3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this British Standard, the terms and definitions given in BS EN 1997-1, BS EN 1997-2 and the following apply.

3.1 anthropogenic ground

deposits which have accumulated through human activity

NOTE These could consist of natural materials placed/replaced by man, e.g. clay, or man-made materials, e.g. refuse.

3.2 contamination

presence of a substance or agent, as a result of human activity, in, on or under land, which has the potential to cause harm or to cause pollution

[SOURCE: BS 10175:2011+A1:2013, 3.1.3]

NOTE 1 There is no assumption in this definition that harm results from the presence of the contamination.

NOTE 2 Potentially hazardous substances of natural origin (e.g. radon, arsenic, lead) might also be present in the ground.

3.3 exploratory hole

investigation point comprising an excavation or borehole from which visual descriptions can be made and samples can be taken or in which tests can be made

3.4 fill

anthropogenic ground in which the material has been selected, placed and compacted in accordance with an engineering specification

3.5 ground

all materials below the ground surface, including natural materials (soil and rock) and anthropogenic materials

3.6 ground investigation

investigation of the site in a broad sense which includes desk studies, field reconnaissance, and field and laboratory work within geographical, geological, hydrogological and environmental contexts

NOTE Previously called site investigation in the UK.

3.7 ground model

outline of the understanding of the disposition and character of soil, rock and groundwater under and around the site

3.8 groundwater

water located beneath the surface of the earth

3.9 groundwater control

measures taken to control the groundwater conditions to mitigate effects on investigation or engineering works

NOTE This term has been adopted in preference to the less specific term "dewatering".

3.10 made ground

anthropogenic ground in which the material has been placed without engineering control and/or manufactured by man in some way, such as through crushing or washing, or arising from an industrial process

3.11 permanent gas

element or compound that is a gas at all ambient temperatures likely to be encountered on the surface of the earth

NOTE Under extreme hot circumstances, some substances might become gases that would not otherwise be. These are not permanent gases.

[SOURCE: BS 8576:2013, 3.10]

3.12 rock

naturally occurring assemblage of minerals, crystallized, consolidated, cemented, or otherwise bonded together, so as to form material of generally greater strength or stiffness than soils

[SOURCE: Adapted from BS EN ISO 14689-1:2003, 3.1]

3.13 soil

assemblage of mineral particles and/or organic matter which can be separated by gentle mechanical means and which includes variable amounts of water and air (and sometimes other gases)

NOTE 1 The term is also applied to anthropogenic ground consisting of replaced natural soil or man-made materials exhibiting similar behaviour, e.g. crushed rock, blast furnace slag, fly-ash.

NOTE 2 Soils might have structures and textures derived from rock but are usually of lower strength than rocks.

3.14 Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)

organic compound that is volatile under normal environmental/atmospheric conditions, although it can be found in the ground in the solid, liquid and dissolved phase form as well as in gaseous phase

[SOURCE: BS 8576:2013, 3.15]

NOTE 1 VOC can also be defined as an "organic compound which is liquid at 20 °C and which generally has a boiling point below 180 ºC" (based on BS EN ISO 11074:2015).

NOTE 2 Examples include single-ring aromatic hydrocarbons and other low boiling halogenated hydrocarbons, which are used as solvents or fuels, and some degradation products.

BS 5930:2015 Code of practice for ground investigations