Spatial Correlation of Cone Tip Resistance for Soil in Nasiriyah

Ressol R. Shakir*
Civil Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Thi-Qar, Nasiriyah, Iraq

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Creative Commons License
© 2018 Ressol R. Shakir.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Civil Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Thi-Qar, Nasiriyah, Iraq, E-mails:;



Quantification of soil property spatial variations is an important step in any reliability-based design. Little stochastic parameter information about the soil in Nasiriyah, which is in southern Iraq, is available.


In this paper, the Scale Of Fluctuation (SOF) for the site soil is examined, which is suggested for construction of the refinery fuel station project as no random parametric quantity has been studied in this region. A Cone Penetration Test (CPT) was performed as part of the site investigation to a depth of 20 m in the vertical direction, and 24 CPTs were analyzed within the site. The spatial correlation was computed using four methods, including Single Exponent (SNE), Square Exponent (SQE), Cosine Exponent (CSE) and Second-Order Markov (SOM). Identification of the soil type depended on the most recent classification chart, which is based on CPT results. The spatial correlation was evaluated for the vertical direction considering the cone tip resistance (qc) component. Three trend functions were applied to all CPT soundings, including linear, quadratic and cubic polynomials, which were utilized to transform the non-stationary data to stationary data. Three modes of soil were employed, including the eight-meter soil layer, a twelve-meter soil layer and the entire twenty meters of soil, which includes both layers.

Results and Discussion:

The mean values of SOF were 0.54 m, 0.53 m, and 1.73 m for soil layers 8 m, 12 m, and 20 m, respectively. The high value of the last mean is attributed to the 20 m of stratification in the ground. This study also indicates that the SOF decreases as the polynomial degree increases, which is due to enhanced fitting. The coefficient of variation (COV) for the SOF shows little variability for most of the studied soil cases.

Keywords: The scale of fluctuation, Stochastic soil parameters, Soil, Cone penetration tests, Cone tip resistance, Reliability-based design.