Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. William Dally

Rights Statement

Department Chair

Dr. Osama Jadaan

College Dean

Dr. William F. Klostermeyer


The United States Navy (USN) currently utilizes a Rapid Penetration Test (RPT) on both land and in water as the means to determine whether sufficient soil bearing capacity exists for piles in axial compression, prior to construction of the Elevated Causeway System (Modular) [ELCAS(M)] pile-supported pier system. The USN desires a replacement for the RPT because of issues with the method incorrectly classifying soils as well as the need to have a less labor-and-equipment-intensive method for geotechnical investigation.

The Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) method is selected herein as the potential replacement for the RPT. The MASW method is an existing, geophysical method for determining soil properties based upon the acquisition and analysis of seismic surface waves used to develop shear wave velocity profiles for the soils at specific sites. Correlations between shear wave velocity and Cone Penetration Testing are utilized to classify soils, develop pile blow count estimates, and calculate soil bearing capacity.

This researcher found that the MASW method was feasible and reliable in predicting the required properties for terrestrial sites. However, it was not successful in predicting those properties for underwater marine sites due to issues with equipment and field setup. Future areas of improvement are recommended to address these issues and, due to the success of the method on land, it is expected that once the issues are addressed the MASW method will be a reliable replacement for the RPT method across the entire subaerial and subaqueous profile.