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 - 74

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.


Bassett R. A Guide to Field Instrumentation in Geotechnics, Principles, Installation and Reading. CRC Press, 2012.

Chu J., Varaksin S., Klotz U. & Menge P. State of Art Report: Construction Processes. 17 Int Conf Soil Mech Geotech Eng, TC17, Alexandria, 2009.

Han J., Principles and practices of ground improvement.  New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

Kirsch K. & Bell A. (eds.) Ground improvement,  Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group, 3rd ed. 2013.

 Zbigniew B,  Margottini, Cl.,  Canuti, P. & Sassa K. (eds.). Landslide Science and Practice, Volume 2 Early Warning, Instrumentation and Monitoring. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, 2013. 

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: