Instrumentation and Ground Improvement


Learning fundamental concepts related to geotechnical works regarding their observation and the design and execution of several types of ground treatments targeted at improving their geotechnical characteristics, stressing their applicability and associated costs.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Paula Fernandes da Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - 76

Teaching language



No special requirements are needed, but the previous attendance of Soil mechanics and other units related to civil engineering works (e.g. Dams and underground constructions) classes are suggested.


Chu, J., Varaksin, S., Klotz, U. and Meng´e, P. (2009). State of the Art Report: Construction Processes. 17th Intl. Conf. on Soil Mech. and Geotech. Engrg.: TC17 meeting ground improvement, Alexandria, Egypt, 7 October 2009, 130 pp.

Krizek R. J. & Sharp K. (eds.), Advances in Grouting and Ground Modification. Proceedings of Geo-Denver 2000, Reston: ASCE, Geotechnical Special Publication, n.104, 2000, 343 pp.

Moseley M.P. & Kirsch K. (eds.), Ground improvement, New York: Spon Press, 2nd ed., 2004, 431 pp.

Slope Indicator - Guide to Geotechnical instrumentation, Washington, USA, 2004.

Smoltczyk U., Geotechnical Engineering Handbook – Volume 2: Procedures, Berlin: Ernst & Sohn Verlag, 2003, 679 pp.

Teaching method

The teaching, supported using multimedia projections and e-learning methods (Moodle program), embrace theoretical and practical lessons, namely with review and discussion of monitoring plans and ground improvement projects.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will have a continuous component and includes two tests – T1 and T2, and an individual work (W) on a monitoring subject.

Final grade:  0,3.(T1)+ 0,3.(T2) + 0, 4.(W) = 20 values

Subject matter

Observation: reasons; overall planning process; manual and automatic data collection. Visual inspection. Monitoring systems: special features, installation and operation requirements. Devices, instruments and equipment for measuring superficial and internal displacements, water pressures, temperature, vibrations and permeability. New equipment. Observation plan for geotechnical works and cultural heritage. Special reports. Real time monitoring.

Improvement: purposes, history, classifications, applicability; dimensioning, equipment; quality assurance; examples. Hydraulic and thermal methods for groundwater removal. Chemical treatments: at surface and deep mixing; dry and wet methods. Jet-grouting. Grouting. Compaction methods: at surface and at deep; mechanical and blasting. Soil replacement: columns. Consolidation by preloading and vertical drainage; electro-osmosis. Soil reinforcement: MSEW; soil nailing; ground anchors. Costs.


Programs where the course is taught: