Laboratory Testing


Horizon’s comprehensive soil and rock testing laboratory offers high quality geotechnical testing on samples obtained in offshore and nearshore investigations and is certified to ISO/IEC 17025:2005.

The testing capability within the onshore laboratory enables engineering parameters to be measured for the latest design specifications for offshore structures including pipelines and cables routes, platform foundations, breakwaters, jetty and port developments, reclaimed land and dredging applications.

Our fleet of mobile laboratories offers a range of geotechnical testing apparatus available for easy and quick mobilisation. Horizon’s offshore laboratories allow for the fast turnaround of critical tests for classification, measurement and strength parameters. Onsite testing allows engineering parameters to be determined during the field work and enables a timely preliminary engineering analysis to be undertaken and provided to our clients.

The tests available include, but are not limited to:

Classification tests

    Moisture content
    Dry and bulk density
    Particle density
    Particle size distribution
    Atterberg limits
    Minimum and maximum density

Chemical tests

    Calcium carbonate
    Total sulphate by acid extraction
    Water soluble sulphate (2:1 water to soil ratio)
    Chloride content (water extract)
    Organic content by ignition and dichromate oxidation

Strength (soil)


    – Unconsolidated undrained (UU) and remoulded (UU-R)
    – Consolidated drained (CD)
    – Consolidated undrained (CU)

Unconfined compressive strength
Shear box (peak and residual)

    – Direct shear
    – Interface shear (maximum normal stress to 800 kPa)
    – Interface ring shear

Motorised laboratory vane: peak and residual
Torvane and pocket penetrometer

Rock tests

    Unconfined compressive strength (UCS)
    UCS with elasticity modulus and poisson ratio
    Indirect tensile shear (Brazilian test)
    Point load index

Consolidation tests (soil)

    Manual oedometer (loading stages to maximum 6400 kPa)
    Measurement of swelling pressure
    Computer controlled rowe/barden cell for:

    – Constant rate of strain
    – Constant load with pore pressure measurement
    – Stepped load with pore pressure measurement

Miscellaneous tests

    Electrical resistivity
    Constant head permeability

Geochemistry tests