Geotechnical Services

Quick Facts

  • Dredging generates 200 to 300 million tons of material each year in the US
  • In 2011, levees helped in the prevention of more than $141B in flood damages

“Soils are made by nature and not by man, and the products of nature are always complex… As soon as we pass from steel and concrete to earth, the omnipotence of theory ceases to exist.” – Karl Terzaghi, the father of soil mechanics

Sovereign combines the knowledge of soil and rock mechanics, geology, and foundation engineering to provide the basis for practical, service-oriented geotechnical solutions.

Our geotechnical staff complements our core environmental capabilities by delivering sound engineering designs through the study and interpretation of subsurface data.

Sovereign is competent with numerous innovative technologies in ground improvement methods, allowing us to provide economical alternative solutions to conventional excavation & replacement or deep foundation options. Our geotechnical engineers have achieved significant cost savings through techniques such as reuse of on-site soils, blast rock, and construction demolition to safe excavation within a few feet of existing foundations in both soil and bedrock. We are capable of supporting clients in transportation, traditional utilities and renewable energy, federal and local government, industrial, hospitals & healthcare facilities, retail / commercial development, and telecommunications.

Our key geotechnical service offerings are:

Innovative Technologies

  • Grouting methods
  • Soil mixing
  • Deep dynamic compaction
  • Lightweight fill
  • Preloading/Surcharging with/without prefabricated vertical drains
  • Vibro-compaction
  • Stone columns
  • Rammed aggregate piers
  • Soil nailing
  • Mechanically stabilized earth using geotextiles, geocomposites, and geogrids

Subsurface Explorations

  • Test borings and test pits
  • Rock coring
  • Cone penetration testing (CPT)
  • In-situ permeability testing
  • Piezometer installation & monitoring
  • Technical direction of subcontractors
  • Preparation of logs showing subsurface conditions
  • Geophysical testing such as:
    • Seismic refraction
    • Electrical resistivity
    • Ground penetrating radar
    • ReMi surveys

Geotechnical Design

  • Shallow foundations
  • Deep pile foundations
  • Dewatering / waterproofing
  • Permanent retaining walls
  • Embankments / cut-off walls
  • Seismic analyses
  • Forensic evaluations
  • Excavation support systems
  • In-situ instrumentation/monitoring
  • Soil / rock slopes
  • Settlement analyses
  • Foundation drainage
  • Underpinning
  • Pavement design / condition assessment
  • Ground improvement
  • Dams / levees

Construction Services

  • Field engineering and monitoring for installation of geotechnical design features such as piles, ground improvements, and underpinning
  • Installation and monitoring of construction instrumentation
  • Review foundation subgrades
  • Engineering consultation / troubleshooting during construction
  • Vibration monitoring

Laboratory Testing

  • Index properties such as grain size distribution, moisture content, and plasticity
  • Permeability, consolidation, and shear strength
  • Moisture-density relationship and California Bearing Ratio (CBR) testing