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Case Study

Geotechnical investigation for tank farm expansion

Geotechnical investigation for tank farm expansion

Advisian was retained by Pembina to perform geotechnical investigations at their Edmonton tank farm and provide recommendations on foundations for the tanks and associated facilities.

The Situation

Pembina Pipeline Corporation expanded the existing tank farm at their Edmonton North Terminal by constructing three new storage tanks. Advisian was retained by Pembina to perform geotechnical investigations at the site and provide recommendations on foundations for the tanks and associated facilities as well as to perform a slope stability assessment for the northeast slopes of the ravine that borders the site to the west. During Phase 1 of the proposed tank farm expansion, Advisian was retained to provide QA/QC services for the site preparation and earthworks related to the expansion.


Advisian conducted field investigations that comprised drilling and sampling, soil logging, piezometer installations, and management of geotechnical laboratory testing to support interpretation of geotechnical design parameters and recommendations.


Based on the field investigation and data interpretation, which identified settlement as a significant governing design criterion, Advisian provided recommendations on the following:

  • Shallow foundations for the proposed storage tanks
  • Pile foundation to support pipelines and structural containment walls
  • Construction recommendations

The scope of work for the ravine slope stability assessment included:

  • Review of results from geotechnical investigations, site topography, and aerial photographs
  • Site reconnaissance
  • Standard slope stability analysis

Based on this assessment, Advisian provided recommendations on appropriate setback distance and other control slope remediation and control requirements to aid long-term stability.

Advisian provided QA/QC support during Phase 1 of the expansion comprising:

  • Supervision of site preparation and earthworks during construction
  • On site compaction and moisture content testing of fill material
  • Inspection of site grades for compliance with design drawings
  • Collection of soil samples for laboratory testing
  • Visual inspection of ravine slopes during construction
  • Preparation of a construction completions report  

Advisian conducted the field investigations and submitted reports summarizing the investigation results and recommendations in both 2013 and 2014.

As follow-up work to the slope stability assessment, Advisian procured and installed three slope inclinometers in the ravine adjacent to the tank farm expansion in the fall of 2015, as well as providing geotechnical QA/QC support for general site earthworks and ongoing monitoring of the ravine slope inclinometers.


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