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Maximising the efficiency of Menard pressuremeter testing in cohesive materials by a cookie-cutter drilling technique

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 00:42 authored by Ali TolooiyanAli Tolooiyan, Ashley DysonAshley Dyson, Karami, M, Shaghaghi, T, Ghadrdan, M, Tang, Z

Menard pressuremeter testing has been widely used in geotechnical engineering applications for 40 years and is an important technique in determining in-situ horizontal stress distributions. In this study, Menard pressuremeter testing is combined with a “cookie-cutter” insertion technique to determine horizontal stresses for a soft-rock in an operational Australian mine. The method presents an alternative to the Self-Bored Pressuremeter, with cookie-cutter drill rods allowing for sample recovery and further laboratory testing. The method accommodates for the presence of gravel and hard layered materials that present a risk of damage to cutting shoes of Self-Bored Pressuremeter devices. The combination of a sonic drill rig, coupled with the cookie cutter rods produces a close tolerance pocket resulting in “pseudo self boring pressuremeter tests”. The undrained shear strength, unload-reload shear modulus and in-situ horizontal stress are presented from pressuremeter tests conducted in the region for the first time. The undrained shear strength was observed in the range of 0.47–0.57 MPa, the unload-reload shear modulus between 17.43 and 18.25 MPa, the lift-off pressure in the range of 0.35–0.61 MPa. The K0 of coal was equal to 1, with interseam materials ranging from 2.1 to 3.5. Results of the cookie-cutter insertion method are compared with conventional drilling methods, with the cookie-cutter insertion test providing results in good agreement with both advanced triaxial laboratory tests and FEM numerical analysis. Cookie-cutter pressuremeter tests were conducted on cohesive soils at Australia's second-largest open-pit mine, with pressuremeter test results presented for Victorian brown coal for the first time.


Publication title

Engineering Geology



Article number









School of Engineering


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication

Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

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© 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Socio-economic Objectives

Geological hazards (e.g. earthquakes, landslides and volcanic activity)