.

Kosugi, K., Yamakawa, Y., Masaoka, N., Mizuyama, T., (2009). A Combined Penetrometer–Moisture Probe for Surveying Soil Properties of Natural Hillslopes. Vadose Zone Journal 8, pp. 52–63.

Kremer, C., (2004). Improvement and Validation of Minnesota Department of Transport Specification for Aggregate Base, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Maplewood, MN,

Mayne, P., W., Auxt, J., A., Mitchel, J., K., and Yilmaz, R., (1995). Proceeding on International Symposium on Cone Penetration Testing, Linkoping, Sweden. Volume 1, pp. 263 – 276

NGSA (2006). Nigerian Geological Survey Agency

Nwankwoala, H.O and Ngah, S. A. (2014). Groundwater Resources of Niger Delta: Quality Implications and Management Considerations. International journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering. Volume 6 (5), pp. 155 – 163.

Offodile, M.E. (2002). Groundwater Study and Development in Nigeria. Mecon Geology and Engineering Services Ltd. Jos, Nigeria, 2nd Ed. pp. 247-338

Oomkens, E. (1974). Lithofacies Relations in Late Quaternary Niger Delta Complex Sedimentology Volume 21, pp. 195 – 222.

Onyeagocha, A.C (1980). Petrography and Depositional Environment of the Benin Formation. Nigeria Journal of Mineral Geology, Volume 17: pp.147-151

Ophori, D. U. (2007). A Simulation of Large Scale Groundwater Flow in Niger Delta, Nigeria Environmental Geosciences Volume 14 (4), pp. 181 – 195.

Peck, R. B, Hanson, W. E. and Thomburn, T. H., (1973). Foundation Engineering, 2nd Edition Wiley, New York.

Reyment, R. A. (1965) Aspects of Geology of Nigeria. Ibadan University Press, Ibadan.628p.

Sanglerat, G., (1972). The Penetrometer and Soil Exploration Developments in Geotechnical Engineering, Volume 1, Elsevier Publishing, New York.

Singh, A., Sharma, D. and Sharma, B. (1973). Some Experiment with a Light Dynamic Penetrometer with a View to Assess its Suitability for Exploring Subgrades and Foundations. Journal of Indian Road Congress, Volume 35 – 1, No. 1, pp. 155 – 172

Sowers, G. F., and Hedges, C., S., (1966). Dynamic Cone Penetrometer for Shallow In-situ Penetration Testing. Vane Shear and Cone Penetration Resistance Testing of Soil, Special Technical Publication 399, ASTM, Philadephia, 29 p.

Tuttle, M., Charpentier, R., and Brownfield, M., (2015). The Niger Delta Petroleum System: Niger Delta Province, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea, African’’. United States Geological Survey. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 6th of March 2015.

Uma, K.O (1989). Appraisal of the Groundwater Resources of the Imo River Basin, Nigeria. Journal of Mineral Geology, volume 25 (1 & 2): pp. 305-315

Uma, K.O. and Egboka, B.C.E. (1986). Water Resource of Owerri and its Environs, Imo State, Nigeria. Journal of Mineral Geology, Volume 22 (1-2): pp. 57-64

Webster, S. L., Grau, R. H., and Williams, T. P. (1992). Description and Application of Dual Mass Dynamic Cone Penetrometer. Instruction Rep. GL-92-3, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.

Whiteman. A (1982). Nigeria, its Petroleum Geology, Resources and Potentials, Volume 2. Graham and Trotman Publication, London. pp. 234-241


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite
Nwanya, A. and Okeke, O. 2018. Using Dynamic Cone Penetrometer Tester to Determine CBR and Bearing Pressures of Subsurface Soils in Parts of Owerri, Southeastern Nigeria. European Journal of Engineering Research and Science. 3, 12 (Dec. 2018), 1-7. DOI:https://doi.org/10.24018/ejers.2018.3.12.973.