Evolution of the pore-pressure field around a moving conical penetrometer of finite size

Michael Fitzgerald, Derek Elsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A solution is developed for the evolution of buildup, steady, and postarrest dissipative pore-fluid pressure fields that develop around a finite-radius conical penetrometer advanced in a saturated linearly elastic porous medium. The analog with cone penetrometer testing is direct and is used to enable continuous distributions of permeability and diffusivity to be determined with depth. This analysis reveals the direct dependence of penetration rate on the induced fluid pressure field magnitudes, and predicts that a penetration rate threshold limit exists with respect to pore-pressure generation. This represents the essence of a partially drained system. The developed pore-pressure field is determined to be a function of the dissipation rate of the material, the penetration rate, and the storage effects of the advecting medium. Analysis of the pore-pressure field under start-up conditions reveals that the time required to reach steady state is strongly influenced by the penetration rate and the pressure-dissipation properties of the material. Analysis of the developed stable pressure fields illustrates the inversely proportional relationship that exists between penetration rate and pore-pressure magnitudes at the cone surface; representing the influence of storage in the medium on stable pore-pressure magnitudes. Stable pressure fields below the penetration threshold limit, UD≤10-1, form a spherical response around the cone tip transitioning to an elongated radial response for penetration rates above this limit. Postarrest analysis indicates that the prearrest penetration rate strongly influences the dissipation rate and pattern of dissipation. The developed analysis can be correlated with CPTu-recovered data to independently evaluate permeability magnitudes during steady penetration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number006003QEM
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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