Ground investigations

Undisturbed sampling of coarse soils.

Undisturbed sampling

Silt, sand and gravel

Geofrost provides undisturbed samples by the Geofrost Coring method. We provide undisturbed samples also from pure frictional soils like silt, sand and gravel which can be tested in the laboratory to find in-situ strength and deformation properties as well as degree of compaction and permeability.

Geofrost Coring is the method providing the best quality of undisturbed samples of frictional soils.

Photo: Sand
The photo shows a sample of uniformly graded sand, sampled by Geofrost Coring.

Talus and moraine

Geofrost Coring gets core samples from mixed soils containing cobbles, stones and more or less fines in-between. The coarser particles are not torn out of the surface, but accurately cut.

Photo: Talus and moraine
The photos show talus with cavities and moraine with gravel and cobbles, both sampled with the Geofrost Coring method.


Geofrost Coring obtains undisturbed samples also in fills, which often are mixed soils. As long as it is possible to drill, undisturbed samples are achievable.

Photo: Undisturbed core through fill material.
The photo shows sample from a fill, sampled with the Geofrost Coring method.

Transition from soil to rock

Geofrost Coring penetrates stones and rock and at the same time captures the fines, enabling undisturbed samples of the transition from soil to rock. In the laboratory, closer examination of the transition may be done to both find the degree of rock weathering and whether critical amount of soft soil is left behind after a complete mass replacement.

Photo: Sample showing soil contact with rock.
The photos show a sample taken with the Geofrost Coring method, with soil deposited directly on an unweathered rock surface.

Rock fracture filling

With Geofrost Coring all fracture fillings are captured, even empty cavities and water filling.

With conventional core sampling the filling is often washed away.

Photo: Sample shows rock fracture inclusions.
The sample on the photo, which is sampled with Geofrost Coring, shows fractured rock where the fillings are intact.


With Geofrost Coring all phases of the content present are locked in place in situ, making the samples showing exact level or position of the different contaminations. This is the method to capture both the liquid and the gas phase, in addition to contamination i the solid phase.

Photo: Sample showing contaminated sediments.
The photo shows contaminated layers in a sediment block from a lake.

Natural frost

In areas with seasonal frost, sampling by Geofrost Coring through the layers potentially containing ice lenses, may add new knowledge to the frost heave process and how different temperature variations affect the buildup of ice lenses in the different ground conditions.

In permafrost areas, Geofrost Coring provides undisturbed samples of good quality. Even for marine permafrost sediments, with pore water containing salt, the Geofrost Coring method provides good quality samples without surface destruction.

Photo: Sample in permafrost with visible ice.
The photo clearly shows areas of ice in the permafrost sample cored with Geofrost Coring.

Laboratory testing

Frozen sample

With Geofrost Coring the ground is frozen before samples are cored. The samples may be tested directly to find in-situ frozen strength parameters as well as thermal properties. Complicated preparatory build-in and freezing procedures to recreate the in-situ conditions in the frozen ground are avoided.

Photo: Laboratory testing of frozen sample.
Result of an unconfined compression test of a frozen sample in the laboratory.
Photo: Geofrost

Thawed sample

The exceptional good quality of the samples received by Geofrost Coring, enables performing laboratory testing on frictional material as it was in situ. The undisturbed frozen samples are robust and can easily be handled for preparation in the test apparatus. In-situ confining pressure is applied to the sample before it thaws. Then the desired test is run.

Geofrost Coring provides samples with actual structure and compaction, instead of being artificially built into a mold. This makes it possible to find strength and deformation properties for both frictional soils and mixed soils, as well as finding actual permeability properties through critical layers.


Geofrost provides complete classification and description of the layers, also for inhomogenous frictional soils, because nothing is lost or disturbed during Geofrost Coring.

Porosity and density determination is possible where one previously could only do qualified guessing.


Top sample quality

Geofrost Coring provides top sample quality with preserved in-situ properties in silt, sand, gravel, talus, moraine, weathered rock, rock fissure fillings and contaminated ground.

Since the method freezes and incapsulates the ground, the properties are preserved without getting disturbed or damaged by the sampling. This provides far more reliable information about the ground than other alternatives such as drill cuttings analysis, probe drilling, CPT or disturbed sampling.

Reliable information

Accurate properties, such as strength, deformation and permeability, are found by thawing the samples in the test apparatus and applying the confining pressure, water pressure and temperature before the test is started. This way accurate data about density, water content, grain distribution, liquid and plasticity limits, salt content, contaminations and other parameters of interest are obtained. Water content is adjusted for due to having been frozen.

Visual inspection of the samples gives precise information about acutal layering in the ground.

Reduced risk for owner

Infrastructure projects have often great uncertainty about ground conditions in connection with rock fissure fillings, frictional soils, moraine, talus, fills and mixed soils in general and have missed a good method to get the required information.

Geofrost Coring provides the neccessary information so the owners can make informed decisions and reduce the risk during planning, design and execution.

What we deliver

Geofrost provides all related services for undisturbed sampling and laboratory testing.

Ground investigation services

  • Geotechnical advisory
  • Plan for sampling
  • Undisturbed samples with Geofrost Coring
  • Transportation of samples to the laboratory
  • Storage of samples
  • Laboratory testing
  • Geotechnical laboratory report

Where we operate

We offer our services worldwide.


Contact person

Anne-Lise Berggren, Ph.D., M.Sc
Senior specialist geotechnics
(+47) 95 29 29 30


If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us. With project info, we quickly provide price estimates.

Ground freezing since 1986.