Geotechnical Engineering

Subsurface soil conditions can be unique in Florida and require specific amendments or building design to ensure a solid foundation. If a problem exists in your current structure, it’s important to find out what you’re dealing with quickly, and then determine the best possible method to remediate. Sinkholes are common in Florida and need accurate solutions to resolve. Our team of geotechnical engineers are deeply experienced with Florida soils and sinkholes and can quickly ascertain a solid solution so you can resolve your project and move forward. Give us a call and let’s talk about your project. You can also gain insight in our resource library.

Building foundation collapses due to poor soil prepSubsurface Conditions and Subsidence Investigations

Verify subsurface conditions that can impact your project design or as-built status and get a systematic evaluation in order to remediate the problem at its source. Our team of Professional Geotechnical Engineers will identify the problem, design a solution, and oversee the remediation effort, providing full support to you and your project. In Florida, the most common problematic soils include:

Shrink/Swell Clays

These materials rise and fall with a change in their moisture content and have the potential to destroy even multi-story buildings due to differential foundation movements. We begin by taking samples and determining if the clay is “active.” Based on the propensity for shrink/swell, the amount of material, and its depth, we can recommend excavating and removing the soil or design a foundation to withstand the potential effects of these challenging soils.

Organic-Laden Soils

By identifying how much organic material in a soil is present, we can evaluate the potential for future problems and propose possible remediation solutions. There are several ways organic soils can be dealt with, including shallow polyurethane chemical injection and/or underpinning.

Buried Debris

Concrete pits, buried tanks and other non-organic subsurface materials can be dealt with through excavation or possibly remediation. We’ll determine what hazard the buried debris may present and then provide options to reduce their effects.


Subsidence issues caused by sinkhole activity can be dealt with prior to construction by utilizing methods such as cement based grouting, vibro-floatation, rigid mat foundation designs, etc. For an existing structure, compaction grouting is an effective solution to mitigate raveling and fill void spaces adjacent to and below the structure. We use historical geological data as well as soil borings to explore and characterize the underlying soils.

Grout is pumped into side of Florida home damaged by a sinkholeSubsurface Remediation

Once the fundamental issue has been identified, our geotechnical design services will craft a solution based on our deep knowledge of Florida soils and karst. The solutions include deep compaction grouting, shallow chemical grouting and underpinning.  We will then oversee the remediation process ensuring you get full resolution and closure.

Subsurface Remediation Plan Design

A subsurface remediation effort begins by evaluating the unique characteristics of your site. Coupled with time and budget constraints, we will provide a plan to address the particular at-risk issue. The plan includes a scope of work, a preliminary budget, and bid documents for contractors.

Subsurface Remediation Monitoring

After a plan is accepted, our team of engineers and technicians will oversee the remediation process to ensure plan compliance and effectiveness, and produce a thorough and accurate final certification report detailing all aspects of the work that occurred during your project.

Close up of soil sample in a RETA Erosion ApparatusErosion Control

Inquire about our RETA, a testing apparatus which measures the erosional characteristics of rock, highly cemented sands or stiff clays as a function of shear stresses produced from flowing water.

What is RETA?

Our patented Rotational Erosion Rate Apparatus was developed at the University of Florida by Dr. D. Max Sheppard and our own Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Dr. David Bloomquist. The RETA measures the rate at which rock and other materials erode due to water flow induced shear stress. In the case of rock, core samples are taken from the site and tested in our laboratory using the RETA.

Florida DOT

The Florida Department of Transportation State Materials Laboratory in Gainesville, FL has been using RETA for testing rock core samples for approximately 10 years. Use of RETA test results has saved the FDOT millions of dollars through determining a bridge’s foundation resistance to erosion.

Get Acquainted

Take a look at a sample report and see what kind of help Geohazards can give you.

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