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Geotechnical Design Manual Version 1.1 (2010)

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Geotechnical Design Manual (GDM) has been developed to provide uniform design practices for Department and consultant personnel preparing geotechnical reports and contract plans for SCDOT projects. The designer should attempt to meet all criteria and practices presented in the GDM, while fulfilling SCDOT's operational and safety requirements. This Manual should be used in conjunction with the Bridge Design Manual and the Seismic Design Specifications for Highway Bridges.

The GDM presents most of the information normally required in the geotechnical design of transportation projects; however, it is impossible to address every situation that the designer will encounter. Therefore, designers must exercise good judgment on individual projects and, frequently, they must be innovative in their approach to geotechnical design. This may require, for example, additional research into geotechnical literature.

The August 2008, Version 1.0, and the June 2010 Chapters 13 through 26 and Appendices B through G join together to form the complete SCDOT Geotechnical Design Manual, Version 1.1. Appendix E contains a list of Geotechnical Template Plans that may be obtained at Drawings and Details. Any questions concerning the applicability of procedure, analysis, or method should be directed to the Preconstruction Support - Geotechnical Design Section (PCS/GDS).

Preface (PDF 27.3 Kb)
Table of Contents (PDF 38.5 Kb)

Chapter 1 (PDF 450 Kb) Introduction
Chapter 2 (PDF 201 Kb) Project Coordination Process
Chapter 3 (PDF 54.3 Kb) Consultant Services and Review
Chapter 4 (PDF 108 Kb) Subsurface Investigation Guidelines
Chapter 5 (PDF 290 Kb) Field and Laboratory Testing Procedures
Chapter 6 (PDF 1.59 Mb) Material Description-Classification-Logging
Chapter 7 (PDF 2.07 Mb) GeoMechanics
Chapter 8 (PDF 344 Kb) Geotechnical LRFD Design
Chapter 9 (PDF 282 Kb) Geotechnical Resistance Factors
Chapter 10 (PDF 1.26 Mb) Geotechnical Performance Limits
Chapter 11 (PDF 3.79 Mb) SC Geology and Seismicity
Chapter 12 (PDF 3.92 Mb) Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
Chapter 13 (PDF 4.1 Mb) Geotechnical Seismic Hazards
Chapter 14 (PDF 2.21 Mb) Geotechnical Seismic Design
Chapter 15 (PDF 99.2 Kb) Shallow Foundations
Chapter 16 (PDF 354 Kb) Deep Foundations
Chapter 17 (PDF 3.71 Mb) Embankments
Chapter 18 (PDF 740 Kb) Earth Retaining Structures
Chapter 19 (PDF 3.61 Mb) Ground Improvement
Chapter 20 (PDF 309 Kb) Geosynthetic Design
Chapter 21 (PDF 245 Kb) Geotechnical Reports
Chapter 22 (PDF 170 Kb) Plan Preparation
Chapter 23 (PDF 43.8 Kb) Specifications and Special Provisions
Chapter 24 (PDF 815 Kb) Construction QA-QC
Chapter 25 (PDF 142 Kb) Construction Monitoring and Instrumentation
Chapter 26 (PDF 51.4 Kb) Geotechnical Software

Appendix A (PDF 155 Kb) Geotechnical Design Section Forms
Appendix B (PDF 3.32 Mb) Slope Stability Design Charts
Appendix C (PDF 928 Kb) MSE Walls
Appendix D (PDF 757 Kb) Reinforced Soil Slopes
Appendix E (PDF 41.1 Kb) Geotechnical Template Plans
Appendix F (PDF 25 Kb) Project Specific Specifications List
Appendix G (PDF 31.8 Kb) SCDOT Software List


As the need arises, Bridge Design Memorandums will be issued to supplement or revise the requirements of the GDM.

Order Information

Copies of the GDM, Version 1.1, consisting of Chapters 1 through 26 and Appendices A through G, may be obtained at a cost of $95.00 per manual. For those persons who have previously purchased GDM, Version 1.0, the June 2010 Chapters 13 through 26 and Appendices B through G, may be purchased at a cost $40.00 per copy. Purchases are made through the Departments Engineering Publications Office at (803) 737-4533 or by emailing us.

Consultant Seismic Information Request Form

Consultant requests for seismic hazard map information for projects shall be submitted to the appropriate Regional Production Group - Geotechnical Design Section. All requests shall be submitted using the Consultant Seismic Information Request - GDF 002 Form (PDF 345 Kb). For questions on completing the form please refer to the Geotechnical Design Manual or contact the appropriate Regional Production Group - Geotechnical Design Section.

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