A draft method of soil description was produced by a working group of the New Zealand Geomechanics Society (now the New Zealand Geotechnical Society) in 1980. Members of the working Group were:
- Dr S A L Read - New Zealand Geological Survey (now GNS Science)
- Mr P J Millar - Tonkin & Taylor Ltd
- Mr N S Luxford - Babbage Consultants Ltd
- Mr A J Olsen -Worley Consultants Ltd (now Maunsell Ltd)
The draft was expanded to include a method for the description of rock in 1985, and published in 1988 as “Guidelines for the Field Description of Soils and Rocks in Engineering Use”.
This 2005 revision has been prepared with the objectives of keeping pace with international practice, defining terms used in communicating soil and rock properties in New Zealand and giving emphasis to describing properties that are of engineering significance.
In particular, the soil description part of the Guideline has been revised to emphasize the distinction between classification and description. One notable change from the 1988 Guideline is the omission of Table 2.7 (USBR Unified Soil Classification Chart). This is in keeping with the 3rd edition of the USBR Earth Manual and changes to presentation of the Unified Soil Classification System in ASTM standards.
The rock description part of the Guideline has been simplified, and the section on weathering revised to make it more relevant to the range of rock types normally met in New Zealand. A more complete set of terms is provided to allow description of rock in both core and outcrop.
Contributors to the 2005 revision are:
- David Burns - Maunsell Ltd
- Steve Crawford - Tonkin & Taylor Ltd
- Geoffrey Farquhar - Maunsell Ltd
- Doug Johnson - Tonkin & Taylor Ltd
- Dr Laurie Wesley - University of Auckland
- Ann Williams - Beca Infrastructure Ltd
It is envisaged that in future the Guideline be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. To this end, all submissions on the Guideline should be registered with www.nzgeotechsoc.org.nz.