## Ground characterization

'In dealing with real world problems, uncertainties are unavoidable'1 5.1 From test results to design

Ground characterization is the process of deducing suitable values for geotechnical parameters from the results of field or laboratory tests. Ultimately, these values will be used in design calculations, after the application of appropriate partial factors to cater for uncertainties in the available data.

There are three distinct steps in this process, as shown in Figure 5.1. Put simply, derivation involves converting test results into derived values (X); characterization involves choosing a suitable characteristic value (Xk) from those derived values; and, finally, factorization is the process of applying a partial factor to the characteristic value to make it more reliable for design purposes

The remainder of this chapter considers the first two of these steps: derivation (Section 5.2) and characterization (Section 5.3).

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