Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 5077–5095 | Cite as

Comprehensive Correlations Between the Geotechnical and Seismic Data Conducted via Bender Element

  • Badee AlshameriEmail author
  • Aziman Madun
Original Paper


Bender element (BE) is a useful seismic tool to predict the geotechnical soil properties using empirical correlations. However, there were uncertainties in the correlation equations which were not discussed in detail. In this study, the seismic data was thoroughly investigated to improve the correlations with the physical soil properties. Several proportions of sand–kaolin mixtures were compacted, sheared, as well as BE tested. The results showed curve relationships whereas the highest seismic wave velocity and the highest shear strength were attained at the proportion of 40% fine content. At this point, the void ratio, intergranular void ratio, maximum dry density, and specific gravity were 0.43, 1.43, 1.79 g/cm3, and 2.585 respectively. In addition, a direct positive linear relationship between the seismic wave velocity with cohesion (c) and shear strength (τ) provided highest values of seismic velocities at 53.7 kPa and 81.7 kPa of c and τ respectively. However, the seismic wave velocity less significant effected by the friction angle. The paper presented 68 empirical correlation equations between the previous parameters. The comparison with previous researchers indicated that the application of the empirical correlation equations was limited to the material type (clay and sand), fine content range (20–70%), void ratio range (> 0.43), and condition of the samples.


Bender element Empirical correlation equations Geotechnical and seismic parameters Seismic wave velocities 

List of symbols

The friction angel


The area of sheared sample


The cohesion


Coarse content


The time for maximum value of cross-correlation


The clay content


Void ratio


Intergranular void ratio


The maximum Young’s modulus


The applied force


Fine content


The maximum shear modulus


The specific gravity


The wave path length from the tip of the transmitter to the tip of the receiver


Maximum dry density


Optimum moisture content


The material strength


The sand content


The corresponds to the signal time record


The recorded time


The time shift for transmitter signal


The wave velocity




The primary (compression) wave velocity


The secondary (shear) wave velocity


The moisture content


The corresponds to receiver signal


The corresponds to transmitter signal


Applied normal stress


The shear strength


The bulk density (or ρwet)



The author would like to express his gratitude towards the Ministry of High Education of Yemen, Ministry of High Education of Malaysia and University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia-UTHM.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geotechnical Engineering, NUST Institute of Civil Engineering (NICE), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (SCEE)National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)IslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Infrastructure and Geomatic Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Environmental, EngineeringUniversiti Tun Hussein Onn MalaysiaParit Raja, Batu PahatMalaysia

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