The need for comprehensive information on the characteristics and behavior of earth materials has been recognized for many years, perhaps for as long as significant construction has taken place in and on the surface of the earth. In recent years, however, the magnitude and complexity of engineered construction has greatly increased, resulting in a corresponding increase in the need for information on the engineering properties of soil and rock materials for use in site selection, design, construction, and maintenance of major structures. Probably the most pressing need for such data is for use in preliminary considerations of site selection and design alternatives. Maps and(or) surveys giving the areal distribution of earth materials and their characteristics, together with topographic maps available for many areas, permit much preliminary work on engineered structures to be performed without the engineer ever having to leave his office.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 555

Digital Object Identifier



Offered for publication to the Geotechnical Testing Journal, American Society for Testing and Materials.